Edition (publication)

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In publishing, the term edition refers to the total number of copies of a publication ( books , magazines or newspapers, etc.) printed according to a certain unchanged set template , of which more are created after their sale and then consecutively with numbers such as B. "2. Edition "can be provided.


First edition - first edition

If a book title is published in print for the very first time , it is called a first edition . The first edition , however, is generally the first edition of a printed work - not just that of a first edition . Even today , a work by Goethe can still be presented in a new edition according to form and content after the first edition , and thus experience a first edition again .

Edition numbering

As a rule, the respective edition of an edition was and will only be displayed in the imprint from the second edition - but not that of a first edition, among other things because subsequent editions are generally possible, but cannot be foreseen with certainty. First editions can, however, be mentioned subsequently in an edition chronicle. Occasionally, first editions are still marked as first editions in anticipation of subsequent editions .

The number of an edition is incremented from the 2nd edition on with each new edition , in which u. a. also (slight) revisions such as B. Corrections of spelling errors, updates of the content or just a changed cover are possible. If the presentation or the content of an edition differs more fundamentally from other editions of the same work, e.g. B. after a conversion of the text into new spelling and / or because of an expansion of the content or an addition with illustrations, one speaks of a new edition , which in turn starts with a first edition.

An exception to the numbering of the edition is the unchanged "reliable reprint " of a first edition, as it is e.g. B. for reading used as school books are common in which line numbers are given at the edge of a text for orientation for teachers and students. In this case, a first reprint corresponds to a second edition.

Circulation amount / calculation (coverage circulation)

The print run relates to the number of units produced in a run - in relation to the first run, this is referred to as the start run .

If the edition is limited to a certain number of copies for strategic market reasons (e.g. from a bibliophile point of view), one speaks of a "limited edition" or a "limited edition".

As a short-run or small editions were in printers so far contracts of typically only 50 to 200 book copies, including for volumes of poetry otherwise orders of up to 500 copies little-known authors. ( See also the section: Differentiation from Print on Demand )

The average circulation of a novel , for example (as of September 2004), is around 4,000 copies for Suhrkamp or CH Beck , and 2,000 to 3,000 copies for academic books. Volumes of poetry (even by well-known authors) range between 1000 and 2000 copies. Historically, editions of this magnitude were counted in steps of 1000. In books from the 19th and 20th centuries there are statements such as “1.-3. Thousand "or" 1. up to 3rd thousand ".

The coverage edition is the number of copies of a printed work that must be sold in order to cover the production costs of an edition. The calculation of a publisher must or can in addition to absolute costs, such as B. also consider relative costs for the one-time setup of the template of a printing unit, such as B. the cost per copy falling, the higher the edition of a print. The order of magnitude of a calculation for the work of an already known author can accordingly be very different from that of a (still) unknown author. The number of copies for subsequent editions is calculated depending on how quickly a first edition is sold. If, on the other hand, the sale of a first edition or a subsequent edition is delayed too much, the remaining stock or the remaining edition may be sold off . Most publishers only need a few, high-circulation, successful authors such as E.g. at Suhrkamp at that time (2004) a Carlos Ruiz Zafón compensated for the losses from the books of - from a sales point of view - not so successful authors ; the bestsellers of a publisher thus finance the rest of the publishing program ( cross-subsidization ).

Differentiation from print on demand

With print on demand , each copy can be produced individually, i.e. in an edition of 1. This means that the classic term “print run” loses its meaning, just as the calculation for print-on-demand copies differs considerably from that of the printed works that appear in a fixed print run.

In print on demand, the specification of “editions” can also refer to minor edits or changes after only a few copies of a book title have been sold, especially if the author of self-publications had to repeatedly improve their appearance. On the other hand, copies of the first edition of a bestseller produced in this way could already have been sold a million times. The indication of “editions” of book titles created in this way does not say anything about the number of editions.

newspapers and magazines

In the case of newspapers and magazines, a distinction is made primarily between the printed edition, the sold edition and the widespread edition. The gap between copies sold and distributed circulation close the free copies . Free copies are all copies distributed free of charge to the exclusion of residual, archive and voucher copies. An example of a free piece is a free issue as part of a trial subscription.

The higher the print run, the lower the fixed costs per printed copy. A high circulation is automatically more interesting for the advertiser, since the advertisement experiences a higher circulation.

Printed edition / print run

The print run is the number of copies printed minus the waste .

