European tax changes not as bad as predicted

Self Publishing

Many readers were concerned that when the VAT increased on e-Books in Europe they would to have to pay more. This was not the case as retailers and publishers have helped cushion the increase in price, so little has changed.

Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo all based their European headquarters in Luxembourg where the VAT was only 3%. This allowed these companies to sell digital books all over the continent at reduced prices. The VAT structure changed on January 1st 2015 where the amount of tax people pay is now defendant on the country they live in.

The Bookseller conducted a survey of 168 e-books taken across-genres and from front-list, mid-list and backlist and ranging from large to independent publishers (including those on agency), Amazon-published and self-published authors have found little change in prices from 23rd December to 2nd January and from 2nd to 5th January. The price stability suggests retailers, perhaps in conjunction with publishers, have worked together to cushion the extra tax costs.

The Tax changes were never going to have a major impact on us at ASPG, as we sell books into Europe through our partner companies; who have already put in place strategies to deal with the changes. Although it is good to see the doomsday scenario that was predicted last year didn’t happen.