International Insights: English-Language Markets

For the 4th edition of the Alliance of Independent Authors International Insights hosted by Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard, we take a break from our regional spotlights (Asia here, Middle East Arab markets here, Ibero-America here, though Mark will be back with more next week!) to focus on the worldwide English-language markets.

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard

The brand-new B&N CEO James Daunt fell under simply that trap when he took control of the business, positive he might reverse the having a hard time bricks & & mortar stores however dismissive of Nook and ebooks in general, only to admit in June that “we offer a terrible lot of ebooks in the United States”. Daunt has actually now committed to investing in Nook.

However let me stick with the USA and Canada here and note that in 2019 alone OverDrive saw digital downloads totalling 326 million, of which 211 million were ebooks and 114 million audiobooks. 6.6 countless them originated from Canadas Toronto Public Library, pushing the Los Angeles Public Library into 2nd place with “only” 5.9 million downloads. While small English-speaking Singapore, population 5.8 million, saw 4.2 million OverDrive downloads last year.

Amazon controls the US and UK, of course, but if were not seeing much action from other United States and UK players we might desire to take an appearance at our marketing balance. Because other platforms arent worth the effort theres a risk it becomes a self-fulfilling prediction, if we push all our energies into promoting Amazon.

If any of us have actually been encouraged by the barrage of unfavorable press not to make any effort with Nook and B&N, not to mentioned the smaller operators like Books-A-Million, perhaps now is the time to reconsider.

And then theres libraries, where again print access can be difficult, however for digital books libraries are easy to gain access to and can be really profitable. OverDrive is really much the powerhouse of digital libraries, providing globally to places as not likely as Sweden, the UAE, Singapore and Rwanda (the latter two both English-language markets) among lots of.

In Canada it is Indigo that is the biggest gamer in town, and the Indigo digital shop has Rakuten Kobo behind it. Thats as well as the Kobo Canada store, which just recently added the subscription service Kobo Plus.

And its easy to succumb to the nuanced negativeness surrounding stores like Barnes & & Noble and Nook and miss out on a technique. Many indie pundits had declared B&N and Nook dead in the water, forecasts of impending insolvency all over, and when it comes to Nook … Put it out of its suffering.

Heres the important things: in addition to the local UK, AU and NZ Kobo shops, Kobo is likewise, rather separate from the localized shops, the digital provider for UKs WH Smith, the second largest bookstore chain in the nation. And for Angus & & Robertson and Collins, 2 significant bookstore chains in Australia. And given that this year Kobo also sups Australias most significant online shop, Booktopia.

Of course we all understand the usual suspects. The USA, the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Amazon, Apple, Google Play and Kobo are all there, and of course Nook is an additional alternative in the US.

And of course there are numerous more bookstores in the United States, and numerous that also offer audiobooks and ebooks. Amazon is not the only program in town, and with a little effort its not hard to get our POD titles into online stores of pretty much every book merchant, and if we utilize IngramSpark possibly into mortar stores and real bricks.

Kobo is likewise a significant player in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. If were not seeing much action, it might be due to the fact that we arent promoting our existence that well.

Be truthful, when the last time we let anyone know we had ebooks in these shops?

Malaysia has an online population of 26 million that could quickly be purchasing our digital books. The Philippines is bigger, with 79 million people online– more than the entire population of the UK– and as many web users as Germany.

Furthermore, Amazon serves Ireland through the United States and UK shop, despite the fact that it utilizes a different currency, and Amazon serves India, another essential English-language market.

Thats where it quite much grinds to a stop for Amazon. South Africans can buy through the United States shop (at United States prices), however the United States store feeds only a handful of other countries.

Apple has a dedicated Ireland shop, but no India store.

Apple Books remains in none of these nations (except for public domain titles).

As noted above, Singapore (which has an Amazon store that offers books, however no Kindle store) has population of 5.8 million however saw 4.2 million downloads through OverDrive in 2015.

Kobo also has actually committed shops for India, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Google Play has devoted Ireland and India stores, and likewise committed shops for English-speaking South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Apple and Google Play are of course likewise in the UK, Canada, and Australia and New Zealand, while Amazon remains in the UK and Canada and serves New Zealand by means of the Australia store.

