Session: Go Wide 2: How To Reach Your Target Audience Globally
Kinga focuses on going ‘wide’ and how to publish globally with an advanced look at global marketing. Her presentation focuses on:
– How you use international markets to make your books more visible
– What the benefits are of subscription and library services for authors
– Advanced tricks and tips in marketing to fully enjoy the benefits of going wide internationally
Format: Video Interview
This post is part of London Book Fair Self-Publishing Advice Conference (#SelfPubCon2019), an online author conference that showcases the best self-publishing advice and education for authors across the world — harnessing the global reach of the Alliance of Independent Authors’ network. Our self-publishing conference features well-known indie authors and advisors, for 24 sessions over 24-hours, in a one-day extravaganza of self-publishing expertise straight to your email inbox. We hope you enjoy this session. Let us know if you have any questions or input on this self-publishing topic. Visit our Facebook Group and join in the conversation there, or leave your questions and feedback in the comments section below.
Hey guys, thank you for joining me in this presentation. My name is Kinga Jentetics, CEO and co-founder of PublishDrive. PublishDrive is a self-publishing platform. We help thousands of authors to sell ebooks globally outside of Amazon as well. But Amazon also. So we are partnering with Amazon, Apple, Google, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribd and all other 400 stores all over the world, in China or in India also. And in this presentation I will give you pro tips how to go wide internationally. So basically sell your ebooks outside of the word of Amazon and to make your ebook big in China or in India also. So let’s start. So let’s starts about the pro tips, how to go wide internationally and to make your ebook big in China or in India. So first of all, I just want to elaborate on that. We actually know how the traditional guys are working in the publishing industry.
Also, like Laurie Forester on this picture, but we met a lot of other folks in the self publishing industry and we’ve worked with thousands of authors already. Like you can see Jay Conrad on the right side of the picture, with Adam Woods who is our author success coach, and we actually understand that there are a lot of pain points of authors and one of them is, which is a key one, in my understanding, it’s how to market your books and how to reach more readers who actually will buy your book. So in this presentation we will elaborate on some of the prototypes as well, how to do it in the best way, which actually can result in sales as well. And just a general overview, what international markets look like for you. So the agenda is very shortly about the self publishing market, who is PublishDrive because you might have not heard about us yet and hopefully we can change it in the near future, how to go wide and what it means, what kind of new emerging markets we can see based on our data. And finally, the pro tips, how to go wide strategically, because obviously, you can do it with a lot of platforms like us very easily, but if you don’t have a strategic partner, then you might not get the same results as you’re wanting to.
So yeah, about self published books. Many people think that self published books still are not the same quality as traditionally published books, which is not true anymore. So just think about the very classical example, which is E.L. James with Fifty Shades of Gray, Erica Wheeler started her book as a self published book and now it has a movie and obviously it was a big hit in all countries all around the world.
But there are other books as well, like, The Martian by Andy Weird and we can mention a lot of other very big bestselling books which were actually self published. And when it’s about the global market of books, we can actually see that one in 25% of the global market, book market way is actually self published. So it means you are not alone. You have a lot of other writers and authors. It’s a huge community where you can find a lot of help as well. And even though writing is a very lonely process, it shouldn’t be when it’s about publishing, you can actually find a lot of good resources in terms of how to do it in the best way. And you can ask a lot of other authors as well who can help you on your publishing journey.
And yeah, we are here with PublishDrive also with our author success corner on our website and we have a very great publishing coaches team can actually help you to go to the next level in your self publishing journey and why it’s good to get self-published. First of all, you get higher control, which means that you actually can be in control. Whatever happens with your book, you can control where it was published. You can see all the links as where you can track back all the data, what is happening with your books. So in this sense you can understand much better what is going on on the market and you can actually react to the market trends much faster as well. And of course if you want to be a full time writer who actually pays their bills from the royalties, if you’re self publishing, you can do it easier because you will get higher royalty rates.
