Self-publishing is nothing new to German authors with solutions providers like Epubli, Xinxii, Neobooks and Meinbestseller already offering a mix of print and e-book publishing services. The Self-Publishing Day Conference was held in Munster on Tuesday and it is now an annual event. It’s estimated that more than 75,000 authors publish books independently in Germany. The German publishing industry was also holding its think tank conference Publishers’ Forum in Berlin over two days earlier this week. It was certainly an appropriate time for the Tolino Consortium (an alliance of German booksellers) to launch a self-publishing platform in partnership with Neobooks, an existing supplier of self-publishing solutions owned by publishing house Droemer Knaur (part of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group).
The new self-publishing platform is called Tolino Media and it will offer authors free e-book conversion and distribution to over 1000 online bookshops. This looks like a concerted effort by Tolino to take on Amazon in the marketplace and provide an alternative to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) in Germany. Author revenue is not quite as attractive because it is based on 70% net price rather than retail price. As an example, a book selling at 9.99 euros would earn the author 5.88 euros.
Tolino is well equipped to complete with Amazon because it has developed a range of e-readers available throughout many Germany bookshops. Another advantage Tolino offers is access to its retail channels in Austria, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.
In launching Tolino Media, the consortium announced that successful German self-published authors Elke Bergsma, Nika Lubitsch and Alfred Bekker will all use the platform. Tolino Media will also make available print editions of its most successful authors.