The Indian eBook Market is Ready to Take-Off – Who Will Win?
Our company ‘Media International’ has been a keen observer of the Indian eBook market for many years now. There have been a number of false starts with the predicted huge potential of the Indian eBook market only to falter at various stages. This has been due to many reasons from the strict government regulations discouraging foreign investment and companies from entering the Indian market to technological and infrastructure issues directly impacting the uptake of eBooks and mobile devices.
There are still a few existing outdated Indian foreign investment policies regarding online eCommerce that are causing problems, but hopefully the Indian government are catching on that they will only benefit from foreign investment and businesses entering the online retail space.
The time for the Indian eBook market to take-off is now. With over a billion people and approximately 300 million people having access to the internet this is a huge opportunity that has not escaped Amazon and the big publishers who are rushing to get in early and gain access to this massive audience. There has also been an explosive uptake of mobile devices in India with internet access which only makes eBooks more accessible than ever before.
There are a number of big publishers and companies with a presence in India from Amazon, Penguin, Media International, HarperCollins to the eBook distribution service providers such as Smashwords who have distribution agreements with Indian online retailers such as Flipkart.
Where there is huge opportunity is within the self-publishing market and ‘direct-to-customer’ eBook sales model. Publishers will not be able to handle the huge volume of writers and authors wanting to get their eBook and books published. This opens the door for companies such as Smashwords to come in and help independent authors get their eBooks into the online stores.
The ‘direct-to-customer’ eBook store model is also growing in stature as publishers try to regain some market share from Amazon. This includes controlling the ‘niche’ categories and genres to establish platforms that cater towards readers with specific interests. The ‘Everything’ store will lose some favour as readers connect with blogs, online stores and communities that cater to their interests.
For example, if you write or sell eBooks on India’s favourite sport of cricket, then you would want to own; the websites, online communities and cricket specific stores where Indian cricket fans go. If you sell eBooks on history then you will want to own the blogs, sites and communities where historians and those interested in this topic go to connect and interact.
We are entering an era where readers want to directly connect with sites and people who share their same interests. We are moving from the big social media and all-in-one communities such as Facebook and Goodreads to smaller, yet more targeted, niche online communities for fans of specific categories such as crime fiction, YA fiction, fantasy and others.
The Winners in the Indian eBook Market Will Need to:
1. Capture the attention of the self-publishing market
2. Own the ‘genre-specific’ online eBook stores
3. Own and control ‘target audiences’ for each category / genre
4. Provide ‘value for money’ services to self-publishing authors
5. Own and control the data for Indian authors
6. Own the platforms where Indian authors visit and connect
7. Provide exactly what Indian readers / customers want in variety of content!
8. Get into the market now and start gaining market share!
9. Offer a ‘unique selling point’ to convince customers to buy from their store instead of Amazon or Flipkart
10. Control the digital IP and gain quality traffic online
11. Deliver eBooks in multiple languages catering to the major Indian dialects (e.g. Hindi)
Over one billion people plus improving infrastructure plus increasing use of mobile device connected to the internet equals a market that is ready for the digital publishing revolution to take hold. Media International is one company ready to capitalise on the Indian eBook and self-publishing revolution due to our powerful portfolio of Indian (.in domain extension) eBook specific domain names and websites. We look forward to presenting future opportunities for you to reach this massive audience via our soon-to-be-published stores, sites and platforms catering directly to the Indian market.