European and International Booksellers Federation

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E-book sales: Booksellers’ Perspective

In a series of infographics, we will try to shed some light on the more technical elements of bookselling. This chart illustrates the e-book sales process from a bookseller’s perspective: Profit margins and uncertainty, market dynamics, the necessity of innovative solutions and adaptability, and relationships with other stakeholders in the eco-system of the book chain.

e-book market - Bookseller's perspective

Infographics: The e-Book Sales Process

In a series of infographics, we will try to shed some light on the more technical elements of bookselling. This chart illustrates the e-book sales chains, the relationships between various stakeholders in the process, VAT requirements, and other considerations to take into account when selling e-books domestically and across borders.

The e-book sale process


There is nothing more important for everyone in the book industry than to continually broaden consumer access to books – in whatever format readers choose. In a world that is changing rapidly – all of us – authors, publishers, booksellers, distributors, agents, librarians, etc. – have an obligation to work together to ensure that nothing interferes with the ability of consumers to read what they want, when they want, in whatever format they want. At the same time, it is important to recognise and to acknowledge that despite all the quantum leaps forward in technology, physical places – bookstores and libraries – remain the best places for consumers to discover books.

The Book Charter sets out the fundamental principles guiding our policy objectives and priorities, along with two indispensable principles to be remembered always: Public funds need to be used to continue the support of public libraries, and public policies need to promote a competitive business environment.

Read and download The Book Charter here.

Book Charter

Geo-blocking: EIBF & FEP reiterate their request to exclude non-audiovisual copyright-protected content from the scope of the regulation

Recent developments in the discussions around the proposed Geo-blocking Regulation in the European Parliament committees are a cause for great concern for the book industry. In a joint letter sent by EIBF & FEP to all IMCO MEPs, the book industry reiterates its request to exclude non-audiovisual copyrighted-content from the scope of the regulation. The letter also draws MEP’s attention to some very important clarifications regarding the technicalities of e-book sales by booksellers, which so far, seem to be have been very often ignored or misunderstood.

Click here to read EIBF & FEP joint letter sent to IMCO MEPs

The American Booksellers Association supports freedom to publish controversial books.

Amid the strong controversy that currently surrounds Milo Yiannopoulos and the calls for boycotting his book, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) joined the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and other free speech advocates in support of the freedom to publish controversial books.

They issued a joint “Statement in Support of the Right to Publish” in which they argue that “threats to boycott publishers undermine intellectual freedom and harm readers and writers”, since such a boycott will inevitably affect the publisher’s ability to “express and disseminate ideas, even if they are controversial and offensive to some”.

The free speech organisations that signed the document refuse censorship as a way to solve these matters, saying that “we need not endorse the ideas contained in a book to endorse the right to express them”, and warning that “the suppression of noxious ideas does not defeat them; only vigorous disagreement can counter toxic speech effectively. Shutting down the conversation may temporarily silence disfavored views, but does nothing to prevent them from spreading and resurfacing in other ways”.

Click here to read the ABA article

Click here for the joint Statement (PDF)


Following MEP Thun’s report on geo-blocking, EIBF and the European Association of Independent Music Companies Association (IMPALA) expose their views in a joint letter to the MEPs relevant to the dossier.

Both organisations advocate for keeping “services providing access to and use of copyright protected works or other protected subject matter” outside of the scope of the regulation on geo-blocking. They further underline the need for setting the review clause to five years after the entry into effect of the regulation, rather than the two years initially proposed, as this would allow to have more accurate data on the evolution of the e-book market.

Finally, EIBF and IMPALA proposed amendments to the Commission’s proposal in the best interest of their respective sectors’ jobs and investment.

The full text of the letter and of the amendments can be found below.

Click here to read the joint letter                 Click here to read the proposed amendments


Creativity Works! welcomes the Opinion of the CULT Committee on the Geo-Blocking Regulation

Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Culture and Education overwhelmingly voted in favour of Maltese MEP Therese Comodini Cachia’s Draft Opinion yesterday. The Opinion’s objective is to to inform the main responsible Committee (“Internal Market and Consumer Protection” – IMCO) about the possible implications of the legislation can have on the cultural industries.

Among other things, the report highlighted that:

  • Cultural Goods and Services are unique and therefore cannot be treated the same way as traditional goods and services
  • The principle of territoriality is absolutely essential for Europe’s copyright system
  • The proposal could potentially lead to many negative developments such as reducing consumer choice, putting cultural diversity in jeopardy as well as unifying the prices upwards.

The Statement specifically highlights e-Books as products of a nascent and sensitive market which could be shattered by an ill-advised legislation forcing small and medium-sized enterprises to sell to the whole of the EU.

You can read the full Statement here

EIBF is a member of Creativity Works, a coalition of the representatives of the European creative and cultural sectors.

EIBF press release on the ECJ judgment regarding e-Lending

Brussels, 10.11.2016


The EIBF – European & International Booksellers Federation – has taken note of the judgment handed down by the ECJ with the greatest concern.

Assimilating e-lending to the lending of physical books is a very dangerous decision which does not take into account the economic reality of the book chain and is likely to lead to serious disruptions on the nascent e-book market.

Booksellers have committed themselves wholeheartedly to e-bookselling, in order to be able to offer readers the possibility to read what they want, when they want, and in the format of their choice. Today, between 70% and 87% of booksellers are present on the e-book market, especially on the leading language markets such as those of Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Spain.Read more

Public consultation on reduced VAT rates for electronic publications – EIBF Contribution

Between the 25th of July and the 19th of September, the European Commission conducted a consultation under the title “reduced VAT rates for electronically supplied publications”, since these publications are still taxed at a standard VAT rate compared to printed books and newspapers which can enjoy a reduced rate (but higher than 5%) or a super-reduced rate (under 5%).

The Commission is committed to create a legislative proposal that would allow Member states to apply  to electronically supplied publications the same VAT rates that Member States can currently apply to printed publications. The objective of the consultation was to invite the public, businesses and representative organisations to share their views on the proposal and its elements. Together with its members, EIBF has contributed an opinion to express the stance of booksellers on creating a fairer taxation system for electronically supplied publications.

Read EIBF’s full contribution