Author Edition

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The author's edition was a collective and non-hierarchical publishing project that was operated within the Bertelsmann Verlag in Munich from 1973 to 1978 and then by the Athenäum Verlag until 1982 .


Uwe Friesel came up with the idea of ​​founding an Author Edition , who had been discussing the concept with Andreas Hopf , Publishing Director at Bertelsmann Verlag, since 1971 . In 1972, several authors - some came from the 1968 movement - joined forces to bring their books to market independently of editors and publishers. The group formed an autonomous publishing house within the Bertelsmann group : the authors edited each other's manuscripts , wrote the blurbs and put together their own program with around twelve titles a year. For this they received a monthly fee. The publishing director had one vote in all decisions on the program, but could be overruled by the editors; thus their independence was preserved. The four editors of the first program in 1973 were:

The programmatic goal of the editors was to reach as wide a readership as possible with realistic and socially critical works. This is also expressed in the preface contained at the beginning of every book:

“AutorEdition: This word stands for the attempt at a new realistic prose and at the same time for a new publishing model. Authors edit authors. No longer an individual decides, but an editorial committee made up of four freelance writers and a representative from the publisher. In addition, as the sixth, an elected representative of the colleagues they have edited. The AutorEdition is aimed at a large readership. Only novels, short stories and short stories by German-speaking authors are published. The social problems should be presented so clearly and entertainingly that they can also be recognized by those whose heads have been mostly written over. A realistic spelling is aimed for. It is not the author's difficulty in writing in the face of a contradicting reality, but reality itself that is the subject of the author's edition. "

- quoted from: Hielscher (2007), p. 73.

The writer Roman Ritter worked as a lecturer from 1977 to 1982 . In 1978 there was a break between the contracting parties: Bertelsmann-Verlag had an external appraisal drawn up on Peter O. Chotjewitz's novel The Lords of Dawn , which was planned to appear in the Authors' Edition. It came to the conclusion that sympathy with the RAF is shown in the novel . Bertelsmann announced the collaboration with the AutorEdition. After various exploratory talks, a contract was finally signed with the Athenaeum publishing house . His bankruptcy in 1982 also meant the end of the author's edition. The last editors were Gerd Fuchs, Heinar Kipphardt and Uwe Timm.

Program (selection)

  • Uwe Timm (Ed.): German colonies. Photo tape


Individual evidence

  1. Martin Hielscher: Uwe Timm . dtv, Munich 2007, pp. 72-75.