Will E-books Get Germans to Read Even More?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

E-books have expanded the number of book readers in the US, but in Germany — where they already read a great deal of books — e-books might not make such a difference.

By Edward Nawotka

man reading a book

Germany’s strong print culture and dedication to reading paper books allow publishers to sustain and maintain many of their traditional practices, even as the digital transformation is taking place. “It adds up to a cultural parachute for traditional publishing,” writes Amanda DeMarco in today’s feature story about the 2011 Publishers Forum held in Berlin earlier this month. She continues: “[Germany] will still hit the ground, but in much better shape than after a free-fall.”

In the same piece, she notes that Germans, per capita, tend to read a great deal more than their American counterparts. In America, we’re wowed by pace at which Americans are buying e-books — let alone foreign language e-books (which B&N notes are selling “outrageously well” on their Nook). E-books appear to have brought American publishers new customers and expanded their audience, albeit at a much lower price point. Will the same opportunity present itself in Germany? And, if not, does it matter considering fixed book pricing will potentially allow publishers to maintain prices at a level they believe is sustainable?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.