Friday, August 19, 2005
Germany: Newspapers entering the book market
German Süddeutsche Verlag, publisher of Süddeutsche Zeitung, made a turnover of 30 m Euro by selling books, CD, and DVDs, reports the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Books published by the papers Süddeutsche Zeitung and Bild accounted for 4% of the market in belletristic literature in 2004, writes NZZ. The success is likely mainly due to low prices. Süddeutsche Zeitung publishes "Süddeutsche Bibliothek", a selection of 50 novels of the 20th century, sold 11,3 books, the publisher reported recently. The books are sold for ca. 5 Euro. The "Süddeutsche Diskothek", 50 books including CDs that cover each a pop star from 1955 to 2004, sold 600.000 only two months after its launch. In the beginning of August the paper announced the start of its new book series that is aimed at the young and children.
However, in contrast to other countries like Italy, books and newspapers are not sold together. According to Goethe Institut it is forbidden by German law to couple buying a book to buying a newspaper. That seems to be a reason why Süddeutsche Zeitung or Bild sell their books separately. They are only loosely connected to newspaper: for example, the Süddeutsche Zeitung publishes accompanying reviews to every book. The books are sold in book shops, news stands and online directly through the publisher. As a consequence book sales will not boost newspapers sales directly. But on the other hand, it helps to strengthen the brand and brings it to younger people. And, of course, book sales revenues help financing the paper in times when advertising is in decline.
Also the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had plans for a book series. But as pressetext reported on Friday, the series will not appear due to problems with the books series' editor Hans Magnus Enzensberger. Enzenbergers' former employer, the publishing house Eichborn Verlag, accused him of leaving the company before his contract ended and, finally, won.
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Just one quick comment -- being Swiss and being an editor, it drives me *nuts* to see the name of the finest paper in Europe misspelled: it's the "Neue Zürcher Zeitung," not "Züricher." Germans get this pretty consistently wrong.
Posted by: teekay at Aug 22, 2005 10:13:04 AM