“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 http://www.wischenbart.com/page-4 )

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 www.wischenbart.com

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.


BookExpo America prepares “Books in Translation: Wanderlust for the Written Word” program for 2014

BookExpo America focuses on “Books in Translation: Wanderlust for the Written Word” in 2014, and we are proud to serve as program coordinator for this new edition of the “Global Market Forum” in New York City.

On May 28, 2014, a series of professional panel debates will explore how translations can take advantage of today’s hugely expanding possibilites of the international book industry, as BEA’s press release has it:

Books throughout history have been the vehicle for ideas and stories that transcend geography and cultures, reaching audiences far beyond a native land or language. Globalization and digitization bring new forces that are re-inventing the book trade and extending the possibilities for translations.

Partners to the BEA Global Market Forum will include the Literary Translation at Columbia Writing Program, PEN World Voices, Open Letter Press at the University of Rochester, the Association of Author Representatives (AAR), American Literary Translators Association, Art of Translation in San Francisco as well as representatives of international markets promoting their countries’ literature in the US.

Find the press release here.

Questionnaire for Global Ebook report online: Industry professionals invited to share their perspectives.

To update the “Global Ebook” report, a new questionnaire has been opened. We ask publishing professionals – publishers, distributors, platform and service providers as well as industry experts to reflect their assessment on the evolution of ebook markets globally. https://de.surveymonkey.com/s/Global-Ebook2013 Your valuable input will behighly appreciated.

“The Bookseller” has joined the network of international media partners for the new “Global Ebook” report.


Global Ebook report to be continued, with broad network of media partners.

Next update ready in October 2013, tracking key data and referencing international ebook developments.


The “Global Ebook” market survey will continue to serve the global publishing community by mapping key market data, referencing global, regional and local players, and providing overview and analysis on critical topics.

The next update of the study is prepared for September 30, 2013, in time before the Frankfurt Book Fair, researched and published by Rüdiger Wischenbart Content and Consulting, and promoted through a unique network of media partners which includes many of the leading trade magazines of the international publishing industry, notably Book Dao (PRChina), Book Industry Magazine (Russia), buchreport (Germany), Livres Hebdo (France), PublishNews (Brazil), Publishers Weekly (US), Svensk Boekhandel (Sweden).

The “Global Ebook” report surveys key developments relevant to the emerging ebook markets in many countries and regions (including the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Scandinavia, Central and Southeast Europe, Russia, Brazil, the Arab World, PRChina, or India) and tracks critical debates on such decisive topics as ebook pricing, DRM, piracy, or the challenges of global versus local players.

The “Global Ebook” market report has been initiated and supported by O’Reilly Media and the TOC conferences in fall 2011, and updated twice per year. The most recent update of February 2013 can be downloaded at http://oreil.ly/nVqbAA. Starting with the next update of fall 2013, the report will be published by Rüdiger Wischenbart Content and Consulting, with additional details to be released in the course of summer 2013.

Contact: ruediger (at) wischenbart.com



Vienna, June 19, 2013

Exciting transformations in German publishing: How will independent publishers meet a turbulent future?

While over the last few days, everyone interested in German publishing was puzzled by the kind of harakiri staged by the two owners of the prestigeous Suhrkamp Verlag, their Munich peers at Hanser now use the moment – and the momentum – to show that a generational transition in a highly regarded literary house can also be exciting in a positive sense. A year before Michael Krüger will resign as he turns 70 in 2013, the announcement was made today that Jo Lendle (44) will succeed him from January 1st, 2014.

Krüger, for three decades, had developed Hanser into probably the best address in Germany for a pretty broad specter from really exclusive, high brow fiction, to bestselling titles from Umberto Eco (“The Name of the Rose”), Isabelle Allende or Swedish crime star henning Mankell. Hiring Jo Lendle, who learned the job at DuMont in Cologne, wants to send out a clear message: “We know that things are changing, really, but we are up to go for the new times!”

