News and Book Marketing Blog

This is where we'll be posting articles on the subjects of independent publishing, book marketing and book promotion, as well as providing news updates relating to Readers in the Know.

How to sell more books outside North America

20 Aug 2014

by Simon Denman

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Photo of actor  Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone This may come as a big shock to many US-based authors and publishers out there, but not everyone can buy your books from Amazon.com!

Usually only those with an address in the US (or in some other country without its own Amazon store) will have accounts with Amazon.com. All other customers will be redirected to one of the other 11 Amazon stores worldwide.

"Well that's okay," I hear you say, "surely Amazon will just redirect them to my book's page on their local Amazon website."

Wrong!

They'll be taken to their local site, but they will then have to search for your book all over again, which means you're likely to lose all but the the most persistent of potential customers at this first step. From those who do persist, you will lose a few more when they mistype your title or ISBN, and then a few more again, because while searching they'll see something else that they like even better.

So next time you run a promotion on one of your books and post your amazon.com links around the Internet, don't be too surprised if the majority of your sales are in the US. Of course, the US is by far the biggest market for English language books, so this is not a complete disaster, but if you could effectively target the rest of the world also, you might increase your sales by 50% or more.

"So should I post links to all 12 of Amazon's stores worldwide?"

Well you could, but that would make your posts pretty unwieldy. A good compromise might be to include at least the UK (and perhaps even Canada and Australia), but in a tweet, even that will use up more of your 140 characters than you want and besides, just randomly spraying book links around the Internet is rarely that effective anyway.

So what about all the book promotion sites and Facebook Groups where you can go and submit your "Free days" or "Discount Deals"?

Well, although some of these can work pretty well for increasing exposure in North America, there are very few which actively target any other countries, and at the time of writing this, there is only one site (this one - Readers in the Know) which can display the correct pricing, currency, buy-links and edition-availability for all 12 Amazon markets.

Of course, I'm not saying that you should abandon all your previous promotion sites and go exclusively with us (at least not yet since we're still quite new :), but when you do find international sites like this Facebook Group for example, for goodness sake take the time to look up the correct UK link for your book, and if it's a discount promotion, use the correct local currency and pricing as well.

If in addition you were to post links to your book's page here on Readers in the Know, then anyone clicking on them, no matter where in the world they are from, should see the correct currency and pricing automatically (although if Amazon doesn't have a store in their country it will default to the UK).

Readers in the Know went live on May 31st 2014 for authors and publishers, and we started actively advertising for readers in the third week of July 2014. In spite of this comparatively recent launch, as you can see here, we've already started to attract a large and diverse international membership.

We also have a brand new Readers in the Know Facebook page, where we will shortly start posting all current book promotions scheduled through the site.

So if you have Amazon-listed books that you'd like to promote to a more international audience, come and Join us and try us out for the next 60 days absolutely free. What's more, we're currently throwing in one free Book of the Day advertisement - no strings attached.

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