And don’t forget that you have to put a lot of effort into your own marketing branding and reaction with readers anyhow, even if you are a self publishing or traditional publishing. So I would definitely suggest to you to start self publishing, which can be actually a big step towards, to get a traditional publisher as well later on and what it means to go wide and why to do it. So first of all, while we can see if you actually are publishing wide, it means that you will get more sales because Amazon is a great partner of ours and we actually are working with them on many levels as well when it’s about the book publishing. But we can see that there are other markets around all countries all over the road and definitely worth to have more partners where actually can sell your blocks and you can have more independence when it’s about your publishing strategy.
What we consider if you are selling outside of the word of Amazon, you can actually sell more than twice, more than two times more, which is already a huge market. So I would definitely see this as a huge opportunity to increase your sales on the long term and what can be really interesting to reach out to new markets where you might find different kinds of readers who are interested in different kinds of content as well. And then you might get a better chance to, to send out also these new markets can actually include Google Play, that are more than 1 billion devices all over the world, which actually Android devices, where Google playbooks is pre installed. So it’s definitely a huge market to set foot in. And we actually started to work with Chinese partners as well.
And when you think about China, there are more than 400 million readers, potential readers who can read your book in English. So these are just the English language readers. So it’s already a huge market. And let’s dive into more what we are doing with PublishDrive. So PublishDrive is a one stop shop for self publishing. It’s a global self-publishing platform where we can help you in all parts of the self-publishing journey. So first of all, it’s an easy to use plus form. You can upload your books very easily there. You can actually convert your book there as well. If you need some help in your ebook conversion. And with one click you can sell your books to more than 400 stores, including Amazon, Apple, Google, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and or other researchers worldwide. And the beauty of it is that you can control part of the process so you can still act where you want to say your books.
You can actually decide what kind of marketing features you want to use, because we have a lot of new markets in features as well was it can help you to sell more books in, all kind of stores. And what is really interesting that we provide you with the best analytics on the market and you can see very cool dashboards about your sales data as well. And even more, you can actually get some expert help on metadata headcheck as well because we can sit at, this is the number one key of authors when they are trying to sell their books on other markets as well that they don’t really understand how the data works and how the metadata can help them to stand out in the difference source.
And what we can see that you can sell at least two times more if you are publishing with PublishDrive and you can get the same cost as well because we have two business models currently to type stuff, pricing. One of them is that you pay a 10% after the sale and the other one is that there’s a flat fee where you will get the same royalty rates as you would going directly with the stores. And this is really great option for more established authors also. And why any author would actually choose PublishDrive. As I mentioned to you, we have the widest distribution network to over 400 stores, including the big guys, but a lot of local ones as well worldwide. We are trusted partners of Apple and Google. You can find us on the Apple site as a trusted partner.
And we were accepted by Google in San Francisco, which gave us a lot of new insight as how to publish on Google books better. We actually are working with chains, retailers also, which is totally unique on the market, and our marketing and analytics tools are the best and had the best results as well in terms of increasing sales and understanding what’s going on in the market. And as I mentioned before, publishing with PublishDrive can earn you two times more in sales and publishing only on Amazon. And while we can see that Amazon is a great partner for us, we even work with them on the marketing side also. And we can see that if you are publishing wide, you can still leverage the power of Amazon at other stores as well.
So this is just a snapshot what other stores are out which can actually give you a lot of coverage. Google Play is definitely one of them, but all the other stores can actually have a lot of share of your sales in the future also. And when I say go wide, it means that you are reaching out to more stores, other platforms, than Amazon and obviously it’s means those you actually are reaching out to more countries, more readers, and it resides in the different kind of landscape as well when it’s about your sales data. I looked at what kind of data we have in terms of sales and then we can see that you can actually sell at least 40%, outside of the states, which is a huge market to step foot in. And obviously we still have a lot of changes because in the last couple of weeks we could see that even Chinese and Indian sales were actually getting more and more reach and more and more sales through that as well. And I definitely would encourage you to explore what’s going out there because even many of the other stores we are working with, they have strategy focus on expanding internationally as well.
