Category Archives: Nook

Where Next For Nook?



When it comes to indecisive it doesn’t get much worse than the management of Barnes & Noble and what they are going to do with Nook.

As of summer 2014 it was definitely being sold off, and summer 2015 was the deadline. (LINK)

As of late February of this year it was definitely being kept. (LINK)

As print sales settle after the early disruption of digital it’s clear retailers like Barnes & Noble, along with the big publishers, are feeling more relaxed and confident than at any time since 2011-12, when one struggled to find an industry blog that wasn’t full of doom and gloom about publishing’s future.

How thing’s change.

There’s a new vibrancy and confidence in the industry as the shake-out’s new landscape becomes clear. Print sales are doing just fine, book stores are thriving. And ebook stores are thriving too.

Yes, there have been casualties. In the ebook field small players like Diesel, that simply couldn’t hack it, and unexpected casualties like the Sony Reader Stores and Tesco’s Blinkbox, both sacrificed because of problems at the parent companies.

And then there’s Nook.

While the Kindle store has probably been profitable for a good few years now (humungous market share in the US and UK, assisted by subsidized ereaders and tablets) Kobo is only expected to break even later this year, and Nook, while seeing its losses dwindle, is still far from profitable in its own right.

But with US market share at around 10%, tucking in behind Apple, Nook still is a significant player, and still has a lot to offer.

Barnes & Noble could, if Nook was such a dead loss as the naysayers would have us believe, simply call it a day, write off the Nook legacy, and move on. There is absolutely no point piling on the losses if there is no knight in shining armour on the horizon to rescue this damsel in distress.

So why hasn’t B&N just called it a day and shut shop?

Our guess is that B&N do see a knight in shining armour on the horizon. One (or one of several) with deep pockets and big ambitions, but not yet in a position to make a move. Perhaps they have already signalled interest. Perhaps B&N are just smart enough to see the way the wind is blowing.

You see, no matter how much we indies (and sadly it is largely we indies – still locked into this arcane us-and-them mentality that sees print publishers and print retailers as the enemy) ridicule Nook, the fact remains that Nook is a close-to-profitable business with a lot to offer a prospective buyer looking to gain a significant foothold in the US digital media market.

Not just a substantial customer base (who wouldn’t want 10% of the massive US market in a single grab?), but the marketing contacts and infrastructure (both US and UK publishers), and the not insignificant global potential.

At one stage Nook was fielding thirty or so international ebook stores, albeit only with a Windows 8 app. But it means they had the contractual infrastructure in place with publishers in those countries.

Nook also has a functional self-publishing portal across several countries and, slightly more controversially, a print and publishing services arrangement with Author Solutions. Plus of course some nominal digital media action beyond the ebook element.

Then there’s the existing range of Nook hardware in readers’ hands and the contractual infrastructure in place with manufacturers to build on same.

All of which collectively amounts to a significant package for a forward thinking, globally-minded, deep-pocketed operator with an eye on the US and international digital media markets.

Who might that be? Here at EBUK we’ve long been warning that the centre of digital gravity is shifting east, and it from the east we feel that Nook’s knight in shining armour will most likely come.

B&N’s management will not be unaware of the manoeuvrings of the big Chinese e-commerce titans as they gear up for global domination. If Alibaba is leading the pack right now, expect Tencent and JD among many to be not far behind.

And then of course there’s Rakuten, across the water in Japan. Any thoughts that Rakuten was regretting its buy-out of Kobo and was writing off ebooks were laid firmly to rest when Rakuten bought out the US and global digital distributor OverDrive earlier this year.

Nooks’ 10% US market share would make a fine addition to Rakuten’s US Kobo and US OverDrive presence, as well as both company’s substantial international reach.

The OverDrive buy-out, along with the plans for Viber, make very clear Rakuten’s vision for a digital future. More on the latter in another post shortly.

B&N’s management will surely be looking at these up-and-coming players – any one of which could buy Nook (and B&N itself) out of pocket change – and see the potential for a lucrative sale down the road if it can just get Nook back on the right path.

Getting by with Nook for another year, as B&N now appear to be intent on doing, may be more sensible than it at first appears.


Ebook Bargains UK

Far more than just an ebook promo newsletter.

Far more than just the UK.

Draft2Digital Territorial Pricing Option Now Live!


