Should publishers be worried of an increasingly powerful Amazon?

Should publishers be worried of an increasingly powerful Amazon?

Amazon is still increasing market share with over 50% of all book sales, and 83% of all e-book sales, including publishing its own titles across more than 15 imprints and offering extensive translation services. – Bookseller December 2018

Limitations of selling through Amazon alone.

Most publishers recognise the buying power of Amazon and the advantages of having access to the vast global audience despite the ever increasing downward pressure on margin. However, many publishers are rightly worried by the associated risks a powerful Amazon brings. By investing more in your own website, improving title visibility within Google, and developing genre focussed communities,  publishers selling directly from their own website are discovering a wealth of new opportunities.

Invest in your own website for larger than expected returns

Why sell directly from your own website?

1) Building a direct relationship with your consumer and owning all the associated data. Amazon retain all their customer information precluding publishers from developing a direct relationship with their online customers. Selling directly to consumers enables a publisher to build an online community, hold detailed profiles of their audience and communicate with each customer directly.

2) Higher margin sales. It goes without saying – you can compete with Amazon pricing and still keep significantly higher margin per unit sold.

3) Improved Google rankings – offering greater author/title visibility. Google looks favourably on additional online content. Publishers who enrich their metadata and sell through their website enjoy improved Google rankings, increased visibility and access to a new audience.

4) Controlling user experience in your own environment. Searching, browsing and purchasing is all under the publisher’s control. Not only can you promote specific titles, authors, groups of titles but you can also give full access to your back list and control your website search results thereby enhancing full catalogue visibility.

5) Enriched supplementary content. Amazon allows limited supplementary information and precludes the publisher from adding downloadable PDFs, video and audio excerpts, reader and teacher guides, or downloadable activities for children’s books (by way of example).

To conclude: don’t be fearful of Amazon, embrace what Amazon has to offer but use your own website to open up new opportunities and an additional revenue stream.

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