Around The World In 80 Ebook Stores – 1: Book Soup

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We’ve picked up a lot of new subscribers this past week, and those unfamiliar with the EBUK blog may be thinking Eighty Ebooks Stores? I can’t even think of eight!

Obviously we’ve chosen that number as an acknowledgement of the great literary heritage from which we all draw inspiration and on which we all seek to build, but actually eighty is just the tip of the iceberg.

Many of these myriad “new” ebook stores are little more than just-add-water instant micro-stores. White label stores attached to bricks and mortar bookseller websites, or even to retailers that have had no previous association with books.

They are cheap and easy to set-up, low-maintenance and bring the retailer another stream (trickle  in most cases) of income. We’ll look at just how White Label stores work, in another post.

When we say micro-stores we mean micro in terms of customer base, not ebook selection. Many of these micro-stores are powered by much bigger ebook retailers or distributors, like Kobo, ‘txtr, OverDrive, Copia, etc, meaning these micro stores may stock literally millions of ebooks, including yours.

If you check out the Ebook Bargains US newsletter you’ll find we feature a different micro-store each month, all attached to bricks and mortar indie booksellers. This is from today’s newsletter to US subscribers.

BookSoup

It’s actually Book Soup’s last day with us. There will be a different indie ebook store featured from tomorrow. Book Soup’s website can be found here.

Having your titles in the Book Soup ebook store won’t make you rich and famous. None of these micro-stores will ever deliver more than a handful of sales. So it is worth the bother?

Absolutely. For three very good reasons.

  • By getting your ebooks into these indie bookseller micro-stores and – better still – giving the store some promotional time occasionally, you help keep indie booksellers in business. Their percentage on the handful of sales you make will be insignificant on its own, but if they make a handful of sales from many thousands of different titles over the year their percentage may be the difference between them staying open or closing for ever.
  • That same handful of sales won’t be making you rich, or even buy you your next coffee and muffin. But if you make a handful of sales over a year in each of a hundred different micro-stores that soon mounts up. It won’t pay the fuel for the private jet you bought with your Amazon sales, but it will still be worth having.
  • Discoverability. As we’re always saying, being there is half the battle. If readers are have been loyal to their local book-store and have eschewed the undoubtedly cheaper prices from Amazon or B&N in favour of an indie book store so far then they are unlikely to desert that store to go digital. If the indie bookseller has an ebook store attached the readers will buy their ebooks from that store too. Regular Kindle, Nook and other users may recommend your title to am indie bookstore customer. The indie book store customer may find your title and recommend it to a Kindle or Nook customer. It’s win-win if you are available.

In the case of Book Soup customers will actually be buying from the Kobo ebook store. And if you have your titles listed in Kobo there’s a very strong possibility they’ll appear when a Book Soup customer uses the Kobo search engine on the Book Soup website.

We’ll be looking at Kobo’s US partner stores in a special feature on Indiebound soon. Here just to say Kobo provides ebook stores and ebooks to a rather large (and growing) number of indie bookstores in the USA.

This is micro market fragmentation in action. As above, individually these sales may be insignificant. Collectively these stores and their sales matter. Not for nothing is Amazon itself now following Kobo’s lead and partnering with indie bookstores where it can.

More on Amazon’s partner stores another time. Here just to say Kobo got in first and is way ahead of the game. Check out Indiebound to find out just how many indie booksellers not only have websites with your POD titles on, but also have their own ebook stores carrying literally millions of titles, powered and supplied by Kobo.

No official figures on this, but Kobo are believed to have a mid-single figure share of the US ebook market. That may not sound much, but when it’s a market as big as the US ebook market that’s not to be sneezed at. And our guess is the bulk of those sales are coming through Kobo partner stores in the US, not the localized Kobo-US website itself.

Retailer Round-Up

All the Indiebound indie bookseller ebook stores, including Book Soup, are supplied by Kobo. To get into Kobo you can go direct via Kobo Writing Life or through pretty much any aggregator. We find the Indiebound link to be very temperamental. If it doesn’t work for you, the address is http://www.indiebound.org/ebooks. Do persist. it will be worth it in the end.

Ebook Bargains UK

Far more than just an ebook promo newsletter

Far more than just the UK

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