German-language literary classics get a boost in 2018

German- and Dutch-language literature has had a significant boost in the past two years, with German-speaking authors gaining more recognition and more sales in the international market.

In 2018, German- language literary classics were the top-selling titles for both German- & Dutch-speaking publishers, according to the 2017 edition of the Booksellers and Publishers’ Federation of Germany (BBPFA).

In 2017, German and Dutch authors sold 1,065,000 copies of the German-& Dutch-based German-Language titles, the BBPFA said in its report.

That number has risen to 1,090,000 in 2018.

In 2018, the number of German-speakers publishing in the Dutch-& German-English publishing market rose by 6,500 to 6,091,000, the report said.

This was up from 5,500 in 2017.

German- German-French authors sold 2,500 copies of German Language books in 2018, which was up by 8,500 from 2017.

The BBPF said German- French authors in the English-& French-language market also saw growth, but their numbers were down compared to 2017.

This year, the German Language and German-German publishing market had the largest percentage increase in sales of German authors (14.7%) compared to the previous year, with the French-& English-language publishing market rising by 5.9%.

German- Dutch-English authors were the largest buyers of English- & French-Language books in 2017 with 1,051,100, while they sold 1.2 million books in the German & Dutch Language in 2018 with 1.1 million.

BDPFA chairman and CEO Hans-Peter Rieff said the report confirms that German-Dutch authors have continued to be able to sell in the market.

“As German-discoveries are very important to us, it is good to see that our writers are not in any way restricted to their native languages,” he said.

As for the future, Rief said the German language publishing industry was expected to remain a strong one, with writers, editors and booksellers.

Rieff expects that more German-Danish, French and Dutch writers will be published in 2018 and 2019.