Amazon has tried many ideas to sell Kindles, including bundled ads, installment plans, sales, and free trials, and now the retailer has moved on to bundles.
Earlier this week Amazon launched a new bundle offer on Amazon.de. Buy a new Kindle Paperwhite for 99 euros and Amazon will throw in 5 ebooks.
According to the website, the process is automatic. All a reader has to do is buy the Kindle, and then 1 to 2 days later they'll get an email with a gift code which will enable them to download the ebooks at no cost. This offer is only available on Amazon.de, and I have no info on whether Amazon plans to offer a similar bundle in the US at this time.
The 5 ebooks in the bundle are all in German and have a retail value of around 17.50 euros. Lesen.net reports that three are indie titles, and the other two are first installments of serial novels from Bastei Entertainment. They also noted that one of the 5 titles had recently been perma-free, while another had been selling for a couple euros less.
Amazon is by no means the first ebook retailer to bundle ebooks with a new ereader; B&N offered similar deals on several occasions in 2010 through 2012, and Sony also regularly offered a $50 credit to their Reader Store (along with a bundle of free public domain titles).
But Amazon is the most visible and the largest ebook retailer to do so, and that begs the question: why now?
Bundling ebooks in the early ebook era encouraged readers to invest in a platform, but in 2015 free and cheap ebooks are so readily available that I don't see much of a point to Amazon giving them away.
Edit: Felix pointed out in the comments that the European ebook market is relatively underdeveloped compared to the US ebook market; it is still the early ebook era there. That is a good point, but I'm not sure that applies to Germany (the third most developed ebook market in the world).