You may think were lacking English-language countries by now, but were hardly starting. For visa purposes the UK federal government recognises the list below nations as majority English-speaking:

Antigua & & Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts & & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & & the Grenadines, Trinidad & & Tobago.

Countries with English as a main language consist of:

Indies cant compete here. POD is expensive at the best of times, and so it suggested we can just look on, finding out about the huge need for English-language books in countries weve likely never ever provided a 2nd idea to as markets.

Huge Bad Wolf is a publishing phenomenon quite unlike any other. It ships English-language books by the million– literally– and sells them stacked high and inexpensive in 11-day 24/7 flash sales in nations like the previously mentioned Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines.

The worldwide book market is so much bigger than we believe.

English is also naturally the second-language of countless other nations– try discovering someone in Sweden, Denmark or the Netherlands that does not speak English! Have a look at the English Proficiency Index for more surprises.

In 2020, Big Bad Wolf had strategies to double that, and had declared its intent to ship ONE BILLION English-language books to the emerging markets over the next five years. The pandemic had other ideas.

In 2015, Big Bad Wolf debuted in Myanmars Yangon and after that made a 2nd journey later in the year to Mandalay, taking one million books to each event. It offered English-language books to the value of $1.8 million. In the Philippines, Big Bad Wolf makes multiple trips to the country. Most recently this previous February, it took 2 million English-language books to Manila for its routine 11-day sale. Also this year Big Bad Wolf debuted in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, and it took a long one million English-language books for an 11-day flash sale.

But this year, Big Bad Wolf is going on the internet. Its already had a trial occasion in Indonesia and another is lined up August, and in October the first-ever full-blown online Big Bad Wolf sale will happen across Sri Lanka.

Jakarta? That will be Indonesia, where in 2019 Big Bad Wolf made some 5 journeys, the greatest taking 5.5 million books, 4.5 million of which were English, shipped in containers and offered in, you guessed it, 24/7 flash sales over 11 days. Generally 750,000 would end up for the event.

Huge Bad Wolfs second largest event of 2019 was in Malaysia, where 4.5 million books were set out. Theres more.

You see, Big Bad Wolf specialises in remaindered books. It implies publishers can get the cost-efficiency of big print runs understanding the excess has a buyer and will not be shredded. Big Bad Wolf mops up the excess and sells it in non-competing markets, as above, at prices few can withstand.

Huge Bad Wolf has big strategies for 2020 but a certain pandemic overthrew that schedule, triggering the Jakarta Big Bad Wolf event to end early.

Botswana, British Virgin Islands, Cameroon, Cayman Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Namibia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tonga, Turks & & Caicos Islands, Uganda, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

In 2019, Big Bad Wolf shipped 3 million English language books to the United Arab Emirates. It shipped 1 million English-language books to Karachi in Pakistan. It delivered 1.5 million to Colombo in Sri Lanka.

But for indies, theres a silver lining to this cloud.

Let me begin to wind down this post by returning to the Philippines, Malaysia and Myanmar and presenting, for those unknown, the Big Bad Wolf.

Last year, Big Bad Wolf debuted in Myanmars Yangon and then made a 2nd trip later on in the year to Mandalay, taking one million books to each occasion. That will be Indonesia, where in 2019 Big Bad Wolf made some 5 trips, the greatest taking 5.5 million books, 4.5 million of which were English, delivered in containers and offered in, you thought it, 24/7 flash sales over 11 days.

On top of that we can include nations where for historic factors English is commonly spoken in organisation and admin. That list will include locations like Egypt, Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh among numerous.

Let me stay with the USA and Canada here and keep in mind that in 2019 alone OverDrive saw digital downloads totalling 326 million, of which 211 million were ebooks and 114 million audiobooks. 6.6 million of them came from Canadas Toronto Public Library, pushing the Los Angeles Public Library into second place with “only” 5.9 million downloads. While small English-speaking Singapore, population 5.8 million, saw 4.2 million OverDrive downloads last year.

Thats a chance for indies to participate in the online celebrations, get in touch with Sri Lankan readers, and build brand-new audiences, since our indie ebooks can be simply as budget friendly as Big Bad Wolfs print titles.

Pakistan has 71 million people online– more than the UK. Kenya has 46 million individuals online.

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