Amazon launched a Kindle Store in the Netherlands this morning, as anticipated by The Digital Reader yesterday.
Kindle devices are now on sale for prices ranging between €59 for the basic model, up to €189 for the Voyage, and the store has opened with over 3m titles. However, only 20,911 of these titles are in Dutch and only 1,221 of these e-books are by Dutch authors.
That may change now that KDP has launched a local portal for Dutch writers and small presses. The opening of the Dutch Kindle Store also means the abolition of the regressive and unpopular Whispernet Surcharge in the Netherlands which added $2 onto the price of many e-books.
For those already publishing via KDP, your book is on sale in the Dutch Kindle Store without any further action needed at your end. You will earn 70% on sales between €2.60 (~$3.24) and €9.70 (~$12.08) – matching the terms of the other Euro-based Kindle Stores, and reversing an unwelcome trend where 70% royalties were only available if that title was enrolled in KDP Select (as is the case for Kindle Stores in Brazil, Japan, Mexico and India).
Amazon is a little late to the party in the Netherlands. Competitors like Kobo, Apple & Google already have some presence, and there is a strong local competitor which is estimated to have 60% of the nascent e-book market (Bol.com, which partnered with Kobo as recently as September).
But Amazon has a track record of dramatically changing the digital markets it enters. For example, Amazon grabbed around half of the Italian e-book market within three months of opening its doors there. On the other hand, Amazon has had it tougher in markets like France and Germany where strong fixed book price laws have hindered its desire to ability to discount.
Whoever ends up on top, the opening of Amazon’s Dutch operation is a reminder that we are only at the very beginning of a long period of change, and that the real battle isn’t between authors and publishers, or even Amazon and publishers, but an international turf war between a small handful of tech giants. Next stop: Scandinavia and Russia. Continue reading