German Publishers

Arche Verlag, Hamburg
With its unique mix of important new voices and world-class international authors Arche Verlag has maintained a singular position among publishers of literature in the German-speaking world from the time of its founding in 1944. From Ezra Pound, Gottfried Benn and Gertrude to John Griesemer, Fritz J. Raddatz, Jim Harrison and Nick Flynn, for sixty-five years Arche has been publishing writers who distil the spirit of their time into timeless works of art.
Contact: Karina Jensen,
Arena Verlag, Würzburg
Arena Verlag was founded in 1949 and is one of the most important publishers of books for children and young adults in Germany. They publish a broad range of titles in their fiction and non-fiction lists, including titles for all age groups – from toddlers to young adults. Arena was the first German children’s book publisher to start a paperback programme in 1958. Arena books have won numerous awards and been translated into many languages. They are also the German home of such internationally renowned authors as Cassandra Clare, Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams, Tove Jansson, Steve Augarde, Neil Gaiman and Jo Nesboe.
Aufbau Verlag, Berlin
Besides focusing on German and international classics (Hans Fallada, Lion Feuchtwanger, Anna Seghers, Arnold Zweig, Victor Klemperer), exile and resistance literature and East German literature, Aufbau has a strong list of contemporary world literature. Recent major successes include Werner Bräunig’s Rummelplatz, novels by Fred Vargas, Donna Cross, Eliot Pattison, Deon Meyer, Hong Ying, Guillaume Musso, Robert Schneider, Giles Foden and Polina Daschkowa. The original Aufbau Verlag was founded in 1945 and became the leading cultural and literary publishing house in East Germany. The lovingly produced children’s list includes works by Heinz Janisch, Aljoscha Blau, Martin Karau, Isabel Pin, Michael Sowa and Rotraut Susanne Berner. Aufbau is an imprint of Aufbau Verlag GmbH & Co. KG.
Contact: Inka Ihmels,
Berlin Verlag
Berlin Verlag was founded in 1994 as an independent publishing house and publishes approximately 40 titles per year. The list combines international and German literary fiction and a nonfiction program. Several young German authors have made a successful publishing debut with Berlin Verlag, and many authors are internationally renowned prize-winners. Since 2012, Berlin Verlag has been part of the Bonnier Group.
C.H. Beck Verlag, Munich
Verlag C.H.Beck is one of Germany’s best known publishing houses dealing both with books and magazines, employing a staff of over 400 and with approximately 6,000 titles in print. It has a strong base in academic and specialized works on history, ethnology, philology, literary theory, religion and philosophy, politics, art and law. Its fiction list has grown steadily and is respected for the importance its editors place on the literary and artistic merits of its titles.
Beltz & Gelberg, Weinheim
Beltz & Gelberg is the children's book division of the Beltz Verlagsgruppe, the publishing venture which was established by the printer Julius Beltz in 1868. Beltz & Gelberg was set up in 1971 by Hans-Joachim Gelberg and has offered a rich range of children's literature ever since. The Gulliver paperback imprint was founded in 1984. In 2002 Beltz took over the book rights of Middelhauve, and two years later initiated the paperback series MINIMAX.
Contact: Kerstin Michaelis,
Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich
Carl Hanser Verlag was established by its eponymous owner in 1928 in Munich, and its founder’s interests in both literature and science have been maintained to the present day. The firm publishes fiction and non-fiction for both adults and children. Its authors include Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Jostein Gaarder, Lars Gustafsson, Milan Kundera, Harry Mulisch, Philip Roth, Susan Sontag, Botho Strauß, Raoul Schrott, Rafik Schami, Alfred Brendel, Elke Heidenreich and ten Nobel prizewinners, among them Elias Canetti, whose works have been translated into more than thirty different languages.
Contact: Friederike Barakat,
Carlsen Verlag, Hamburg
Carlsen Verlag was founded in 1953 as a subsidiary of the Danish company Carlsen, Copenhagen, so that its series for younger children could be published in German translation. Carlsen Verlag Hamburg has been publishing its own titles since 1964, ranging from picture books for younger children to novels for young adults. Educational series include both fiction and non-fiction for kindergarten and primary school levels. Carlsen Comics were the first to introduce comic books to the German market.
CBJ Verlag, Munich
cbj Verlag was founded in 2004, although the Bertelsmann/Random House group of which it is part has been publishing children’s literature since 1835. cbj publishes high-quality books for children aged 4 and older. Their range includes picture books, stories for reading aloud and novels for children, as well as a non-fiction science series and several fantasy novels. Authors include Julian Press and Peter Freund, and cbj published the award-winning novel Die Bücherdiebin (2009) by Markus Zusak.