Sorry, Smashwords, but rival aggregator Draft2Digital (D2D) just took another big leap forward today as its territorial pricing options went live in the D2D dashboard.

Instead of just setting a US dollar price for your ebooks loaded through D2D you can now price for each country/territory. For Europe, no need to worry about adjusting for VAT. D2D does that for you and include VAT in the list price you set. But do remember that the net price your “royalty” is based on will be the VAT-exclusive price, not the list price the reader pays.

You can act now and update your pricing on existing books in D2D simply by opening a product listing page at “publishing”. Below the US price box you’ll find a button to select territorial prices.

And (we’ll get accused of Amazon-bashing for this but facts are facts) it leaves Amazon’s KDP standing.

You can set prices in euros and pounds sterling, of course, and Indian rupees and Brazilian reals, and Mexican pesos and Australian and Canadian dollars, and Japanese yen, just like on Amazon.

But you can also set prices in New Zealand dollars and Hong Kong dollars.

And in Danish and Norwegian krone, and Swedish krona.

And even in Swiss francs.

It isn’t stated, but our guess is these territorial prices will feed through to Apple and Kobo (and Nook UK), and possibly the Page Foundry sites like Inktera and Versent. The Scribd feed from D2D is only for the subscription service.

Yes, it’s more effort for you, poor souls, but it won’t take long and only needs doing once. And so worth doing.

Set your titles cheap for places like Hong Hong, Denmark, Sweden and Norway, etc, where Amazon has no store so can’t play the pernicious MFN card. Take full advantage to find new readers in new places. Run special promos in Sweden and Switzerland. Offer a special deal to Danish readers. Let buyers in New Zealand pay in their own currency at a great price.

What a great way for D2D to end the year,

Needless to say we’re happier than a lamb with two tails. Guess what we’ll be doing this afternoon. 

Ebook Bargains UK

Far more than just an ebook promo newsletter.

Far more than just the UK.

Ebook Bargains UK Rolls Out Buy Buttons For OverDrive, Scribd And Oyster And Kindle Unlimited.

Go Global In 2014

Here at Ebook Bargains UK we are committed to promoting a healthy and diverse global ebook market.

From the beginning we took a conscious decision not to go down the affiliate route.

This was a) to maintain our editorial independence as observers and commentators through the blog;

b) to ensure we were open to promoting ebook stores as widely as possible, regardless of whether they had an affiliate scheme we could make money off;

and c) to ensure we were not drawn down the route of favouring some better-selling authors over others less-well-established who were less likely to bring in affiliate fees.

The downside to that of course is that we rely solely on advertiser fees for revenue. As our subscriber base is small (inevitably, as we are targeting nascent markets) the fees are low, which in turn impinges our ability to develop as rapidly as we might like.

But we are getting there. If you haven’t seen our daily promo newsletters recently, check out the links below, to see how things are changing for the better.

First and foremost – and one in the eye for those who repeatedly assert we are anti-Amazon because we occasionally run posts on the blog that are less than flattering about the Everything Store – we now carry buy buttons for the Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service.

We think it safe to say we are the ONLY ebook promo newsletter carrying KU buttons at this time.

As of this month we are also carrying buttons for OverDrive digital libraries, and the subscription services Scribd and Oyster. Again, we are probably the only promo newsletter reaching out to readers using these platforms.

For those unfamiliar, we also carry buy buttons for the global Txtr stores and Google Play stores, for Smashwords, for All-Romance and OmniLit, for Blio, Versent and for Books A Million, and of course the usual suspects Amazon, Apple, Nook and Kobo.

In addition, this month we have increased our support for indie bookstores in the US, and now have buy buttons for no less than four Kobo-partnered independent book-sellers.

These are Flights of Fancy in Albany, New York ; Gulliver’s in Fairbanks, Alaska; Poor Richard’s in Kentucky; and Skylight in Los Angeles.

Check out today’s Ebook Bargains USA newsletter (LINK) to see some of these in action.

Obviously the buttons appearing depends on the authors concerned having books available in these stores on the day.

Unlike other promo newsletters we are not price-restricted. If you have a title free in one store, 0.99 in another, 1.99 in another, and 2.99 in yet another, you can still include all the retailers in your EBUK listing.