So I actually expect to have more and more international reach and international sales in the future. So when it’s about international markets, we definitely have to talk about India as one of the, basically the second largest English language book market in the world, which is insane if you think about how many English language books are out and then what is really important to note about in the other 55% of the trade sales are actually books, in English, which shows that if you’re actually writing in English you have a pretty good chance to sell books in India also. And don’t forget how many people are there in India. So it’s definitely a huge market to set foot in. When it’s about new emerging markets there are two things that we have to consider, one of them is that they are growing enormously every year. It’s about 20% year on year growth in case of India. And we have to talk about the financials, about pricing. Usually in India, lower priced books are selling more. So it’s about 200 rupees in print what we can see as average price books in India.
You definitely have the question about how many potential readers might be there and what we can see that more than 300 million people have actually Android devices in India, meaning that they have access to Google playbooks because those guys have Google playbooks, pre-installed on the android devices. So if you are selling ebooks, which is obviously the first step to start selling books in India and you have a better chance to stand out if you are selling on Google playbooks also. And what is really important to consider also is what kind of categories are selling pretty well in India. We all know that India has different culture. They are looking at different things and they are looking for different things as well. Well we can see that family and relationship type of books are selling pretty good and everything which is about computing and computer science is actually among the bestselling books in India.
Obviously we cannot avoid fiction because fiction is one of the most important part of ebook sales in India also. But what we see that if you actually are selling nonfiction, you have a pretty good chance that you might have a good reader base in India. Also, let’s look at China as one of the big markets as well, which is still untapped by many of the companies like PublishDrive. So in case of China now there are eight hundred million potential readers and half of them, which is 400 million, is actually reading in English. So imagine they are actually more than the people in the states. So it’s definitely a huge market to look at and to think about how you can sort of particularly be there when it’s about the whole market size is the second biggest market after the U S in case of book publishing, which shows that China is definitely a market where people are reading and as they are emerging it’s still a growing market as well. It’s about pricing your books. They actually prefer lower priced books as well. So it’s about for an ebook it’s usually somewhere between one or two dollars, US dollars.
And when it’s really important to mention that they have censorship, which means that they check all the titles what is being published in China. And it might end up in quite a long book review time because they individually check those titles and they have pretty strict guidelines as well what kind of books can be published. And I can definitely share this with you. If you are writing, if you are translating your book in Mandarin, in one of the Chinese languages, then you have even longer waiting process time because they still consider English language book less dangerous for that culture. And when it’s about what kind of categories they are selling at, again, nonfiction is pretty good in terms of emerging markets and in case of India as well. So any kind of textbooks, social sciences, self help, English learning books are selling good.
And when it’s interesting to know that children and young adult books are selling pretty well in China based on our data because it’s still a young population and more and more people actually are reaching out to non Chinese content from younger ages also, and we can see that when it’s about China or India, they are pretty much looking for western cultural type of content because they, they just love it and they just want to get to know more about them. And when we look at the best selling list as well, most of the bestselling titles in print are actually coming from western Europe, western Europe or Western part of the world.
And in case of China, we actually work with two big partners. One of them is CNPIEC. They actually a digital library provider for Chinese folks, for selling in Chinese digital libraries. And we worked with Dangdang as well, and they are one of the biggest retailers in China. And we actually got featured on Forbes.com when we got this deal with DangDang, because this is unique and it opens up totally new worlds for self published authors those markets, which were never been able to step foot in as an author, as an individual author.
Yeah, you might have the question. It’s really cool, but why to go wide and why to choose PublishDrive. So what we can see then, we have, as I mentioned, thousands of authors who already are working with us every day. And while we can see that they had three main reasons that they join us. One of them is that they can actually look at new markets like Google Play, China and they have the widest distribution network within PublishDrive all over the world. They actually can get access to unique marketing features which can help them to sell more.
