Tag Archives: StreetLib

Global New Renaissance – the Rise and Rise of Africa.

Africa.
Still in the digital stone-age.
Or is it?

This week comes confirmation that Big Machine Label Group‘s new global music-video streaming platform Big Machine TV will be powered by a start-up in… Nigeria

BMLG, the first major music label (Taylor Swift among many superstars) to operate its own streaming platform, is using Nigeria’s PublicVine PaaS (platform-as-a-service) system.

For most of us in the First World west, Africa is still assumed to be in the stone-age, but the reality is rather different.

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The Thirty Minute Upload Workout – Going Wide Needn’t Be A Chore.

SFK-The-Red-Headed-League-English-German

And no, despite the image, this is not a self-promo Buy My Book post!

When it comes to finding the path of least resistance we indies have it down to a fine art.

Even though all logic dictates that, unless we have a sweetheart deal with a retailer, being available as widely as possible is the best long-term career move we can make, it seems many indies will nonetheless convince ourselves it’s all soooo much effort that we’re better off just signing up to Select and crossing our fingers.

NB: This isn’t an anti-Select post. Select is a great tool and used wisely can bring its own rewards, but we should never chose an option simply because it’s quick and easy, or because we see big-name authors doing well in Select but who may well have special deals like White Glove, etc that are why they are doing so well when so many regular indies are not.

Especially when it’s so quick and easy to go from being just in Amazon’s dozen stores to being in 400-500 stores worldwide, and still be in those same dozen Amazon stores as well.

How quick and easy?

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The India Book Market Is Now Bigger Than The UK. The "Exploding New International Market Opportunities."

Nielsen’s latest report on the Indian Book Market confirms what I’ve been predicting for the past few years. India has leapfrogged the UK in the global book market stakes and is now the sixth largest in the world and the second largest English-language market.

With ebook take-up in India ready to bloom over the next couple of years watch out for India leaping up that World Book Markets chart.

A reminder. India now has more people online than the US has citizens.

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Staying with India, I still haven’t got any satisfactory Hindi translations sorted, but regulars will know the indigenous Indian languages (there are 22 official languages in India) are a top priority for me as we head into 2016.

This latest report on Quartz (LINK)

is only about Amazon’s Hindi sales, but a safe bet we are seeing the same enthusiasm for local-language titles in other retailers.

Some retailers specialise in local languages and the key mobile app operators Rockstand and Newshunt are very keen to have them available.

Google’s South Asia VP recently said that the next 100,000,000 internet users in India will be local-language, not English.

Whatever language a person chooses (or is brought up to use) in India, I want them reading my books.

India, along with China and Indnesia, are among the most exciting prospects on the planet right now for internationalist indie authors.

Exciting times ahead!

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How exciting? Try this.

Rakuten-owned OverDrive said this week, “We are very bullish about the exploding new international market opportunities for publishers,” as they added 300,000 titles to their catalogue and increased their reach to 50 countries, with over 500 new outlets globally. (LINK)

Music to my ears.

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Meanwhile Ingram is also stepping up its global game.

Ingram has expanded the roster of international digital printing and distribution partners in their Global Connect program.
They will work with China National Publications Import & Export (CNPIEC) in China; Repro India in India; and Rotomail in Italy.

Sorry – lost the link, but it was reported on Publishers :Lunch.

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StreetLib adds Scribd to its distribution hub.

On this occasion Smashwords and Draft2Digital were ahead of the game, but now Scribd is an option in the StreetLib dashboard. They also have Bookmate and 24Symbols on board, which Smashwords and Draft2Digital have not.

Scribd is a US-based but crucially internationally-available subscription service.

If a reader downloads your book and reads 20% you’ll get 60% of list price from StreetLib. That’s 1.80 for a 2.99 list price, and 0.59 for a 0.99 list price.

Even for short stories and children’s books.

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With Oyster set to close in the new year, Smashwords is set to lose yet another partner store, hard on the heels of its ill-advised and utterly ridiculous pull-out from Flipkart.

But the pending Oyster closure has been a gift to the ebook subscription nay-sayers, who have been having fun explaining how the model was doomed to failure from day one.

Regulars will know I’m a big fan of the subscription model, and see a bright future for it.

That said, there’s no question Oyster failed, of course.

But let’s bear in mind that is started out with just an iOS app, so was only being used by Apple device owners. By the time it got around to expanding to Android Amazon had entered the game with Kindle Unlimited, yet instead of expanding globally Oyster remained obsessed with the US market.

So does Oyster’s imminent closure mean the subscription model is unviable?

Not a bit of it.

Russia’s Bookmate is doing rather well. So is Germany’s Skoobe, Spain’s 24Symbols, and a host of other global subscription services that aren’t US-focused. Skoobe has been going since 2012, 24Symbols since 2011.

