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.
via Kobo Launches Germany’s Largest E-Bookstore, Beating Out Amazon | paidContent.
Well worth reading, certainly gets the head thinking and the blood up, it sounds very exciting:
If the United States is an ocean, its creative, media and technology industries split over the vastness of North America, London is a pond, in a non-pejorative sense. Ponds are ferociously competitive and fecund areas. New York of course has Silicon Alley, and at one remove perhaps I am totally missing the buzz of what is really happening in Brooklyn lofts, and perhaps too I am overlooking much of the undoubtedly brilliant work taking place on the Continent and elsewhere. Equally I’m not doing down the rest of the UK – Britain is a closely knit place, and London sits at the centre of a web that spans the whole country. There is a huge amount of traffic between London, Edinburgh, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Manchester and other centres of books and technology, but the tight cluster of London sits at the heart of it all. Clusters, after all, are by definition geographically limited. Nor is it to be complacent; complacency isn’t an option in such an environment.
via The London cluster | FutureBook.
Kevin power reviewed A Little Circle Of Kindred Minds: Joyce In Paris by Conor Fennell in The Sunday Business Post this weekend. It was a smashing review (which, as the publisher, I heartily agree with), here’s a flavour and a link:
Conor Fennell’s excellent new book is bursting with similarly memorable anecdotes.
A Little Circle of Kindred Minds (the title is from Joyce’s story A Little Cloud) is thoroughly researched, cleanly written and full of sharp-eyed critical insights.
But you could just as easily enjoy it as a compendium of literary gossip, a guidebook to artistic Paris or even as a potted history of how various Irish artists responded to the policies of the nascent Irish Free State.
via Rejoycing in the literary luminaries of Paris | The Post.
Another incredibly sensible acquisition by Bloomsbury and yet another that pulls them further away from the territory of a strict trade publisher. Good for them:
Bloomsbury’s strategy has been to increase its proportion of academic and professional revenues compared to trade revenues through retail channels. The current strength of the Groups academic sales compared to consumer sales vindicates this strategy. Academic revenues are more predictable and have lower related costs of sale with resulting higher margins, and are much less reliant on retail bookshop sales. Around 60% of Continuums sales are outside the UK, thereby increasing Bloomsburys exposure to the global book market. Through this acquisition, for the first time, Bloomsbury will have an academic editorial and marketing team in the US. Bloomsbury has an excellent track record in exploiting digital opportunities; this acquisition will enable us to develop Continuums 7,000 strong backlist through conversion to e-book formats and the creation of new subscription based academic services.
via booktrade.info – Book Trade Announcements – Bloomsbury Acquires Continuum.
Really excellent piece on Today about books, publishing, prices and piracy. Some great voices and opinions there:
Despite £3bn being spent on books in the UK last year, a dark digital cloud of uncertainty still hangs over the world of publishing.
In the second of his reports into the impact of technology on the world of books, arts editor Will Gompertz looks at what the digital revolution means for the publishing business.
via BBC News – Today – The ‘worrying’ battle for books.