They are partly free but we have some paid options as well. And we are expanding those tools what is available for PublishDrive authors to market their books and what is something new and we have more and more authors that utilize this option that we have two pricing options. One of them is that basically you, as everyone else is working in the industry, that we keep 10% of the royalties. The other option is that you pay a flat fee, which is 100 bucks and then you can get the same loyalty rates you would go directly with the stores in this way, you actually can utilize a platform with the cool analytics, with all the marketing features and everything in one place. So it can ease your way, your everyday job as an author, and you can just sit back and write more books because that’s why we are here to help you and all the other assets out there to write more books and get engaged with their readers more. So as I mentioned in the beginning of the presentation, I will give you some pro tips how to go wide. So let’s start with that. One of them is that you should definitely improve your metadata and you should look at ways how you can do it in a much smarter way. So what is metadata? Metadata is everything what is tied to your book, every kind of data, what actually can help you sell more books. And metadata can be, your author name, your pen name. It can be the title of your book. It can be the price of your book, it can be the category of your book, it can be your description. So basically every kind of data which is tied to your book and helps you to be commercialized.
And it is really important to find the right metadata for your book. So that’s why we actually have experts solutions for that, for this to help you find the right meta data for your books. We have metadata health check. We have an amazing team member who was working with JK Rowling’s publisher on the book side and she is a metadata expert, so she can help you with the data health check also. But we’re working on providing you some tools which can help you to find the right category for your books. So one of them is Subone, which is an AI based robots. Let me show you a video of how he is actually working. So this is the PublishDrive platform and when I want to upload a book, it’s basically very simple.
I can upload it either in doc so it can actually convert real time or I can upload it on an epub as well. But it’s totally up to you whether you are tech savvy enough to have your epub ready. And then when you uploaded the file, it’s stuff you can actually see on the screen that someone found some of the possible categories for your book already, which means that you don’t have to find yourself. There are more than 5,000 categories what you have to choose from. So it can be a big headache. And obviously if you are not in the right category, then you might not sell enough books. And then you can see that right now and ebook conversion is working for you. So you can basically just click on the conversion button and then a few seconds it will up here. And you actually can check it in your own ebook reader if you want to see whether it’s in the right shape or not.
So it’s pretty simple and it’s pretty important as well to have, first of all, the right ebook with the right conversion. And then second of all to find the right category to make sure that you actually can be present in the right category for your books because you don’t want to mislead any kind of readers and you want to actually appear to the right customers as well. And when it’s metadata, price is very important and part of that as well. And there are different pricing strategies what you can follow. One of them is that you follow the average ebook pricing for self published books. It’s, in the US, it’s about $2.99, $3.99 US dollars. In India it’s about 200 rupees. And in China it’s about 10 to 15 Chinese yuan. And what is really important that you can do it very simply in PublishDrive, you can basically add your own price and it can, and you can change for all currencies.
And even you actually can use the pretty price for all button, which will actually just show you and convert the right, like, pretty prices, which end 99 in all kinds of currencies. So, you don’t have to deal with that either and you still have the right prices for your readers and the beauty of it that you can change it anytime. So if you feel that your book is a bit more expensive than it should be, you can just lower the price if you feel that, “Oh yeah, it sells pretty good. So why don’t I just increase the price a bit?” And then you can do that as well. When it’s about going wide, you should definitely think about preorders. Most of the stores have this option already, which is one of your key marketing tools. Basically you can set your book for preorder to make sure that people can see your book already available in the store.
However, even though they are clicking on the buy button, the book is still not downloading for them, but it will on the launch date, which will generate you a lot of sales on the same time on the same day and it can help you to get on the best selling lists quite easily and quite fast when you launch. And for that, you can easily set that up in PublishDrive as well, you just set your own publication date, which is in the future and then you can click on that you want to have the preorders, whatever, it’s actually available.
And I’m sure that most of you guys already have a lot of social media presence, but if you don’t, you should definitely create your own Twitter and Facebook page. Even from PublishDrive, you have the option to push out to your own social media channels. They took the basic news that your book is already out there and you should and everyone can reach it. Then everyone can buy it on that link also. We figured out that many artists, they are pushing out only the Amazon links, which is totally great and you should definitely do that as well. But if you want to have more sales and other platforms also, you should just do, in a simple way, just push out your links on other sites as well that your readers can see that, “Hey, my favorite author is selling on other platforms as well so why don’t I check that out?” And again, many of our authors are using this kind of feature within the platform as you can see on the screen also. And we try to make it easier for you, just to make sure that you don’t spend too much time to hang out on social media, which is important. But if you don’t write another book very soon, then it is getting less important as well.
