Angebot für ein Praktikum / Internship available

Angebot für ein Praktikum / Internship available (English below): Von Mitte Januar bis Mitte April suchen wir jemanden für gezielte Recherchen und Basisarbeiten am “Global eBook” Report ( ) Voraussetzungen: Augen, Ohren und Hirn offen und neugierig, insbesondere in Sachen Buch, Buchmärkte, Kultur weltweit; gut organisiert & strukturiert denkend, teamfähig; sehr geübt in English und noch einer oder mehreren Sprachen in Wort & Schrift. Wir bieten Mitarbeit an einem innovativen Projekt und bescheidene Bezahlung.
We have an internship available from mid Jan to mid April 2014, located in Vienna (teleworking partially possible), for basic research re: the Global eBook report ( ). What we need: Wide open eyes, ears and mind, notably re: books, publishing, culture worldwide; being well organized and team oriented; fit to work in English and one or several more languages. What we offer: Be a part of an outstanding project (good reference, really!), and moderate financial compensation.
Bewerbungen bitte per Email / Applications by email at

Is “hating Amazon” a good option? A new round in the controvery in Germany, and a reply.

“If I hate a company, it is Amazon”, was the cry of battle that Sibylle Lewitscharoff, winner of the prestigeous Büchner Prize in 2013, offered to her cheering audience at the opening of this year’s Buch Wien fair. As her address was published in Germany, in the daily Die Welt, an avalanche of 1500 posts on Facebook, a couple of hundred reader commentaries and many many tweets followed. However, the response was mixed between approval for the anti Amazon emotions, and more critical comments.

The debate coincided with an interview that Amazon’s Jeff Bezos had given to the CBS “60 minutes” news show, and yes, this was the talk with the book drones. But more interesting to me at least was a short, yet pretty sharp comment of Bezos with  regard to the book trade, as he said:

The Internet is disrupting every media industry, Charlie, you know, people can complain about that, but complaining is not a strategy. And Amazon is not happening to book selling, the future is happening to book selling.
I thought that these two quotes, from lewitscharoff and from bezos, are the perfect starting point for reviewing the heated controversy on Amazon that is raging across Europe, and notably its well intentioned reading and book selling communities. So I wrote my take on that debate for “Die Welt“. (You should be able to get the principle thoughts via Google Translate)
In short, I opened with Bezos’ critique, arguing that books and reading, with a market value of € 9 bn in Germany alone, more than music, games or even movies, has turned into a massive cultural industry, second only to TV. And that cultural industry, with its millions and millions of readers, has expanded far beyond the level of 18th century “Salons” and their spirit of exclusivity. Today, looking at books and reading means to think of India or China, with a globalizing middle class of most diverse communities.
Amazon must be blamed, obviously, for shabby working conditions in its fulfillment centers, and for complex tax schemes, avoiding to paying taxes where the profits are made. But again, we must add that the member countries of the European  Union simply fail to agree on fixing such loopholes, as they do in their endless disputes about VAT and reduced taxing schemes for cultural goods, books, ebooks, whatever. In Germany, for long the strongest book market for translations, the number of newly translated works came down in the past decade, not the least echoing an endless (national) quarrel on a fair compensation for translators. The book chains, yesterday’s agents of evil in bookish Europe, today stand up dressing as victims from Amazon’s onslaught. Etc., etc.
From a more neutral standpoint, Amazon is a threat to the status quo of this industry, certainly. But most of all, Amazon is the answer to some really pressing and tough questions (which we people of European culture rather tend to avoid):
How can we re-invent books and reading, to the standards and requirements of the 21st century? And this means digital, and this means global, too. Amazon has come up with one answer to that, and a successful one. If we don’t like it, we should better start thinking of our own response, and how it can be even stronger than that of Amazon.
Or as Jeff Bezos hinted rightly: “Complaining is not a strategy.”

