“Pay to Play” in the German Book Trade?
Norrick-Rühl Corinna, Peter Christian, Schüler Lena
This paper considers the success of the thriller Der neunte Arm des Oktopus (transl.: The Ninth Arm of the Octopus, Cologne: Bastei Lübbe, November 2020) by German drugstore magnate Dirk Rossmann. Certain elements of brand-name authorship are applicable here, but the market power of Rossmann goes far beyond name recognition. Beyond the typical marketing for a ‘big book' in the sense of contemporary trade publishing, Rossmann flooded the campaign with his own funds. This contribution approaches an unlikely case study through a trilateral interdisciplinary perspective (book studies, economics, law), underlining the unequal footing on which books enter the market.