While the terms “Kleinverlag” and “Minipresse” follow a much older tradition, the term “Independent-Verlag” originally referred to small music labels and has only been used since the early 2000s for small book publishers, which thus have a certain economic stance and underline aesthetics and reject the striving of the big publishers for mass success and sales maximization.
Small publishers, mini press
The “Literary Whitsun Mass ” of the 1960s in Frankfurt am Main inspired the small publisher Norbert Kubatzki from Mainz to launch the Mainz mini press fair in 1970 . In doing so, he established the oldest and most enduring trade fair tradition of independent small publishers in Germany. In the beginning there were 90 exhibitors who showed their books, prints and magazines in front of around 9,000 visitors in the Mainz Castle , but after the fall of the Wall , the number of exhibitors increased to 400 exhibitors, including international publishers. Since 2013, the fair has stabilized at 250 exhibitors with the focus on small and alternative publishers with bibliophile editions.
The Kurt Wolff Foundation has been promoting the culture of independent publishers since 2000 . Under the Kurt-Wolff-Verlage brand , it presents independent publishers, among other things, for the Frankfurt Book Fair in a joint book catalog with a circulation of 20,000 to 30,000 copies, which is designed at the Leipzig University of Graphics and Book Art .
In 2005, younger small publishers appeared for the first time at the Leipzig Book Fair under the label “Independent publishers” . In May of that year the meeting of young independent publishers took place in Berlin . The aim was to exchange experiences and strengthen networking. The initiators of the meeting were the publishers kookbooks and Blumenbar .
In January 2006, the annual colloquium of the Institute for Book Studies at the University of Mainz and the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels dealt with the subject of "New, independent publishers as an opportunity for Germany as a publishing location?" At the Leipzig Book Fair, various independent publishers jointly organized a reading island for young publishers . A literature forum for independent publishers was held at the Frankfurt Book Fair .
At the Leipzig Book Fair 2007, 17 independent publishers presented themselves for the first time with a joint exhibition newspaper. Their title five zero referred to the exhibition hall in which their stands were located. For the Frankfurt Book Fair 2007 the newspaper appeared under the title four one . In the run-up to the fair it was announced that there had been more start-ups of small independent publishers and that the number of registrations from this segment had risen by 12%.
In 2009, the German-speaking independent publishers put together their own book recommendation list.
The Kurt Wolff Foundation had a total of 65 so-called "indie" trade publishers for the year, 2014.
Since March 2018, a new monthly bestseller list for fiction has been published by independent publishers, which is created and published by the Börsenblatt on the basis of data determined by Media Control .
On August 25, 2018, the first bookstore in Germany opened in Dresden under the name Shakespeares Enkel , which exclusively offers books from independent publishers.
- “Independents on the rise?” Collection of press reviews in bücher.macher , No. 9/2005
- Dossier Independent Publishers, Goethe-Institut (archive version)
- We read Indie - reviews of new releases from indie publishers
- Book recommendation list of the Independents 2009 , online at boersenblatt.net
- Indie publishers in Germany , quotation from the Kurt Wolff Foundation on the number of “indie” publishers, as of 2014; online at deutschland.de
- New fiction bestseller list for independent publishers , boersenblatt.net, March 13, 2018, accessed on March 14, 2018
- newly founded “Shakespeare's Enkel” should only keep books from independent publishers , buchmarkt.de, 23 August 2018, accessed on 24 August 2018
- Showroom for independent publishers , buchreport.de, published and accessed on August 24, 2018