Thursday, October 25, 2012
Apple iBookstore Expands Global Reach of Smashwords Ebooks to 50 Countries
Over 120,000 Smashwords ebooks now enjoy global distribution through the Apple iBookstore, these new stores included.
The new countries include Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, and New Zealand.
With little fanfare, Apple has assembled the industry's broadest distribution network for indie ebooks. As an indie author or small press, if your ebooks aren't at Apple, you're missing out.
Concurrent with the launch of the New Zealand store, Apple selected Sentence of Marriage by New Zealand Smashwords author Shayne Parkinson to promote as its "Book of the Week" in both their New Zealand and Australian stores. Congrats Shayne!
Smashwords makes it fast, free and easy for any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to reach all of these stores. Our Smashwords Style Guide (quite possibly the world's most-read ebook formatting guide with a quarter of a million downloads), is available in translated editions for Spanish, French, Dutch, Bengali, Italian, German, and Danish.
I'm excited about the global distribution opportunities available to Smashwords authors. In the U.S., ebooks as a percentage of the overall trade book market will reach approximately 30% in 2012, up from about 19% in 2011, 8% in 2010, 3% in 2009, and 1% in 2008. Every market outside the U.S. is now entering that same exponential growth curve as the primordial soup of supportive ebook ecommerce ecosystems come into their own. Apple will help drive this growth, as will the 50,000+ Smashwords authors, publishers and literary agents that use Smashwords to publish and distribute ebooks.
Within the next few years, the market for your books outside the US will dwarf the US market. Think globally, and get there now.
For the month of September 2012, Smashwords authors and publishers yielded fully 46% of their Apple sales from stores outside the United States. With the launch of these 18 new stores, I expect November will easily cross 50%. For the month of September, our largest markets outside the US were Australia, the U.K. and Canada, in that order.
The global sales opportunity goes beyond just English-language countries, however. Sweden was our fourth largest market, and not because we sell a lot of books in Swedish. Every day, we're selling English-language books (and other languages too) into multiple countries. Although each country in isolation represents a small market, in the aggregate these markets add up. Apple, with Smashwords as one of it's global aggregators, makes it fast and efficient to reach this global market.
An author in Costa Rica can upload a book to Smashwords today, and within several days that book can be for sale not just in their local market of Costa Rica, but to Spanish-reading audiences throughout Central and South America, Mexico, the United States, Canada, and around the world.
These publishing and distribution tools are free and available to every writer. All a Smashwords author needs is a finished manuscript, access to the Internet, a word processor, and the desire the reach readers.
Imagine the new voices that now have the freedom and ability to instantly reach a global audience with their words. Think how the world is forever transformed for the better because it's now possible for every writer to publish globally.
Writers, not publishers, now decide when their finished manuscript is ready to reach readers, and readers have the freedom to decide what books are worth reading.
We're still in the very early days of the ebook revolution. As a writer or publisher, your best days are ahead of you. Go forth and publish!
To learn how simple it is to publish and distribute ebooks to the Apple iBookstore and other major retailers with Smashwords, visit our Apple ebook distribution page or our page How to Publish and Distribute Ebooks with Smashwords.