There’s a reason to celebrate! This month, tredition celebrates its 10th anniversary. That’s reason enough to put some champagne on ice. Tredition has been holding its ground in the self-publishing business for years, thanks to the company’s innovative power. Among the other leading self-publishing service providers, tredition managed to remain an independent company that acts without a large media enterprise behind them. The idea for a unique and independent self-publishing service provider was born in 2006, thanks to the so called “Gammelbuchskandal” (German, roughly translates as “rotten book scandal”). In 2007, Sandra Latußeck and Sönke Schulz founded the business. Since then, the innovative success model followed a path of success and steady growth. This year, tredition also stepped on to the international stage and started offering its publishing services to English speaking clients in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. That’s reason enough to look back on a busy time – with many wonderful books and unusual challenges!
Join us on a trip back into the past. In this article, you will learn how it all started, and then it’s full steam ahead again!
2006: It all began with the “Gammelbuchskandal” (“Rotten book scandal”)
The publisher’s promising history began about ten years ago, in 2016. In Germany, it was the year of the so-called “Gammelbuchskandal”. It did not take long until Hubert Spiegel published an article that would be incredibly meaningful for tredition in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The article’s title was “Der Gammelbuchskandal” (the rotten book scandal). In that article, the FAZ presented a shocking list of the Worstsellers of 2006 – a list of the worst selling books. Many well known authors could be found on that list. Muriel Spark, Erich Maria Remarque, Anna Seghers, and Heinrich Mann are only some of the authors from renowned German publishing houses.
It took an amazing 191 years until the publisher managed to sell the first edition of Goethe’s “West Eastern Divan”, which was published in 1819. There are many other examples. The story of failures in the history of literature is long. It is known that many authors only became famous and popular after they deceased. Publishers, however, mainly want to see success – so the search for additional worstseller lists is in vain.
Many books on the German market are never published. The publishing cost of an expensive edition simply can’t be covered for those titles. Numbers are scarce. At a rough estimate, only every 200th manuscript that is sent to a publisher is published in Germany. The majority of manuscripts rots away in the drawers of editors and will never see the light of the (literary) world…. Sandra Latußeck and Sönke Schulz felt like an opportunity was knocking when they read that article. Maybe there was one or the other masterpiece among all the rejected manuscripts, and it simply wasn’t published because there seemed to be no chance of making a profit with it. Without the backing of a publishing house, authors simply don’t have any chance to be published. But what would happen if it was the readers who decided whether a book was a success or not – and if each book had its market? The idea for a completely new publishing structure was born. Authors, editors, and readers would work together: tredition was born.
Technological advances make it possible to implement this idea. The print-on-demand process sets the printing of a book into motion only when a reader orders a copy and thus reduces the risk of a costly first edition. It enabled authors to publish their own book without having to print a first edition with a large number of copies. It heralded the democratization of the publishing world. Publishing a book wasn’t a privilege for a small elite any longer. It was now something that was accessible for a larger group of authors. In 2007, the company tredition was founded. For ten years, tredition has been offering a wide range of services to enable you to publish your own book successfully. Continuous innovations help authors to use the best and fairest publishing opportunities available. By now, tredition published over 40,000 books as paperback, hardcover and e-book.
At the core from the start: Extensive distribution
Reading devices for electronic content have been around for a longer time. But it was only back then that they had their breakthrough into the mainstream. People often called it the end of the Gutenberg-era. Digitalization, however, offered multiple new opportunities for authors and readers alike. From the start, tredition focused on offering authors the possibility to publish their book in all formats (paperback, hardcover, and e-book) so that they could offer their readers the format they wanted to read. Extensive distribution of tredition books has been at the core of the company’s services right from the start. tredition specialized in making the books published through their service available worldwide via all trade structures. It was a gateway to the company’s success.
Creativity and assertiveness have been important pillars for the publisher’s history from the beginning. This is why tredition managed to come out on top as a small, independent competitor in the book trade, and consequently increases the number of its authors. tredition constantly widens its distributions channels and works hard on making its books available immediately in the German speaking book trade – and that is international. That is due to the good connection to the book trade that tredition has been building from the start. tredition distributes printed and electronic books via all trade channels worldwide (brick-and-mortar book trade, online stores). The company specializes on optimizing the management of editions, distribution, and accounting to maximize the profit for publishers, companies, and authors at their own risk.
White-Label solutions since 2009
tredition has been building a highly complex publishing solution with their own portal and a whole team of programmers at their back. The resulting know-how is also interesting for other companies. tredition passes that extensive knowledge on to other publishers, companies, and self-publishing service providers. Since 2009, tredition’s publishing concept has also been available as a so-called “White Label” solution to other companies. That way, tredition enables other publishers or institutions to publish books without risks in an uncomplicated manner, use book serials with their own brand, or offer their own self-publishing solutions. As the years pass, tredition wins a steadily growing number of white label partners like magazine publishers, educational institutes, and universities, or other companies from various trades. Some of the many tredition partners are the Bucerius Law School, Kamphausen Mediengruppe, the newspaper publisher Neue Westfälische or the press and book publisher Morawa, which is also the most important book whole-seller in Austria.
