publishing company

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A publisher is a media company that reproduces and distributes works of literature , art , music , entertainment or science . The sale can take place through the trade ( art , magazine , book trade , etc.) or by the publisher itself.

Legal bases

The legal basis for publishing in Germany is the law on publishing law of June 19, 1901 (VerlG), last amended in March 2002. It regulates tasks, fees, contracts, the author's right of withdrawal and the consequences of the publisher's insolvency . The most important legal basis between the publisher and the author is the publishing contract, in which the publisher undertakes to reproduce and distribute the work from literature or music that has been provided to him by the author for his own account ( § 1 VerlG). Own account means that the publisher acts at its own entrepreneurial risk when distributing the work. Additional provisions for the legal relationship between the publisher and the author can be found in the Copyright Act . The Publishing Act expressly applies only to literary and music publishers .

As a rule, the publisher or publisher as a person acquires the exclusive right to use the work of an author ( copyright ) on the basis of the publishing contract and takes care of the production (in the case of books and magazines, preparation of the print) and printing or reproduction of the work as well as its financing . He also takes care of advertising and sales; for this purpose the publisher creates its own catalogs. This also applies to musical works that the music publisher sells to a music label under its own responsibility so that the label can select an artist who will help the musical work to be successful.

The exploitation rights that a publisher has on a book also include the right to veto sequels. A relevant legal case in 1999 was the ban on marketing Jim Williams ' Doctor Zhivago continuation Lara's daughter .

Employees in a publishing house are, for example, trained publishers, digital and print media clerks , book scholars and, depending on the orientation of the publisher, lecturers from various fields of study (e.g. history, business administration, German studies).


Publishing is a result of the invention and expansion of printing . In the course of time, various branches formed as separate types of publishing. Newspaper and magazine publishers often printed serial series that were later published as books. In 1901, after the founding of many publishing houses in Germany, it became necessary to codify the legal basis for the publishing industry in a law. Thanks to the worldwide medium of the Internet, many publishers are now selling their works via e-commerce .

Publishing types

Publishers can be classified as follows:

For text and image media

Publishers of printed matter , e-books and / or online publications

Special publishers

For other media


  • Self-published (only if a company is registered commercially for self-publications ; but then often appears nominally as a "publisher" and not as a "self-publisher")


No publishers in the sense described here are self -publishing houses or self-publishing platforms that create self-published media without any entrepreneurial risk . Cost publishers operate u. a. also as a printing subsidy publisher or service provider publisher and are regarded within the industry as “ pseudo-publishers ” - a designation that has also been legitimized by a court order since 2009.

Publishers in German-speaking countries

The five largest book publishers in German-speaking countries according to their sales in 2016
rank company Head office Sales in € million Employee
1. Springer Nature Berlin 533.4 13,000
2. Random House Publishing Group Munich 309 929
3. Georg Westermann Publishing House Braunschweig 300 1,400
4th Klett group Stuttgart 296 k. A.
5. Cornelsen educational group Berlin 272 1,644

International publishers

In particular, the International Publishers Union and worldwide book fairs provide information about book markets and government interventions such as school book subsidies.

United States

In the United States , according to the Association of American Publishers (AAP ), sales in the publishing industry were approximately 310 million euros ($ 473 million) in April 2008, 3.5 percent less than the previous year, a downward trend; see also surveys of the American statistical office US Census Bureau.

See also


  • Eckhard Bremenfeld, Holger Knapp: Expertise in newspaper and magazine publishers . Guide for publishing professions and career changers. 2nd Edition. Springer-VDI, Düsseldorf 1998, ISBN 3-9806286-0-4 (first edition: 1996).
  • Thomas Breyer-Mayländer among others: Wirtschaftsunternehmen Verlag. 3. Edition. Bramann, Frankfurt 2005, ISBN 3-934054-21-8 .
  • Robert Darnton : The science of piracy. A crucial ingredient in eighteenth-century publishing. Part of the SVEC series . Studies on Voltaire and the eighteenth century , 2003/12/3, German-language edition: Die Wissenschaft des Raubdrucks. A central element in the publishing industry of the 18th century. Carl Friedrich von Siemens Foundation, Munich 2003.
  • Frank Kauter: Kleines Verlagslexikon: The most important terms from the areas of advertising, production, distribution and advertising . Profession + Schule, Itzehoe 1995, ISBN 3-88013-495-2 .
  • Dietrich Kerlen : Textbook of the book publishing industry. Hauswedell, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-7762-1002-8 .
  • Ralf Laumer (Ed.): Books communicate. The PR workbook for libraries, bookstores and publishers. Viola Falkenberg Verlag, 2nd edition Bremen 2010, ISBN 978-3-937822-38-9 .
  • Reinhard Mundhenke, Marita Teuber: The publishing clerk. Professional expertise for business people in newspaper, magazine and book publishers. 9th edition. Societäts-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2002, ISBN 3-7973-0792-6 .
  • Ralf Plenz: Founding of the publishing house. How do I start my own business with a publisher? 7th edition. Input, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-930961-06-1 .
  • Ralf Plenz (Ed.): Publishing manual. Guide to Publishing Practice. 5th edition, Input, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 3-930961-16-4 .
  • Manfred Plinke: Mini-Verlag. Self-publishing, publishing on demand, founding a publishing house, book production, book marketing, book trade, direct sales. 6th edition. Authors' house publishing house, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-932909-27-5 .
  • Wilhelm Ruprecht Frieling, Johann-Friedrich Huffmann: Dictionary of the publishing language: The current guide through the technical jargon of publishers, editors and printers . 5th, revised edition. Frieling, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-8280-2278-2 .
  • Hans-Helmut Röhring, Klaus-W. Bramann (ed.): How a book is made. Introduction to modern book publishing. 9th, revised and updated edition, Primus, Darmstadt 2011, ISBN 978-3-89678-735-4 .
  • André Schiffrin: Publishers without publishers. About the future of books . Wagenbach, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-8031-2387-9 (Original title: The business of books . Translated by Gerd Burger).
  • Ulrich Stiehl: Publishing in diagrams. Hüthig 2004 ( PDF; 582 kB, 2008 edition).

Web links

Commons : Publishers  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Verlag  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. VerlG - Law on Publishing Law. In: Retrieved November 25, 2016 .
  2. Munich Higher Regional Court defines pseudo-publishing. on: , August 7, 2009.
  3. The 100 largest publishers. In: Retrieved May 16, 2017 .