International Insights: Amazon

For the next edition of the Alliance of Independent Authors International Insights hosted by Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard, were proceeding to the giant that is Amazon. If you missed our intro series to international book markets, you can read them here: Africa, India and China markets in Asia, the Middle East North Africa markets, the Ibero-America markets, the Asia-Pacific markets and the European markets, and likewise a special edition on the English-language markets. This is global insights: Amazon.

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard

How many of us understand that our print books by means of KDP Print may likewise be available on the Amazon sites that dont have Kindle shops? My KDP Print titles are available on Amazon UAE, and Amazon Singapore, regardless of there being no Kindle store. My KDP print books are readily available on Abe Books and The Book Depository, both owned by Amazon. Also on eBay, and on any number of online book shops around the world we most likely never understood existed. My KDP Print paperbacks are available, for instance, on U-Buy in Kuwait. And U-Buy Taiwan, U-Book South Korea and U-Book Japan. Or Booktopia or Angus & & Robertson in Australia. Or …

Just copy your 13-digit ISBN (if youre unsure what it is, pop along to your Amazon item page for the paperback and it will show you). Now paste that, or your author name and book titles, into Google and see what shows up. Searches like this will throw new light on our global reach and there may be some enjoyable surprises. Its worth doing this every month approximately, as many worldwide stores are supplied by third-part sellers, and these are always broadening.

Watching on international publishing news is a terrific way to realise simply how amazing the international book market is, and needless to state none of the above examples involve Amazon, fantastic as it is for us.

When the last decade started it was a time of tumultuous modification as the “ebook revolution” got underway. In the USA, the arrival of the Kindle three years earlier had actually been a seismic shift in the western publishing landscape that overnight democratised the industry, developing a brand-new force in publishing: the indie author.

Thats 18 active Amazon stores, but only 14 Kindle shops and as China isnt a choice in KDP it implies only 13 Kindle stores for indies. If we are generous we can add Ireland via the UK store, Belgium by means of the United States shop, Switzerland and Austria by means of the DE store, and New Zealand by means of the Australia shop. Consider what that implies at the consumer end. Belgian readers need to go to Amazon France, which is at least the same currency. For Irish, Swiss, Austrian and New Zealand readers they not just need to go to a neighbouring countrys shop however will see prices in a foreign currency.

For Audible, Amazon remains in nine countries– Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, UK and USA. Include Austria, Belgium, Ireland and Switzerland as countries readily available through Audible FR, DE or UK. But if we desire to use ACX to develop and/or distribute our audiobooks then rather apart from ACX only dispersing to Amazon and Apple, ACX itself is only readily available to tax-paying and bank account-holding locals in the US, UK, Canada and Ireland.

So lets be in no doubt that Amazon is an invaluable property in our quest to become international authors. But if we desire be serious players in the worldwide book market, valued at just shy of $150 billion– thats more than the international music or film markets– then we have to work with Amazon in tandem with other platforms. In other words, we require to go wide. Seriously broad, not just Amazon and one aggregator since its all too much effort. Otherwise well simply be scratching the surface of whats possible.

Until then, heres a list of crucial book fairs and festivals lining up that we might wish to focus on.

Except it didnt.

Simply to include here that while these may look like pirate sales they are normally genuine. Third-party sellers merely pull the product descriptions from Amazon and advertise the books on other websites. When an order is placed with them, they position an order at Amazon, Amazon gets paid, we get our royalty, and the 3rd celebration seller pockets the difference.

Storytel is in 20 nations right now and will be in 40 by 2023. In China the Beijing International Book Fair is all digital this year and a great chance for indies to make connections.

All of these offer one or a mix of pod, audiobook and ebook reach. And the fantastic thing is, none need exclusivity, so you can be getting Amazons vital reach and simultaneously reaching audiences where the Amazon sun does not shine.

Outside the Kindle countries some consumers might be able to purchase from the US store at US rates, territorial rights permitting, and generally with a $2 surcharge, but for much of the world the Kindle shop merely isnt noticeable. I can just even see the Kindle shop here in West Africa due to the fact that I have a UK account.

In two weeks time (Sept. 19) ALLi International insights will take a closer take a look at what reach is on deal from Apple, Google Play and Kobo. The next edition on Sept. 12 will be a special report on Big Bad Wolf as it goes online for its debut in Singapore, with an incredible 20 million (no typo!) mainly English-language print books up for grabs, and how indies can get a share of the action.

Dont get too thrilled there. Even more, only 10 KDP supported languages are non-European and of those, Arabic, Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Marathi, Malayalam and Tamil are ebook only, while Hebrew and Yiddish are paperback only. Latin is likewise paperback only.

There was no overnight revolution and there were no over night indie successes. The pioneer indies made headlines, sure, but over the course of 2-3 years, and these were outliers, not the norm. The majority of the early indie successes stories, apart from Amanda Hocking and co., came loaded with a rights-reverted backlist of content and an existing fanbase. Global didnt come into it. The first international Kindle shop, in the UK, took three years to materialise. Then came a fast expansion phase when we saw Kindle Germany, France, Italy, Spain launch in 2011, and Kindle Japan, China, Canada, Brazil, India in 2012. Then the rate changed. 2013 saw simply 2 new stores, Mexico and Australia, and 2014 simply one, the Netherlands. The Kindle store roll-out ground to a halt, although Amazons international expansion continued, with launches in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Singapore. Amazon also has a market-place presence in Vietnam, is about to introduce in Sweden, and an Amazon Indonesia launch is on the cards.

Which brings us neatly to Amazons print reach, where fortunately is this reach is much better than its ebook and audiobook reach, and perhaps much better than numerous indies realize, however still restricted. We all know, obviously, the problems included trying to get bookstores to equip titles printed by Amazons KDP Print (previously CreateSpace). With couple of exceptions its not going to take place. And we know our KDP Print titles appear together with our ebooks on the Amazon product page, which is great, and if have gone with expanded distribution. Our books may appear some online bookstores.

International Book Fairs and Festivals

Aug 21-Sep 6 Lima International Book Fair online

Sep 1-7 Nigeria International Book Fair online

Sep 11-13 South Africa International Book Fair online

Sep 17-10 Big Bad Wolf Singapore online

Sep 26 (China– all year) Smart Beijing International Book Fair online

Oct 1-4 Big Bad Wolf Sri Lanka online

Oct 2-18 (Spain) Madrid Book Fair online

Oct 14-18 (Germany) Frankfurt Book Fair hybrid

Oct 30-Nov 9 (Algeria) Algiers International Book Fair online

Nov 04-14 (UAE) Sharjah International Book Fair in-person

Nov 24-30 (Philippines) Manila International Book Fair online

ALLi keeps in mind on shops pointed out:

Amazon also has a market-place presence in Vietnam, is about to introduce in Sweden, and an Amazon Indonesia launch is on the cards.

If we aim to be serious players in the worldwide book market, valued at just shy of $150 billion– thats more than the international music or film markets– then we have to work with Amazon in tandem with other platforms. And the great thing is, none require exclusivity, so you can be getting Amazons vital reach and simultaneously reaching audiences where the Amazon sun does not shine.

N.B. This list is not exhaustive but is accurate to the finest of my understanding. So here is a call out to you, the reader, or perhaps our buddies at the numerous aggregators. Please do submit additional details or corrections in comments so we can upgrade the list as we go forward.

Odilo is offered via PublishDrive and StreetLib.

My KDP print books are available on Abe Books and The Book Depository, both owned by Amazon. When an order is positioned with them, they place an order at Amazon, Amazon gets paid, we get our royalty, and the third celebration seller pockets the difference.

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