German Publishing Award; Application

As an independent publisher with an exceptional publishing profile, you can apply for the German Publishing Award.


The purpose of honoring book publishers with the German Publishing Award is to promote the preservation of book culture in Germany.

As an independent publisher, you can be awarded the German Publishing Prize if you distinguish yourself by:

  • a special publishing profile,
  • cultural commitment,
  • convincing innovative and digital projects,
  • professionalism and quality of publishing work,
  • professional distribution,
  • meticulous editing and proofreading,
  • promotion of young talent,
  • appealing book design,
  • communication and public relations work with a wide reach and appropriate to the target audience, or socially relevant initiatives and corresponding commitment.

If you receive an award, you can also receive a premium of up to 60,000 EUR in addition to the seal of approval. The amount of the award depends on the jury's assessment of your performance and your average turnover over the last 3 years:

  • Average annual turnover of less than 3 million EUR:
  • Seal of approval and premium of 60,000 EUR for 3 particularly outstanding publishers (top prize).
  • Seal of approval and premium of 24,000 EUR for another 60 outstanding publishers
  • Average annual sales of 3 million EUR or more:
  • Seal of approval without premium for up to 3 outstanding publishers.

You submit your application to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).

You are not entitled to an award.


You can apply if your publishing company:

  • is independent
  • has its headquarters or a branch office in Germany
  • has been in existence for at least 3 years and
  • has published at least 4 books per year by different authors in the last 3 years (exceptions possible),
  • is not in insolvency proceedings,
  • has not been awarded a top prize of the German Publishing Prize (premium of 60,000 EUR) in the last year
  • has not been awarded a German Publishing Prize in the last 2 consecutive years, and
  • has distinguished itself through outstanding achievements

You cannot apply as:

  • pure pay publisher or cost-free publisher,
  • Publishing branch or imprint of a corporate group that generates more than 3 million EUR in total sales per year.
  • Publishing house in direct economic dependence on other institutions such as
    • museums,
    • universities,
    • literary houses,
    • political parties,
    • religious institutions, professional organizations or associations.
  • Publishing house whose publishing program consists exclusively of periodicals such as newspapers or magazines or of
    • encyclopedias,
    • register productions such as address books or form books,
    • music books,
    • maps or other cartographic material,
    • school textbooks, learning and teaching media.


You must apply to enter the German Publishing Award online at the German Publishing Award website.

  • Go to the German Publishing Award website, fill out your application form online, and submit it.
  • You will receive electronic confirmation by e-mail that your application has been received. The e-mail will also contain your application number and a PDF with your details.
  • You print the PDF and sign it.
  • Also print out all other requested documents. You will find these documents for download under the navigation link Application documents on the website of the German Publishing Award.
  • Sign all documents and send them by mail to the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media (BKM).
  • The requirement to print out and sign the documents does not apply if you have logged into the online application portal via "Elster - My Company Account".
  • You can also submit additional documents to supplement your application. Please upload these on the application portal if possible. You will need to log in with your user name and password to do so.
  • You can also submit book copies by mail for review.
  • You will be notified by BKM via email if you are selected for the award.
  • If you also receive an award, payment will be made to your business account following the award ceremony.

If you use the money, you should take care to use it only for expenses in the sense of your declaration of commitment and to pay taxes on it on your own responsibility.

You are not entitled to have the application materials you submit returned to you. If you have voluntarily submitted book copies for review, they will be donated to a non-profit organization at the conclusion of the application process.

You can object to the donation by e-mail within four weeks of the end of the online application period.

Note: You can also log into your user account at any time after submitting your application.

For example, you can view the data from your last application if you wish to apply again next year.

Special notes

There are no hints and specifics.


The publishing prize is awarded annually. The prerequisite for this is that the corresponding budget funds are available. The current application deadlines can be found on the German Publishing Award website under Deadlines.

Processing time

4 to 5 months

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    • unterschriebenes Formular der Selbstverpflichtungserklärung mit der Sie zusichern, dass Sie die erhaltene Prämie ausschließlich für die Ziele dieses Preises verwenden
    • schriftliche Bestätigung, dass Sie das Merkblatt zum Subventionsbetrug zur Kenntnis genommen haben
    • unterschriebenes Formular der Datenschutzerklärung
    • unterschriebenes Formular der Erklärung zur wirtschaftlichen Leistungsfähigkeit

Online procedures


  • There are no costs involved.


The legal process is excluded.


Responsible for editing:Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien

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