In the EBUK newsletter for Britain (LINK), for example – advertisers are promoting titles not just on Amazon UK and KU, Apple UK, Google Play UK, Nook UK and Kobo UK but also Waterstone’s, Hive, Txtr UK, Foyles, Blloon, OverDrive and Scribd. In addition we also carry buttons for W H Smith, Sainsbury and Blinkbox , although these stores are currently off-limits to indies.

For the Ebook Bargains Australia newsletter (LINK) listings again could include Amazon AU, Google Play AU. Kobo AU, Apple AU, Txtr AU, Angus & Robertson, Bookworld, Collins, Dymocks, QBD, Booktopia, Fishpond, Pages & Pages, Big W, JB Hi-Fi, etc. And not forgetting Scribd and OverDrive

For the Ebook Bargains Germany newsletter (LINK) authors can promote their titles not just on Kindle DE, Apple DE, Google Play DE and Kobo DE but also domestic ebook stores like Hugendubel, Thalia, Buch, Bucher, Weltbild, Der Club, Bol and Ciando, and of course not forgetting Scribd. We have yet to have any author with titles in Skoobe, but when that happens…

Sadly the most exciting prospect for indie authors – India – is as yet the one most ignored by indie authors.

Today’s Ebook Bargains India newsletter carries listings for thirteen titles but only one of those thirteen has an India listing other than Kindle India.

Partly that’s the fault of the retailers. Neither Apple nor Nook are represented on the subcontinent. Kobo has a rather pointless partnership with W H Smith India and Crossword, and if they have a ”localized” India store it’s not possible for authors elsewhere to get the links for promotion.

Google Play has an India store, but none of today’s titles are in Google Play. We carry Scribd links in the India newsletter, but by chance none of today’s titles are in Scribd. C’est la vie.

More disturbing is the fact that India’s biggest store by far, Flipkart, is easily accessible to India authors through both Smashwords and Bookbaby, yet only one of the titles listed today is in Flipkart.

Landmark have lately stopped carry ebooks, but other domestic stores like Newshunt and Rockstand are upping their game by the day. And yes, as and when authors have titles in those stores we will carry buttons for them.

Here just to remind everybody that our feedback from subscribers in the nascent markets like India is very clear. They want to see deals in the stores they shop at where they are.

For India the most requested stores are Flipkart, Rockstand and Newshunt. We carry titles in Kindle India every day, so obviously those who do shop at Amazon are happy, but those that don’t are not going to change their buying habits to suit us indies. They’ll just buy books from other authors that have made the effort to be available.

That doesn’t mean indies need to try be everywhere. That simply isn’t possible, even if it were sensible.

But it does mean that, if we want to reach a global audience – and if you don’t, you’re reading the wrong blog – we need to put ourselves in our readers’ shoes now and again, and see things from their perspective.

Here’s the thing. Readers don’t care a damn what’s convenient for us indie authors. They don’t know or care how difficult store B is to get into compared to store A. They don’t know or care that D2D is much easier to upload to than Smashwords but that D2D doesn’t get our books into Flipkart and neither get us into Google Play.

Australians who buy from Angus & Robertson, Booktopia or QBD are not going to sign up with Amazon or Kobo just because it’s so much more convenient for us indie authors. If they want to get their books from their local digital library and we aren’t in the OverDrive catalogue they’ll just read someone else’s book instead.

Likewise the 60% of German readers who do not currently get their ebooks from Kindle DE are not going to change their buying habits just to enjoy our books. They still have plenty to choose from in the Tolino Alliance stores like Hugendubel and Thalia, in the Ciando stores (Ciando has its own dedicated English-language ebook store, such is the demand for English-language books in Germany) or Txtr DE, Apple DE, Kobo DE, Google Play DE, etc.

More hassle than it’s worth? Not necessarily.

While some global stores are nigh impossible to get into, and many others are, to say the least, challenging, it’s nonetheless never been easier to get diverse  global distribution.

Smashwords will now get you into the OverDrive catalogue serving digital libraries across the world, as well as the global subscription service Scribd. Smashwords gets you into India’s Flipkart. So does Bookbaby, and Bookbaby also gets you into places Smashwords does not, like the e-Sentral stores of SE Asia.

As we wind up 2014 and head into the brave new world that is 2015 we indies really need to address the issue of diversity.

Wonderful as Amazon is, putting all your eggs in one basket is never a wise idea, and as we’ve noted on many occasions, no matter how well Amazon is doing for you in the US and UK, it is not the dominant global player outside those shores, and never will be.

