For me, this is surprising news. I’ve always thought of Amazon as the giant e-retailer whose supremacy could not be threatened – not yet and not for a long time. I guess I was wrong.
What we have here is a David vs. Goliath fight, who will win?
As the savvy chaps at Ebook Bargains UK write (see here), the deal is “only for three months, and it’s for five French-translated titles, but she could just as easily have gone into Select and gone exclusive for three months with Amazon France. This is very a big-selling indie author. One of the indie super-stars. The fact that she’s gone exclusive with Kobo when she could take her pick of any of the big retailers and get similar terms is worth pondering.”
What they suggest is that “if you spend 90% of your time promoting Amazon listings, are in and out of Select, and all your links on your blog, website, email header, etc, etc, are to Amazon then you have only yourself to blame for the readers you are not reaching.” (highlight added)
Right so. Are you linking to other places than Amazon? I know I’m guilty of relying on Amazon up to 90%, and in some cases 100%.
How about you?
Post-scriptum: I was wondering why Bella Andre might have signed up that exclusive with Kobo and a little check on the Net turned up some very interesting facts (see here, an illuminating Jeremy Greenfield article in Forbes.com dated August 2013).
In the US, Kobo is minuscule (around 3% of the ebook market) but abroad it’s doing well, particularly in Canada and Japan but also Brazil and India, both fast-growing huge markets. But, compared to Amazon, what Kobo is doing that is different is:
1. establish a physical on-the-ground presence (it has just signed up with 500 American booksellers and it is certainly present in bookstores here where I live, Italy).
2. focus on readers and e-readers – the reader experience is at the heart of their ethos, or so they say, whereas, as we all know, Amazon sells all sorts of things besides books.
Whatever…Kobo must be doing something right! I have no doubts that in France a lot of people read books on Kobo devices – no question, that is probably the bet Bella Andre made when she signed up with them.