Prior to this week, over 50,000 Smashwords ebook titles were available in Apple iBookstores in the US, Canada, U.K., Germany, France and Australia.
All Smashwords authors, publishers and agents enjoy immediate access to this expanded distribution.
Below is the list of new iBookstore countries now reachable through Smashwords.
Go Global With Smashwords
Within the next few years, the global market for ebooks will likely eclipse the US market. Already at Smashwords, I can report that prior to this news, almost half of our iBookstore sales were coming from outside the U.S.
Although the US represents the world’s single largest ebook market today and is still growing rapidly, the US market is also the most mature. Growth rates in the US, where the ebook market has more than doubled each year for the last several years, are likely to slow thanks to the law of large numbers (you can't keep doubling forever!). I expect the US will end 2011 with ebooks accounting for 15-25% of trade book sales.
Contrast this with markets outside the US, where ebooks will account for probably between 1% and 5% of the market this year. These markets are only now beginning to enter, or will soon enter, exponential growth phases that will take them to 15-25% the next few years assuming their growth trajectories follow similar patterns seen in the US and other English speaking countries.
Indie authors will reap a two-fold benefit. They now have access to more markets, and these markets will grow faster than the U.S. in the years ahead.
The necessary ingredients for this growth include availability of affordable ebook content in concert with low-cost e-reading devices (dedicated e-readers, multi-function tablets like the iPad, smart phones, personal computers) powered by local-language ebook stores.
This is exciting news for indie ebook authors, not only for authors here in the US but also for indie authors in these new territories. Because Smashwords is an Apple-authorized global aggregator for the iBookstore, authors, publishers and literary agents around the world can use Smashwords to quickly and easily distribute local-language ebooks into their country's iBookstore, as well as to Apple iBookstores outside their country.
My thanks to our friends at Apple for introducing Smashwords books to these new markets.
If you’re not yet distributing with Smashwords, visit our How to Publish and Distribute Ebooks with Smashwords page. In addition to distributing to the 31 Apple iBookstores, we also distribute your book to the online ebook stores operated by Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, the Diesel eBookstore and to major mobile app platforms such as Stanza and Aldiko.