Should I stay or should I go wide?



As a self-publishing author, there may come a time when we need to consider if we should sell our books exclusively on one platform or ‘go wide’. Understandably, most authors prefer to use the Amazon KDP Select programme and make use of the features because Amazon has over 80% of the market share (depending on your country) when it comes to selling books as the pie charts below illustrates.


Source: Authorsearnings.com (2017)



Source: https://blog.kotobee.com/major-ebook-retailers/


According to the Booksliced article, ‘behind Amazon, the second largest seller of eBooks is Barnes and Noble. B&N’s Nook accounts for nearly 25% of eBook sales in the US. Apple’s iBooks (or Apple Books as it is now named) holds roughly 5% of the market share, and Kobo holds less than 3% in the US. However, Kobo is the most popular eBook and audiobook company in Canada, and it has outperformed Amazon’s Kindle Store in France, Japan, and Australia.’


https://booksliced.com/books/the-exact-ebook-market-shares-of-the-major-players-in-the-industry-are-rather-difficult-to-come-by-but-here-are-some-esitmates/



Interesting to note that in the authorearnings’ pie chart, there is reference to Google and ‘other’ ebook sellers. Overtime, I am sure other companies would be interested in dipping their toes into the book world.


One such company is Walmart who tried to fight against Amazon in 2018 by unveiling Walmart ebook store (powered by Rakuten Kobo). However, getting consumers to shop Walmart eBooks may be an uphill battle as Amazon’s Kindle e-reader has a dominant market share. Euromonitor data shows that Kindle has an 83.6% share of the U.S. e-readers market while Kobo, at No. 2, has a 13.4% share. (In another worrying sign for Barnes & Noble, the data shows its Nook device holds only a 2.1% share.)


https://www.forbes.com/sites/andriacheng/2018/08/22/walmart-introduces-ebooks-in-its-latest-loud-display-of-intense-fight-against-amazon/


Although the data included in this blog may be dated, it still paints a picture on the current market share of book sales of those stores. Regardless, Amazon is still currently the biggest player in the ebook world, especially when it comes to self-publishers. When you look at the ebook sales by publisher in the Kotobee article, you will see that Amazon has the highest percentage of sales by self-publishers.



With all that in mind, I know that not everyone and everywhere uses or have access to Amazon KDP. Moreover, some distributors have a larger market share depending on the country. Having tried Amazon KDP Select for a few months now, I have now decided to ‘go wide’ and distributed Diamond Champion to other retailers and reduced it down to $0.99/£0.99, hoping to get my debut book into the hands of more readers who may have missed out if I had been exclusive to Amazon.