International Insights: Amazon Sweden

For todays edition of the Alliance of Independent Authors International Insights hosted by Mark Williams of The New Publishing Requirement, were discussing Amazon Sweden.

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard

Its the very same with going large and going international.

Among the secrets to being a successful worldwide indie author is keeping up with international advancements in publishing, watching trends, identifying opportunities, and having the ability to pivot when required.

Although in some cases an exciting brand-new chance can end up being a moist squib. Like the launch this week of Amazon Sweden, which is a lesson for everything about keeping all our eggs in one basket.

Lots of indies pay lip service to going broad, however theres far more to going wide than leaving KDP Select and joining the first aggregator that comes to mind.


Just a couple of years earlier simply a handful of high-flying indies offered a reservation to the audiobook market. Today most serious indies are rotating towards a multi-format design where audiobooks play a central function in their author platform.

We can say the exact same about podcasts and print as needed. Neither are brand-new to the publishing scene, however both have actually become more and more central to indie publishing in the last few years, and authors who pivoted early, far from the “ebooks are the only show in town” mindset, have actually emerged the stronger for it.

Due To The Fact That Amazon Sweden, Amazons 17th market, has gone live without a Kindle store. Once again. Come November 11 it will have been 6 years because Amazon last released a Kindle shop.

, if we are severe about global reach we need to keep up with brand-new advancements and constantly revisit our list as new platforms and opportunities emerge.

This despite the truth that Amazon continues to state plainly on its site that Amazons objective is,

Excellent beliefs that will no doubt have actually assisted lots of indies over the years decide being exclusive with Amazon was a good bet for the long-term.

” To have every book, ever published, in any language offered for Kindle consumers to buy and begin reading in less than 60 seconds.”

However theres the truth: the last Kindle shop, in the Netherlands, launched in November 2014. Ever since Amazon has actually released in:

Singapore– no Kindle store
Turkey– no Kindle shop
Saudi Arabia– no Kindle store
The United Arab Emirates– no Kindle store
This week in Sweden– no Kindle store

Does anybody find a pattern emerging here?

Compare the years prior: from just the USA in 2007, Amazon opened Kindle stores in the UK in 2010, then dashed off 4 in 2011 (Germany, France, Italy, Spain) and five in 2012 (Japan, China, Canada, Brazil, India). In 2013 the pace slowed to simply two brand-new Kindle shops (Mexico and Australia), and in 2014 simply one (Netherlands).

Which means that given that 2014 indie authors who picked to be unique with Amazon have not seen any brand-new global opportunities come their method, while indies going broad have actually reaped the rewards of an expanding worldwide market. And simply to ram home the obvious indifference of Amazon to the global book markets in the 2020s, consider this:

Over at the Hot Sheet this week Jane Friedman took a deep dive into the Frankfurt Book Fair argument on subscription.

That growth wont consist of Belgium as the Storytel Belgium store just released today. But stop briefly a minute to examine the number of those Storytel nations have a Kindle store. Just seven, given that you ask. And Storytel will also be releasing in Thailand this year, and Indonesia and Israel in early 2021 (none of these have Kindle shops), followed by another 18 or two new markets through to 2023.

Swedish, together with other Nordic languages, have belonged to the approved-language list for the Kindle shop practically given that the Kindle shop began, and Swedish language ebooks are readily offered in the Kindle shops that do exist.

Obviously Storytel, Bookbeat and Nextory are some of numerous streaming services reaching global audiences however that off-limits to authors who go special with Amazon.

This month Sweden-based digital books streaming service Nextory reported its Q3 figures, which were quite much the like every other quarter in living memory: Revenue up 76%. Customers up 81%. It wasnt simply Nextory. Sweden-based ebooks and audiobooks BookBeat saw a 69% income increase in Q3 (following an 82% increase in Q2).

And after that theres Storytel. Sweden-based, obviously, and for Q3 reporting a seemingly less remarkable 23% rise in profits, however this from a much greater base as the market leader. And most importantly Storytels non-Nordic growth (i.e. development in markets not including Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland– markets like India, Poland, Netherlands, Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, South Korea, Russia, Turkey Bulgaria, UAE, Italy and Spain) was up 65% YOY for profits and 63% YOY for subscribers.

Yeah, somebody send out a memo to Jeff Bezos and tell him its 2020. Even in Sweden.

This is not a problem with language-compatible tech. Swedish publishers have been sending books to Amazon US for years. However readers in Sweden visiting the spanking new Amazon Sweden shop will just see printed audio-cds and books.

Its only Christmas print sales that are holding Sweden back from the tipping point at which printed books become to Swedish publishers what vinyl is to music publishers in the United States. Lets bring in some supporting figures and realities to drive home just how significant the absence of a Kindle SE store is.

What makes this story of Amazons launch in Sweden without digital books all the more amazing is that Sweden, more than any other nation in the world, is at the leading edge of the digital shift. As much as 60% of the Swedish book market is now digital, with digital subscription of audiobooks and ebooks leading the way.

