News

Amazon launches German Kindle store with fixed prices

More than three years after it was introduced in North America and eight months after the UK become the first country outside of the US to get a dedicated Kindle store, Germany has followed suit. The German Kindle store was launched on Amazon.de today (21st April), boasting the largest selection of any e-bookstore in the German-speaking countries.

But while the shop gives access to 650,000 international e-books, as of now only approximately 25,000 are German-language titles, including thousands of classics that are downloadable for free only on Kindle. In accordance with Germany’s fixed book prices Amazon charges Kindle e-books at prices set by the publishers. Lübbe for example has priced Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol ("Das verlorene Symbol") at €8,49, only 15% below its paperback edition. The top selling title on launch was British author Simon Beckett's The Calling of the Grave ("Verwesung") priced at €19.99.

With the Kindle store the latest generation of the Kindle device and Kindle 3G are now also available for the first time directly from Amazon.de "in response to customer demand". But critics have already highlighted the fact that the e-readers are only available with an English keyboard and English-language menus. A German Kindle version is reportedly in the making, but no date has been set yet for its launch. Both Kindle devices are available with free two-day shipping from Amazon.de. Kindle is competitively priced at €139 (£123) while Kindle 3G costs €189 (£167).

Amazon has also made its free "Buy Once, Read Everywhere" Kindle apps available for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac and Android-based devices in a German translation. Top German and international newspapers and magazines are also available for single purchase or subscription as are the services of Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.

Speculation that the launch of a dedicated German Kindle store was imminent gathered momentum earlier this year, when Random House and other major German publishers started to add their titles to the international store.

Comments: Scroll down for the latest comments and to have your say

By posting on this website you agree to the Bookseller comments policy. Comments go direct to live please be relevant, brief and definitely not abusive. Report any "unsuitable comments by clicking the links"

Wow, a fixed priced Kindle.

This, I am sure, will be sweeping around the world very soon. This is a really nice thing to offer.

Books can be really expensive and now is also the perfect time.

 
 
 
 
Scommettendo in questo casino online è stato reso semplice dall'amichevole staff del casinò e dalle istruzioni su come scommettere semplici da seguire per ogni gioco del casinò.

I had no idea that there were still "free" countries using this ridiculous fixed price model for books. No competition invariably leads to disaster and ultimately cheats the consumer. I'm surprised that the German people haven't rebelled against this nonsense.

Then again, perhaps they have, it would appear that German-language books outnumber most others in the darker venues and alleys of the 'Net where pirated goods are to be had. Interesting that a 20-euro book in the hands of 100,000 readers has only generated 20,000 Euro gross sales! It seems that the average retail price of that fixed-price book is now 0.20 Euro when all the back-alley copies are factored into gross sales.

Seriously, this is an utter joke. This model will do much more harm than good.

Wow, a fixed priced Kindle.

This, I am sure, will be sweeping around the world very soon. This is a really nice thing to offer.

Books can be really expensive and now is also the perfect time.

 
 
 
 
Scommettendo in questo casino online è stato reso semplice dall'amichevole staff del casinò e dalle istruzioni su come scommettere semplici da seguire per ogni gioco del casinò.

I had no idea that there were still "free" countries using this ridiculous fixed price model for books. No competition invariably leads to disaster and ultimately cheats the consumer. I'm surprised that the German people haven't rebelled against this nonsense.

Then again, perhaps they have, it would appear that German-language books outnumber most others in the darker venues and alleys of the 'Net where pirated goods are to be had. Interesting that a 20-euro book in the hands of 100,000 readers has only generated 20,000 Euro gross sales! It seems that the average retail price of that fixed-price book is now 0.20 Euro when all the back-alley copies are factored into gross sales.

Seriously, this is an utter joke. This model will do much more harm than good.