Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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German ereading company launches Australian, New Zealand ebookstores

Berlin-based ereading company txtr has launched ebookstores in Australia and New Zealand.

The stores officially launched at the beginning of February and each store currently sells approximately 700,000 ebooks, including local titles from Hachette, Penguin, Random House, Simon & Schuster, Pan Macmillan, Allen & Unwin, Bloomsbury, Text, Harlequin and Wiley. The ebooks are available in PDF and EPUB formats.

Anne-Sophie Lanier, vice president of content and ecommerce at txtr, told Books+Publishing that txtr also works with ‘many other international publishers in Australia’ and is ‘in the process of signing deals’ with the same publishers in New Zealand. Lanier said the company is also looking to add content from other local publishers as it wants to make its catalogue ‘as locally relevant as possible’.

Lanier said that 93% of the ebooks available from the Australian and New Zealand stores are protected by Adobe Digital Rights Management (DRM), but added that ‘the requirements regarding DRM protection are set by the publishers’. ‘In other markets, with publishers’ support, we also offer ebooks with digital watermarks,’ said Lanier.

Txtr offers reading apps for computers as well as Apple and Android devices. The company also sells a dedicated ereading device, the txtr beagle, in other markets but not Australia or New Zealand. Lanier described the beagle as ‘very different’ from other ereading devices on the market as it is ‘a companion screen for a smartphone and is designed to be distributed through mobile network operators’. ‘We are in discussions with mobile network operators in several countries but not yet in Australia,’ said Lanier.

Lanier said that txtr decided to launch local ebookstores in Australia and New Zealand as it saw ‘an opportunity to bring our sizeable catalogue of English-language titles to two markets where the penetration of tablets and smartphones is high and some of the other international players like Amazon or Google do not yet have a local presence’. ‘Australia is also a priority market for some of the customers using our white-label ereading solution,’ she said.

Txtr has also recently launched English-language ebookstores in South Africa, Ireland and Canada, in addition to existing stores in the US and UK. The company also provides white-label ebookstores for other retailers, such as Foyles in the UK and in the Netherlands, and powers the 3M Cloud Library ebook services for libraries in the US. More information about the company is available here.



Category: Local news