Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How Indie Authors Reach International Markets

The emergence of ebooks as a viable medium for authors has enabled independent authors to reach wide audiences through digital delivery on the internet. As an indie author, I've benefited from the global distribution of my titles. A portion of my income every month comes from readers outside the United States, predominantly in countries that have English speakers and readers such as Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and India.

What Platforms do I use to sell ebooks worldwide?

Most indie authors, especially in the United States, are familiar with Kindle Direct Publishing through Amazon. This platform places ebooks in the Kindle store in numerous countries. Some of the Kindle stores serve markets that don't have a strong English language audience, like France and Brazil. I do, however, have consistent Kindle sales in the UK and Australia. Canada, although it has a Kindle store, does not produce many sales for me. My sales to Canadians tend to come through Kobo and Google Play.

Kobo has long been known as a source of ebooks in the Canadian market. It also has a substantial international reach. I've sold ebooks to various countries through Kobo. This is a platform that indie authors should definitely be on. The company is friendly to self publishers, who can directly publish through Kobo Writing Life. Authors can also have their titles sold through Kobo by third parties like Smashwords. Some authors enjoy substantial success at this retailer that reaches many audiences not well serviced by Amazon.

Google Play offers me my most robust international selling platform. As well as enjoying many sales in the United States, I regularly reach other countries, including Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, South Africa, and sometimes India. Sales come in from countries like Switzerland, Norway, and New Zealand too. Because I've always struggled for visibility on Amazon, Google Play has emerged as my most profitable outlet most months. I publish directly at Google Play, and I'm not aware of any third parties offering access to this store.

Apple has the iBooks store within its iTunes system, and people in over 50 countries can buy my ebooks there. Over the years, I've had sales come in from all kinds of countries at iBooks like France, Germany, and Australia. I use Smashwords to sell my titles at iBooks. Apple does have a self publishing system, but I'm not familiar with it.

Speaking of Smashwords, its retail store also represents a means of selling ebooks globally. The reporting system at Smashwords does not show me the countries of origin on my sales, but I do know that the store has an international customer base, and I've sold hundreds of ebooks through their website.

Finally, my own website Brave Luck Books serves as a global retailer for any digital goods produced by me. My ebooks are delivered automatically after payment through the service SendOwl, and my credit card processor accepts many currencies.

You can go pick out a free ebook right now to see how it works without entering any credit card information.