Diversifying your distribution does not mean leaving Amazon. You can still reach the exact same number of readers on Amazon that you do now while also being available to readers elsewhere.

As we wind up 2014, and launch our Diversified Distribution In 2015 campaign, we’ll be looking at all the latest options open to indie authors to reach readers where the readers are, including review of which aggregators gets you where, and which do it best.

Diversified Distribution In 2015!

 Ebook Bargains UK

Far more than just an ebook promo newsletter.

Far more than just the UK.

Greenpeace Declares War On Amazon. Uses Amazon-Approved Review Trolling To Make Their Point. Third Amazon Exec Jump Ship In A Month.

Go Global In 2014

We’ve pretty much all been at the wrong end of trolls who abuse the review system to leave a negative for a book because they have some grudge against the author or the subject matter or whatever. But trying getting Amazon to remove them…

And we’ve pretty much all had perfectly sound 5-Star reviews removed by Amazon because some automated-system has decided they didn’t meet the guidelines.

Amazon makes clear no-one needs to have bought, used or even seen a product in order to leave a review. Unfair on the seller? Tough.

This week saw the Amazon Fire phone, already struggling with a mediocre 3-star review average, get over 1000 additional 1-Star reviews as Greenpeace supporters took full advantage of Amazon’s review policies.

Greenpeace are protesting at the fact that Amazon is one of the dirtiest company’s in the tech world.

No, nothing to do with erotica. No-one can compete with Smashwords on that front. We mean environmental pollution.

It’s easy to get carried away with the idea that e-commerce and the internet is some sort of pollutant-free green paradise, but the reality is that all these on-line systems handling and storing enormous amounts of data need an equally enormous amount of energy to keep them all going.

Greenpeace have long since been pushing for tech companies to be more environmentally friendly. Some have responded positively. Some just look the other way.

And while Apple, Google and Facebook all now use renewable energy to fuel their systems – Apple’s iCloud is run on 100% renewable energy – Amazon takes the cheapest route – good old fashioned fossil fuel burning.

For two reasons.

First, that Amazon just doesn’t seem to care. Consider: Environmental-friendliness would be a fantastic selling point for ebooks and encouraging readers to desert paper. How many millions of trees would be saved if we all went digital with our books, newspapers and magazines? But the concept seems never to have occurred to Amazon.

Second, costs. Amazon is already deeply in debt and struggling pretty much across the board. The company is just weeks away from issuing the worst financial report in the company’s history. The ONLY area in which Amazon had been making serious money had been AWS – the Amazon cloud.

But with Google and Microsoft both slashing prices and forcing Amazon to follow suit (now there’s one of the great conundrums of our time – if Amazon is always the cheapest, why does it need to price match?) there’s no spare money for important things like investment in our children’s future.

So next time some troll lands a spate of 1-Stars on your ebook, thank your lucky stars you haven’t upset Greenpeace.


 Meanwhile, at risk of getting slammed again for being anti-Amazon for reporting news the Amazon-affiliate blogs prefer to overlook, it’s worth noting that yet another top Amazon exec’ is jumping ship. the third in a month.

Back in early September Amazon’s Chief Financial Officer Thomas Szkutak – the poor soul obliged to deliver the bad news about Amazon’s financial mire – stated he would be leaving the company next year. No reason to make that announcement so soon except to get the news out before the Q3 results are formally made public.

As Reuters bluntly put it: “Amazon CFO to step down next year amid investor discontent.” (LINK)

barely had the ink dried on that news that Amazon’s Vice President of Music and Video, Bill Carr, decided he had had enough too.

In what most observers agree is a clear indication of discontent in the Boardroom, Amazon said on Carr’s behalf that he was leaving “to spend more time with his family” and that he “has nothing else to add”. (LINK)

Now it emerges Jon Fine, Amazon’s Director of Author & Publisher Relations is also jumping ship. (LINK)

To lose one top man is a tragic loss to the company.

To lose two in as many weeks just as the going gets tough stretches the definition of coincidence to its limits.

To lose three in the space of a single month… The month before Amazon is set to report, on its own guidance, a loss of over half a billion dollars for a single quarter…

Hopes that the Fire phone sales would mean Q4 would be better were dashed long before Greenpeace added to its woes.

