Are you a German writer looking for a publisher in Germany for your manuscript?
Or perhaps you’re an author in another part of the world who has written a book in German, or another language such as English and wants to break into the German market.
Take a look at the following 19 top book publishers in Germany. One of this might be interested in publishing your book.
In every single aspect, Berlin-based Aufbau-Verlag represents the perfect German publisher. Set up back in 1945, this company is one of the biggest and best-known German publishing entities in the world.
At the onset, its focus was to provide Germany with much-needed intellectual nourishment after the fall of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. In particular, Aufbau-Verlag sought Jewish writers and other authors who were forced to remain in hiding during the reign of fascists.
Since then, the publisher has worked with both esteemed German authors and international scribes such as Anna Seghers and acclaimed American novelist Nick Drnaso, respectively.
From literary fiction to non-fiction, Aufbau-Verlag is home to many captivating reads. The publisher accepts unsolicited manuscripts, but you shouldn’t send original or complete manuscripts. Likewise, several genres in fiction and non-fiction aren’t accepted. These include fantasy, sci-fi, poetry, and travel. For the complete list of genres Aufbau-Verlag doesn’t publish and more information about the submission process, click here.
Owned by Stuttgart-based Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, Droemer Knaur has its own set of distinct publishers like Knaur, Christian publishing house bene!, and feelings, which focuses on printing romance ebooks. Droemer Knaur itself is located in Munich and is always on the lookout for more ways to develop its digital presence.
Droemer Knaur publishes both fiction and nonfiction – including children’s literature and YA fiction. Its fiction catalog has everything from sci-fi & fantasy to thrillers and romance. On the other hand, you can find nonfiction writing about religion, music, philosophy, and nature, among others.
As of writing, Droemer Knaur isn’t open to unsolicited manuscripts, but you can expect it to resume accepting proposals once conditions improve. For now, consider reading submission guidelines.
From original German stories to the competently translated writings of international authors, Hoffmann und Campe is acclaimed for publishing many bestsellers each year. Founded back in 1781 and situated in Hamburg, Germany, this company also has a rich history of printing several Nobel Prize-winning titles.
With authors like Goethe Prize winner Siegfried Lenz and legendary music artist Bob Dylan, Hoffmann und Campe continues to captivate both writers and readers with its superb selection of fiction (crime & thriller, romance, and novels) and nonfiction (biography, politics, science, and culture).
Hoffmann und Campe is accepting hardcopy submissions of unsolicited manuscripts. You can send just the first 30 pages of your writing – the company will request the complete work if they’re interested. Check the manuscript submission process for a better idea.
4. Heyne Verlag
Headquartered in Munich, Germany, Heyne Verlag is one of the most popular publishing companies under Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe GmbH. Its fiction catalog will surely delight you with its thrillers, fantasy, science fiction, and novels of varying topics. Readers who prefer nonfiction can browse stunning biographies and insightful guides.
Heyne Verlag and the rest of the German division of Penguin Random House are currently unavailable for unsolicited manuscripts. On the bright side, you can still read more about submitting manuscripts to see how long the process takes and whether your work will be marketed internationally once accepted.
5. dtv Verlag
This Munich-based publisher proves that you don’t need many words (or even uppercase letters) to be prominent in the industry. dtv Verlag was launched in 1960 and initially only printed paperback titles. Today, this independent publishing entity releases hardback and paperback editions – and its yearly total hovers around 400 books.
dtv Verlag publishes German and international books that constantly enter bestseller lists. The company provides children’s literature, YA books, and fiction and nonfiction. Both literary fiction and general fiction are in abundance – and the nonfiction isn’t too shabby either with its abundant writings on science, politics, and biographies, among others.
Whether you’re sending fiction, nonfiction, children’s literature, or a YA story, you can visit the same manuscript submission page to know how to properly email your writing project.
6. Arche Verlag
Founded by Peter Schifferli in 1944, Arche Verlag has its roots in Zurich, Switzerland, and now has a sizable presence in Hamburg, Germany, under W1-Media GmbH. The company accepts manuscripts all year round, be it from established writers or those joining the fray.
Likewise, the genre doesn’t really matter since the publishing house works on a wide range of topics. Arche Verlag has non-fiction picture books and a variety of children’s fiction. For adult readers, it has fiction (thriller, dystopian fiction, classic, etc.), nonfiction (biographies), and even poetry.
When sending your unsolicited manuscript, you should include a brief synopsis – and don’t submit more than 30 pages of your writing project. Arche Verlag only accepts hard copies, so neither fax nor email entries will be accommodated. Scroll down to the submissions section of the contact page for more information.