The book markets in Armenia, Georgia and the Ukraine: Globalization and the peripheries

The globalization of the book trade is discussed mostly with regard to the most powerful, plus some emerging markets like Brazil or China. But obviously, the many smaller countries, and those on the peripheries from the centres of globalization, look at a challenging future as well. Local publishers and booksellers have to struggle with a difficult economic environment. Reading elites often import the newest books, in English though, as they do with electronic devices. And often enough, a strong neighbor country competes through regional exports for a culturally fragmented local audience. Armenia, Georgia and the Ukraine are three highly interesting examples for getting an understanding for scenarios of change that are applicable in many parts of today’s book world.

Invited by the NextPage foundation, we have had the priviledge to act as an external advisor to a project mapping the book markets of Armenia, georgia and the Ukraine. Find the full reports and other relevant information on these countries and their book markets at the BookPlatform website, a summary video of our presentation at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2013, and a short overview of key findings for download here.

Discussing wih Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House, how global publishing works, really.

A packed room with 350 visitors of the Frankfurt book fair, including numerous executives from around the world, questions – from my colleagues of Livres, Hebdo, buchreport, The Bookseller, PublishNews Brazil and Publishers Weekly – ranging from “How will you make this merger work”, after he had pushed for forming the largest trade publisher worldwide in today’s industry, to “What was the last book, published NOT by Penguin or Random House, and how did you actually ‘discover’ it (on the table of a friend, said Dohle, switching inadvertedly from English to German, thus making the proof that discovering a good read is very local, not global – but the, at first unnoticed involontary, change of languages gave him an amused, friendly laughter from the audience!).

What are the plans for Penguin Random House in emerging markets like Brazil or China or India? And why is Random House Deutschland, in Munich, not a part of the new entity (but Dohle is the boss for both, on Bertelsmann’s board).

And last but not least a few surprises, when Dohle said for instance (tongue in cheek): “You know, when I was in Brazil, and met those great people at (Brazilian publisher) Companhia das Letras (in which British Penguin had invested earlier), I decided that we just HAD to merge with Penguin, to be a part of this!”

Well, there were many interesting details, amusing sound bites, and pretty thoughtful insights during those 60 minutes. You can hear all of that soon. We will post a complete stream here shortly.

The Global eBook Report update fall 2013 is out: How ebooks are confronting the global with the local in international publishing

How ebooks are confronting the global with the local in international publishing

The Global eBook report provides an overview of internationally emerging ebook markets, with a unique set of data from a wide array of the best available sources, a thorough analysis and a synopsis of key global developments and a broad set of detailed references to both global and local actors, forming a resource for anyone interested in the globalization of digital (book) content production and dissemination.

The report offers a status on the US and UK markets as well as close ups on ebook markets as they take shape across Europe, Brazil, China, India, Russia, and in the Arab world.  Thematic chapters focus on critical policy debates and on key driving forces, notably ebook bestsellers and pricing strategies across European markets, self-publishing, government regulation, piracy, and the expanding activities of the leading global players such as Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Google, and Kobo. Fundamental statistics on the more mature ebook markets in the US and UK serve as benchmarks, to help with the evaluation of data from all other market developments.

Key findings

Ebooks have become the most relevant driver for growth in international publishing markets, yet confronting local players and traditions with often overwhelming competition from a few global actors, notably Amazon and Apple. In the two largest ebook markets, the United States and the United Kingdom (both with a market share for ebooks of around 20% of trade sales, and 30% in fiction), the increase has plateaued. In the UK, in 2012, thanks to ebook sales, losses in print could be compensated from digital. But everywhere across continental Europe, readers have started to embracing ebooks, notably in fiction. Publishers in Germany see up to 15% of revenues from new fiction titles to coming from digital, while various surveys report overall ebooks as contributing between 7 and 9%. Other markets, like France, Spain or Italy, see a continuous expansion of ebooks, in tandem with a growing penetration of devices, and tablets gaining over e-readers.

To assess trends and developments, more detailed observations, as documented throughout the Global eBook report, become more relevant though.

In the US, over 1,000 ebook titles had sold over 25,000 each by the end of 2012. In France, at 3.1% of market share for ebooks in 2012, one out of five readers says to have already read an ebook. In Sweden and Italy, hard DRM is not the best choice anymore for most publishers. On the crisis stricken Spanish book market, ebooks are taking off faster than elsewhere in Europe, with the most massive discounts against print in Europe.

