Legal and Social Context

The situation of Austrian authors is not fundamentally different from that of their colleagues in other German-speaking countries. Regulations concerning copyright, publishers and contracts are similar. Germany, to quote an example, has a “standard contract” for publishers, Austria provides a “model contract”, and the social and fiscal regulations are more or less identical. The work of authors is self-initiated in both countries. Publishers are the contractual partners of authors; the legal position of authors vis-à-vis publishers is a little better in German, while Austria provides more support options for authors and their work.

Generally speaking, the entire German-speaking area sees the emergence of greater mutual acknowledgement and networking in the publishing landscape when it comes to strategic choices for book awards and public perception. That said, many authors feel that the increasing opening of the market means they are more and more at the mercy of the book and media market. A symptomatic case in point is Marlene Streeruwitzʼs critical comment on the German Book Prize and the Frankfurt Book Fair in her 2014 novel Nachkommen.