We’ve all heard the saying, “Go big or go home.” For eBooks sales the saying should be “Go Big and Leave Home.” In other words – it’s time to get out of your comfort zone and ramp up your international sales strategy.
A recent DBW article, “Emerging Global Internet Users, Young, Social, Read English” says it all. To give you a short synopsis, the article focuses on a Pew study that studied Internet use in emerging and developing countries. The study found that there is a “greater receptivity, on balance, to nonfiction and other information-based content that’s delivered via digital channels.”
We at Vearsa can attest to the Pew study’s claims. For publishers with non-fiction content such as business and economics we’ve seen huge growth in India in 2014 with over 30K eBooks sold. India is not a huge surprise with successful platforms such as Flipkart and Infibeam. However, through our analytics system we’ve seen that South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, and Russia have also come to the table in the business genre. Did you see those coming?
This doesn’t mean that other genres are outside of the international loop. We are still seeing fiction as the front-runner in the 32 emerging countries that the Pew study investigated. This is followed by the aforementioned business & economics and then by self-help, juvenile fiction and history.
So what does this mean for eBook publishers? It means that there is a ready and willing group of international readers – many English-speaking – that have yet to be really tapped into.
So great, now you know about the international sales that you’re missing out on, but what’s your next step?
3 steps to increasing international sales:
1. Start expanding your international distribution and adding more channels!
If you think you’re covered by the five major US retailers and their international counterparts, you’re not. Follow the examples of HarperCollins, Oyster and Bookmate – all of whom are moving aggressively into the international markets.
2. Do your research.
Know what your pricing should be and what’s popping in each of your territories. In a recent case study, we found that a publisher that Vearsa distributes for was able to triple its international earnings and increased overall earnings by 20% by using regional pricing and focusing on just a couple of countries.
3. Utilize discovery platforms.
The international subscriptions services such as Skoobe and 24 Symbols can seem a little scary because of their confusing pricing models, but don’t shy away from them. There’s no better way to give you backlist a fresh audience (especially in international markets) than through the subscription services. Plus, we’ve been seeing incredible sales through all of our subscription partnerships.
It takes some effort to expand your reach, but once you do there’s endless possibilities for your eBook catalogs. Be patient - Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your global eBook empire. Keep experimenting with different price points, metadata, retailers, etc. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did.
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