Pricing is a strategic and complex issue altogether. Aside from summarizing recent legal debates in the US over the “agency model”, the Global eBook reports tracks the huge differences, and contradictory developments with regard to the cost of an ebook in different markets.

2013 witnesses a boom in both new startups – from specialized ebook publishers to new ebook community and streaming sites – to new alliances of major local players, aiming at confronting the takeover of their markets by the global giants Amazon and Apple. The Tolino platform in Germany has brought together the two leading book chains with a leader in telecommunication, similar to the Spanish Nubico, formed of the largest book club (and publisher) with a telco network.

Also in China, consortia between publishing and bookselling groups with networks emerge by bringing together the strongest domestic players, to limit the inroads from abroad. From France to Brazil to the US, the ebook platform Kobo is forming partnerships with local book chains and independents, to form alternatives to notably a predominance of Amazon.

Almost everywhere, market developments are complemented by controversial policy debates and regulatory efforts, thus emphasizing the deep impact of ebook developments on all aspects of the business and the culture of books and reading.


BookwireCopyright Clearance CenterKlopotek

Media Partners

The Global eBook report can dwell for research and dissemination on a unique network of media partners, including Book Dao (China), Book Industry Magazine (Russia), buchreport (Germany), Dosdoce (Spain), Livres Hebdo (France), Svensk Bokhandel (Sweden), Publish News (Brazil), Publishers Weekly (USA), The Bookseller (United Kingdom) as well as the Frankfurt Academy / ConTec conference.

How and where to get the Global eBook report

The Global eBook report is available in ePub, PDF and Mobi (Kindle) formats, for download at all major ebook platforms, and through direct links from .

From October 1st until 31st, 2013, the download is free of charge.
From November 1st, 2013 on, the report will cost € 29.95.



Reading is changing, for sure. In the networks, obviously. But what does this mean?

I’m not sure if I embrace all the casualness in this piece on “networked reading” in The Guardian. But the short article certainly formulates several very important questions with regard to reading.

Reading habits are probably the next frontier in what is changing in the ecosystem of the book (and readers, and authors);

This change will be driven by readers networking their reading experience – plus thoughts, notes, references – through the (social) networks in which they are active;

Today’s biggest behemoths with their highly walled, closed gardens – Amazon, Apple, perhaps also Facebook – may lose ground here quickly; except if they just spend a few zillions to acquire all those new universes; but that would be both sad, and not really plausible;

The process will surely be disruptive for that late 19th century reading concept that overemphasizes the lone, solitary and individual book lover who gets lost in the text, without bothering to share the discoveries even with their closest friends; instead the other pactice of reading, as a magnificent generator of communication, will grow far beyond of what we know today.

But control – social control and mind control – will be a highly critical issue indeed.

Suhrkamp: Die Zahlen hinter der Soap

Natürlich sind die meisten Geschäftszahlen nicht öffentlich, was es schwer macht, sachlich genauer einzuordnen, welche Kräfte und Dynamiken die Causa Suhrkamp tatsächlich bewegen. Denn es ist unwahrscheinlich, dass sich alles nur um jenes Degen-Drama aus schöner Erbin und forschem Parvenü dreht, wie es uns die Berichterstattung vorzumachen versucht. Aber einiges an Eckzahlen gibt es, und erlaubt eine kühlere Bilanz. Der Versuch nachzurechnen ist nachzulesen bei Perlentaucher und im buchreport.

Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House, will be the single speaker at the Frankfurt CEO Debate 2013

The Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry 2013: Re-Inventing Publishing at a Global Scale

Markus Dohle, newly appointed CEO of Penguin Random House, will be the single guest speaker at this year’s Frankfurt CEO debate. He will be interviewed by the editors of leading professional magazines of the international book trade: Livres Hebdo (France),  buchreport (Germany), PublishNews (Brazil), Publishers Weekly (US) and The Bookseller (UK), in the context of the Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry 2013, and in cooperation with the Frankfurt Academy. The event will be moderated by Rüdiger Wischenbart. It will take place on Wednesday, 9 October, 2013, from 2.30 to 3.30 pm at room Dimension Hall 4.2 at the Frankfurt Book Fair. (Registration to the event here).

