Skip to main content

Tolino Shine eReader Has Great Success in First 100 Days

tolino_shine_wb-shopGermany’s answer to the Kindle is reportedly having a lot of success in its first 100 days. Weltbild and Hugendubel, 2 of the retailers that make up the Tolino consortium, put out a press release this morning touting just how great the past 100 days have been.

They’re pleased to tell you that the Tolino Shine, the new generic 6″ ereader that launched with the Tolino platform 100 days ago, has seen sales in the "high five figure range". The press release doesn’t get into specifics on the sales figures, but it does note that sales exceeded expectations.

The Tolino ebook catalog has also grown in the past 100 days, and it now stocks over 500 thousand titles (up from 300,000 German language titles at launch). As impressive as that might sound, that is a paltry number compared to the 2 million titles that Amazon is showing in the Kindle Store on And no details were released on how many ebooks were sold or downloaded from Tolino, making me wonder if ebook sales didn’t meet expectations.

Tolino is a cooperative ebookstore platform supported by 4 German retailers (Thalia, WeltBild, Hugendubel, and Bertelsmann) and Deutche Telekom. The 5 partners sell the Shine ereader in 1,500 retail locations across Germany as well as on their websites, and they also maintain 5 ebookstores with nearly identical content and (thanks to German book pricing laws) nearly identical prices.

That’s a rather thin press release, isn’t it? It makes me wonder  if Tolino is really all that successful in absolute terms. We know that the German ebook market was miniscule in 2012 (2.4% of the book market), and we also know that selection is still limited. Just over half of the current releases are available as ebooks, and only around 29% of publishers' backlist.  With that in mind there might not be any great news to share for some time.

Similar Articles


Susanne Weigand June 17, 2013 um 8:54 am

There is no Tolino-ebookstore. When you buy your Tolino from Weltbild it is connected to the Weltbild-ebookstore. When you get it from Thalia, it is connected to the Thalia ebookstore. And so on.

Nate Hoffelder June 17, 2013 um 9:02 am

But they’re all based on the same platform and draw from the same catalog, right? One could argue that they’re the same ebookstore with different brands slapped on top.

In any case, I changed the word from ebookstore to catalog. That word works just as well.

Susanne Weigand June 17, 2013 um 9:15 am

No, they are not based on the same platform and they don’t have the same catalogue. Those are booksellers who are competing. And that’s what they said in the first press conference: They will go on to compete. They offer one reading device, but several platforms.


Nate Hoffelder June 18, 2013 um 7:16 am

I think you are probably wrong on this point. Carel Half described Tolino as a "unified web platform":

fjtorres June 17, 2013 um 10:11 am

For some reason, I was reminded of this:
Sept ’09:

After a few months in the market, worldwide sales of the Cool-er (which costs £189 in the UK) have surpassed seven figures, he says.

"I came into this market thinking we would be a comfortable number three in the US, and a comfortable number two in the UK," Jones says. "Now I’m pretty confident we’ll be number two in America by this time next year in terms of sales, and number one in the UK."

July ’10:

"A Reading-based startup company that claimed to have sold tens of thousands of e-readers in its first three months of trading last summer, reputedly catapulting the business to the number two spot behind Sony, has quietly gone bust."

"high 5 figures" in 100 days means 500-1000 a day.
Those are typical of a hobbyist/enthusiast market (ala US pre-kindle).

Let’s see… 2% of 80M is 1.6Million people reading ebooks.
So Tolino has grabbed something like 5% of the market.
It’s a start.
Let’s see where they stand next summer.

Iaminvincible June 18, 2013 um 4:15 am

It sounds to me that the Shine is an interesting change. Instead of being linked to one proprietary book-store, it is allowing multiple book-vendors to link the shine to their on-line stores. That seems pretty new to me. Plus it’s Germany, and the market is only just starting up there.

One thing that concerns me is the quality of the hardware. If it is flaky, it might never recover and the market will be lost.

I’m interested in this device because it is Android. As Nook goes under, the only e-ink e-readers are the shine and the Onyx.

Publishers’ Ace against Amazon – Remove DRM & Make their own eReaders | Kindle Review – Kindle Phone Review, Kindle Fire HD Review June 18, 2013 um 8:31 pm

[…] Digital Reader discusses the success of the Tolino eReader in Germany. It’s an eReader made by a group of book retailers, which can access books from any of the […]

Buon successo del Tolino Shine nei suoi primi 100 giorni di vitaKindle Italia June 19, 2013 um 6:20 am

[…] Fonte […]

Jose Sarmento June 18, 2014 um 3:16 pm

I own a Kindle and I know that despite its many advantages it is definitely not the e-reader I want. I don’t want the seller to be able to erase the contents I have bought and paid for from the cloud or even from my device, and I strong dislike being a captive customer of Amazon. So, if Tolino allows me to buy what I want, from whatever store I choose, in any language I can read, and become the effective owner of what I purchase, I will be definitely interested.

Go Global in 2014: How to Get Your Books into the Global Marketplace – Anne R. Allen's Blog… with Ruth Harris December 4, 2015 um 9:42 pm

[…] Three months later Nate wrote a post headed, “Tolino Shine eReader Has Great Success in First 100 Days.” […]

Tolino makes German digital book market shine – Liquid State December 22, 2015 um 8:56 pm

[…] Weltbild and Hugendubel didn’t provide specific numbers, however, they did reveal that since its launch the Tolino has generated sales in the high five-figure range. […]

Write a Comment