Meanwhile at Suhrkamp, Ulla Unseld-Berkewicz, widdow after the legendary Siegfried Unseld, not only moved the publishing house from culturally sleepy Frankfurt to exciting Berlin – which could be understood as a similarly bold move. She also spent much time quarrelling with literally everybody who dared coming close to her aura, including several quickly resigning managing directors, and now with her co-owner of 39 percent, Hans Barlach, in a true soap opera, broadcast live via all German media: Their recent battles in court resulted earler this week even in a first instance ruling deposing the current Suhrkamp management (including Ulla Unseld-Berkewicz). (See here and here – in German).

But the Suhrkamp soap is not the really exciting news in fact. I am more interested in what Hanser – and perhaps a few more independent houses – will do, like Lendle’s DuMont (he was appointed to the post of publisher at DuMont, after being editorial director before,  just by January 2012), or Swiss Diogenes?

There are lots of turbulences in the market of publishing and books: The pressure from Amazon is mounting, the two local retail chains, Thalia and Weltbild, are each in dire straits. Ebooks so far have been largely driven by the three big groups – Random House, Holtzbrink (with S. Fischer, Rowohlt et al.) and the German part of the Swedish Bonnier group (Ullstein, Piper), plus a few other rather non-traditional book publishers (like Luebbe – which has a long tradition of doing ‘trash’, but has re-invented itself in the digital arena, and just announced to open a creative writing school to train their authors, and a bookshop to better understand readers).

One doesn’t need to be a wizzard in economics to predict that the mounting digital tide will result in a new wave of consolidation. (Random House showed the pace with its merger with Penguin a few weeks ago – but remind you, the German part of RH was not part of that deal!). New players will come in, with both local start ups, and the big Globals (Kobo, B&N, plus Apple, Amazon, Google) expanding their share, and traditional roles in the business going topsy turvy.

Those literary minded publishers in the middle – the Hanser, Suhrkamp, Diogenes, DuMont – must re-invent themselves radically. Will the Gallimard model be one option (Gallimard, by acquiring Flammarion recently opted for a strategy of growth, to catch up with the big groups). Will family owned Hanser have talks via their new top person with DuMont? Will Suhrkamp go under – with a hugely interesting backlist ready for a takeover as the company itself disintegrates?

German readers are a clientèle anyone in the business of books can only wish for – books and reading are a part of the DNA of a broad cultural middle class, which at the same time seems to embrace digital, after early hesitations, now with a growing appetite and pleasure. This year’s Christmas should see a lot of digital sales, both devices and books.

The landscape seemed so calm only two months ago, at the Frankfurt Book Fair. But everyone well knew that this was not true. Now we are going to find out.

In a global perspective, ebooks are much bigger, really, and more complicated, than what we had thought in our wildest dreams. Look at Google!

Have you followed – and realized – that Google will now make available some 5 million titles as ebooks – and only half of them are in English!

This will make Google rather sooner than later, the by far leading aggregator of digital books.

Read more in my first blog entry at the Tools of Change / O’Reilly blog here.



Für deutsche Verlage ist Österreich ein wichtiger, wenn auch nicht immer einfacher Regionalmarkt. Schriftsteller aus Österreich haben indessen seit mehr als einem Jahrhundert eine überaus starke Präsenz in der deutschsprachigen Literatur. Ähnliche Erfolge österreichischer Verlage sind indessen die Ausnahme, schon vor 100 Jahren, als Freuds “Traumdeutung” bei Deuticke in Wien erschien – oder heute, wenn zweimal in nur drei Jahren der Deutsche Buchpreis an den Kleinverlag Jung und Jung in Salzburg geht.
Das Binnenverhältnis zwischen den beiden Nachbarschaftsmärkten ist zunehmend schwierig – wenn deutsche Exporte wachsen, und österreichische Verlage immer weniger Bücher nach Deutschland schicken.

Wir haben die Details, rechtzeitig zur Buch Wien 2012 recherchiert und für das führende Branchenmagazin buchreport zusammengefasst – dessen Büro Wien wir auch sind.
Den Artikel senden wir Ihnen gerne zu.

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