From Publishing Perspectives:
When Amazon started its Kindle business in Germany in Spring 2011, it launched the new e-reader together with the Kindle Direct Publishing program (KDP). While the Kindle was far better than other e-readers that were on the German market — especially with its built in ebookstore and wireless access to ebooks in the cloud at a time in Germany when every other e-reader required a PC with Adobe DRM software to buy electronic books — Amazon basically sold the same ebooks as every other retailer.
As the German fixed book price law doesn’t allow anyone to sell ebooks at different prices (“Preisbindung”), Amazon couldn’t differentiate its offer by offering bargain pricing as it did in the United States and elsewhere. So KDP was, ultimately, a perfect strategy for the book giant to pursue in Germany. It didn’t take long until authors discovered it was a great way to earn money with books that publishing companies had rejected. All the other German ebook retailers, such as Thalia, Hugendubel or Weltbild, hesitated to sell self-published books.
. . . .
The end result has been that fully half of the ebooks from Amazon’s top 100 list in Germany are self published. A third of the top 100 ebooks are only available from Amazon – so it’s no wonder that the company has a market share of (depending on whose numbers you trust) between 40% and 70%.
. . . .
So is it possible to earn a living, being a self published author in Germany? Absolutely, yet. Around 4% of those in our survey said they earned more than €2,000 per month. In March this year Amazon announced that eight German authors earned more than €100,000 through the KDP program.
Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives and thanks to Antoine for the tip.
An interesting example of how a law designed to protect existing bookstores by prohibiting price competition produced unintended consequences.
And the growing power of indie authors.