“Consolidation” is the #WordoftheYear 2021 in the Book Business

A #publishing #XMas tale (and a few links for further #reading down below).

Frankfurt Skyline by night

What does Penguin Random House as the world’s largest consumer book publisher have in common with tiny German Schöffling Verlag? Certainly a mutual love for cats – as Schöffling’s iconic bestseller is the annually updated “Literary Cat Calendar“, and a good reason for the indie publisher’s recent acquisition by Swiss German Kampa Verlag. PRH has listed the sophisticated “Yoga For Cats” among the thousands of titles published worldwide.

Not cats though were the main driver for recent #takeovers among publishing ventures big and small, but a paramount appetite for “#bundling #strengths” through #acquisitions.

Consolidation is summing up in one buzzword what drives and reshapes the global bookbusiness in 2021 across the bord. But at closer scrutiny, a mind boggling variety of different models and trajectories has popped up in what consolidation means exactly. There is a US style “Big-buys-Not-so-big“, a Frenchprivate-billionnaire-bingo“, and a GermanNo-consolidation-here” (and yet, a lot of takeovers occurred in retail, led by Thalia Bücher GmbH, and now between indie publishers as Kampa founder Daniel Kampa announced in recent weeks acquisitions of 2 small indie presses, Austrian JungundJung, and German Schöffling). There is a Russian “oligarch-style”, or an “All-is-new” in Scandinavia with subscription overtaking per copy sales.

So I spent a good part of my working hours in 2021 at compiling data and analyzing trends around that consolidation in books.

You can watch my analysis at the Frankfurt CEOTalk ;

You can listen to it at CCC‘s podcast series;

You can download and read about it in the Global50 Publishing Ranking.

And please drop me a note with your own thoughts by email or on Twitter @wischenbart

As for the cats, you’ll find them here and here.

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