Christoph Links Verlag
Ch. Links Verlag was one of the first independent publishing houses to be launched after the abolition of censorship in the German Democratic Republic in the autumn of 1989. The list concentrated on the history of Stalinism and communism in the GDR, before expanding to cover such nonfiction areas as the Federal Republic of Germany, the history of German colonialism and the legacy of National Socialism. It now includes international history and politics.
Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt
Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt has an outstanding reputation as one of Germany’s leading non-fiction publishers, with an emphasis on history, memoirs, biography and current affairs. DVA also has an exquisite list of literary fiction. Among the bestselling authors are Marcel Reich-Ranicki, Sebastian Haffner, Martin Doerry, Ian Kershaw, Anne Enright, and David Wroblewski. Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt has been a part of Verlagsgruppe Random House since 2006.
DuMont Verlag, Cologne
DuMont Buchverlag was founded in 1956. Stressing the link between literature and art, the firm focuses both on these subjects and also, more recently, on general non-fiction. Its authors include John Cheever, John von Düffel, Keith Gessen, Michel Houellebecq, Helmut Krausser, Martin Kluger, Judith Kuckart, Thomas Kling, Annette Mingels, Haruki Murakami, Edward St. Aubyn, Tilman Rammstedt, and Dirk Wittenborn. The art list covers high quality illustrated books dealing with periods from the Renaissance up until today, monographs on single artists, such as Botticelli, Velazquez, Kokoschka, Max Ernst, Gerhard Richter and Neo Rauch, and overviews on (for instance) contemporary Chinese art, as well as design, photography and art theory.
Contact: Judith Habermas,
Edition Elke Heidenreich, Munich
Edition Elke Heidenreich was founded in 2009 as an imprint within the C. Bertelsmann group, taking its name from that well-known television and literary critic. It publishes both literary fiction and non-fiction books dealing exclusively with music and aims to represent – in Elke Heidenreich’s own words, ‘a pleasure in literature, a pleasure in music and the delight of joining the two.’ Its authors include Hans Neuenfels, Franz Werfel, Barbara Hall and Angel Wagenstein.
Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main
Founded in 1980, Eichborn is regarded as a young and bold independent publishing house. Its strong and diversified list includes fiction, non-fiction, humour, and reference books. Books originally published by Eichborn include: W.G. Sebald’s The Emigrants and The Rings of Saturn; A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous (winner of the 2006 Schlegel-Tieck award); Jenny Erpenbeck’s The Old Child and Book of Words; Walter Moers’s The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear and Jan Costin Wagner’s Ice Moon.
Emons Verlag, Cologne
Emons Verlag was founded in 1984 by Hermann-Josef Emons in Cologne. Today the company is market leader in the Regional Mystery sector, with 40 different series. Beside mystery stories the publisher’s list has always included other titles with a regional background, such as historical suspense novels, guide books, atlases, illustrated books and non-fiction books concerning culture, history and the documentation of National Socialism. In 1995 Emons published Frank Schätzing’s Novel Death and the Devil which has become an international bestseller.
Contact: Angela Eichner,
Galiani, Berlin
Galiani Berlin is the new imprint under the roof of Kiepenheuer & Witsch, established by Wolfgang Hörner and Esther Kormann - the creative minds behind the programme. Each season around six to eight books will be published – a mixture of literature, classics and narrative non-fiction in hardcover format only. The imprint is named after Ferdinando Galiani: a true genius who was interested in everything around him, innovative, unpredictable and never boring. This reflects the path that Wolfgang Hörner and Esther Kormann wish to follow with their new imprint. Galiani’s first titles will be published in September 2009.
Contact: Iris Brandt,
Hoffmann und Campe Verlag, Hamburg
Hoffmann und Campe Verlag was founded in 1781 by Benjamin Gottlob Hoffmann and his son-in-law August Campe. The family firm was Heinrich Heine’s publisher. Despite changing hands several times during the first half of the twentieth century, the firm managed to retain its liberal traditions. Its international fiction list includes the complete works of Siegfried Lenz as well as books by Doris Lessing, V.S. Naipaul, Andreï Makine, Irina Korschunow, John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell. The non-fiction lists include memoirs, philosophy, politics, economics, psychology, music and theology.
Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Cologne
Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch was founded in 1949 in Cologne by two publishers from the Eastern Zone, Gustav Kiepenheuer and Joseph Caspar Witsch. The press’s early authors included Joseph Roth, Heinrich Böll and Erich Maria Remarque. Today Kiepenheuer & Witsch continues to publish leading contemporary German, Austrian and Swiss writers, as well as international authors in translation. Its list includes Katja Lange-Müller, Peter Härtling, Uwe Timm, Gabriel García Márquez and John Banville. Its non-fiction subjects cover sociology, psychology, history and biography. Kiepenheuer & Witsch is part of the Holtzbrinck Group.
