“Our goal is to offer all deliverable German books within three to five years,” said Ronald Schild, head of the MVB marketing service of the German book publishing industry.
The total number of e-books available will eventually reach 500,000 to 700,000 and publishers will charge a set price for the titles that can be downloaded to different electronic book readers, he added. Up to 1,000 publishers will contribute to libreka!, which the MVB hopes to make the premier site for German e-books.
“The price will be different from printed books,” Schild said. “The e-book will be a bit more affordable.”
But consumers will only see a part of the savings that publishers achieve in lower production costs because sales taxes will be increased to 19 percent instead of the seven percent consumers pay for paper books.
Individual publishers will decide how many pages customers can preview without charge, but Schild said the average was about 20 percent of a book.
The MVB believes that readers embracing the new platform will vary from students who use mobile devices to the elderly who need larger typeface. “But one still doesn't know much about the typical e-book reader,” Shild said.