2011 – TREDITION CLASSICS, die größte Klassiker-Reihe der Welt, erblickt das Licht der Welt
These days, it becomes more and more difficult for publishers to publish classic texts in an economically worthwhile way. Yet, it is important to keep the classics of literature from disappearing and being forgotten. In cooperation with literature partners like Project Gutenberg, tredition established its own book series “TREDITION CLASSICS”, a series of classic texts. The aim of this series is to make thousands of classics from World literature available in printed form once more – and worldwide. While the complete works of authors like Goethe, Schiller, and Lessing are still easily available, it is not the case for authors like Jules Verne, to name just one example. It is tredition’s mission to use TREDITION CLASSICS to make such texts available again. Since 2011, tredition has been using its series TREDITION CLASSICS to publish books from over two millennia. The majority of them had either been out of print or only been available in second-hand bookshops.
TREDITION CLASSICS – the largest book series of the World – impresses because of its sheer magnitude. With over 30,000 texts in German, English, French, Spanish, Italian, and Dutch, tredition has reprinted the most comprehensive book series of classic literature. All books are available as high-quality paperbacks and hardcovers. The symbol and distinguishing feature of the book series is Johannes Gutenberg – the inventor of printing.
2012: Marketing for every book
tredition continuously works with its team of experienced publishing and marketing experts to improve its services for authors even further, so that books published via tredition stand out from the crowd and are found by many readers. 2012 is an important date for tredition. tredition extends its team and goes full steam ahead with all-encompassing author support and marketing. From press releases to Social Media marketing … Since the end of 2012, tredition actively markets each of the book published with them. Readers, book traders, and journalists should quickly learn about the new books. Good press relations play a vital part for a book’s success. This is why tredition’s marketing department creates an individual press releases for each published book in addition to other press activities. The press release aims at getting the attention of journalists which will then receive a free review copy and all information on the book.
tredition continuously extends their own marketing package – which makes the publisher unique. And this is what makes tredition stand out from the rest of the self-publishing service providers, and makes the company stand between self-publishing service providers and traditional publishers with an innovative and modern publishing concept. tredition’s concept combines the best of two worlds (self-publishing and traditional publishing). On one hand, the company offers a self-publisher’s innovation, freedom, and flexibility. On the other hand, tredition offers a traditional publisher’s quality. The latter is ensured through professional author support right from the first contact, the support during publishing, professional marketing, thorough checks of submitted works, complex publishing technology, and high-quality production of books in print as well as flawless conversion of manuscripts into e-books.
2014: The year of innovations
In 2014, tredition goes online with a completely new web presence. The well arranged and modern design increases user friendliness during the publishing process. tredition uses cutting-edge technological innovations to streamline and accelerate the publishing of books, and self-publishing becomes as easy as never before. Some of the highlights of the new web presence are the “three-books-with-one-click” technology, a versatile cover designer with customizable templates, a new, contemporary design, and the great flexibility. Authors can now also publish their books in special formats.
Unique “three-books-with-one-click” technology
It has never been so easy to publish a book. The new “three-books-with-one-click” technology is a technological innovation with no match worldwide. This technology makes it incredibly easy to publish a professionally designed book in three different formats with just one click. Authors can use the “three-books-with-one-click” technology to publish a paperback, hardcover, and e-book version of their book with just one simple process – without the need of having to start new book projects for each format. The innovative technology offers authors the chance to reach the largest readership possible because each reader can choose their favorite format. This means that authors will never miss a sale again because a reader wasn’t able to find his or her preferred format in the book shop or online.
New cover designer with unlimited design options
With the new web presence, tredition also introduces an innovative cover designer to its authors. Since that moment, authors have unlimited design and variation opportunities when it comes to creating covers for their books. There are expressive covers for each genre from fiction to nonfiction, offering a wide variety of thematic directions. Authors can effortlessly create appealing and professional cover designs with just a few clicks. There are no limits to authors’ creative freedom with this cover designer!
tredition’s automated book setting – No more headaches about the formatting of books
Authors no longer have to suffer because of the design of their own book’s inside formatting. With the new web presence, tredition also introduces another new technology – the automated book setting from word or ePUB. After writing the book, formatting your own manuscript often is another enormous task for authors. Thanks to the automated book setting, authors will not have to worry about getting the typesetting right. tredition’s innovative online converter automatically creates the appropriate book inside from a word or ePUB document according to the format you would like to use.
