By Ingrid Süßmann
The German bookselling scene is dominated by two major players: Amazon and Tolino, with the latter being an alliance formed by booksellers Thalia, Weltbild, Hugendubel, Club Bertelsmann, Libri and the Deutsche Telekom. On April 28, Tolino launched its own self-publishing platform, Tolino Media, offering indie authors a new way to distribute their ebooks. This puts Tolino Media in direct competition with Amazon’s self-publishing program, KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). By offering attractive conditions, Tolino Media has already attracted notable German self-published authors such as Elke Bergsma, Nika Lubitsch and Alfred Bekker to its new platform.
The conditions that make this platform an attractive alternative to KDP include: EPUB upload and document converstion, 70% royalties of the sale price (meaning that if a book is sold for 2.49 euros, the author gets 1.46 euros with Tolino, but only 73 Cents if selling with Amazon) and distribution via all Tolino bookselling partners, making each title available in over a 1,000 online bookshops.
This platform was made possible through a strategic partnership with Neobooks, the self-publishing platform by the German publishing house Droemer Knaur (part of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group). In addition to using new software developed by Neobooks, both partners also agreed to continue furthering technological development and cooperate on topics such as author acquisition.
The future will show if Tolino Media is able to take on KDP. Thomas Forstpointner, director of Tolino Media, is full of confidence: “The broad reach of the Tolino ecosystem and our attractive conditions — specifically that authors receive 70% of the sale price — make us an interesting partner for everyone who wants to self-publish their digital books. We also offer successful authors the chance to sell their print books in brick-and-mortar stores”.