Then if you actually are going wide, you should definitely think about how you can get more reviews. It’s really important to push out to more stores and to be a presence on social media. But on top of that, you have to have reviews in order to get more visibility in the different stores as well. The good news is that in other stores and Amazon you have more options to get visibility with your reviews because there are less reviews. So if you have some new reviews there, then you will get instant visibility much faster than you would doing Amazon. And for that we built out a very handy solution for you. So basically within the PublishDrive platform, you can easily ask for review copies for Apple books, Kobo and Google playbooks and what is really important to mention that they are DRM protected so you don’t have to worry about illegal copies or if your readers have pushing it out to other people as well. So, your copyrights, they’ll be in a safe, safe place and you still get your free review copies.
Then we have some other cool option. What you should definitely consider it when you are going wide to get featured positions in the stores, it means that you can get either featured position in the front page of the store or you can be part of the promotional campaigns, what the stores are doing. So we work with the stores in a strategic way as we know that marketing calendar for the year and we are selecting the best titles to fed into those promotional campaigns they are planning, and that’s why we are looking for your ideas. There you can see basically what kind of campaigns are running or will be running in the future. And you can submit your titles, what you feel would be the best fitting one. We have our editorial team who is actually working on that part and picking up the right titles for the right categories and we actually have a pretty good success.
So in 90% of the cases it’s actually happening. So what our team is taking, will be actually featured on stores, even during the holiday season in 2018 we had 100% success rate, which was awesome and we have a very good case study about that last year during summertime, we had one of our romance writer’s books featured in Apple Books US Store in the Romance section and she gets five times more sales. So it’s definitely worth to do that. And if I mentioned before, among our marketing options, there are some paid options as well, what you can already find in the platform, and even if you don’t see it in PublishDrive, you should definitely consider some paid advertising options as well for your book. Just to get more buzz about your book.
So one of them is Bookbub, if you have never heard about them, it’s basically, a book recommendation platform. So they have more than 10 million readers right now. And it’s like that they collected their email addresses and they recommend a specific titles to them based on their interest. And you can submit your own advertising there. They have a PPC plus also, and you can actually be part of their feature there. So you can go to their website and you can check out the pricing page and you basically can select what option you would like to have and what we can see that on the short term, Bookbub is working pretty good in terms of sales and, if you have, and they prefer wide books, so those books which actually sell outside of the Amazon world and internationally.
Also, Facebook is the other big giant when it’s about advertising. You should definitely check out how it works if specially if you have a Facebook page, either for your author name or your pen name or for your book itself, because then you can target based on the potential readers demographics or interests as well. So they, you can set up that where they are, what kind of other interests they might have, whether they are reading a romance or other types of activities they might do. And of course, when it’s about promoting books and advertising books, Amazon is the big shark and you should definitely use them, use their Amazon advertising option, which allows you to appear in the searches on Amazon in a sponsor way and with PublishDrive we actually have a built in a solution for Amazon advertising, which means that you don’t have to leave the PublishDrive platform and you can set up your own Amazon advertising there very easily. And the best part is that, we actually put a lot of effort into figuring out what’s working and what’s not in Amazon advertising for the specific books so you can skip the learning curve for that. And we built it out in a way that it’s very simple to use and very user friendly and well, we can see that, it’s sounding pretty good for the authors who actually use it already in the platform. And even we started to integrate Savant, our AI robot into Amazon advertising, which basically means that if you are targeting people based on what other products they might be interested in, then someone is reading your book and based on the category and based on what he reads is suggesting some other options, what you can actually, use as a targeting option for your book.
