The EBUK team are over at the Anne R. Allen with Ruth Harris blog this week, with some facts and figures on the German ebook market that may surprise you, and some facts and figures on the tablet, phablet and smartphone market that may surprise you even more.
Did you know what India’s biggest selling tablet is? No, it’s not a Samsung or Apple device, and its certainly not the Kindle. It’s a tablet you’ve probably never heard of. The Aakash. But here’s the thing. Millions of Indians have heard of it and have bought it, and some could be reading your ebooks on it.
Chances are you’ve never heard of Magzter, either. And that’s okay. They’ve probably never heard of you.
But one way in which market fragmentation is accelerating is in digital content providers who do not sell ebooks jumping on the bandwagon and selling ebooks.
No timetable yet for Magzter, but given they sell digital magazines it’s a logical next step and there’s been a few hints it’s on the cards.
Yes, we know what you’re all thinking. Amazon already sell magazines, so this new start-up may as well give up now. These smaller stores will never amount to anything. Whoever heard of Magzter anyway?
Well, Magzter is no new start-up. It’s been around since June 2011, and currently seventeen million people around the globe subscribe to magazines through Magzter, reading on their tablets, phablets and smartphones. If that number doesn’t at least double in 2014 we shall be very surprised.
And there are interesting possibilities ahead for stores like these to cross-match ebooks and magazine. For example, travel mags coming up alongside non-fiction ebooks about, or fiction ebooks set in, particular locations. Magzter may or may not be the store that does this, but you can be certain it will happen.
Magzter is just one of countless very successful e-reading outlets you’ve probably never heard of but which millions of other people have. Although New York based, Magzter is big in places like India and Singapore. Amazon has finally got a Kindle India store but still blocks digital downloads to Singapore.
In India digi-mag sellers like Rockstand and Newshunt have recently opened up to ebooks. They both already had millions of subscribers each for their magazines and news, and now ebooks are being put in front of their regular customers.
It’s not rocket science to work out that many of these customers will not be buying their ebooks from the big stores like Amazon, Kobo, etc, when they can get them alongside their regular magazines and news instead.
If your ebooks are not in the catalogues of these “smaller” retailers that are proliferating across the globe then you are going to miss out on future sales in a big way.
Indies need to step outside their comfort zone and see the bigger picture emerging as e-reading goes global. The international e-reading market is still in first gear but already there are more people e-reading on more devices and buying from more outlets than you would ever imagine.
And this is just the beginning.
“Small” outlets like Magzter with their paltry seventeen million subscribers are collectively going to eclipse the sales of the big players in the next year or two, and then leave them behind. Way behind.
If we were investors we would be throwing money at trad pub right now, because trad pub are already making a fortune from the global e-reading markets, and will make money beyond their wildest dreams over the coming years as global e-reading gets into second gear and beyond.
And not by spending all day tweeting and FB-ing “Buy My Book!”. Just by having their titles available where the readers are.
Most indies, still partying like its 2009, will be left waving from the shoreline. Those indies who are playing the long game and riding the international wave now, while the goal is wide open, will be reaping big rewards in years to come.
Which will you be?