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Infographic: The Dutch eBook Market, by the Numbers

11715055995_328291b95c_c[1]I recently reported that ebooks made up an estimated 6% of the Dutch book market, but what does that really mean?

A new infographic from CB Logistics (formerly Centraal Boekhuis) tells us that Dutch-language ebook sales continue to rise, and have just hit 5 million copies sold (cumulatively since 2010). 

CB Logistics is the main distributor for Dutch-language books in the Netherlands and Belgium, and count Kobo,, and Google Play Books among their customers. According to their records ebooks accounted for 4.7% of book sales over the past 12 months. eBooks also accounted for 26% of the books sold online, suggesting that somewhere around 83% (ish) of the book sales tracked by CB Logistics happen offline. That’s a far smaller number than in the US market.

Do you know what else differs from the US market? DRM. Virtually all of the ebooks distributed by CB Logistics come with minimal DRM. Only 2% of the 33,244 titles in the catalog are encumbered by Adobe DE DRM, while 96% use digital watermarks and 2% use no DRM of any kind.

So where is Amazon in all this? Well, they have been rumored to be sniffing around this market for some time now – years, in fact – but all we know for sure at the moment is that they are looking to hire a translator to localize the Kindle apps for Dutch.



image  by archer10 (Dennis)


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Ebook Bargains UK August 23, 2014 um 4:29 am

Nook and 'txtr are both in the Netherlands too, and while they don’t amount to much they are probably doing better than Amazon, which demands Dutch readers pay a surcharge to download titles from the US store.

We don’t know of (but would love to hear from) any indies doing well selling English-language titles in the Netherlands. English is very much the second language here and no question English print books are very popular, and anecdotal evidence suggest trad pubbed EL ebooks are well received within the confines of the few people currently reading digitally.

Bol, the biggest retailer by far, has its own self-pub portal for Dutch indies, but as best we can determine only one aggregator – Ebook Partnership – is getting indie titles into Bol from outside the country, and that possibly third party through a wholesaler.

As per all the later Kindle satellite sites (post UK and Germany), there seems very little chance of Amazon having any real impact while it continues its current policy of penalising overseas readers with surcharges until an actual Kindle store opens, handing prospective market share to rival operators.

And as ever all Kindle sites seem predicated on the prospective print market and wider e-commerce possibilities a particular country represents, not ebooks per se, which is why Amazon is at a standstill internationally while ebook-centric stores like Google Play continue to position their armies, claiming both the retail and moral high ground.

Amazon’s finances are hurting far too much to expect any realistic Kindle expansion beyond those already part-invested (of which Russia and the Netherlands seem the only likely candidates for fruition), and the new cowboy running Kindle affairs, Grandinetti, is far too wrapped up with solving Bezos’s sinkhole problem at home, (which lies at the heart of the Hachette dispute – reducing print shipping costs, especially those heavy hardbacks which fly out when big names release new books and inconsiderate Prime members take advantage of "free" shipping) to be bothered with Johnny Foreigner and new Kindle stores.

Marcel Warmerdam August 25, 2014 um 7:11 am

Best way to get English-language titles in The Netherlands is buying them from Amazon UK despite the shipment cost. There is however also the option to buy the same book at a lower price without shipping cost. The Bookdepositoty, owned by Amazon (!), is for some titles cheaper than Amazon and doesn’t charge for shipping to The Netherlands. Downside: you may have to wait up to three weeks before getting the book. It also pays to check more Amazon sites (.com,, de, fr, it) if you want the most book for your buck/euro. You’ll be surprised at the price differential between Amazon sites for the same titles.

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