Two years ago we sold into half a dozen countries. In 2011 we are selling and marketing in to more than 20. The market is truly global now for the small independent publisher. Why?
It’s true that we have seen an expansion of the print on demand (POD) capabilities of our partners so we are selling more physical books into Europe and that’s a part of the growth. It is however ebooks combined with social media that have opened many new markets up.
Of course Kindle is the heavyweight, and we can’t wait for them to expand further. This year through Kobo alone we’ve sold books in UK, USA, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Hong Kong, and India. iBooks through Apple is also proving good in Canada – enough so for us to recently launch a Canadian website.
There are improvements in physical books too. The databases have improve significantly within, and between, the online retailers. For example loading a book up with Amazon now gets the book visible wherever Amazon are – UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Japan.
Marketing the books within those countries is need and that’s where social media comes in. Facebook conveniently breaks down, via fan pages, neatly into country groups. Of course many of the big fan pages have global fan bases and that’s useful too.
The near future? We can’t wait for Lightning Source’s new facility to open in Australia as that will open up that region for physical books – I feel an MX Australia will be needed soon. On ebooks it is all about getting the back catalogue live asap and tackling some more distributors.