2015: Self-publishing as the book trade’s growth engine, and a shift from traditional publishers
Growth via self-publishing
In 2015, self-publishing isn’t a new trend any longer. It is becoming a larger and larger part of the book industry. Self-publishing can even be seen as something that slowly turns into the book markets new, central growth engine. While turnover trends in the book trade are regressing, the titles from self-publishing authors offer new impulses. Authors turn into real professionals, and marketing in particular is the hot topic. tredition’s marketing experts actively support authors with their own marketing. tredition’s blog is another helpful tool for authors as it provides advisory articles as well as marketing and book trade know-how.
But tredition’s services also steadily grow in other areas, and exceed classic self-publishing. Authors particularly appreciate that not only national and international distribution is included in our publishing package, but that marketing services and support about all aspects via phone and email is also part of the deal. This also means, for example, that we give recommendations on authors’ own marketing attempts, discuss layout questions, or give advice on planning and executing a reading.
Authors turn away from traditional publishers
In 2015, another trend is becoming obvious in the book industry. More and more authors say goodbye to traditional publishing and turn to self-publishing, including famous authors. One recent example is the German author Cornelia Funke. The case of bestselling author Stephanie Arndt with her story about a horse that lives inside a house, shows that publishers increasingly swarm around self-publishers and yet they still choose the self-publishing route instead of opting for a contract with a traditional publishing house. When asked about the reasons for this tendency, self-publishers often talk about the freedom, control, and larger commissions that come with self-publishing.
The German trade magazine “buchreport” also makes an allowance for the increasing importance of self-publishing, and dedicates a whole magazine to self-publishing authors Indiekatalog and the online portal Indiepublishing, in which tredition regularly introduces its bestseller lists and current authors).
2016: tredition as the number 1 of all German self-publishing service providers, tredition counts on Edelweiss+, and book traders open their doors for indie authors
tredition asserts itself in the area of print-on-demand
In the middle of the year, the champagne corks pop in tredition’s Hamburg office. The results of Germany’s “Great self-publishing study 2016”, presented by Matthias Matting’s Self-Publisher-Bible, are in. In 2015, tredition already received top marks. But in 2016, the publishing team can be truly overjoyed. Authors voted tredition the number 1 of all German self-publishing service providers. tredition’s extensive services asserted themselves after almost ten years. More and more authors put their trust in tredition when it comes to publishing a book, including many top-class authors who achieve sales figures with four or five digits. Compared to the year before, title growth was up by 50%.
The book trade opens its doors to self-publishers – tredition’s book trade marketing
In 2015, Amazon entered the brick-and-mortar book trade. Online trade and mobile shopping grow, even though retail book trade is still the most important distribution channel for books in Germany (with about 49.2% of all sales happening there). It is the right time for the book trade to re-position itself, and to see these developments as a chance to work against an unvarying sales trend. Book traders work on new concepts to increase the brick-and-mortar’s attractiveness to readers and buyers. This is why self-published titles become more important for the book trade. After all, they can set new growth impulses and generate additional profits. The book trade which initially was rather skeptical about self-published books is now opening up to the opportunities they offer and is increasingly hedging its bets on indie authors.
This book trade presence also becomes more important for authors. tredition supports this positive trend with increased book trade marketing. Since 2016, tredition supports its authors in their own book trade marketing by offering additional, free marketing services. They profit from book tables with full option of returning and free sample copies for book traders. With success! More and more authors get on book tables, in displays and window places in brick-and-mortar book shops. Some examples are tredition authors Birte Stährmann, die Finanzista, Janine Achilles & Katharina Mosel and Natalie Wintermantel.
tredition bets on EDELWEISS+
But that’s not all the innovations we offer to our authors when it comes to marketing and distribution. Since 2016, tredition increases its services in the area of book trade marketing and bets on the services of EDELWEISS+. The online catalog software was created to offer an up-to-date connection between publishers and book traders. tredition was the first self-publishing service provider to put all its books into EDELWEISS+’s online catalog – and also puts the spotlight on selected titles in special catalogs – an ideal book trade advertisement for your own book!
2017: tredition on the international floor – and with additional support
After ten very successful years, tredition stepped on the international floor with its team and two additional employees. In more recent times, English and American authors also have the opportunity to offer their English books on tredition’s English versions tredition.com and tredition.co.uk to reach suitable markets. tredition transfers its publishing concept to both markets and also offers its services to overseas companies with the technology publish-Books. The services authors enjoy with tredition, the freedom that comes with self-publishing, plus the quality of services and products usually only offered by traditional publishing houses, are – of course – also offered to tredition’s English speaking customers.
The year is still young, but of course tredition is already working on new innovations.
What will the next ten years bring?
We are excited and are looking forward to many interesting, new books and authors