German Publishing Consulting in English

for Publishers and Authors expanding to the German, Austrian and Swiss Markets

You have written a book yourself or you are the publisher of a book? You're book sells well and now is the time to translate and expand into other markets?

The german speaking market (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) is strictly isolated from the foreign book markets due to heavy govermental regulations and complicated wholeseller practices. Publishers from overseas will also encounter severe difficulties with customs and tax regulations, as you need to file taxes and import both into the european union (Germany and Austria) as well as to countries outside (Switzerland). As an example, there is no free pricing of books in Germany and Austria. The publisher determines the price of the book, and then it is sold for that price in every store throughout Germany and Austria (including Amazon). All three countries have different VAT rates and import duties, which also depends on, if you sell to wholeseller or customers. All books distributed on the German market also needs to be submitted to specific public libraries.

Those are indeed challenges, especially if you don't speak German, but they can be overcome and you can benefit from the lucrative German market! The German book market comprise a yearly revenue of more than 9.300 million Euro and more than 83 million people buy at least one book every year in Germany!

Benefit from our experience in the German, Austrian and Swiss publishing industry! We can help you get a overview of how to navigate from the translated book through govermental and wholeseller regulations until your book becomes available to the customer. We also go down to the smallest details, such as which reference number on the shipping label goes to the bar assortments, or how you create the link between an e-book and a print edition in the "directory of deliverable books".

German Publishing Consulting in English for Publishers and Authors expanding to the German, Austrian and Swiss Markets

We have four pre-made sessions, which give you a good overview of the German book market, the relevant regulations and logistic challenges.

If you require a more substancial guidance over a longer time period, or want us to perform some of the required steps for you (we speak both English and German), you can contact us for an individual offer.

Session 9: Overview of the German, Austrian and Swiss Publishing and Book Markets

  •  The different road from printed book to the customer, incl. advantages and disadvantages of the different options
  • The fixed book pricing system in Germany and Austria
  • Legal deposits of book (also e-Books) to public state and federal libraries
  • ISBN in the German speaking countries
  • The wholeseller system
  • The German book trade association

60 Minutes - 119 € + VAT

Leaflet only - 25 € + VAT - Available here

Session 10: Production of books in Germany (incl. legal requirements)

  • Half-Titel, Imprint and Barcode (incl. its legal requirements)
  • German copyright laws incl. how to protect your title
  • Recommended number of copies for the first printing in Germany
  • e-Books and Audiobooks in Germany
  • How to find a printer in Germany
  • Professional editing and translation services

45 Minutes - 99 € + VAT

Leaflet only - 20 € + VAT - Available here

Session 11: Logistics and Sales of Books in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

  • Databanks containing all German titles (Verzeichnis Lieferbarer Bücher / VLB)
  • Wholesellers (contracts, samples, delivery)
  • Required discounts for book stores and wholesellers
  • Different fulfillment opportunities
  • Different transportation opportunities
  • German webshop systems
  • Selling on or in German book stores
  • The european "Packaging Act" and recycling fees
  • Basics of european VAT and customs regulations

90 Minutes - 139 € + VAT

Leaflet only - 35 € + VAT - Available here

Session 12: Marketing of books in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

  • Cover-Design in Germany
  • Social Media
  • Lovelybooks and other plattforms for book reviews
  • Influencer and Blogger in Germany
  • Amazon Author Pages and "Look Inside"
  • Your own German Webshop (& Google Ads)
  • Advertising through the German Book Trading Association

45 Minutes - 99 € + VAT

Leaflet only - 20 € + VAT - Available here

If you book all four sessions, you get a special reduced price of 349 € (+ VAT) for all sessions!

Further Information

  • The sessions are one-on-one personal sessions
  • The sessions take place online via Zoom by appointment only
  • We address your questions and needs. We will discuss which solutions might be the most appropriate for your project
  • After each session you will receive a fact sheet with the most important points
  • These sessions are sufficient for us to explain to you which steps are necessary and what you need to consider. Unfortunately, they are not sufficient to carry out all the steps together or for you. If you are interested in having us participate in contacts with wholesellers, authorities or others, please contact us and we will provide you with a detailed consulting offer.


FAQ - Book and Publishing Market in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

What is the fixed book price system (FBP-System) in Germany and Austria?

It is a form of resale price maintenance applied to books. It allows publishers to determine the price of a book at which it is to be sold in every store (incl. online stores such as Amazon) to the public. A fixed book price is required by law in Germany and Austria, but not in Switzerland. Not complying with the fixed book price system will result in law suits and severe compensatory remedies. 

What is the "Packaging Act" in the european union?

Every company in the european union that utilize packaging materials, for example a publisher using cardboard boxes to send books to a wholeseller, has to pay the recycling fees of such packages in advance. For environmental reasons, plastics is extremely expensive compared to paper. As a result, almost all German publishers now use paper based fill materials and paper based adhesive tapes. Not complying with these regulations carries six-digit penalties.

What distribution channel are required to reach book stores in Germany, Austria and Switzerland?

There are three major wholeseller on the German speaking market. You will need contracts with all three in order to reach all potential stores and customers. It is very rare that book stores or customers order directly from the publisher or author, meaning you will become very dependent on having contracts with the wholesellers. It is also very tricky to sell your book directly on, instead you need a contract with Amazon's wholeseller, from which Amazon can purchase the book.

As a foreign author or publisher, the wholeseller will require that you use a warehouse or fulfillment center in Germany before they can list you're books. They do not accept incoming deliveries from other countries. Talk to us and we can help you set everything up.

What are the legal requirements for publishing books on the German speaking market?

The are a lot of different mandatory pieces of information, that need to be printed inside the book, such as publisher, printer, legal deposits. Those requirements differ between each state in Germany.

You also need to comply with legal deposits to state and federal libraries.