Posted on 01/12/2021 at 12:57 PM by Jeffrey Bruner

Amazon is such a dominant force in U.S. e-commerce (and e-books) that it’s easy for American authors to assume it’s that way around the world.

It’s not the case at all. While Amazon remains the leader in most non-U.S. markets, its competitors have carved out significant market share. Ignore this and you may be leaving money on the table.

The Fussy Librarian focused almost exclusively on U.S. readers when we launched in 2013.

But almost one in four of our readers now live outside the United States, and the open rates on their emails is often better than their American counterparts.

We’ve separated out our U.S. and global mailing lists, which allowed us to study the differences, and here’s what we found based on our nearly 450,000 readers:

  • Amazon remains top, but it’s not as dominant with our non-U.S. readers. In the U.S., Amazon gets about 87% of the clicks, but that falls to 65% elsewhere in the world.

  • Nook’s days appear to be numbered. Nook’s presence is small in America (3-4%) and almost negligible outside the U.S. (1%).

  • Don’t overlook Apple’s global imprint. They may only get 2-3% of U.S. clicks, but that climbs to 13-15% of our overseas readers.

  • Ignore Kobo at your own peril. They made some inroads in the U.S. (2-3% of our clicks) thanks to their deals with Walmart, but they are now 20% of our overseas readers. Kobo is big in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

  • Google Play has a piece of the pie, but it’s not as big as you would think. They get about 2% of our U.S. clicks and 5% of our non-U.S. readers.

Since it’s the new year, let me wrap this up with two suggested resolutions for you:

  • Set up your Amazon promotions so they’re worldwide. Nothing irritates readers in Canada and England more than seeing a sale price (or free giveaway) in the newsletter and then discovering it is full price where they live.

  • Experiment with adding your book to Apple, Kobo, and Google Play if you’ve never done so, especially if you do free ebook promotions. You’re missing out on at least one-third of the readers, so try a six-month experiment and compare the results. You can DIY or you can use a service like Draft2Digital, which will upload the files for you.

More click data available on our running results page

Categories: Library Updates

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