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Because Amazon is the dominant player in the eBook marketplace, many authors wrongly assume that they should be publishing for Kindle exclusively.

[Ed. note: “The #1 mistake of self-published authors for worldwide book sales” is a newer post with updated figures.]

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.

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.




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Making The Most of Print On Demand. Part 1: Your Timeline To Maximize Book Sales
Making The Most Of Print On Demand, Part 2: All You Need To Know About Book Pre-Sales
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Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 502 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

11 thoughts on “Why Publishing For Kindle is Not Enough

  1. Print version is on Amazon, ISBN 148413236X. I hold all rights.
    5 star reviews.
    Am on Goodreads., use Web site & Facebook, Twitter.

    Want to create ebook version. Have both doc and pdf versions ready.
    Must limit costs. Really don’t want to redo book with an editor, because any
    book could always stand revision. This version is getting 5 star reviews.

    What do you charge?

    1. Chris Robley says:

      Hi Mary,

      If your Word doc has been formatted properly for conversion, and you don’t need any graphic design work, you can distribute your eBook for $299 through us.
      Check out this page for all our services and pricing (just in case you do want to get cover design, printing, etc.):

      Also, be sure to check out for tips on formatting your doc.

  2. Anna Blake says:

    Is there a reason to publish an eBook on both BookBaby and Amazon? Is there a difference in delivery time
    like there is with print books published on ImgramSpark?

  3. Hilary Gabby says:

    With an account created, Amazon takes you to your “Kindle Dashboard.” This is where you will add your
    works and access reports on book sales but why amazon doesn’t care too much and update her own Dashboard for writers for easy experience that’s the real question from me as author

  4. Delia McCabe says:

    Is it possible to have ones book available on Amazon and iBooks?

  5. Abu Monsur says:

    Is it possible to publish on Amazon firstly and then through you?

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