Hopes that the new range of Kindles would help have also been dashed. Sales are so far looking at best unimpressive.

And the latest tablet figures out this week show that Amazon is commanding just 3% of the tablet market three years after the first Kindle was announced.

None of this is good news for investors as the Q3 announcement and Q4 guidance looms.

And now Google has turned up the heat.

Amazon’s cloud service has for several years been the key driving factor in Amazon’s bubble growth. No profits. Just revenue. But it looks good.

Then Google and Microsoft started slashing their prices. Amazon had no choice but to follow suit. And its revenue plummeted, along with its share value, currently almost $100 down on its January high.

Now, in what looks like deliberate timing to maximize Amazon’s discomfort (and why not – Amazon deliberately forked Google’s Android system so the Fire phone cannot use Google apps or access the Google Play store) Google has just this week slashed prices again, ahead of Amazon’s Q3 announcement.

Amazon has no choice but to price-match. It will lose more market share to Google if it doesn’t. It will lose millions more it cannot afford if it does.

Amazon will choose the latter path, because it has already painted itself into a corner.

Just like it has with Prime, offering fast, free delivery on items it can no longer afford to deliver fast and free. So much so that Amazon now offers to PAY Prime members to accept slower and cheaper shipping options.

Which of course is precisely why Amazon is trying to force down trad pub ebook prices. Not because Amazon wants to give consumers a great deal, but because sending out heavy hardbacks for free eats into its margins.

If Amazon can force the price of front-list ebooks down then fewer people will buy front-list hardbacks. It costs Amazon sweet FA to send the ebook. They lose money on every hardback they have to store, package and deliver.

There’s a growing consensus among the money market commentators now that Amazon is structurally unable to ever be a profitable company. That it’s a bubble in the process of deflating.

No-one is suggesting Amazon will fail. But few believe it can carry on like it has been.

Some even speculate whether Bezos will still be in charge next year. An unlikely scenario, true, but bear in mind Steve Jobs was famously fired from Apple way back.

But Amazon is facing increasing competition while losing market share pretty much everywhere

Alibaba’s arrival on the scene makes Amazon’s position all the more problematic. With the IPO last month, Alibaba went from some obscure company in China to a an America player with a market valuation almost $100 billion bigger than Amazon’s. And over $20bn in surplus cash, while Amazon is having to borrow.

We’ve speculated here before that Alibaba could well bid for Nook when it comes up for grabs in the New Year, and now there is increasing speculation that Alibaba could buy eBay, once the Paypal spin-off is done.

Either or both would be great news for authors.

eBay already has a great little book arm in Half, and has been actively toying with an ebook venture. Alibaba’s cash would be the perfect supplement to make it happen.

Both would be major setbacks to Amazon’s aspirations at at time when it is already facing growing difficulties.

As above, Amazon isn’t in danger of going bankrupt. But no-one should be under any illusion all is rosy in the Amazon garden right now.

For indie authors the thumb-screws are already being tightened.

The ACX royalty cuts were just a harbinger of things to come. But Amazon learned its lesson then. Do it discreetly next time.

So now we have stealth royalty cuts through Kindle Unlimited while Amazon hands out All-Star cash payments to compensate the chosen few who stand to lose the most, to keep them on board.

But there may be more to come with Kindle Unlimited.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Bezos and Grandinetti have already shown how desperate they are by begging indie authors to write to Hachette because they couldn’t resolve a simply dispute on their own.

Bezos cannot afford to let Kindle Unlimited fail, but the Big 5 boycott holds.

Harlequin has just signed up exclusively with Scribd in a clear signal to Amazon that they will have nothing to do with KU. (LINK)

Simon & Schuster have just signed with the ebook subscription service Mofibo in Denmark and Sweden, while notably not signing with KU. (LINK)

Amazon is expected to launch Kindle Unlimited in Germany and France this month, but if so it will be a sorrowful affair with no Big 5 brands on board.

The only thing Kindle Unlimited has in its favour is volume of titles. Amazon is fielding 700,000 compared to around 500,000 each for Oyster and Scribd.

As more and more titles flood to other ebook subscription services, and pointedly do not sign up with Kindle Unlimited, that gap will narrow, and with it Amazon’s volume advantage will diminish.

A simple solution lies in the hands of Grandinetti and Bezos.

Expect all our indie KDP titles to be dragged into Kindle Unlimited soon, whether you want to be in or not.

