The total number of companies on Berlin’s book market grew con-tinuously from 2009 to 2012 to reach around 1,800, an increase of 20 percent. During this period, sales rose by 26 percent. In contrast, the number of jobs in this sector fell from 2009 to 2013 by three percent to approximately 8,700.
Although around 11 percent of national German book market com-panies have their main offices in Berlin, the city only generates six percent of turnover in this market. For publishing houses, the cor-responding figures are eight percent of the companies and four per-cent of the turnover. These statistics clearly reflect the tendency on Berlin’s book market towards smaller independent publishers, especially in the area of belleslettres. Nonetheless, the book market is exceptionally important for Berlin. The major book fairs in Germany may be held in Frankfurt and Leipzig, yet Berlin leads the national rankings for the location with the largest number of resident authors, publishing houses and booksellers.
Berlin’s book market has a chequered history, as is only too evident from a review of past developments. After the Second World War, the publishing industry was largely decentralised, and primarily organised in West Germany.
With the student movement in the late 1960s, Berlin’s publishing landscape gained a new impetus as a centre for small publishing houses, mostly dedicated to politics and political issues. After the Fall of the Wall, the publishing landscape became increasingly diverse and varied. In the 1990s, Berlin not only saw the start of an on-going growth in both German and international companies moving here, but also the first wave of newly-founded publishing houses spearheaded by such names as CH. LINKS, AVIVA or SCHWARZKOPF & SCHWARZKOPF. The second wave followed at the start of the 2000s and included, for example, presses such as the VERBRECHER VERLAG, KOOKBOOKS and BEREN¬BERG. In addition, all major publishing houses have opened an office in Berlin. In 2004, the ULLSTEIN VERLAGSGRUPPE publishing group moved back into its Berlin company headquarters, while in 2009 the SUHRKAMP VERLAG moved its headquarters from Frankfurt / Main to Berlin. Finally, in 2012 the Munich-based HANSER VERLAG and the Austrian UEBERREUTER publish ing houses opened offices here. In the meantime, around 9,000 first editions are published in Berlin, representing over ten percent of all new publications across Germany.
As a result of this process, Berlin not only heads the publishing rankings in Germany, but is also making its mark internationally. Above all, specialist science publishing houses such as Springer Science + Business Media and the traditional Berlin press de Gruyter enjoy a global reputation. In addition, with Berlin home to the Staatsbibliothek (Berlin State Library — Prussian Cultural Heritage), the city boasts one the largest academic research libraries in the world. The Central and Regional Library Berlin (ZLB) is Germany’s largest public library; its holdings are divided into two branches, the Amerika-Gedenkbibliothek in Kreuzberg and the Berliner Stadtbibliothek in Mitte. Together with around 80 local public libraries, the ZLB guarantees access to information for all those living in Berlin. E-books and e-papers are also conveniently accessible via the digital services (VÖBB 24) provided by the Association of Public Libraries in Berlin (VÖBB).
Berlin is gaining in importance for the book market as a laboratory of digitisation. This process also generates synergies, for example, through the e-book sector intersecting with the music, film and games industry at a variety of points. The networks launched over the recent years by the Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research, the German Publishers and Booksellers Association, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK), BITKOM and others promote cooperation between the different sectors of the creative industries.