Publishing as an industry rich in tradition is currently re-inventing itself radically. As new global players redraw the map of what used to be the “book industry,” and traditional publishing houses form new ventures, anticipating new mergers and a process of consolidation, new, emerging economies become attractive markets through their integration into global knowledge-driven societies.

With the merger of two of the largest trade publishing groups worldwide which became effective on July 1st, 2013, Penguin Random House will be a defining contributor to the future of the book publishing industry. Markus Dohle has helped shape this process, and now leads the new group.

The formation of the largest trade publisher opens new horizons for the industry, as it will be a significant factor with digital developments, globalization, the relevance of emerging markets, and a reorganization of the entire value chain. And it will be closely observed over how publishing could do business with players such as Amazon, Apple or Google on a global scale.

The CEO debate at the Frankfurt Book Fair will explore these topics with Markus Dohle.

“Global Ebook” report asks for your insights with online questionnaire. Special attention to small and emerging markets!

The „Global Ebook“ report, which had been launched in fall 2011, had been updated since then twice a year, and was downloaded a stunning 5,000 times! (see )

For the next update, due to be out by September 30, 2013, I ask (again) for the help of stakeholders in te field!

As real statistics on ebooks are a rare species, I very much rely on direct input from book professionals like you – publishers, retailers, distributors, experts -, sharing their insights and observations.

For the fall 2013 update, I notably want to better understand

a)The current dynamics in emerging markets. (We will update our chapters on Brazil, China, India and Russia); and

b) The role and impact – between opportunities and challenges – that ebooks & the expansion of global platforms have on smaller and medium sized markets, notably in Central and Eastern Europe.

For this, we prepared a detailed questionnaire, which in its first part, asks about general developments with regard to ebooks, and then in a second version, adds questions on the specifics of Central and Eastern Europe.

You can find both these these questionnaire online at 

and the more specific questionnaire for Eastern Europe at

Please allow yourself 20 minutes of your precious time, and complete those questions that you feel comfortable with (and skip those questions, which you consider to be irrelevant or not applicable to your view and insights).

I also must urge you really hard to do this as soon as you can, allowing me the required time to get your valuable insights into our report – which is due for release by September 30, 2013.

Please feel strongly encouraged to forward this email and link to colleagues who you consider as insightful in our context!

We will alert you when the report is out. And you can always find updates at

Many thanks for your great help!

The Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry 2013 is out

The Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry, started in 2006, has been released in its fully updated edition of 2013.

The ranking lists the 60 largest publishing groups worldwide, with their revenues (mostly based on 2012 figures), and with a detailed analysis of recent developments in global publishing markets over the past year. For all listed companies, company profiles are available.

The 10 largest publishing groups worldwide account for over half of the revenues of the total 50 houses listed, yet with that share slightly decreasing from 57 % (in 2008, 2009 and 2010) to 55 % in 2012. At the same time, the share of the 30 companies listed between rank 21 and 50 rose from 21 % in 2008 and 2009 to 25 % in 2012.

This evolution mirrors well how new companies, notably from emerging markets, enter the global arena and claim a role of their own.

Also, the three main sectors of the publishing industry – professional information & Science-Technical-Medical (STM) publishing –, educational and trade publishing evolve fairly differently.

The STM segment accounts for 41 % of the reported revenues, while educational publishing represents over a third, or 34 %, and trade (or general literature) is down to only 25 % of the total value that has been created by the leading actors in international publishing. Notably the gap between the share of educational and trade publishing is opening ever wider, highlighting that “educational” is currently the perhaps most competitive sector of the industry.

The Global Ranking has been initiated by Livres Hebdo, and is co-published by buchreport, Publishers Weekly, PublishNews Brazil, The Bookseller.
Find a summary for download here.


Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new reports, blogposts and events