A question that just about every author who has written an eBook asks is, “Which online book stores should I sell my eBook in?”
I can answer that question with this question: ”Where do you buy books online?” Note that the question was not “Where do you buy eBooks online?” Book buyers like to shop for books and eBooks from the same place online. The reason is that an online book store which sells both hardcopies and eBooks will have larger selection than a store that sells only hardcopies or only eBooks. The convenience of a one-stop shop that has everything is huge.
If you were asked, “Where do you shop for books online?” Most likely your answer would be, “Amazon.” Many people might search in one or two other online book stores besides Amazon, but Amazon is generally a first stop for most people. It is also the last and only stop for most online book buyers as well.
Amazon is, therefore, where you should focus your selling efforts for your eBooks. Amazon is the big dog. The rest – all of them – are much smaller players. I’m sure this blog article might generate some flaming replies but I call ‘em like I see ‘em.
Here are the main reasons that Amazon owns the online book store space and will only grow more dominant in the future:
1) Amazon has been in the game the longest. They now have the largest volume of book-buying traffic by far.
2) Amazon has almost become the generic term for online book store. If someone suggests that you buy a certain book online, they would probably say without thinking too much, “Buy it on Amazon” not “Buy it at the Apple iTunes book store.”
3) Amazon has done the best job at creating convenience. Convenience is major factor in choosing an online shopping venue. Amazon’s buying process is the easiest of all the online book stores. Amazon has even streamlined the purchase process down to “One-Click” for repeat buyers. Amazon’s book selection is the widest. Today’s online buyers are simply not willing to spend time evaluating many alternatives if they can get a good product with good reviews at a reasonable price quickly.
4) Amazon’s product review system blows the rest of the competition out of the water. Everyone, and I mean everyone, checks out Amazon book reviews before they buy a book on Amazon. No other online book store has a review system that can touch Amazon’s. That trust factor that Amazon’s unvarnished and comprehensive book review system creates is an unbeatable and growing advantage for Amazon. Amazon has made social media its most powerful selling tool.
There is no reason not to sell your eBooks in other online book stores besides Amazon. Just make sure that your focus is on Amazon. What I mean by that is the following:
– Use Amazon to determine your correct price point. Amazon has the most online book store traffic by far. You’ll find out most quickly what works and what doesn’t.
– Focus your effort on getting Amazon book reviews. Reviews can make or break your book. Amazon’s product review system is miles ahead of the competitions and creates a trust factor among online book buyers that can’t be beat.
– Direct book buyers to your product page on Amazon before you send anyone to another online book store.
The online book store industry is starting to undergo a shakeout similar to the search engine industry’s shake-out over ten years ago. You might remember when there were many popular search engines. Now there is Google and everyone else. There is not even a close number two. Yahoo and Bing combined have just a fraction of the search traffic that Google has.
Google’s dominance has forced other search engines move to niches in order to survive. The same will happen to the online book store industry. Other online book stores that do not effectively differentiate themselves from Amazon will eventually follow Borders out of business.
The shakeout is on! Focus your online eBook selling efforts on Amazon. There is nothing wrong with being in the other online book stores, but Amazon is where you need to make it.