In Europe E-books are Approached with “Concern, Not Hysteria,” says Italy’s Mussinelli

In Europe by Daniel Kalder

By Daniel Kalder MILAN: “The problem in Italy and in Europe in general, is that data on e-books is scarce, says Cristina Mussinelli, a digital publishing consultant for the Italian Publishers Association and European member of the IDPF board. “There is no central entity collecting information in an organized way, and the ways in which different countries collect data may not …

Is 2011 the Tipping Point for E-books in Europe?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Europe’s e-book market is growing, but is it robust enough to attract the mass market? By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead story looks at the growth of e-books in Europe, which has been slow and pragmatic and has long lagged behind the US and Japan. But the introduction of several new platforms, devices and digitization projects at the end of 2010 …

France to Reduce VAT on E-books to 5.5% Starting in 2012

In Global Trade Talk by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary In several European countries, books are subject to a reduced VAT rate in light of their status as a “cultural” product. This has been complicated by the emergence of e-books, which tend to be viewed as electronic products for taxation purposes and are thus subject to full VAT (19% in Germany, as opposed to the reduced rate …

Why French E-books Don’t Deserve Lower VAT

In Global Trade Talk by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In the latest issue of ESPRIT magazine, Pascal Fouche, bibliographer and editor of the three-volume Dictionnaire encyclopedique du livre, discusses the changing definition of the book in the age of digitization, largely in favor of the argument that a lower rate of V.A.T. — 5.5.% in France — not be extended to e-books: “A book is an …

Is the EU’s 18% Tax on Spanish E-books Fair?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead story discusses the launch of Libranda, Spain’s new e-book distribution platform. Along with the announcement is the news that e-books will be charged at the same tax rate as computer software — 18% — instead of the lower 4% rate that is typically applied by “cultural products,” such as books. The Spanish government wants to …

Introducing Libranda: Spain’s Big Three Finalize Their Push into Ebooks

In Digital by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams The long-awaited e-book platform from Spain’s big three publishers now has a name. At a meeting with booksellers in Madrid on Tuesday, representatives of the new company announced it will be called Libranda, and will offer the biggest selection of e-books in Spanish and Catalán in the world. Libranda will act as a digital distributor with no …

Switzerland Debates Details of Reinstated Fixed Price Laws

In Global Trade Talk by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary Switzerland’s Council of States will be meeting on March 2nd to discuss the upcoming reinstatement of the country’s fixed book price law. According to buchreport, the law could be adopted as early as March 19th and the Schweizer Buchhändler- und Verlegerverband (SBVV – Swiss Booksellers and Publishers Association) sees only a couple of drawbacks in the draft …

Spain Lowers Tax on E-books, Opens Digital Library

In Global Trade Talk by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams A very important — and positive — development for the incipient Spanish e-book market took place this week.  On Tuesday the Spanish Minister of Culture, Ángeles González-Sinde, announced that the government would set the value added tax for e-books at 4%, the same as for paper books.  E-books had previously been in the same category as software, …

German Buch News: Germans Buying More English-language Books; Reduced VAT for Books Challenged

In German Buch News by Siobhan O'Leary

By Siobhan O’Leary Berlin Verlag, and its British parent company Bloomsbury, have distributed Bloomsbury’s English-language titles in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since 2005. The books are distributed via Berlin Verlag’s distributor Prolit. This week, Prolit will also begin distributing the popular science titles of Bloomsbury’s subsidiary A&C Black. As reported in Buchreport, part of the reason for this expansion is the news that …