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Amazon to open German ebookstore next year?

Well, yeah. You could pretty much assume that Amazon were going to open ebookstores on all their country specific sites (UK, France, Germany); the only question was when.

The Bookseller are reporting on a story that hit the German blogs yesterday. Again, it’s not much of a story.

Germany could become the next market outside of the United States and United Kingdom to have a dedicated Kindle store.

Buchmarkt reports that publishers at the recent Homer 3.0 conference in Berlin said they were in discussions with Amazon representatives about a 2011 launch of a Kindle store.

Personally, I think it’s a bad idea. I’d much rather have one global ebookstore.

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Darek- November 9, 2010 um 1:01 pm

I think that probably country-restricted copyrights in Europe make harder to create global ebookstore from European content and it is much easier to start from local one.

Nate the great November 9, 2010 um 1:27 pm

I would think that they’d divide it based on languages, not borders. Is there really enough of a demand for German language books to make it worth reprinting them elsewhere (or selling the rights to do so)?

Darek- November 11, 2010 um 4:06 am

Languages, yes – but borders unfortunately are important too. In example 70% vs. 35% royalty are borders based.
Maybe German Kindle Store means 70% royalties from sales to customers from Germany and Austria too but for restricted set of books?

Alexander Inglis November 9, 2010 um 1:53 pm

I imagine if you were a German speaking German (or European), you might appreciate an in-language Kindle store. I can’t see how this is a bad idea. Amazon wants to be a global store and beat the competition who — like Barnes and Noble — think the world ends at Rhode Island. The more they focus on under-served markets, leveraging their brand and infrastructure, the better for amazon shareholders … and especially for Amazon customers.

fjtorres November 9, 2010 um 5:41 pm

To a large extent it’s really not up to Amazon but to the rights holders (regional pubishers) and governments.

Sure, the rational approach to a global ebook market is language-specific stores accessible from a common front end so anybody anywhere could buy books in french, german, spanish, swahili or whatever.

But the fragmented markets created by the existing 19th century business model favors the first movers and the big (ahem: Amazon). Changing the rules this early in the game would reduce the operating costs (a bit) and lower barriers to entry (a lot) so Amazon is happy to go along with the existing nationalistic rules instead of fighting to pave a road that might help their competitors. Time enough to fight that battle later; their game now is to establish early footholds in as many of the major markets as possible.

Barnes and Noble (and Sony and other would-be bigtime players) do understand they need to play worldwide as soon as possible if they intend to be more than footnotes, on a longterm basis, but it takes time to launch these bookstores; witness how long it took Amazon to set up shop in Canada and the UK.

Until the rules change, Amazon (and to a lesser degree Kobo) will continue to have an edge on most of its opposition simply because they got started earlier.

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