Taschen Books is respected worldwide for its long history of quality publishing in diverse topics, chief among them being art and design. To say the least, the publisher from Cologne, Germany, specializes in nonfiction. However, it does have a few children’s classics like The Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm and The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen.
Furthermore, Taschen Book caters to a particular group of authors and readers. Apart from art and design, its nonfiction categories include pop culture, travel, photography, film, and fashion. If you’re currently working on a book that involves one or more of these topics, go to the project proposal section of the FAQ page.
Due to the long and tumultuous period in Germany in the early 20th century, Kiepenheuer & Witsch couldn’t achieve an ideal start. But 1949 was when Dr. Joseph Caspar Witsch talked to Gustav Kiepenheuer about establishing a new publishing business. Even if the latter passed away that same year, the former had enough courage to realize their dream. Today, the press based in Cologne publishes commercial and critical successes from German and international writers.
Kiepenheuer & Witsch houses literary fiction, classic fiction, historical novels, short stories, thrillers, and general fiction. You can’t go wrong with its poems and nonfiction books about music, sports, and the most intriguing personalities in the world.
The publishing house is open to digital submissions of unsolicited manuscripts. Head to the contact page and click on “manuscripts/submissions” to learn more about the process.
More often than not, you’ll find Rowohlt Verlag at the upper echelon of lists about German publishers. With its origins dating to 1908 in Leipzig, Germany, and now headquartered in Hamburg, its publications across its 12 divisions capture everything from plays to fiction and nonfiction.
In the realm of fiction, you can find thrillers, classics, romance, thrillers, and contemporary works. For nonfiction, Rowohlt Verlag offers books on sports, philosophy, society, finance, and art & culture, among others. Kids and teenagers can also enjoy its selection of children’s literature and YA books.
Rowohlt Verlag has provided an online submission form for authors who have synopses and partial manuscripts ready.
10. Suhrkamp Verlag
Suhrkamp Verlag is one of the most acclaimed publishing houses not only in Germany but also in the whole of Europe. One of the reasons for this is that it focuses on developing its authors rather than just printing new titles. In other words, it’s a company that understands its role in honing both the story and the storyteller.
Situated in Berlin, Germany, the publisher has nonfiction books that examine climate change, philosophy, politics, health, and powerful individuals. Suhrkamp Verlag also has poems, YA and children’s literature, and general fiction.
Books are published in German and other languages. As of writing, Suhrkamp Verlag is open to manuscript submissions. Read the guidelines carefully to avoid having your work rejected before even being read.
11. Arena Verlag
Georg Popp launched Arena Verlag in 1949 and helped it flourish for the next three decades. From being the first publisher to launch paperback titles for kids and teenagers in Germany to building distinct book series, the Wurzburg-based company has left an invaluable mark in children’s literature, especially since it boasts more than 2,000 printed works.
As a children’s book publisher, Arena Verlag’s fiction books are made for three main groups: toddlers, middle-grade kids, and teens. But don’t worry if you’re creating children’s nonfiction: It also publishes wonderful books that educate about topics like art, sports, and nature.
To send a partial manuscript for consideration, head to this page.
12. Eichborn Verlag
Straight from its founding in 1980, Eichborn Verlag distinguished itself from the rest in the publishing field with its bold and unabashed voice. Its stories have the power to cause shock, unease, and fascination – often all at the same time. Thus, it was no surprise that it eventually got the attention of Cologne-based publisher Bastei Lübbe.
From Sven Regener to international legend Neil Gaiman, Eichborn Verlag has proven that it can find and support new, promising voices while also attracting the most established names in the industry. Both of its fiction and nonfiction offerings have received significant financial and critical success.
Under nonfiction, you’ll find incredible writings on subjects like society, nature, crime, and business. And if you prefer fiction, Eichborn Verlag has thrillers, literary fiction, mysteries, and fantasy & sci-fi.
To send your book project, visit the manuscript submissions section on the FAQ page, which also identifies the types of writings the publisher doesn’t accept.
13. Emons Verlag
When it comes to mystery, crime, and thriller fiction, this Cologne-based publishing house is right on top of the list. Hermann-Josef Emons launched the business in 1984 and quickly got the attention of the reading populace with Christoph Gottwald’s Tödlicher Klüngel, the first-ever regional crime thriller in Germany.
Today, Emons Verlag has more than 80 book series in the aforementioned thriller subgenre, several of which have been launched in other countries and translated into various languages. Of course, the company doesn’t box itself in. Aside from its thrillers, it also prints coloring books for kids, nonfiction travel books, illustrated books, gift books, and historical novels.
Currently, Emons Verlag is accepting nonfiction and fiction manuscripts – and you can even suggest ideas for its book series. Read the complete manuscript submission process here.