And watch out for the next Amazon executive to jump ship. It appears to be contagious.


Just as we go to post this, reports are coming in that is having problems with Amazon.

According to an email just being sent out by Booklinker, Amazon is withholding affiliate fees, causing them financial difficulties.

Hard to imagine this is in turn due to Amazon’s financial problems, but a  timely reminder that when anyone puts all their eggs in to one basket it is asking for problems.

What follows is the email being sent out by Booklinker. We reserve judgement on what lies behind it.

You may have noticed that BookLinker short-links are currently displaying brief rich-media advertisments before redirecting to your content.

This is because Amazon Associates are withholding affiliate income from us; effectively forcing us to display these ads in order to meet our ongoing costs.

Sales are unlikely to be affected, but if you would like to continue using our service *completely ad-free*, we are offering a new premium plan, costing 10 GBP per month.

Please respond to this email if you would like to upgrade to this plan, and we will respond with instructions.

Best regards

Richard @ BookLinker

Ebook Bargains UK

Far more than just an ebook promo newsletter.

Far more than just the UK.

300+ Global Ebook Outlets? It’s As Easy As One-Two-FREE!

Go Global In 2014

We all know the ebook market is going global. But for most indie authors it seems we’re still partying like it’s 2009. Many of us are still exclusive with one store, or in so few other outlets that we may as well be.

Meanwhile that international ebook market just keeps getting bigger and bigger.

So just how many global ebook stores can we indie authors get our ebooks into without taking out a second mortgage and busting a blood vessel?

How does over 300 sound?


 Amazon has eleven Kindle sites, but readers in Ireland, Belgium, Monaco, St. Marino, Switzerland, Austria and New Zealand can buy from neighbouring Kindle stores without surcharges, as can South Africans. So effectively nineteen outlets covered there.

NB In theory many other countries (by no means all – over half the world is blocked totally) can buy from AmCom, but sending readers to Amazon US only to be surcharged will reflect badly on the author, as readers won’t know that the $2+ surcharge (even on “free” ebooks!) goes to Amazon, not to you. For that reason we’re counting just the above-mentioned countries for Amazon.

f you are with Apple you can add another 51 countries to the list. Apple is the second largest ebook distributor by dedicated-country reach. Extensive coverage of North America, Latin America and Europe. Not so hot in Asia or Africa.

Nook is kind of in limbo right now. Apart from the US Barnes & Noble store and Nook UK (a reminder: it’s NOT called B&N in the UK) there are another thirty or so countries served by Nook with a Windows 8 app.

At some stage they will all become fully fledged stores, maybe, but for now, let’s discount those and just add the two key Nook stores to the list.

19 Amazon stores, 51 Apple stores and 2 Nook stores means you already have easy access to 72 global ebook stores.

If you are with Kobo then in theory you’ll be in the localized Kobo stores in US, Canada, Australia, Japan, South Africa, India, UK, Netherlands, Germany, France… You’ll be in Kobo partner stores like Bookworld, Collins, Angus & Robertson and Pages & Pages in Australia, in PaperPlus in New Zealand, in National Book Store in the Philippines, in Crossword in India, in Indigo in Canada, in Fnac in France and Portugal, in Mondadori in Italy, in Livraria Cultura in Brazil, and probably a few more that aren’t springing to mind right now.

Okay, so twenty-two more retail outlets right there, taking you up to 92.

Then there’s the Indiebound stores. Indiebound is a Kobo partner project whereby bricks and mortar indie stores have a Kobo ebook store integrated with their website. As an example, checkout Poor Richard’s in Kentucky. Or The Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop & Guest House in Wisconsin. Or Octavia Books in New Orleans.

We haven’t done a full appraisal of all of the Indiebound stores yet (soon!), but there are well over FOUR HUNDRED b&m indie bookstores selling ebooks via Kobo. Some just send you to the main Kobo store. Others have a fully integrated ebook store as part of their website.

We discount the first lot here and just include those with an integrated Kobo store. Let’s play safe and say there are, very conservatively, just 50 integrated Indiebound stores with your ebooks in (more likely well over 200!).

Suddenly we’re looking at 142 retailers with your ebooks in.

If you are in ‘txtr that’s another twenty stores right now, and with six more in Latin America about to open.

162 global retail stores.

