Discoveries


So, on day three of the book fair I have made some interesting discoveries (mostly about the Italian market I ignored so far, but also on the European market in general).

Europe considers e-books “services” not books, with full VAT instead of the reduced one for books (that’s 14 to 21% according to each European country law). Meh.

In Italy the average price for e-books is 10euros (less than 15$ but more than 10).

The Sony e-reader comes with 2 English dictionaries (American + British), 1 Italian + translations (such as French-Italian, or Spanish-English). And it has WI-FI, like the Kindle. But it’s a touch-screen e-reader like the i-Pad which I don’t like (that’s why I never bought it, I’ve seen it at this yearly December fair every year since it came out, but wasn’t convinced).

Italians who buy e-readers don’t use them to read books. While I understand the i-Pad has other functions, if one buys a Kindle and doesn’t use it to read, what did he buy it for?

But then – Italians write a lot, but they don’t read! 🙂

Italian writers think the only way to publish is through vanity presses. They ask “How much do you want to publish my book/article” even to small publishers who don’t charge.

70% of those small-medium publishers at the fair were vanity presses under different forms.

Italian publishers hate Amazon and its discount policy that make them lose sales in other distributors or their own shops (and I believe we’re talking mostly of paper books here).

E-book sales are slowly rising also in Italy, but I’m still trying how to figure out how to get into the Italian e-distributors. A kind gal at IBS (which was born three years after Amazon and has its own e-reader) told me which they were, but I’m reading their terms of use and I’m not liking much what I see. The FAQs might say one thing, but the CONTRACT says another, and I’m not a lawyer, but I know the CONTRACT is more important than any FAQ or email on the subject. But that’s only one of the two available to indies.

Today is my shopping day for myself, my mum and maybe a couple of friends (plus I have a list from mum who came yesterday and then called to say “can you pick that, that and that, please?”). Yes, dead-tree books, I’m still the only e-reader owner of my family and friends (and if e-books cost as much as paper books, I might as well find a little more room on my shelves…. *cringes at the crumbling sound behind her*).

Have a great weekend! 🙂

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