Official figures say that Amazon holds about 80% of the UK ebook market, but my own figures would seem to suggest that it’s more like 95%. Yes, for every 95 books I sell on Amazon’s Kindle platform, I sell about 5 on iBooks, Kobo, Nook, and Google all put together! But that still doesn’t make Amazon a monopoly despite what many of their detractors like to claim.
Just to prove it, here are all the places you can buy The Photographer’s Wife.
With so many choices, why do Amazon sell so many more ebooks than their competitors? Quite simply because the other players haven’t got their acts together.
There is still no way to read an iTunes book on any e-paper ereader, and in Kobo’s case, they haven’t even (from what my fans tell me) managed to produce an in-house e-reader that works. Everyone complains about them constantly crashing and my own experience with the dreadful Kobo Mini backs this up.
But perhaps even worse than their incompetence is the arrogance with which they treat their authors.
Amazon provide an incredibly easy to use publishing platform. They provide tools to track sales, graph your sales rank, and promote yourself to readers through Author pages and short-term promotions. Contact Amazon’s Kindle platform about improving your book’s placement, and you’ll receive a polite friendly message from someone willing to discuss that with you. (Apple too will discuss your plans with you as long as you have a solid marketing plan in place.)
But just try it with Nook, Kobo or Google Play!
Contact Nook and they’ll reply that “We cannot execute individual marketing campaigns for titles and authors, and … we merchandise at our sole discretion” – in other words, “Mind your own business, little author.”
And neither Kobo nor Google play will even bother to reply. Because, of course, despite supplying self publishing platforms, they don’t deign to discuss placement with mere self published authors.
Quite who they think makes their book business roll, is beyond me.
But then, of course, as far as my figures can tell, their book businesses don’t roll. They don’t roll at all. I wonder why?