According to Publishers Weekly, 55% of eBook buyers in 2012 owned one of Amazon’s popular Kindle reading devices. But because Amazon is the dominant player in the eBook marketplace, many authors wrongly assume they should publish exclusively for Kindle. I heard this question asked more than a dozen times by independent writers at BookExpo America last week: “If most of my sales are going to be on Kindle anyway, why should I worry about any other eBook retailers?”
The answer is simple: while Amazon is certainly the eBook powerhouse in English-speaking countries, they’re not a monopoly — and you’ll be missing out on lots of potential sales.
Sell your eBook for iPad, Nook, Kobo, and more
In 2012, Apple controlled a 15% share of the eReading market with its iPad and iPhone devices — and Barnes & Noble held a 14% share with its popular Nook devices. Kobo is enormously popular in Canada; and newer, more niche eBook retailers continue to shake things up, too.
If you’re only publishing for Kindle you’re letting 45% of eBook buyers slip through your fingers.
Amazon isn’t everywhere
Kindle doesn’t (yet) have a global eBook monopoly — though they are selling plenty of eBooks worldwide. As I mentioned above, Kobo is huge in Canada; eSentral is the biggest eBook retailer in Southeast Asia; and the list goes on. You can’t assume that Amazon is someone’s preferred eBook retailer. Don’t ignore the buying preferences of readers in those regions.
After all, there are more English-speaking people in countries like India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and the Philippines than there are in the UK, Canada, or Australia. So you want to get your book distributed everywhere you can to maximize your potential buyer-base.
“Legitimize” your book with a wide distribution network
New York Times’ best sellers aren’t made exclusively available through Amazon; they’re sold everywhere, on all the popular eBook retail sites (iBookstore, Kobo, Nook, etc.). Why not sell your book in all the same outlets? The further your reach, the more professional you’ll look to reviewers, fans, bloggers, agents, editors, and more. And your readers will appreciate having the option to purchase your work on their preferred eReading device/platform — so be sure to link from your website to several eBook stores.
Publishing your eBook is easy
If it was going to take you hundreds of hours to set up accounts and profiles with each retailer in order to sell your eBook worldwide, then maybe I’d say, “OK — just sell on Amazon.” But with BookBaby, we make global eBook distribution easy for you. You set up a single account with us, upload your book one time, provide us with some details about your book (author bio, book description, genres, etc.) and we take care of the rest — from converting your manuscript file into a beautiful eBook to paying you 100% of your net revenue for sales of your book on the iBookstore, Amazon, Nook, Kobo, Copia, Sony, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, Scribd, eBookPie, eSentral, and more.
Have you ever considered distributing your eBook through Amazon ONLY? What made you want to limit your sales channels in such a way? Did you widen your reach? What were the results? Let us know in the comments section below.
[Image of man with eReader from Shutterstock.]