And Amazon is really important in terms of advertising because it works totally different than, than the other platforms. Amazon has all the data about what other people are buying and what people are buying there, so they basically work with buying data and purchasing data and all the other options are based on your interests. So it’s sort of a different what you are interested in and what you are buying. So if you think about yourself as well in your everyday life, you might be interested in something but then you don’t buy the products tied to it that much or that often. So that’s why it’s really important to have all these three options in your mind because they work on different spheres and you have to test it out which one is the best for you in terms of return on investment.
Because obviously if you are putting a lot of marketing dollars into advertising, you have to check out whether it’s getting you more sales as well and whether it was actually a factor for you. If you actually want to get more knowledge on advertising, then I would definitely suggest you some of these books which are actually on the screen right now, Mark Dawson who is the brain behind Self Publishing Formula, they have a great podcast as well and you should definitely check out his book about Facebook ads. Brian Meeks is an Amazon ads guru. He is, he’s a great guy also and you should definitely check out his book which was published before and he even has a new one as well, which was recently published. So definitely check out these authors guides and another one which is about the magic of bookbub.
If you’re interested in bookbub advertisements, please check out those books also. And if you want to get more of market knowledge because there’s so many good resources out there, you should definitely check out Jane Friedman’s website, because she is a great publishing expert on this field, especially in the self publishing area and she has a great knowledge about how author business is being done or has to be done. On our website as well you can check out the Author Success Corner, where we included everything what is actually free on our website as well and what you can actually learn from. There are blog posts, there are webinars, there are a lot of videos. There are author success coach items and I definitely encourage you to check out those sites also. And if you want to get more knowledge about the Chinese market and you can listen to join the panel interview which was on The Creative Penn, you can see the link there as well.
And you can actually check out of the Self Publishing Formula interview as well. *inaudible* It was, both of them were great podcasts and they are a lot of great knowledge as well, what you can get through them and of course a lot of fun. So I would definitely encourage you to listen to these podcasts regularly just to get a general knowledge about what is going on the market and we have some special treatment for you guys. First of all, you can download a case study about going wide with one of our best selling authors, Rachel Morgan. It’s a downloadable document where you can basically find some of her data, what she shared with us and with you guys also how she’s managing the wide aspect of her self publishing journey and what she gets through that. And she uses PublishDrive also.
So, you can get some first hand experience from our company also. And another thing we actually got for you specifically is a free month with the promo code alli2019. So don’t forget to check it out when you actually are signing up to PublishDrive and we have a free ebook converter as well. What you can check it out. You don’t have to sign up either. It’s just like, there you can actually drag and drop your files and then it will create your epub, you don’t have to sign up. It’s totally free and publicly available. And as I mentioned to you before, please check out the case study about going wide and what it means to be on other markets as well. Because I think Rachel was sharing a lot of great information about herself and I really hope that most of you guys who are listening to this interview and to this presentation right now, will get to the stage where you have those big sales, what you can actually tell a lot of good information about us.
And then this is our Publish Drive team. We have a lot of great team members in the product side who are based in Budapest, in Europe. But we have great team members in the states as well. As you can see on the photo, Adam is actually our author success coach, so you should definitely talk about any kind of publishing-related questions to him because he is there to help you out any time. And we have Phyllis as well who’s based in New York and she was working for MacMillan for more than 20 years and we have self-published author, Monica, as well on our team. She’s based in San Diego. So if you like it, just check out our website, publishdrive.com. As I mentioned, there are a lot of free resources as well what you can actually reach out to and what you can actually read through or listen to, and we are there and to make you happy and make you actually, make your life easier. And so if you have any questions you can reach out to our support team as well at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have great publishing coaches there as well, and yeah, please feel free to reach out to me as well on my email.
So thanks guys, again, for joining this presentation. Hope you learned a lot about international markets and other stores as well outside of the world of Amazon. And hope you will find all the pro tips about your marketing strategy and how to go wide very useful in the future. Don’t forget to use our promo code if you actually sign up to PublishDrive.com Using the promotion code alli2019 and feel, please feel free to reach out to me anytime if you have any questions. You can find me on Linkedin, on Twitter or on Facebook as well. And don’t forget, write more, worry less.
Bye bye guys.
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