I’d expect this to test three things:
- As Kobo and Amazon compete in Germany and push greater awareness of their deices, will the greater availability of devices that will create drive ebook uptake
- Fixed pricing means that self published books will have a huge pricing advantage if the authors chose to use it. Will self published ebooks begin to gain more purchase in Germany because of that?
- Now that you can reach German consumers on multiple platforms digitally, will there be more translation of foreign language texts into German for digital sale?
There’s more of course, but those are the ones that interest me.
Kobo—and presumably Amazon—chose to expand to Germany first because the German book market is the second-largest in the world, after the U.S. E-books are still gaining traction there and in the rest of Europe, and “it’s a market where local experience matters,” Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis told us. “Creating a locally merchandised offering with local recommendations was key.” He said Kobo employees have been working with German publishers to add titles to the store for over six months. The company is also in discussions with German retailers and booksellers and will soon announce local partners. Book prices in Germany are fixed, with all e-book prices set by publishers.
Kobo is simultaneously launching German-language iOS and Android apps, and will launch its German-language E-Reader Touch in August, for €149. $208.23/£131.51 An international version of the Kindle, which costs €139, $194.25/£122.69 is available in Germany and other countries, but it has English-language menus and an English keyboard.