Healthy growth in 2018: Bookwire records 30% increase in turnover as aggregator for publishers

Frankfurt a. M., 22 January 2018 – Bookwire GmbH entered its tenth year in business looking back on a very successful 2018.The Frankfurt digital services provider recorded high growth in all business areas, as well as an increase of 30% in its core business as an aggregator for publishing clients. Along with the booming audiobook market, growth is also being driven by Bookwire’s international business.

“Global thinking” boosts sales in 2018

“Listening is the new reading” – sales figures from Bookwire GmbH prove that there is truth in the popular slogan. A 44% increase in sales from January to September 2018 compared with the same period in the previous year boosted the total sales of the digital services provider. Overall, the company, which was founded ten years ago, recorded an increase in turnover of one third compared with 2017. This has mainly been due to its global activity:

“The very positive development of the business is based on two factors. Firstly, the enormous growth in the sphere of audiobooks and our new technical developments for optimum exploitation of audiobooks in a booming streaming market. We have brought to market two solutions in the form of ‘BASS – Bookwire Audio Stream Snipping’ and ‘WAY – We Audiobook You’ that were instantly successful in this segment.

Secondly, our overall strategy is to see ourselves as a global business and to act accordingly, with a strong headquarters and equally competent local branches. The dazzling figures speak for themselves. In 2018, our business generated 33% of total sales outside of the DACH region”, says Jens Klingelhöfer, CEO der Bookwire GmbH, about the successful year.

DACH region in detail: renowned new customers

More than 1,050 publishing clients from Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH region) currently use the comprehensive range of services provided by Bookwire GmbH. In 2018, new delivery cooperations were concluded with, among others, Geranova Bruckmann, Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-GmbH & Co. KG, Kampa Verlag audio-media publishing house, as well as self-publishing platform Bookrix.

Traditional publishing houses dtv and Diogenes handed over to Bookwire international distribution of their eBook catalogues in 2018 – a further show of confidence in the global network of the business, which now has more than 50 members of staff across the world.

“Following cooperation agreements in 2017 with Random House Germany, German Bonnier publishers, as well as Holtzbrinck publishers, for international distribution of their eBooks, conclusion of these two significant contracts in 2018 shows that we have the most extensive and suitable network of global players and locally important platforms for large publishers, for international distribution of German-language titles. Further evidence to support our ‘think global – act local’ philosophy for international distribution”, says Klingelhöfer.

Brazil in detail: DLD purchase guarantees success

The positive expectations for the purchase of successful distribution platform Distribuidora de Livros Digitais (DLD) in autumn 2017 have been fulfilled. Bookwire Brazil tripled its sales, and the number of titles distributed by Bookwire increased by around 40% (approx. 32,000 titles, as of December 2018). 

Along with integration of DLD into the local Bookwire company Bookwire Brasil, with headquarters in São Paulo, the roll-out of the team’s audiobook activities was one of the year’s milestones.

Bookwire Spain & Latin America in detail: sales champion

Glasses were raised at the New Year at Bookwire locations Barcelona and Mexico City to a new record for distribution titles (as of 31 December 2018, around 33,000 eBooks in Spain and Latin America, plus 25% in comparison with 2017), comparable with Brazil at the start of activities in the growing audiobook business. Some of the new publishing clients include Roca Editorial (audiobooks), UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Editorial Kairós, Ediciones Rialp, Taller del Éxito Publishers and Editorial Gustavo Gili.

One figure in particular was cause for celebration: a 65% increase in sales compared with 2017. The two distribution regions earned themselves the title of percentage sales champion across the whole of the company. 

Business growth – staff, cooperations and innovations

• The constant growth of Bookwire GmbH continued in 2018. Overall, the business now employs 54 staff at the locations Frankfurt am Main (HQ), Barcelona, London, São Paulo and Mexico City.

• Growth is also due to Bookwire’s constant innovation and major involvement in the digital publishing industry - here a just a few examples from 2018:

• Print-on-Demand cooperation with Amazon for DACH publishing clients: catalogue titles can be sent from Bookwire MACS straight to Amazon for printing. This also lists these PoD editions on Amazon, where they can be delivered to customers. This cooperation is another step in the continual expansion of Bookwire’s offer on the growing PoD market.

• Amazon is also the platform for an important marketing innovation - the new Bookwire full service management of professionally set-up Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) campaigns for Bookwire publishing clients in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

• At Leipzig Book Fair 2018, Bookwire announced a far-reaching technical innovation in the sphere of “big data” in the book industry: “Bookwire Predictive Pricing”. Based on analysis of publisher data, a self-learning recommendation mechanism was developed to automatically give publishers guidance on pricing and marketing. The new tool is based on around 25 million data sets that Bookwire has access to from distribution and marketing, over a period of eight years, for around 1,600 international publishing clients. The tool delivers sales forecasts that can be directly implemented to increase turnover.

• Bookwire supported innovation in a different segment as main sponsor - the first edition of the innovative guide to the European eBook business, the “European e-Book Barometer” (publisher: Rüdiger Wischenbart). eBook distributors from the leading European markets worked together in unprecedented cooperation for the barometer – Bookwire contributed data material from Germany and Spain.

Next level Digital Publishing 2019 – outlook:

“With the development of ‘Bookwire OS – One Solution’ for the company’s anniversary, this year brings what is probably the biggest innovation we have ever introduced. It is an operating system for the digital book industry that brings together all processes concerning distribution, marketing, analysis, automation and much more, for our publishing clients. We are already looking forward to the launch that we will roll out step by step. In addition, there are also other innovative analytics and marketing services – and we will further increase our international presence, particularly in the audiobook segment. We are launching ‘WAY’ internationally to help publishers to easily and successfully enter the growing audiobook market. Of course, we will continue to play an active leading role in the spheres of artificial intelligence, and how we can make the best use of it for our publishing clients”, finishes Klingelhöfer.

About Bookwire & “Bookwire OS – One Solution”

Bookwire GmbH was founded in Frankfurt in 2010 as a service provider for publisher distribution of eBooks and digital content. It has since become one of the leading international businesses in digital publishing technology. Bookwire currently employs 150 people in Germany, the UK, Spain, France, Brazil, Mexico and the USA, who take care of more than 2,500 publishers in the fields of eBooks, audiobooks, podcasts and Print-on-Demand. The pioneering software “Bookwire OS – One Solution”, launched in 2019, has delivered, analyzed and marketed around 800,000 eBooks and 200,000 audiobooks in all relevant distribution channels. In addition to the latest customer analytics and pricing technology, publishing clients of Bookwire GmbH also have access to individual support from account & marketing managers who look after the clients from end to end. In 2019, the audiobook production solution “We Audiobook You” (WAY) bagged the business the first “Digital Publishing Award” in the field of B2B solutions. Bookwire GmbH is managed by its founders Jens Klingelhöfer and John Ruhrmann, and has branches in Barcelona, London, Mexico City, São Paulo, New York and Paris, in addition to the company headquarters in Frankfurt am Main and the "Digital Hub" in Dortmund.