Feasibility Study on Promoting Publishing Diversity in the Book Market in Germany

Against the background of a drastically changing market environment in the German publishing industry, DIW Econ GmbH has prepared a feasibility study on governmental support measures for the German book publishing industry on behalf of the Federal Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).

The study reveals that publishing diversity in the German book market is under threat. In particular, small and independent publishers are threatened by current events and developments in the publishing industry.

Diverse data sources, particularly data from the sales tax statistics, data from the Börsenverein and the German National Library, as well as data collected in a survey of German publishers conducted as part of this study, indicate that publishing diversity has declined steadily over the past 10 years. The number of publishers, especially small publishers, and the number of publications declined steadily in recent years. At the same time, the concentration of publications by genre and publisher has increased.

Based on the analysis of existing support measures for book publishers in other European countries, DIW Econ GmbH proposed a support programme for German book publishers. The structural support programme was developed with the aim of supporting small, independent book publishers in their adaptation to current technical and economic developments, thus contributing to their continued existence and the preservation of publishing diversity.

The proposed structural support consists of two components: an untied publisher support and a title-linked support through cost subsidies.

As part of a preliminary cost calculation, an upper limit for the total funding amount (untied publisher funding + title-based funding) of 60-70 million euros was determined. The average funding amount is approximately 25,000 euros per publisher. This corresponds to the average total production costs of approx. 2 books.

Link to the State Ministry for Culture and Media