Imprint in the novel and on the internet: what authors have to consider

If you publish a novel as a self-publisher, your book needs an imprint. The imprint requirement also applies to your author page and social media presence. In this article we explain to you how your imprint should look like in print, eBook and Internet. Further we explain, how you publish with an imprint service under pseudonym.

If you publish a novel as a self-publisher, you need an imprint. In Germany there is an imprint obligation for print products and eBooks, this obligation varies in the necessary information depending on the federal state. In this article we explain to you what all belongs in an imprint and where this information must be in the book.


How is a correct imprint from?

The imprint obligation applies not only to books and eBooks. If you have an author page, your website must contain an imprint, otherwise you will receive an expensive warning. Your social media presence also requires certain information. Not every author wants to reveal his complete private address on the Internet, in this case there is the possibility to use a paid imprint service. This option is interesting for all authors who publish under a pseudonym.

Imprint obligation in Germany

In Germany, print products and online publications require an imprint. The imprint obligation applies to hardcover, paperbacks, eBooks, author pages and social media. The imprint should name a person responsible for the publication and allow for correspondence. In the Internet one speaks in this connection of a supplier identification. On your author page, the e-mail address and telephone number in particular serve to quickly contact you.

How the imprint in your book should look in detail depends on the state in which you live. If you publish in a publishing house, the seat of the book publisher plays a role. Decisive is the state law in the press law. In almost all federal states, the publisher and printer must be named. In the case of self-publishing, the author or publisher must be named. In the Internet the Telemediengesetz §5 is decisive.

How should the imprint of a novel look like

In this article we explain how you as a self-publisher can create a correct imprint. If you publish with a publisher, you don’t have to worry about this task. In addition to some mandatory parts, we also list some information that is optional, but practically standard in the imprint. In your book or eBook you must in any case give your full name, a pseudonym is not enough here. Furthermore, it is necessary to provide a summonable address, it must be an address at which you are "regularly to be found" and have access to your mail.

Furthermore, the print shop with complete address belongs in the imprint and information on the first publication or. about the imprint. Factual in each book you will find information about sales, editor, translator and the ISBN. Some publishers link to the author’s page and social media presence in the imprint, you can do this as a self-publisher too. Furthermore, there is a reference to the copyright protection of the work and a liability disclaimer. In this case, you can fall back on ready-made text modules; this also applies to the bibliographic information of the German National Library.

How do you arrange all the information, there are no fixed rules for this. Look at several examples. How do publishers do it, very quickly you’ll get the feel for a suitable layout this way. Where is the imprint in a book? Often all information is located on the left side before the table of contents and the novel text, as you will see from reviewing examples. Not all publishers proceed uniformly.

Imprint on author page and on social media presence

If you work on your Internet presence and take a closer look at the subject, you will quickly realize that a correct imprint on your author pages is one of the easier tasks to create. At the latest since the start of the DSVGO in May 2018, creating a legally compliant author page is difficult. How you design your website is a topic in itself. This is supposed to be about the question of a correct vendor identifier for your site.

Imprint Author Page

Creating a correct imprint for the author page.

All pages that do not serve purely private purposes are subject to the imprint obligation. As an author you want to promote your books and sell as many copies as possible. In this case you need in any case an imprint, what is easily recognizable, immediately available and constantly available. To provider identification include your full name (first names should not be abbreviated) and your address. For a quick contact, enter your phone number, e-mail address and, if necessary, your address. a fax number to. To create a legally compliant imprint for your author page, we recommend a free imprint generator from a lawyer.

For your social media presence, it is sufficient if you publish on a provider identifier, for example, on the author page. Facebook and Twitter give you the opportunity to list your imprint directly there. Use also there the legally safe data, which you provided with the generator.

What is an imprint service?

There is the possibility to use an imprint service. What is behind it? You give the address of a service provider in your book, so you do not have to give your private address, for example. You must grant the service the right to accept mail for you and forward it to you, which corresponds to a summonable address. An imprint service is especially interesting for authors who publish under a pseudonym.

There is a medium a large number of service providers in this field. Before you decide on a provider, check the service carefully. So there are reports of disappointed authors on the Internet again and again. For example, a writer has already published five books with a well-known imprint service, only to find out later that this service provider is not available and therefore does not accept mail. Check each provider carefully and read experience reports on the Internet before you decide on an imprint service.

Conclusion of the book insider: What to pay attention to with the imprint?

In Germany there is an imprint obligation for printed products and online publications. The imprint should name the person responsible for a publication and allow correspondence with this person, for this purpose a "summonable address" is required. How an imprint should look, regulates the press law of the federal state, for your author page and social media is the Telemedia Act § 5 decisive.

  • Imprint in the novel: What belongs in your book. The press laws of the federal states uniformly require the full name of the author or the publisher as well as information about the printing house. In addition, every imprint must contain at least information about sales, editing, ISBN, copyright and a disclaimer of liability. All this information is often found on the left side before the table of contents.
  • Imprint on the author’s page: On the Internet, this is also referred to as the provider ID. As long as your site is not exclusively for private purposes, you must give your name with full address, telephone number and e-mail address. A free imprint generator is recommended to create a legally compliant provider identification.
  • Imprint for social media: If you present yourself in the social media as an author, a provider identification is also necessary. In this case you can simply link to your author page. Facebook and Twitter offer the possibility to enter the imprint directly at the medium.

If you want to publish under a pseudonym or simply don’t want to give your private address, you can use a paid imprint service for your novel. The service provider accepts mail for you (address to which you can be contacted) and forwards the letters to you.

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