Thalia is Selling eBooks in Store

The German bookseller Thalia has achieved the booby prize of bookselling: it is now selling ebooks in its brick-and-mortar stores.

A reader can select an ebook and buy it in the shop without having to register in the bookstore. After paying the total at the register, the customer receives a download code which they can enter into their Thalia account online.

After entering the code, the ebook can be read on the Tolino eRraders, on the PC or via the free Tolino app for Android and iOS. The Thalia bookshops offer free wifi for download in store, or customers can have their purchase delivered directly to their existing Thalia account so that the ebook is available for direct download from the Tolino cloud.

In a way this sounds a lot like the ebook gift cards that Amazon briefly tested in Seattle, or the gift card service Enthrill recently shuttered before selling the tech to Firebrand.

But the key difference is that Thalia is selling ebooks without gift cards.

This is an elegant solution, but to what problem?

B&N, Amazon, or any of the Tofino partners could have offered this service years ago, and no one - because customers don't want this any more than ebook gift cards.

After all, why would you get the ebook gift card when you can just use the free Wifi to buy the ebook online? Less muss, less fuss, and best of all you can use your favorite platform.


About Nate Hoffelder (10619 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

2 Comments on Thalia is Selling eBooks in Store

  1. You write, there’s no need to register, but in the next sentence you write, the customer needs a Thalia account.

  2. I actually get this. It’s for people who like to browse paper stacks but prefer to buy ebooks. You have the paper book in hand – you want to buy it, but in ebook format. Here’s a code that gets it for you. You don’t need to go back to their ebook portal and look up the book and do a transaction there, you can finish the transaction while you are considering it, there in the bookstore. Amazon should do this.

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