There’s a great post on Skoobe over on Publishers Weekly. (LINK)

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Selling Foreign Rights In France Is Easier Than You Think!

So said Publishing Perspectives this past week. (LINK)

There’s a popular misconception in the wider world (and especially in the Anglophone world) that France is somehow insular and elitist when it comes to literature, and not worth bothering with.

Which is kinda sad if true, as France is the fifth largest publishing nation in the world. Bigger than the UK, and second in Europe only to Germany.

Yes, they do speak French, which is extremely inconsiderate of them, so the big question for us indies is, is it worth pursuing French translations?

You just know I’m gonna say yes, so I’ll strengthen my answer by noting my flagship title Sugar & Spice sold 50,000 hardcovers in France. Not quite mega-star sales, of course, but If that isn’t worthwhile I don’t know what is.

 Anne-Solange Noble in the afore-linked post points out that the French editorial market is actually “extremely curious and open to the outside world…”

I’ve got three French translators on board right now, and while the short-term focus is on ebooks I’m looking out for another French publisher that can get me into the lucrative bricks and mortar stores in France and Belgium, not to mention Canada, and for ebooks my focus is on the nascent  digital market in France and Belgium and the embryonic digital market in the wider Francophone world.

French is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world, with well over 200 million speakers, not least here in West Africa where, despite popular misconceptions that Africans don’t read and that the internet only exists in the rich west, books are highly sought-after and free-reading sites like Wattpad are very popular.

I’m investing time and energy in finding partners to reach the Francophone world, and strongly recommend you do too.

 Would I recommend paying up-front for a translation into French?

Not if you only intend to sell ebooks. The French ebook market is just beginning to shift. My ebook sales, for a proven bestseller in print, are disappointing to say the least.

But it’s early days. My digital titles in France right now are slowly gaining traction and are I’m looking at the future, not fretting about tomorrow’s lunch.

Ebooks are a great place to start in France. Take a look at Babelcube as a great place to find translation partners.

 But don’t blinker yourself to the wider possibilities.

As I’ll be exploring in an in-depth post soon, indie authors really need to think of themselves as *content providers* pushing valuable intellectual properties, not just *ebook authors* pushing mobi and epub files, if they want to make serious headway globally as we head into the second half of this decade.

Think about the next five years, not the next five weeks.

For daily news and discussion about the global indie publishing scene join this lively Facebook Group.

 

Indonesia – why you should be there and how StreetLib and PublishDrive can get you a foothold.

Indonesia is a nation spread over an archipelago of more than ten thousand islands.  Yet somehow Indonesian publishers manage to sell books, are doing rather well now and expected to do very well in the near future.

Indonesia is one of the seven key countries featured at the Frankfurt Book Fair global markets focus this year, as well as being the Fair’s Guest of Honour.

Regulars will know I’ve been waxing lyrical about the prospects in Indonesia for a year or two now. Like India and China and a handful of other countries ,Indonesia has been a priority focus for me.

Why?

Because besides having the fourth largest population in the world, Indonesia is very engaged with the digital world. And the very factor that has hampered traditional publishing in Indonesia – being an archipelago of well over 10,000- islands – means Indonesia is the ideal place to sell ebooks.

So long as there is an internet connection available.

Oh, and a retailer.

The good news is, Indonesia is a hotbed of cyber-activity, and with a young population (over 80% of Indonesians are under 30) internet interaction is big. Seriously big.

The Indonesian capital Jakarta is twitter’s busiest city anywhere in the world. Indonesia is a major Facebook country (and helpfully 20% of Indonesian Facebook interaction is in English) and sees major activity with other social media, especially messaging apps.

As smartphone penetration increases so will Indonesia’s prospects as a market for digital products such as ebooks.

The bad news is, Amazon blocks downloads to Indonesia and there’s no iBooks Indonesia store (although Apple is huge in Indonesia, so it will come).

  • The good news is Google Play and Kobo are there.
  • So is eSentral. (LINK)
  • And so is Bookmate. (LINK)

In August of this year Bookmate signed a deal with IndoSat to launch the Bookmate Cipika-Books brand, (LINK)

Bookmate currently has some 2.5 million users around the world.

eSentral will get you into a number of SE Asian countries otherwise difficult to access, but let’s stick with Indonesia.

No, neither Smashwords nor Draft2Digital will get you into Bookmate. Nor Google Play. Nor eSentral.

But StreetLib (LINK)  – will get you into both Google Play and Bookmate.

PublishDirect (LINK)   – will get you into Google Play and eSentral.

For the record, pay-up-front aggregators like Bookbaby, eBook Partnership and Vearsa also get you into these stores, but the focus here is on pay-as-you-sell sell options.

Then there are the regional operators (including eSentral, which is based in Malaysia).  Another key regional player is Thailand-based Ookbee.

