The traditional business model of academic publishers is in peril. Besides the consequences of digitization, publishers have to cope with new habits of media reception, a multitude of new substitutes, legal uncertainties, and the threat from open access. German publishers are reacting in very different ways to the challenges of the market for scholarly literature. While some smaller independent publishers are still concentrating on print titles and barely offer any electronic products, others rely on a modern digital strategy, intensive internationalization, and a large portfolio of e-products including open access formats. Focusing on the humanities, this essay analyses the current situation of German academic publishers and asks how they can succeed in the future when proven business models are no longer accepted by new market players.