The above statement is something we hear often and so we thought it would be appropriate to write down some reasons as to why you shouldn’t close the door to the other digital book stores out there. After seeing a news item on the BBC (linked below) I decided now was a good time to write down these reasons and answer the question as to why you need to sell your book in many places, not just on Amazon.
I saw yesterday on the BBC that the chief executive of Amazon was discussing that the hardware gives Amazon no profit, however the real profit is in the selling of the electronic books. I’m not entirely sure we can believe there is not a single penny / cent of profit from the hardware but can understand them selling it for near cost price to encourage sales. It is also common knowledge that Amazon KDP services are taking either 30% and charging fees, or 70% with no fees, so it’s no wonder he makes that statement.
There are a number of simple reasons why, that I will list here. I will start off with Amazon and then answer the same question with Apple iTunes iBookstore.
Amazon KDP only operates in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and India.
For Amazon KDP you need to earn at least £10 GBP/ $10 USD in each territory to get paid.
The screens are black and white although there are new ones coming in colour. We also note that in the US the new technology comes out at least a year in advance so not so helpful to our UK authors or others around the world. Books are not interactive with the ability to add sounds, videos or anything else that could bring your book alive especially with children’s books.
You can sign up to Amazon yourself and either copy and paste your book or upload a mobi file. If you have your book converted to eBook with Help For Writers, we can convert your eBook to mobi so you can still use your own direct KDP service if you wish. There is no cost for that.
For Apple iTunes, your book can be available in:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.
We also know from experience of working with Apple iTunes in other areas, that Apple is available in over 100 countries, so we believe it is only a matter of time before Apple will have your books available in more places. We do also work with Amazon in other areas and Amazon doesn’t have the same infrastructure or ability to work as quickly in terms of developing markets.
If your book is delivered by Help For Writers, there are no minimum payments, so no matter what you earn in a month you will receive the payment the following month no matter how big or small it may be.
Payments via Apple are also one month quicker than Amazon.
Books can be fully interactive, you can click on characters and make things happen, you can have videos and music embedded, in fact you are only limited by your imagination.
It’s true members of the public cannot just deliver their books to Apple and you have to go through Apple Approved companies like Help For Writers. Part of the reason is that we have an accounting infrastructure with accounts in various countries to save you banking costs (business banking is very expensive). We are well versed in the requirements of Apple in terms of delivery and presentation of the book and we are also experienced in how to convert your books. Apple just doesn’t have the manpower to be able to help. However with Help For Writers you are getting 100% and paid at the same time so you’re in a great position just like you would have been if you had signed to Apple directly.
I mentioned at the start of this book about KOBO and Waterstones. In the UK these are two very long-established and trusted brands who also deliver to other well-established book stores (WHSmith, Tesco etc). Via Help For Writers you have access to these and more importantly a wider book audience and opportunity for additional promotion from the store.
As you can see there are some very important differences. In the US, Amazon may be 50% of the book market, but it’s not the same elsewhere around the world and there are opportunities to be had should you decide not to restrict your book’s availability.
Written by Nick Dunn, CEO of Help For Writers.