Pinterest buy buttons go live later this month. (LINK) By the look of things it will be selected big retailers to start with – Macy’s and Nordstroms will be offering millions of products – but very likely it will be opened up to everyone soon enough.
Direct sales to customers for indie authors on Pinterest may be a while coming, and even a direct buy through to Amazon and co. is not a certainty yet, but the direction Pinterest is moving is clear.
In similar vein Rakuten has made very clear its intention to make the messaging app Viber a global sales platform for its products, with Kobo ebooks top of the list.
If you’re not building a presence on Kobo you should be.
And if you’re not building a presence on Pinterest already then you’re not just missing a great opportunity now to spread the word about your books. You’ll be missing an even bigger opportunity as Pinterest continues down this route as a global sales platform.
It’s not 2009 anymore. And collectively we indies need to stop partying like nothing’s changed these past five years.
We’ve long been talking about market fragmentation. Bear in mind five years ago Amazon had over 90% of the US ebook market. Now it barely holds 65% of retail market share, and its position of dominance is further eroded by subscription services, direct to consumer sites, digital libraries and myriad other alternatives that simply didn’t exist in any meaningful way in 2009.
Market fragmentation will accelerate rapidly over the next five years as sites like Facebook and Pinterest and Viber and etc, etc, move to void the need to go direct to retail sites to buy goods.
Savvy indies should be keeping a close eye on the way things are moving.
And so should those many indies who are convinced ebook sales are drying up. They’re not. Ebook growth may have slowed, but it is not in reverse.
Those indies seeing slumps or reversals in their sales fortunes need to look at the new reality.
As we’ve warned many times, readers will shop/buy/download/browse where its convenient for them, not us. Subscription sites, digital libraries, whatever. They don’t give a toss if the author is inconvenienced by this. It’s not their problem. If your titles aren’t available where the readers shop, they’ll just buy someone else’s books instead.
If indies want to stay ahead of the game they need to be where the readers are, and where the readers are heading, not just where the readers were five years ago.
As sites like Pinterest monetize their content so market fragmentation will accelerate.
We can go with the flow, or be left standing at the roadside watching others reap the rewards.
What will your choice be?