The Next eBook Frontier

Google, Amazon, and Kobo all continue to expand their ebook sales to new countries on almost a monthly basis. Recently, all three launched online ebook retail stores in Brazil.

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Kobo, a Canadian-based e-reader and ebook publishing and sales business, continues to expand its international sales. The company has come up with the countries they consider to be the next ebook frontiers. “The next frontiers are China, Russia and India—all of the places we’re looking out to now where ebooks haven’t penetrated yet,” said Kobo director of merchandising Nathan Maharaj.

China, Russia, and India. Each of these countries is experiencing growth in consumer spending. As a result, they represent the best opportunity for growth in the future. India especially has been identified as a ripe opportunity for United States publishers because it has a large English-speaking population.

However, the biggest issue will be pricing. How do you price an ebook for these countries?

The problem is that these countries traditionally have lower price points. For example, many publishers, especially textbook publishers, already print and sell identical editions of textbooks that they publish in America for much lower prices overseas. In other words, the very same book commands a much lower selling price overseas.

The bottom-line is that if you are looking to expand the sale of your English-language ebooks into the next ebook frontier and into countries such as China, Russia, and India, you will have to be willing to price your ebook much lower—probably as low as $1 or $2 for these markets.

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