The Verlagsgruppe Beltz is a group of publishing entities dealing with a wide spectrum of relevant and timeless subjects. Based in Weinheim, Germany, it started as a humble printing business founded by Julius Beltz in 1841. After 27 years, it acquired the Adolph Büchting publishing company, giving it the resources to trade textbooks.
Today, Verlagsgruppe Beltz is one of Germany’s most trusted publishers of titles for kids, families, and social workers. It provides cute picture books, coloring books, and whimsical fiction for children and teens. On the other hand, the nonfiction catalog has guides for those who want to learn about health, school, psychology, nutrition, pregnancy, depression, parenting, and society.
Established in 1956, DuMont Buchverlag’s publishing goals back then were concentrated on the world of art – and its contributions proved to be priceless. Its decision to only print works on art back then helped enlighten more people in Germany about classical modernism. Then, in the 1970s and 1998, the Cologne-based publisher expanded its horizons and sought travel writing and fiction, respectively.
Today, DuMont Buchverlag is celebrated for its German and international portfolio of fiction and nonfiction. Under the fiction catalog, you’ll see historical novels, thrillers, contemporary fiction, psychological fiction, and best-selling literary fiction, among others. Nonfiction fans can browse its assortment of biographies and books about art & photography, architecture & design, gardening, cooking, and lifestyle.
The publisher is currently accepting hardcopy manuscripts. You only need to send around 50 pages of your project and a short document about yourself. Visit the manuscript submission page for more details.
Established in 2009 by Wolfgang Hörner and Esther Kormann, Verlag Galiani Berlin got its name from Ferdinando Galiani. He’s an Italian figure from the early 18th century renowned for his contributions to economics. And like the titular figure, Verlag Galiani Berlin always yearns to unearth ideas and matters in life worth sharing.
Located in Berlin, the company has three main categories in fiction: contemporary literature, mystery & thrillers, and classic fiction. Likewise, its nonfiction section includes biographies, anthologies, and exemplary writings on culture and history.
Digital manuscripts should be sent to Kiepenheuer & Witsch since Verlag Galiani Berlin is under its care. For more information, head to the contact page and choose “manuscripts/submissions” on the list provided.
17. Piper Verlag
Among the publishers in Munich, Germany, Piper Verlag deserves a mention as one of the best and most respected. After all, Reinhard Piper founded his company in 1904 to address elitist notions about reading and literature by making books more accessible and appealing. Today, Felicitas von Lovenberg leads Piper Verlag with the same passion and commendable goals as its founder.
Authors of fiction can find a lot of inspiration in Piper Verlag’s catalog of fantasy & sci-fi, contemporary stories, classics, thrillers, and historical novels. Similarly, nonfiction writers can peruse nonfiction bestsellers about topics like travel & adventure, fitness & health, culture & society, and business & organization.
Check its published books to know the types of works accepted. For example, it doesn’t publish poetry, fairy tales, and cookbooks. Visit the manuscript submission section for the full guidelines.
Weissbooks was originally based in Frankfurt when it was launched by Rainer Weiss and Anya Schutzbach in 2008 – and it won two awards within its first two years. This year, it’s going to continue operations in Berlin while its management undergoes a massive change: Industry folks such as Anne Dreesbach and Christian Augustin will be joining the team.
Even if Weissbooks is having a major revamp, the company will concentrate on its proven strengths: children’s literature, gift books, upmarket fiction, narrative nonfiction, and both German and international contemporary fiction.
Currently, Weissbooks is looking for German manuscripts in both fiction and nonfiction. Prepare a synopsis and no more than 30 pages regardless of the category.
Samuel Fischer established this publishing company back in 1886 in Berlin. After nearly 20 years, he acquired rights for the company to print scripts and other theater materials. Now, S. Fischer Verlag is located in Frankfurt and continues to honor the likes of Franz Kafka, Alfred Kerr, and Sigmund Freud while also diving into newer works and more book genres.
Contemporary fiction and nonfiction are plentiful in S. Fischer Verlag. Some of the genres in fiction are regional crime, thriller, romance, historical novels, fantasy & sci-fi, and even short stories. If you want to learn more about science, philosophy, medicine, or society, head to the nonfiction section. For young readers, the publisher has books for toddlers, middle-aged kids, and teenagers.
The company is currently closed until October for unsolicited manuscript submissions. Once S. Fischer Verlag begins accepting proposals, gather your synopsis and project sample of at max 30 pages. For updates and manuscript guidelines, find the “Manuscripts/Submissions” entry on the contact page.
Are you aware of any other top book publishers in Germany who we need to know about? Please tell us more in the comments box below!
Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of Writing Tips Oasis.