B&N Is Abandoning Most Of Its International Customers: What Does This Mean For The Publishing Industry?
I came across this article earlier this week announcing the sad news that Barnes & Noble are closing their international stores http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/07/08/the-beginning-of-the-end-bn-shutters-the-international-nook-store/. This is sad news not because I'm a Nook shopper. In fact, I've never been to a Barnes & Noble bookstore. I'm not even sure they ever had a store here in Rome (Italy). It therefore has little effect on me as a customer. It does however say a lot about the publishing industry and, as an author, that means it's important.
Why? You may ask.
Well, it raises questions about the future of the publishing industry. What does this mean for Barnes & Noble as a company? If a big player like B&N is closing shop, does that mean that others will follow?
I've recently been looking into the whole question of sales channels and asked around in some of my online groups where other authors books are available and why they chose those routes. About 97% of the authors who answered said they used Amazon's KDP Program for publishing their ebooks.
This is quoted from the KDP Terms and Conditions:
"KDP Select is an option for KDP publishers. While enrolled in KDP Select, your Digital Book must be exclusive to Kindle and will be included in Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library where it will be eligible to earn a share of a monthly cash fund. Additionally, by including your Digital Book in KDP Select, your Digital Book will be eligible for various other KDP Select Benefits, including enrollment in Kindle Countdown Deals, free promotions, and the ability to earn 70% royalty for sales to customers in territories outlined in the Pricing Page.1 Exclusivity. When you include a Digital Book in KDP Select, you give us the exclusive right to sell and distribute your Digital Book in digital format while your book is in KDP Select. During this period of exclusivity, you cannot sell or distribute, or give anyone else the right to sell or distribute, your Digital Book (or a book that is substantially similar), in digital format in any territory where you have rights."1 Exclusivity. When you include a Digital Book in KDP Select, you give us the exclusive right to sell and distribute your Digital Book in digital format while your book is in KDP Select. During this period of exclusivity, you cannot sell or distribute, or give anyone else the right to sell or distribute, your Digital Book (or a book that is substantially similar), in digital format in any territory where you have rights."
This means that the majority of authors who replied are Amazon exclusive.
Reasons for taking this option included getting 70% royalty, and having easy to read reports. Everyone, regardless of the other sales channels they used, said that Amazon was where they sold most books.
Those that were using other stores like Nook, Kobo, iTunes, etc... said they chose to make their books available across the board because it was good for SEO and customer perception to be seen on multiple channels.
Most of my own books are in the KDP Program and have done well. I also like my 70% royalties, and agree that the reports are easy to read. No waiting to find out my sales info.
The majority of my print books are published via Amazon's Createspace, but are available for expanded distribution and so can be purchased through other retailers too, including Barnes & Noble. 99% of my sales come from Amazon.
With most customers buying through the Amazon channels, more and more authors are taking this option when they publish their books.
What does this mean for the future of the publishing industry? Amazon is already the worlds largest online retailer. Will they take over the industry completely?
Whilst I love Amazon and chose them for my own books, all this has got me thinking about the consequences. Are we handing Amazon world domination on a plate? If all authors made their books available on all channels would more customers buy from other channels?
If a customer knows they can find all the books they want on Amazon, but only a few on other sites, it makes sense that they would go to the one store where they can get them all.
Are your books KDP exclusive? Why did you take this option? What are your thoughts on this subject? What do you think will happen to Barnes & Noble? Where do you see the future of the publishing industry?