Everything for good books:

HOTLIST: The best books from independent publishing houses


The hotlist has become one of the most important instruments to show what independent publishers contribute to the richness, quality and success of German-language literary culture.


It is:


* diverse - publishers submit their best books, the top titles of the year, from novels and poetry to narrative non-fiction.


* transparent - every title submitted is visible on the hotlist website.


* reputable - a prominent international jury selects seven titles of the hotlist and chooses the final prize-winner.


* democratic - a public internet vote adds three titles to the list.


The list of the best!


All German-language independent publishing houses are invited to submit one book regarded as one of the best of their current catalogue, setting an example for best of independent publishing in the German-speaking region and guaranteeing quality and diversity in our bookshops.

The hotlist board of trustees draws up a longlist, consisting of books that represent the creative work of independent publishing houses.


Time to vote


After that, everybody can select their favourite for the hotlist on this website. The three publishing houses with the most votes get their titles onto the list of the ten best books of the year. The other seven titles are selected by the jury. Together, these ten books will represent the contribution of independent publishing houses from Austria, Switzerland and Germany to the year's literary culture.


Honouring independent publishing


The award, which comes with 5000 prize money, is presented to one of the ten hotlist publishing houses to honour its publishing achievements.

The awards ceremony and the independent's party takes place during the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.


"The hotlist is an invitation to make discoveries." Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


A short history of the hotlist:


Initiated by Blumenbar Verlag, twenty publishers from Austria, Germany and Switzerland spontaneously invented the hotlist in 2009. This "Dadaistic gesture" and "cocky chutzpah" was appreciated not only by the radio and TV critic Denis Scheck who presented the first awards ceremony. More and more supporters backed the idea of a list of the best books from independent publishing houses. Thousands of people participated in the internet votes. And in 2021, as many as 179 publishing houses applied for a place on the list and the prize for the hottest book of the year.


The board of trustees


The hotlist's board of trustees was created as an independent panel of experts to guarantee the quality of the hotlist and demonstrate that the hotlist is not designed as a marketing campaign by publishing houses, but a reputable promotion of quality and diversity in the literary world.


Diversity needs fellow campaigners!

The fundraising group


Our campaign survives on the commitment of many people who advocate the idea without asking for anything back, be it in the board of trustees, on the jury, as a sponsor or in some other way. However, the hotlist fundraising group was founded to gain financial security and to make the hotlist an institution that can work efficiently for diversity and quality in the book trade.