Contact: Iris Brandt,
Knaus Verlag, Munich
Albrecht Knaus Verlag was founded in 1978 by Albrecht Knaus and the Bertelsmann group. Its list is liberal and broad, and aims to be both entertaining and informative, linked to the present while remaining aware of the past. Knaus has recently added non-fiction titles to its catalogue. Authors include Irène Némirovsky, Peter Ackroyd, Aleksandar Hemon, and John Burnside.
Luchterhand Literaturverlag, Munich
Luchterhand Literaturverlag was founded by Hermann Luchterhand in 1924 and has been publishing literary titles since 1954, an early and triumphant success being Günter Grass’s novel Die Blechtrommel (The Tin Drum, 1959). Its list includes literary fiction and poetry as well as definitive editions of selected writers’ complete works. In 1997 the firm was voted Publishing House of the Year by the German trade journal Buchmarkt. It is now part of the Random House Group. Authors include Christa Wolf, Ernst Jandl, Pablo Neruda, António Lobo Antunes, Will Self, Frank McCourt, Hanns-Josef Ortheil, Terézia Mora and Saša Stanišić.
mareverlag, Hamburg
mareverlag publishes around twenty titles a year, both fiction and non-fiction, and all with some connection with the sea, whether in its concrete, symbolic, metaphorical, historical or ecologically significant guise. The same spirit of fascination, respect, and longing evoked by the sea that is prevalent in the prize-winning magazine mare (founded in 1997 and voted best magazine of Germany in 2001) and the television channel mare TV (launched in 2000) now finds expression in the medium of the book with publisher Nikolaus Gelpke at the helm.
Edition Nautilus is an independent publishing house founded in 1974 and located in Hamburg. Defined by their motto, ‘A poem can be as revolutionary as a piece of theory’, Edition Nautilus publishes fiction and political non-fiction as well as biographies, a small art-series called Die Kleine Bücherei, and DIE AKTION, a magazine for politics, literature and culture. They also have a crime list, including the best-selling crime novels of Andrea Maria Schenkel (published by Quercus in the UK).
Contact: Hanna Mittelstädt,
Piper Verlag, Munich
Piper Verlag was founded by Reinhard Piper in 1904. The firm published many leading contemporary authors, a tradition followed by his son and his grandson. After 1945 the programme expanded to include philosophy and non-fiction. Piper Verlag is well known for its lists in German and international fiction and non-fiction. Authors published by Piper include Ingeborg Bachmann, Sten Nadolny, François Lelord, Arne Dahl, Hape Kerkeling, Sándor Márai, Paul Watzlawick, Markus Heitz and Ferdinand von Schirach. Piper Verlag has been part of the Swedish Bonnier Group since 1995. In 1996 the Piper publishing group acquired the imprint Malik Verlag (literary travel writing, adventure, mountaineering), and since 2002 Piper’s list has been further enriched by the addition of high quality fantasy literature. Piper acquired the imprints Pendo (commercial fiction and non-fiction) and Westend (non-fiction) in 2008.
Rotbuch Verlag, Berlin
Rotbuch Verlag is a small independent publishing house founded in Berlin in 1973. After changing hands and locations in the 1990s and at the start of the new millennium, it returned to its home city in 2007. From its beginnings the house published both popular and literary fiction, drama and poetry as well as non-fiction titles with a strong emphasis on the discussion of political issues, often with a leftwing slant. With its new hard-boiled crime label Hard Case Crime Rotbuch has been fostering its foreign crime fiction interests, while also publishing an ambitious selection of German language crime novels. Its authors include Birgit Vanderbeke, Heiner Müller, Hannah Arendt, Franz Xaver Kroetz, Mickey Spillane, Jerome Charyn, Peter Weiss, Gunter Gerlach and Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo.
Contact: Maria Oehlschlegel,
Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek nr. Hamburg
Rowohlt Verlag was founded by Ernst Rowohlt in 1908. This publishing house with its various divisions is part of the Holtzbrinck group. Rowohlt publishes literary fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Authors include Wolfgang Borchert, Joachim Fest, Elfriede Jelinek, Daniel Kehlmann, Imre Kertész, Ildikó von Kürthy, Klaus and Erika Mann, Peter Schneider, Martin Walser and many others. In 2008 Rowohlt celebrated its 100th anniversary.