Indonesia-based Scoop (LINK)  is a regional player and leads the way in expanding its service out of Indonesia.

Currently no western aggregators are dealing with Ookbee or Scoop.

StreetLib, PublishDirect, et al, if you’re reading this, please take a look at Scoop and Ookbee!

Then there are the domestic Indonesian players. Not just Scoop but NulisBuku, WayangForce (LINK), IndoBooks (LINK), Qbaca (LINK), etc.

NulisBuku was one of the pioneer self-publishing platforms in Indonesia and has a great website. (LINK)

For western indies it’s important to appreciate that, while it seems as if the West is leading the way and the rest of the world has to wait until Amazon’s KDP or Smashwords or another easy-load option arrives, the reality is self-publishing is taking off all over the world without them.

Those of us who sit back and wait until  Smashwords or D2D finally realise there is a global New Renaissance unfolding are going to find ourselves entering an overcrowded market if and when we finally do take the plunge.

NulisBuku may have been the first, but bigger players are now in the Indonesian self-publishing game. Gramediana, for example, which is part of the huge Indonesia media outfit Kompas Gramedia

And you’ll be delighted to know that Gramediana have an English-language site. (LINK)

Indonesia, like China and India, is not going to make any western indies superstars overnight, but for any indie author looking to be a truly international bestselling author these three countries should be not just on your radar, but on your Invest Time & Energy In Now list.

Sow the seeds now for future harvests.

Think about the next five years, not the next five weeks.

For daily news and discussion about the global indie publishing scene join this lively Facebook Group.

Aggregator Wars! PublishDrive Sign Distribution Deal With OverDrive, 24Symbols, Legimi, AllRomance/OmniLit, eSentral, Tookbook, Casa De Libro, RedShelf, Ciando, and India’s Rockstand

When I reported on Draft2Digital’s pending announcement of a distribution deal with 24Symbols I erroneously suggested they would be the only pay-as-you-sell English-language aggregator supplying this subscription service.

Embarrassingly I missed StreetLib (LINK), which supplies not only 24 Symbols but also Bookmate

Today along came the Hungarian aggregator PublishDrive (LINK) and firmly pulled the rug from under Draft2Digital’s feet with an announcement to die for.

Not just access to 24Symbols and another subscription service Legimi, but also access to the OverDrive libraries, to the Ciando libraries, to Tookbook, Casa De Libro, RedShelf, eSentral in SE Asia, and India’s Rockstand.

It’s like Christmas and a birthday all rolled into one!

I’ll be back with a closer look at all the key pay-as-you-sell English language aggregators soon.

Meanwhile, here’s that PublishDrive list again, with links.

Going global just got a whole lot easier!

For daily news and discussion about the global indie publishing scene join this lively Facebook Group.

"Excellent Performance In Latin America And Double-Digit Growth In Ebook Sales" Says Penguin Random House. How Seriously Are You Taking The Latin American Ebook Scene?

The Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico is fast approaching. It’s the biggest Spanish-language book fair in the world, and this year its bigger than ever.

Edward Nawotka at Publishing Perspectives reports that the Guadalajara Rights Center – a meeting place for publishers to exchange foreign-language rights – has sold out its 125 table several months in advance, a sure sign of trad pub’s growing interest in the region. (LINK)

Trad pub understands the global New Renaissance, and is preparing to rake in the cash from it.

Remember how the Indie Old Guard used to tell us trad pub were just rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic? Penguin Random House (PRH) this month reported parent company Bertelsmann has seen its highest revenues since 2007 thanks in large part to PRH’s expanded global reach. (LINK).

PRH reported “excellent performance in Latin America and double-digit growth in e-book sales (that) more than offset the ongoing challenges in the Spanish book market,”

The Latin-American market is getting VERY exciting and anyone not thinking about Spanish translations right now is crazy.

For indie authors one of the biggest problems has been distribution in Latin America. Amazon has stores in Mexico and Brazil, but the rest of Latin America is surcharged by Amazon. Apple, Google Play and Kobo are there however, In fact, as reported here (LINK) there’s a new ebook megastore, Orbile, opening in Mexico this month, and Kobo is handling its ebooks.

But there are are also countless “local” ebook retailers in Latin America. And it’s not terribly difficult to get into them.

No, Smashwords and Draft2Digital won’t get you into the domestic Latin American retailers, but at least one English-language aggregator is taking Latin America seriously. And that’s StreetLib (LINK). A full report on

accessing Latin America soon.

Meantime, if you haven’t yet dipped your toes into the translation waters check out these two posts (LINK) and (LINK) on how to get started.

Think about the next five years, not the next five weeks.

For daily news and discussion about the global indie publishing scene checkout ot this lively Facebook Group.