German Buch News: October Sales Up 6.4%; Bertelsmann’s Cost-Cutting Works

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary

Branchen-Monitor BUCH reports that October book sales in bookstores, supermarkets and online channels were up 6.4% (bringing cumulative sales for the first ten months of the year up by 3.2%). Audiobooks experienced significant growth (+9.3%), with paperback sales improving by 8.4% over October 2008. Sales of fiction increased by a substantial 24.4% over October 2008, thanks primarily to the new titles by Dan Brown and Frank Schätzing.

Bertelsmann’s cost-cutting plan appears to be having an impact on its bottom line, based on its third quarter results for 2009. As reported in the Boersenblatt, Bertelsmann’s operating results improved by 14% over the previous year to 284 million euros, despite the fact that revenues declined 4.5% to 3.6 billion euros.

Berlin-based startup textunes, which prepares books for use on the iPhone and iPod Touch, has announced two new clients, which will vastly increase the number of German-language books available on these devices. Both Random House and the Holtzbrinck group have signed on to work with the startup and the number of new titles available will number in the four-digits. They will include bestsellers by Frank Schätzing, Stieg Larsson, Cecelia Ahern and Daniel Kehlmann, according to BuchMarkt.

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.