Amazon is Now Bundling eBooks With Kindles in Germany

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.

Amazon is Now Bundling eBooks With Kindles in Germany Amazon Bundles Kindle

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).

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: He's here to chew bubble gum and fix broken websites, and he is all out of bubble gum. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills at the drop of a hat. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

7 Comments

  1. fjtorres4 February, 2015

    You said it yourself: early ebook era.

    Ebooks aren’t mainstream in continental europe so maybe Amazon decided to try tactics from the earlier days when ebooks weren’t so commonly used.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder4 February, 2015

      Damn. I didn’t think of that, but you’re right (I blame my sinus infection and head cold for the distraction).

      Reply
  2. […] Amazon Pushes Kindles in Germany (Ink, Bits & Pixels) In a limited offer launched this week in Germany, Amazon bundles five free ebooks with its Kindle Paperwhite for 99 euros. The ebook market remains small in Europe despite a flurry of efforts over the past year to spur growth, by Amazon and its competitors alike. […]

    Reply
  3. David5 February, 2015

    Could the reason be that Amazon is not the dominant eBook retailer in Germany?

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder5 February, 2015

      That could be it, but Amazon is in that position in many markets and this is the first time they’ve tried bundles. Why not just try a regular sale?

      Reply
    2. fjtorres5 February, 2015

      In small undeveloped markets it doesn’t take much of a swing to move rankings.

      Back in early 2010 right after Nook launched, B&N was actually moving more readers than Kindle, according to reports quoted at Teleread (for one). Once the B&N loyalists’ pent-up demand was met, the relative merits of the players competitive positions came into play. That’s were the Nook STR overstock debacle originated: B&N extrapolated their early success with loyal B&M customers into the general population and the general population behaved differently once ebook penetration zoomed past 10% in late 2010.

      Not sure that 10% mark means anything, but that was the time period when the market took on its current form in the US and the eBook market solidified.

      Reply
  4. Mary5 February, 2015

    The early Kobo e-ink reader contained 100 public domain books. Unfortunately, any you did not wish to keep had to be removed one at a time with some difficulty. From the description of the offering in Germany, however, I think the Kobo had a better deal.

    Reply

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