If you are with Smashwords then as well as ‘txtr you ought to also be in Blio and Versent, and in the Indian megastore Flipkart.

Bookbaby will also get you into Blio and Flipkart, and if you are with Bookbaby you can be in eSentral. E-Sentral is based in Malaysia but also has stores in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand and Brunei.

Bookbaby will also get you into Ciando, one of the key retail outlets in Germany. And as per this link – – the Ciando ebook store in Germany is in English!

For those who haven’t been keeping count that’s 173 global ebook retailers.

Throw in All-Romance and OmniLit, which is free-access, to make that 175.

American and British indies often don’t look beyond Smashwords and D2D, and maybe Bookbaby, totally ignoring the free-access aggregators in Europe like Xin-Xii and Narcissus. We do so at our peril.

Xin-Xii will get you into the seven key Tolino Alliance stores (Hugendubel, Weltbild, Thalia, etc) that devastated Amazon market share last year. Essential places to be if you want to make it in Germany.

But Xin-Xii will also get you into Donauland in Austria, Casa del Libro in Spain, Family Christian in the US, Otto in Germany, and Libris in the Netherlands. It will also get you in the ebook stores of the mobile phone operators O2 and Vodafone.

Lost count yet? We’re talking 189 global ebook stores already.

So let’s see if Narcissus can push us over that 200 mark. Narcissus is based in Italy, and little known outside, but it a gem of an aggregator.

Quite apart from many of the stores already covered above, Narcissus will also get you in Ultima, in LaFeltrinelli, in IBS, in Net-Ebook, in Libreria Rizzoli, in Cubolibri, in Book Republic, in Ebookizzati, in DEAStore, in Webster, in MrEbook, in, inLibrisalsus, in Libreria Fantasy, in The First Club, in Omnia Buk, in Il Giardino Dei Libri, in CentoAutori, in Excalibooks, in Hoepli, in San Paolo Store, in Libramente, in Ebook Gratis, in Libreria Ebook, in Byblon Store, in Libreria Pour Femme, as well as numerous specialist and academic stores. Narcissus also distribute to Nokia. Yes, as in the phone company. Ebooks are still widely read on Feature phones, and Nokia leads the way.

But just those 26 examples from Narcissus take us to 215 global ebook stores.

And then there’s Google Play. You can go direct to Google Play or free (pay as you sell) through Narcissus.

Google Play have 57 global ebook stores (and more on the way).

Which takes us up to 272 ebook stores. And counting.

On top of this we can add the ebook subscription services like Oyster (US only) and Scribd (global), accessible through Bookbaby, Smashwords and (in the case of Scribd) D2D.

Then there’s digital libraries. Even leaving aside the as yet unresolved mess that is the Smashwords-OverDrive saga, indies with Smashwords or Bookbaby may be in libraries through Baker & Taylor.

Bookbaby also distribute to the wholesale catalogues Copia and Gardners, which supply libraries and also a ton more retail stores over and above those listed above.

Throw in the Copia and Gardners outlets and we EASILY cross the 300 retailer mark.

Remember, ALL these are accessible free of charge (you pay a percentage per sale).

There are other options, like Vook. IngramSpark and Ebook Partnership, which would substantially add to this list, but these options either have up-front costs or offer a very poor percentage return for free-access.

But worth noting that players like Ebook Partnership can get you not just into the OverDrive catalogue, which means an appearance in key stores like Books-A-Million, Waterstone’s, Infibeam, Kalahari and Exclus1ves, as well as the myriad OverDrive library partners, but also other key up and coming outlets like Magzter, like Bookmate in Russia, and so on and so on.


 The global ebook market is growing by the day. There are huge new markets opening up in Latin America, in India, in China, and across SE Asia right now that most indies are not a part of.

In the near future Africa will take a big leap forward as retailers make ebooks accessible to the hundreds of millions of Africans currently locked out of our cozy ebook world.

Make no mistake. The global ebook market will dwarf the US ebook market many, many, many times over as it gains momentum.

No, there won’t be many overnight successes, yes it will take time, and yes it will require a good few hours of effort to make sure you are in all these stores in the first place.

Sorry. There are no magic wands to wave. No just-add-water instant solutions.

No pain, no gain.

But you only have to upload to these stores once, and a handful of aggregators can do most of them for you in a couple of rounds, planting the seeds for future harvests. Then you just need to pop back now and again to tend the garden. It’s a one-off effort now that will pay back over a life-time as these global markets take off.