S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main
S. Fischer Verlag was founded by Samuel Fischer in Berlin in 1886. He was the first to publish many now famous authors such as Franz Kafka, Arthur Schnitzler, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal and Thomas Mann. Both S. Fischer Verlag and Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag focus on literature, psychology and history. Contemporary authors writing in German include Julia Franck, Michael Lenz, Marlene Streeruwitz, Christoph Ransmayr and Wolfgang Hilbig. The firm’s distinguished list also includes many leading international authors in translation.
Schöffling & Co., Frankfurt am Main
Schöffling & Co. has a simple credo: the focus is on the authors. It has gained the reputation of being a ‘publishing house that plays a significant role in the shaping of Germany’s literary future’ (SPIEGEL online). Founded in November 1993, Schöffling & Co. has since emerged as one of Germany’s most innovative independent literary publishing houses with a tightly-woven international network. An atmosphere of mutual confidence and esteem and an unceasing commitment to its authors and their works provide the basis for a fruitful literary relationship. New German voices are recognised and published alongside established and famous names, while authors in translation include Sadie Jones, Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Egan, Peter Behrens, Nir Baram or Miljenko Jergovic.
Suhrkamp Verlag, Berlin
Suhrkamp Verlag was founded in 1950 by Peter Suhrkamp and directed for over forty years by Dr. Siegfried Unseld. The independent publishing company now includes Insel Verlag (founded in Leipzig in 1899), the Jüdischer Verlag (founded in Berlin in 1902), as well as the Deutscher Klassiker Verlag (established in 1981) and the newly founded Verlag der Weltreligionen (established in 2006). Suhrkamp focuses on both contemporary literature and the humanities. Its distinguished list includes leading writers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria, many of whom made their debuts with the firm, besides major international authors of both fiction and non-fiction, including several Nobel Prize winners.
Contact: Nora Mercurio,
Ullstein Buchverlage, Berlin
Ullstein was founded in Berlin in 1903 by the famous family-owned Ullstein newspaper publishers. The company quickly rose to become Germany's leading book publisher. In 1934 Ullstein was expropriated by the Nazis. In 1952 the house reopened in Frankfurt and seven years later it was sold to the publishing group Axel Springer. In 2003 Ullstein's book division was bought by the Swedish media group Bonnier, who brought Ullstein back to Berlin in 2004. The Ullstein publishing group includes the imprints Ullstein, List, Claassen, Marion von Schröder, Tanja Graf Verlag, Econ, Propyläen and Allegria. The broad spectrum of titles includes bestselling authors such as Jo Nesbo, John le Carré, James Ellroy and Helene Hegemann in fiction; Shlomo Sand, Richard Dawkins, Natascha Kampusch and Timothy Ferris in non-fiction.
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen
One of the oldest independent publishers still in existence, the Göttingen firm Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht has been publishing academic literature since 1735, and now issues over 250 new titles a year. The classical core of the list consists of academic works in the fields of theology and religion, history, medieval studies, philosophy and philology. Equally important is the firm’s developing range of practical, do-it-yourself titles – on personal development, psychological counselling, spiritual community work and much else – which are both useful and highly readable.
Contact: Margarita Wolf,
Verlag Klaus Wagenbach, Berlin
Verlag Klaus Wagenbach is an independent publishing house founded in 1964 in Berlin. Its programme comprises contemporary and twentieth-century literature, cultural history, the history of art, and politics. A particular area of interest is Italian literature, alongside translations from the French, Spanish and English and original German-language works. Among its authors are A. L. Kennedy, Erich Fried, Sergio Pitol, Jorge Edwards, Andrea Camilleri, Natalia Ginzburg, Luigi Malerba, Manuel Vázquez Montalban, Michel Houellebecq, Peter Burke, Natalie Zemon Davies and Stephen Greenblatt. The house has been called ‘the independent publisher for wild readers.’
Contact: Susanne Schüssler,
Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen
Wallstein Verlagwas founded as a desktop publishing company but by 1988 had grown into a full-scale book publisher. The firm publishes about 130 titles a year, ranging from contemporary literature to history and cultural studies. Its authors include Ruth Kluger, Gottfried Benn, Golo Mann, Fred Wander, Gregor Sander and Ulf Erdmann Ziegler.
Contact: Hajo Gevers,
weissbooks.w, Frankfurt am Main
weissbooks.w was founded in 2008 by Anya Schutzbach and Rainer Weiss, previously marketing director and programme director respectively of Suhrkamp Verlag. In March 2009, the publishing house was awarded the Newcomer of the Year Award at the Leipzig Book Fair, and in May this year it received the Frankfurt Gründerpreis, a prize for sucessful new businesses. The trade magazine Buchmarkt praises the new publisher for ‘so swiftly establishing itself as a house of quality’. Its list comprises literary fiction and narrative non-fiction.
Contact: Katharina Dittes,