German Buch News: Sales Up Slightly, “Psychological DRM”

In Feature Articles, German Buch News, News by Siobhan O'Leary

by Siobhan O’Leary

Despite the worldwide financial crisis, the German book market continues to remain relatively stable, says Buchreport. The Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association) has calculated a 1.4% increase in sales for the first five months of 2009. Of course, the book industry should approach this news with cautious optimism: In 2008, the German book industry hit a record, with sales totalling €9.6 billion.

Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels (MVB) Director Ronald Schild devoted his most recent libreka! blog post (Piraten lieben DRM) to whether rigorous Digital Rights Management (DRM) actually encourages piracy rather than reducing it, reports Boersenblatt. He posits “psychological DRM” as a possible solution, adding that the MVB developed its own procedure for integrating watermarks into EPUB files to create a higher security standard than that of a PDF. Schild admits that “psychological DRM” is no more effective than a security alarm in a department store.

Berlin-based book, game, and postcard publisher Inkognito has launched artbay ( — an auction platform for original art, ranging from paintings to cartoons. The idea emerged from the requests the publisher received for originals that appeared in their own books and products.

About the Author

Siobhan O'Leary

Siobhan O’Leary is a literary agent, translator and writer based in Berlin. She previously worked in the Foreign Rights department of the Crown Publishing Group (Random House) and at the publishing consulting firm Market Partners International.