Oct 9, 2012

Indies Should Publish on All Platforms

We indie authors work hard to coax readers to buy our books. When even a trickle of sales of an ebook is cause for euphoria, it astounds me that so many authors ignore nearly 40% of the American ebook market and the majority of the Canadian market.

Many indie author sites promote ebooks and give readers chances to get free samples. Far too often the ebooks are available only through Amazon. The Amazon format is proprietary and plays only on a Kindle device. Sure, you can read a Kindle book via a special app on your laptop or smart phone, but that ignores the millions of ereader users.

The non-proprietary format epub is readable on the Kobo (my choice), Nook, Sony Reader, Apple devices, and via apps on third-party platforms. Together they claim a very large segment of the US market and a majority of the Canadian market.

Extra tip: Also make sure that your epub choice is available beyond your borders.

According to “The rise of e-reading,” by Pew Research Center in April 2012, the Kindle has 62% of the American market. The Nook has 22%. The rest is shared by Kobo, Sony, and other platforms.

While the Pew study stated that Kobo had just 1% of the US ebook market, a 2012 study by Ipsos Reid says Kobo has 46% of the Canadian market, where it was invented. (The Canadian market is one-tenth the size of the American market.) In Canada, Kindle came second with 24%, followed by Sony at 18%.

 “The Global eBook Market” by O’Reilly Media says ereader use outside of North America is less popular but growing. In the UK, for example, Kindle has 14% of the ebook readers, Sony has 6%, the Apple iPad and iPhones have 17%, but 45% of people still use their desktop or laptop computer to read ebooks. The study notes that Kobo is grabbing global market share by creating localized versions for foreign languages.

It is easy to diversify your ebook format. Like most authors, I use Kindle Direct Publishing for sales on Amazon. But, I use Smashwords for every other ebook vendor. If you follow the Smashwords style guide exactly, the conversion process works every time.

Smashwords will also make your ebook available to Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, and others, if your manuscript and cover are professionally produced. Thanks to Smashwords, readers can find my first novel, Counter Currents, at all those locations and more.

Unless you have signed up for Amazon’s KDP Select, which demands exclusivity, diversify your ebook format to maximize your sales.

A post similar to this first appeared at Indies Unlimited.

No comments:

Post a Comment