For publishers and authors outside the Netherlands it may come as a surprise to learn that Amazon finally launched in the Netherlands this past week. A surprise because Amazon launched its Kindle Netherlands store way back in November 2014.
But until last Tuesday Dutch consumers could only buy ebooks and Prime Video from Amazon NL, and needed to use other Amazon stores to get other goods.
The Kindle NL launch, which incidentally was the last Kindle store launch by Amazon, was only ever half-hearted, leaving Bol.com in partnership with Kobo to dominate the Dutch ebook landscape.
But now Dutch consumers, while not yet barred from using other Amazon sites, can head to Amazon for a full panoply of goods previously unavailable across 26 categories rather than just 2, and that will bring more eyeballs to the store that may then checkout the Kindle NL store.
Sadly at this stage it appears the only print books being sold are through third-part sellers and the bestseller chart is dominated by English-language titles, while even in the Kindle store over half the top 50 bestselling ebooks are English-language.
That will reflect in part that the Dutch are very comfortable reading English-language books, but perhaps more a reflection of the lack of engagement between Dutch publishers and Amazon.
The Amazon NL launch comes as Amazon prepares a similar venture in Poland.
Amazon also has stores in Singapore, the UAE and Turkey where books and ebooks are not a feature.