Projekte des Börsenvereins und der Stiftung Buchkultur und Leseförderung des Börsenvereins

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Start of Frankfurter Buchmesse: "Considerable costs are jeopardising the book sector's societal mission”

Opening of Frankfurter Buchmesse 2022 / Rising costs putting publishers and bookstores under pressure / Appeal to policymakers: long-term support for the book industry as well as short-term relief measures for small and medium-sized enterprises
Erstellt am 18.10.2022

The world's largest marketplace for books, the start of the autumn reading season and an important cultural event for strengthening international understanding – Frankfurter Buchmesse, which opens tomorrow, is all this, said Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, Chairwoman of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association) at the press conference to mark the opening of the fair. "In a world where ever deeper divides are emerging between political, cultural and ideological attitudes, the book fair creates a space for peaceful, democratic exchange", said Schmidt-Friderichs. The book sector takes its social mission very seriously, she said: "Publishing houses and bookstores are keen to ensure a comprehensive supply of literature, non-fiction and scientific literature, especially during these uncertain times."

At the same time, she emphasised how rising energy costs, resource shortages and a noticeable consumer reluctance to buy were putting publishers, bookstores and the industry’s logistics under considerable pressure. Bookstores are expecting energy costs to rise by up to 300 per cent. Publishers, who have already had to pay about 50 per cent more for printing and producing their books this year, are expecting further increases of 20 to 30 per cent in the coming year. According to Schmidt-Friderichs, the sector is facing a frosty autumn and winter.

Less footfall in the city centres and poor consumer sentiment is also starting to have an impact on the book trade. September was the fifth month in a row with declining turnover for the book market. After nine months, the results in the central sales channels are 2 per cent below those of a normal, i.e. non-covid year like 2019, according to Media Control. In local bookstores, the gap is significantly larger: here, after three quarters, the shortfall in turnover compared to the pre-pandemic level is 8.7 per cent.

Support is now needed from policy makers, says Karin Schmidt-Friderichs. Only if the sector is economically stable can it continue to contribute to the internal stability of society. "The book sector has proved remarkably resilient over the past two years. However, the unstable world and market situation presents it with new major challenges. The sector urgently needs compensatory measures from the government in order to continue to fulfil its societal mission as before," said Schmidt-Friderichs.

Specifically, the book sector requests:

  • that the subsidies for publishers agreed in the coalition agreement are implemented swiftly,
  • that financial support is granted to the book trade for its cultural events and the promotion of reading,
  • that the new opportunities for VAT reductions afforded by the EU finance ministers are utilised,
  • and that relief packages and financial aid to business are conceived in such a way that even crisis-stricken publishing houses and bookstores can access them.


Our Programme Highlights:

DISCUSSION | On the Situation of the Russian Opposition
Thursday, 20.10., 14:30 | Frankfurt Pavilion, Agora
With: Irina Scherbakowa (Journalist, human rights activist of the organisation Memori, which was awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize), Leonid Volkov (Navalny confidant and author), Mikhail Shishkin (author)

PRESS CONFERENCE | With Peace Prize Winner Serhiy Zhadan
Friday, 21.10., 10:00 | Hall Fantasie 1+2, Congress Center Level 3, Register at

AWARD | CONTENTshift Accelerator 2022 – Who will be the Content Startup of The Year?
Thursday, 20.10., 11:00 | Frankfurt Studio, Hall 4.0, Saal Europa

AWARD | Seal of approval for kindergartens promoting reading in early childhood
Friday, 21.10., 17:30 | Rheinland-Pfalz Stage, Hall 3.1, G 84

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