Recently I advised self-published authors to diversity their ebook formats: I said go beyond Kindle to include sellers who offer the epub format. Here’s a further tip for my American colleagues: diversify your epub vendors to make sure your foreign fans can buy your books.
Recently I tried to buy another book in the Nash series by American thriller writer Frank Fiore. His books sell on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (BN). I browsed to BN for an epub version. I found Fiore’s books, selected the Nash box set, clicked Buy Now, and filled out the extensive purchase form. At the end of all that, the site flashed this message:
You must have a credit card billing address within the US or its territories, including US Military sites, to receive this item. We currently do not support non-US billing addresses.
How parochial! How completely unfair to authors! There is no excuse for a vendor to ignore the world market other than lack of vision. Amazon and Apple iBooks use international portals to service customers. Kobo doesn’t care as long as you have a valid credit card.
As I have said before, the best way to diversify is to use Kindle Direct Publishing for sales on Amazon and Smashwords for epub creation. Smashwords makes your ebook available to Apple, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel Books, and others. That way, your buyers never hit a purchase wall.
Sell to the world, not just your home country.