Following months-long talks with Swedish firms, news is breaking today that Amazon has signed a deal with Bokrondellen, a Swedish publishing services company.
Given that Bokrondellen runs the central book database for the Swedish bookselling industry, this deal paves the way for Amazon to enter the Swedish book and ebook market. This company is owned by a consortium of publishers, and it is the primary source of information on what book titles are in print and being published in Sweden.
Christer Perslöv, CEO of Bokrondellen, confirmed the news. "Now Amazon can sell Swedish books on all their sites. If they want to make it in the USA, Germany, England - or if they want to start a Swedish site - it's up to them. Obviously they haven't shared their plans with us."
There's not even any rumors about a time frame for Amazon to enter the Swedish ebook market, but when they do they will not be alone.
At the moment there are 3 international ebookstores in Sweden, iBooks, Nook, and Google Play Books. Apple launched there in September 2011, and Google expanded into the country in July 2013. Barnes & Noble also established a presence in that market when the Nook Store went international in November 2013.
I have known that Amazon has been interested in the Swedish market since at least September 2013, when I discovered that Amazon had added support for Swedish to KDP. With a population under 10 million, Sweden might not be the largest book market in Europe but it is also one of the markets with the highest concentration of consumers buying books online.
There's no information yet on when Amazon will launch a local operation in Sweden, but we do know that they won't be running the usual local retail site. Amazon has so far been unable to procure the Amazon.se website address. That is reportedly owned by a Swedish marketing firm which has declined to sell the domain to Amazon.
Amazon faced similar issues in Brazil and was able to negotiate a deal for the Amazon.com.br domain. The terms of that deal have not been disclosed.
image by roger4336