That list of 300+ stores above is just going to grow and grow and GROW as market fragmentation and international expansion gather momentum. The global ebook market has barely left the starting line!

The savvy indie author thinks about the next five years, not the next five days. Don’t get lost in the minutiae of your every-day ebook life and miss the bigger picture here.

Because we are all privileged to be part of something that is way, way bigger than just selling our books. We are witnessing – participating in – the early stages of a New Renaissance quite unparalleled in human history.

A New Renaissance on a global scale that will not just make accessible existing art forms to every single person on the planet, but will create new art forms as yet unknown, but in which we can be sure writers will play a key role.

Be part of it.

Nook UK – New E-reader. New Readers?

Go Global In 2014

Nook have just launched their GlowLight ereader in the UK. (link) A reminder that it’s business as usual for Nook even though they are due to be spun off from the B&N mother ship next year.

Will it help you get sales on Nook UK?

Yes, if you play your cards right.

Nook is still a low profile name in Britain. Nook devices are sold primarily by just two stores – John Lewis and Argos. They are available elsewhere, but as just one more device on the shelf, amid far better known brands.

The problems for Nook outside the US are two-fold. Brand recognition and late arrival.

Barnes & Noble is an unknown quantity outside the States unless you are an indie author or a regular trans-Atlantic traveller. So much so that you will be hard-pressed to even find the B&N name on the Nook UK website.

Bear that in mind when promoting. Readers have no idea what B&N is over here even though they may have a Nook ereader or tablet, or being using the Nook app. To promote to the UK and European / Australian markets don’t say B&N, say Nook UK, Nook Australia, Nook Lithuania or whatever.

But the bigger problem for Nook is late arrival. By the time Nook got to the UK the market had already been carved up by Amazon, Apple and Kobo, with a handful of domestic players joining the fray.

That’s not so say the stranglehold cannot be broken. Both Sainsbury and Tesco Blinkbox have shown it can be, very effectively, but they come at the problem from a totally different direction.

Even Google Play, with brand recognition to die for, is struggling to get a foothold in the UK, and for an unknown name like Nook it was far too little, far too late.

For Nook’s international expansion, the same applies only moreso.

That’s not to say you should write off Nook UK or Nook International as a dead loss. Far from it. It could and should be providing you with a small but lucrative stream of extra income. If it’s not, take another look at your marketing.

The Nook UK site is great. Unlike B&N it isn’t trying to sell you other products – not even print books – which means it has a clean, crisp reader interface and is not throwing smartphones, diapers or dog food in your face.

More interestingly, Nook UK is VERY often cheaper than Amazon UK.

Often, but not always. And sometimes promotions on Nook US do not carry over in timely fashion, so your 0.99 special in the US might still be showing it’s original price in the UK. And very occasionally a listing on Nook US doesn’t appear on Nook UK at all. From what I can see this tends to happen when using an aggregator.

For those who can, NookPress gives you far more control over pricing and promotion than going through an aggregator. Not least being able to set separate US, UK and Europe prices.

It’s not entirely clear what Nook is doing with its international expansion right now. At one point (late 2013) Nook was making titles available in over thirty countries, but only with a Windows 8 app.

But the NookPress dashboard now gives you the option to set a European price for France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands, with the caveat that due to high volume of content it may take time for (indie) titles to filter through.

Until Nook is formally separated from B&N it’s unlikely we’ll see much more action than what’s already underway.

The big question is who will buy out Nook next year. Microsoft seems to be favourite right now, but not by much. Samsung have abandoned their ebook project, so we can rule them out.

Three outsiders to keep an eye on are Wal-Mart, Tesco Blinkbox and Alibaba. Any of them could afford Nook out of loose change. All have an interest in digital media and in getting one up on Amazon. What better way to do that than to buy out one of the key rivals to the Kindle store and plough serious money into it to make it a serious player?

The AIS blogs delight in telling us how badly Nook is doing, but Nook has significant market share in the US and a very valuable customer data base. Whoever takes on Nook is going to have something very nice to build on if they plan on competing. And all three of those outsiders mentioned – Wal-Mart, Tesco and Alibaba – have far deeper pockets than Amazon.

Ebook Bargains UK.

Far more than just an ebook promo newsletter.

Far more than just the UK.