I've been eagerly waiting for Amazon India, and it's finally available!
Yay! Now my friends in India can buy kindles and (most important of all) my books. :D
What does this mean for indie writers?
Well, first off, it's terrific news for indie writers in India, since they can now access the US market directly. It's obviously also great news for US writers, who can access the ebook market in India. This is great news, but there are still some flags. I wouldn't call them red flags. Orange flags maybe. Not dealbreakers, but points to keep in mind.
It's often bandied about that India has a billion consumers, but this isn't quite true. India has an exploding middle class. (If any of you were among those whining about US jobs going to India, spank yourselves now. It's thanks to India opening itself up to international companies which has driven millions out of the Third World and into the First.) But not all of India is there yet.
The market will be limited to those who read English, have the budget to afford an ereader and also the books that go with it. In addition, they have to actually WANT to transition to ebooks. Right now that's less than 1% of the population. Ebook penetration is estimated to be 2% -- and that's of book buyers not of the total population.
That's for now. Although the market share is minuscule at the moment, it's pretty obvious that ebooks are the format of the 21st century, and as capitalism spreads globally, the middle class of the world is going to grow faster than bamboo. The main impediments are artificial trade blocks and taxes imposed by cartels (as we see in Europe), but even that can't hold back the tide for long. That's good news for entrepreneurs.
Now, what about the present moment? Amazon has made an interesting choice for Amazon India. Indie authors, if you look at your KDP page, you'll notice that the tab for Amazon.com (US) now says that it includes India.
All of the European markets--UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy--show up as seperate tabs in the drop down menu. This means you can see how your sales are doing in each country, which is great. You could be rocking it in .de (Germany) but not so hot in .sp (Spain).
At first I worried that this meant you couldn't charge different prices for India than for the US. This would be a disaster, since the Indian market can't bear as high of prices as the US. Fortunately, I was wrong.
If you go to the master page for your book, and look at the price page, you'll see that THERE, thank goodness, India is separated out from the US.
To celebrate this great news, and to welcome new readers from India, the first thing I've done is lower the prices on my epic fantasy series, The Unfinished Song, to rock bottom prices for India. And of course the first book is free for everyone.
The Unfinished Song Series on Amazon
The Unfinished Song: Wing (Sign up here to get it free on release day)