As much as I love Amazon and KDP, it's important to remember that they are not the only publishing option for authors.
A few weeks ago, Mark Coker did a presentation for the Alliance of Independent Authors on the opportunities for publishing and marketing in the Apple iBookstore.
It's a long video but well worth watching if you're not making many sales on iBookstore, because there are things you can do to maximize your chances of sales. I'll certainly be making some changes myself based on Mark's talk.
Watch the video below, or here on YouTube.
Here's some of my key takeaways from the video:
- On the Apple eco-system, the iBooks app is downloaded more then the Kindle app and the Apple hardware devices have a far more hardware penetration into markets than Amazon's Kindle. iBookstore is now in 51 countries and on every Apple device.
- Different books break out at different times on different platforms. Apple has a more human-powered marketing approach vs Amazon's automated algorithms. This can mean some opportunities for marketing that aren't just based on sales spikes. Apple's team are looking to find new books to please their readers and they find them through many different methods.
- There is no restricted free period on Apple and no price-matching. Free books have 91x more downloads than paid books on Apple and iBookstore promote free more because they are primarily a hardware company, wanting to keep readers in their eco-system.
- Smashwords has great relationships with Apple iBookstore and has recently announced pre-orders and also the Breakout Books program
- For Apple sales, try using the Widgetbuilder and tools that link directly to your Apple sales page. How do you expect to sell anything if you're not directing people there.
I've been a fan of Mark Coker for years. You can check out an early interview I did with him in 2010 here. We were raving about the exciting times in publishing several years ago, and Mark's site Smashwords continues to explode with exciting news every few weeks and more opportunities for indies.
I'd love to hear any comments you have about iBookstore. Have you had sales success on iBooks? Have you used any of the Smashwords functionality for Apple? Do you have any iBookstore specific marketing tips? Please do leave a comment below.