Nextory has similar ambitions. It has actually simply revealed a Netherlands launch for December and is looking for capital for additional growth beyond its existing markets.

A couple of key takeaways from Janes report:

And to round off this post, a return to membership, however this tie relating to podcasting. One such is Voxnests Spreaker, which is in the news this month because its been acquired by the biggest US podcasting operator iHeartMedia.

Then of course theres Brazil, where the São Paulo Bienial will be having an online version in December.

Oct 30-31 (India) Delhi Book Fair online.


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

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

International book fairs and festivals:.

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

Nov 28-Dec 6 (Mexico) Guadalajara International Book Fair.

In Africa, the reading app Nabu has introduced in Kenya in both English and Kiswahili. One more reminder that the global book market is a digital play ground for indies ready to step outside our convenience zones.

Nov 4-11 (Malaysia) Big Bad Wolf online.

French-language aggregator De Marque, based in Canada, has simply raised $5 million for expansion after the 35% boom in digital reading during lockdown ended up being a 35% -30% continual boost.

Then these online book fairs are terrific chances to engage via social media, if were serious about developing international audiences.

But let me wind up the subscription component these dayss post by keeping in mind that in Norway authors are taking legal action against publishers to guarantee their books are on more membership platforms.

In Malaysia Big Bad Wolf is at it again. Big Bad Wolf Malaysia will be an online sale with 20 million English-language books up for grabs. Malaysia has 27 million individuals online.

And in Palestine the Palestine Writes Literature Festival will be online in December.

And remaining in Latin America, Mexicos Guadalajara International Book Fair will be online this year too. Guadalajara usually draws in upwards of 800,000 visitors.

And stepping outside the digital books box, Netflix has launched a new low-price mobile-only membership alternative in Nigeria to use the countrys 126 million web users. And yes that is the Nigeria where the Amazon Kindle shop, the Google Play books shop and the Apple Book shop are obstructed.

Of course theres more to indie publishing opportunities than subscription. Book festivals and fairs continue to head online as the pandemic ravages the globe. And markets we might normally neglect are seeing great deals of new advancements. It would be impossible to mention all the interesting news in worldwide publishing this month, however here are a couple of appetizers to round off this post.

Dec 2-6 (Palestine) Palestine Writes.

Storytel CEO Jonas Tellander emphasised that– based upon present data– streaming activity is not cannibalizing the market however growing it.
Given that streaming sales ended up being huge in Sweden, the fiction market has actually grown– 9 percent in between 2017 and 2019. Whichs after Swedens market saw consistent decrease from 2011 to 2013.
Tellander: “The function of the book business is to stay relevant and to make certain you have an offering that people can associate with, comprehend, and embrace, and I believe thats now turning into streaming.”
Mette Hammerich Casterta (Denmarks Saga Egmont) stated: “Subscription of ebooks and audiobooks is one of the most necessary chauffeurs of the book market these days and tomorrow. … Its not simply that theres larger consumption– its that there are a growing number of readers. This is a really crucial thing as we today are completing with so lots of other kinds of home entertainment.”
Julie MacKay of Scribd said: “Our publishing partners have consistently reported that the reading activity on Scribd is additive and the earnings is incremental to what theyre translucenting traditional channels and print … Many publishers are seeing the format as additive since the format is engaging brand-new readers.”

Worldwide Netflix is targeting 500 million customers by the end of this years … If just publishers had the same vision …

And speaking of space for development, France has actually been really slow to engage with digital in spite of having 60 million individuals online, with just 8.7% of the French book market being ebooks and digital audio. The only method is up!

And in truth that growth will already have actually come, as the 8.7% figure was for 2019.

In other news, in Pakistan a significant new publishing house introduced, and while theres no indie opportunity with the company, its suggestion of one of the most interesting untapped markets out there. Pakistan is at just 32% internet penetration, so no surprise indies arent thinking of the digital sales chance here, but hold on. That 32% corresponds to 71 million individuals online currently– thats more than in the UK– and massive room for development.

Wherever we are, in a huge city, a town, a remote village, or on a far-off island, the worldwide book market is simply a click away. And its soooo much larger than we think

The Malta Book Festival will be online this year. Generally 40,000 turn out for the occasion. Not bad for an island of less than 435,000 individuals.

Dec 7-13 (Brazil) Sao Paulo Bienial online

BookBeat– StreetLib.

Swedish publishers have been sending books to Amazon US for years. Readers in Sweden checking out the spanking new Amazon Sweden shop will only see printed audio-cds and books.


Access to platforms mentioned in this post:.

Voxnests Spreaker– Streetlib.

Mette Hammerich Casterta (Denmarks Saga Egmont) said: “Subscription of ebooks and audiobooks is one of the most necessary motorists of the book market of today and tomorrow. Book fairs and festivals continue to head online as the pandemic devastations the world. The Malta Book Festival will be online this year.

Scribd– BookBaby, Draft2Digital, Findaway, PublishDrive, Smashwords, StreetLib.

Nextory– Findaway.

Storytel– Findaway, PublishDrive, StreetLib.

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