Today I was grocery shopping at our local real supermarket, a K-Mart/Wal-Mart type grocery plus cheap department store here in Germany.
I found myself in the magazine and book department, when – lo and behold – I spotted a brand-new display of Kindles. They had the basic Kindle for 49 EUR as well as the Paperwhite. Both are listed as sold out on the real website, which is a good sign.
The other shoppers in the big supermarket didn’t quite get my enthusiasm and one elderly gentleman complained, when I made a beeline straight for the Kindle display and accidentally crossed his path (it was shopping war again at real this morning – which is why I hate going shopping on a Friday, particularly this close to Christmas).
Nonetheless, this is very good news for indie writers and anybody who wants a higher e-book marketshare in Germany in general. Because if Germans buy their electronics at the big electronics stores Media Markt or Saturn (where you can also buy Kindles now), mega-supermarkets like real are places where most of us go every week to buy groceries. A lot of people also peruse the book and magazine departments at these stores, though I rarely do (I normally patronize the small independent newsstand outside the big real store, but this time I bought my TV listings magazine inside real).
And if Kindles are available at stores like real, it means that a lot more people are exposed to them, people who may not necessarily shop online and who only go to stores like Media Markt or Saturn to buy household appliances. But everybody needs groceries. For example, my Mom doesn’t shop online or do anything else online for that matter, nor is she interested (we even offered to buy her a tablet, thinking that she might like the mobility aspect and the lack of a keyboard). She doesn’t like Media Markt or Saturn and only goes there, when dragged by me or my Dad. Yet she goes to real to buy groceries.
I’ve said before that if Amazon wants to capture the German e-book market, they need to get away from the “online only” strategy they followed in Germany until 2012. But now Kindles are available in brick and mortar stores where lots of Germans shop and that’s a very good thing for indie writers.