Every morning when I first get to my desk, I check and log our sales figures for our iOS App Development for Non-Programmers series on Amazon and the iBookstore. This morning, I was surprised to see an entry for sales in Japan! I then went to the Amazon Japan store and searched for our books and there they were:
For an author, new markets are always a good thing. New markets, new potential customers.
Amazon and the 35%
Amazon offers two royalty options for authors. The 70% royalty option (where the author keeps 70% of the profits) is only available on books that are $9.99 or less, and the 35% option is available for books that $10.00 or above. However, for some countries, such as Japan, Amazon only offers the 35% royalty option.
There are options for higher royalties if you sign up with Amazon’s KDP Select program. In this program you can get a higher royalty in some countries (such as India) if you agree to only sell your e-Book on Amazon for a period of three months. For many authors, this is a no-brainer since they sell very few books on the iBookstore or Barnes and Noble.
Amazon vs. the iBookstore
Apple continues to shoot itself in the foot (and in turn authors and readers) by limiting iBooks that use the newer iBooks 2 and 3 technologies to the iPad. You can’t even read these iBooks on a Mac! There’s really no technological reason why this is the case,so you can only conclude that Apple is more interested in selling iPads than books. This model is very confusing to readers trying to purchase an iBook. For example, here is the link to the first book in our new series on the iBookstore:
If you are on your Mac, you can see the book in the iBookstore and you can even download it to your Mac, but you can’t read it! I can’t tell you how many readers I have to explain this to. It just doesn’t make any sense to them, and for good reason.
In contrast, you can read a Kindle book on just about any device–Macs, iPads, iPhones, PCs, Android devices as well as Kindles.
The REAL shame of all of this is that books using the iBooks 2 and 3 formats are far superior to books on the Kindle. iBooks contain high definition images (not allowed on the Kindle) as well as embedded video (not possible on the Kindle) and interactive diagrams (also not available on the Kindle). Hopefully, Apple will hear enough complaints about this and make some changes!