The worldwide book market has changed rapidly in the past years not only because of the triumphant march of the ebook. In the year 2016, it is estimated that the worldwide publishing industry has created around one hundred fourteen billion Euro worth of turnover. This estimate includes professional and scientific publications as well as general interest books. It can be stated that the majority of the revenue is generated by only a small set of best-seller books with a trend to even fewer publications but higher success rates.
The structure of the German book market has changed significantly throughout the past twenty years. Traditionally, the German book market is characterized by a broad spectrum of publishing agencies that differ in size as well as many independent bookstores. The overall German book market has a total value of around nine billion Euro. While the book market shrunk in 2015 by 1.7 percent and is now below the level of 2005, the internet market for books gained about six percent. The retail companies had to fight with a decline of around three percent of their revenues. By 2016, Amazon is dominating the German book market as an internet based bookseller including books in digital as well as physical form. The outlook for companies in the retail business is challenging. Not only do they have to compete with other large retail book chains, but they also face the growing competition from the internet based companies.
A special feature of the German book market is that there is a price regulation. Even digital books are comprised by this regulation. This circumstance encourages the growth of another market. The market for used books. As the prices for new books are very high in Germany compared to other countries, it is very easy to sell used books that are in a good condition because of the high demand. For example, often students don’t buy new books, but rely on used books sold by their fellow students. In doing so, they can save not only a huge amount of money, but also protect the environment. Further, the selling of used books is associated only with small effort. For example, used books can be sold easily via the online portals Amazon or eBay. The used book market is on the rise. In recent years used books account for at least twenty percent of the books sold per year. Experts expect even higher shares.