Sold edition

Within the paid circulation a distinction between subscription copies , EV-sale (at the retail delivered pieces minus the unsold copies ), reading circles -Exemplare, flight copies and other sales. All copies sold that are not included in sales for distribution, subscribed items, or individual sales are included in other sales. These are copies that are usually sold at heavily reduced prices, which is why other sales are generally considered a marketing tool .

The sales outlets (kiosks, petrol stations, etc.) send unsold copies of the delivered edition back to the press wholesaler as returns. Depending on the frequency, the wholesalers can redistribute them (for monthly or quarterly magazines). The remission can take place as a complete remission, front page or title head remission. The number of copies sold is always the smallest of the three distinguishable types of copies.

Widespread edition

In addition to sales through retail and subscription, the widespread circulation also includes all copies distributed free of charge. The reason for the free distribution of newspapers and magazines can be seen in their revenue model. In many cases, they are only partially financed by selling the title, the remaining proceeds come from the sale of advertisements . The free distribution is intended to generate attractive target groups for advertising .

In the case of customer magazines , member magazines or advertising papers, there is only the size of the circulation.

Large print run

A large circulation is the increased circulation that is regularly distributed in a certain geographical area in addition to the subscription to a newspaper.

Edition control

The number of copies of newspapers and magazines in Germany is determined by the information community for determining the distribution of advertising media (IVW). It is a neutral control facility that provides comparable data on the number of copies (= number of copies). The advertising papers in Germany are checked by the ADA circulation control of the advertising papers. This is an institution supported by the Federal Association of German Advertising Papers (BVDA), but works completely independently through two well-known auditing companies. The Austrian Edition Control (ÖAK) provides a similar service for Austria and the AG for Advertising Media Research (WEMF) for Switzerland .

Critics attack the possibility of manipulating the sold circulation by adding bogus sales, such as free copies or on- board copies given to airlines at the lowest prices.


The term circulation is to be distinguished from the scope of a publication. This indicates the number of people who are readers of an issue (LpA = readers per issue) of a title or a combination of titles. The reference is to the publication interval, i.e. one day for daily media , one week for weekly media and one month for monthly media. Surveys determine this data. The range differs from the edition, since a copy is usually read by several people. There is no rule of thumb for the relationship between circulation and reach. More in the article Reach (media) .

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: Edition  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
  • The range LpA. 'MACH 2000 Lpa' in the 'Info-pool'. (No longer available online.) In: WEMF Σ REMP website. WEMF AG for Advertising Media Research (French: REMP), April 2000, archived from the original on April 5, 2001 ; Retrieved on April 29, 2014 (Reach - WEMF definition - used between September 2000 and September 2013 in WEMF studies on media consumption in Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Abbreviation: 'MACH 2').

Individual evidence

  1. Duden : Edition , online at duden.de
  2. ^ Duden: First edition , online at duden.de
  3. Duden: First edition , online at duden.de
  4. A chronicle of the edition can be found in the Pschyrembel , for example, in editions 255 to 261 and in the 16th edition of the dictionary of medicine by Maxim Zetkin and Herbert Schaldach.
  5. Example: Peter Reuter: Springer Clinical Dictionary 2007/2008 , 1st edition, Springer , Heidelberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-540-34601-2 , 2044 pages; Subsequent editions have not yet appeared.
  6. Duden: New edition , online at duden.de
  7. Duden: Circulation , online at duden.de
  8. Duden: First edition , online at duden.de
  9. ^ Franz-Rudolf Esch : Limited Edition - Definition , in Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon , online atwirtschaftslexikon.gabler.de
  10. a b c Ulrich Greiner : Are a thousand readers a lot? - All sorts of circulation figures , article in Die Zeit 41/2004 of September 30, 2004, online at zeit.de
  11. See z. B. Information in the appendix on p. 181 in Ulf Diederichs : Eugen Diederichs and his publishing house: Bibliography and Book History 1896 to 1931 , Wallstein Verlag , Göttingen 2014, ISBN 978-3-8353-1463-4 ( partial online view )
  12. ^ Duden: Cover edition , online at duden.de
  13. Duden: Remaining circulation , online at duden.de
  14. IVW guidelines for journal statistics (PDF; 30 kB)
  15. Definition of the press types. In: Guidelines for the advertisement statistics of the Swiss press / VSW. Website of the AG for Advertising Media Research (WEMF).
  16. Andreas Bull: The edition lie . In: taz house blog . January 21, 2010. Archived from the original on January 23, 2010 .: "The supra-regional" quality newspapers "react to the threatening losses with increased circulation manipulation".