Status of the E-Book Market in The Netherlands: Somewhere between outdoor furniture and a rubber duckie.
On page nine of a flyer from bol.com is an ad that might change how books are read in The Netherlands.
If you’re a reader in The Netherlands, it’s great news: for a monthly fee, you can read as many books as you like — within the selection that Kobo Plus offers.
For writers, it’s just yet another channel opened up for readers to introduce them to the e-reader market. It’s not exactly on the front page of the newspaper, on a huge billboard, or even on the nightly news. Sure, it’s buried in a little flyer for bol.com (which is the Dutch version of Amazon).
But it’s something. It’s better than nothing. It’s a start.
As a writer, what is the balance between having your books available in other markets on other platforms compared with the work it takes to make that happen?
Kobo! Bol.com? The Netherlands? What does it all mean for writers?
It means that more and more countries are pushing into e-readers. More and more companies and countries are trying out the subscription model and if your book is available, there’s a better chance that it will be picked up. Well, especially a better chance than zero, which is the chance that your book will be read by a Dutch reader on Kobo Plus if your book is only on Amazon.
I’m not going to tell you that I sold a thousand books in an hour on Kobo for the Dutch market. I’m not going to explain even how to get your book into the Kobo Plus pool in The Netherlands not because I don’t want to tell you, but because I don’t know how. Who knows, maybe just by having your book in Kobo you’ll be on offer in The Netherlands. I honestly don’t know. One of my books is on there.
I’m also not going to do a bunch of research and write here that 37% of Europeans use e-readers (compared to 61% in the US). I’m just basing this on my personal experience here as a reader and a writer. In my non-scientific study, e-readership here is just plain lower. As a writer, I honestly don’t even know how to get onto the German Amazon market except for going through Amazon.com, which is, easy, automated, and oops, I guess my books are on Amazon.de. Well, one of them is. In paperback. Hmm, maybe through Smashwords? I don’t even remember … anyway.
I will say this. As a big fan of Amazon.com in the U.S., I hope that Amazon makes a bigger push into The Netherlands. Currently, Bol.com and Kobo have some sort of alliance and you can buy books on Bol.com and they’ll show up on your Kobo reader. At least, I think I’ve done it correctly.
The streamlined, everything-in-one-place ecosphere of Amazon is just plain hard to beat. But Amazon is barely here yet.
Kobo and Bol.com: thanks for showing up on page nine of the after-sales flyer. Looking forward to getting Kobo Plus to page 5, then page 2, then maybe on the front cover. But it’s a start — and thank you.