Friday, December 20, 2013

Is it Time to Consider iBookstore as Essential as Amazon's Kindle?

In the search to determine if and where I need to expand the availability of my ebooks, combined with my decision to experiment with using Draft2Digital to distribute my ebooks, I have been searching for information concerning which ebook retailer could emerge as a competitor to industry giant Amazon's KDP Kindle ebookstore.

Finding information about market share in the ebook publishing world is difficult. Even one of the best trackers of sales information for dissemination to self-publishers, Morris Rosenthal, was unable to give me definitive information when I contacted him about the subject. 

Contacting different authors and simply asking for their numbers has given some anecdotal evidence, but nothing that could be considered as accurate and unquestionable numbers concerning market share in the ebook market.

While anecdotal, the percentage of sales by the author's who shared their information with me showed a marked increase in sales through Apple's iBookstore. Two authors were generating 20% of their sales through this retail platform.

Amazon was still by and far the most significant ebook retailer for self-published authors and in all likelihood remain that way for years to come.

Still, if iBookstore can truly capture 20% of the ebook market, it will be a player, one that self-published authors would do well to take advantage of. 

It should also be noted that uses of Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad or Macintosh computers are highly loyal customers when it comes to all things Apple. It makes sense that as time passes and ebooks become more commonplace that Apple's iBookstore would become a major player in the ebook industry if for no other reason than the loyalty factor is Apple users.

Using Draft2Digital, I have four titles now available in the iBookstore and plan to add more as time permits and if sales warrant. I certainly want to be one of "the early adopters" and benefit from making my titles available through iBookstore.

Below are some articles and posts I was able to find in my efforts to try to learn if iBookstore is worth the effort to add to my list of ebook retailers I distribute my books through.  Here is what I found if any of the authors who read this blog are interested:

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/07/apple-amazon-ebook-antitrust-court-ruling.html

http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/12/apples-e-book-market-share-on-the-rise-desktop-os-x-ibooks-launch-should-help/

http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/bisg-report-a-few-more-ebook-stats/