New sales strategies

The publisher introduces modern sales and advertising methods.

Concurrently with the entry into fiction, Sales Director Fritz Wixforth (1897-1976) begins to experiment with new sales and advertising methods. Bertelsmann draws attention to its fiction range with large, colorful posters and shop window displays. Later, “Neuigkeitspakete” (novelty packages) are added – boxed novels and giveaways. The boxed novels are especially interesting for traveling and mail-order booksellers, and bring books directly to the customer. This leads to contacts that will become very important for Bertelsmann in developing its Lesering book club from the 1950s. In 1933, the production volume of works of fiction exceeds that of theological works. Heinrich Mohn (1885-1955) invites authors to a competition to kick off the low-cost/inexpensive “Das Kleine Buch” (The Little Book) series of novellas. C. Bertelsmann Verlag regards its efforts to scout authors in this way as a cultural measure, “Please see this as a call to participate in the literary recovery of our people.” “Das Kleine Buch” is published until 1943. Its content focuses on homeland poetry, historical novels and “völkisch” national subjects.