Category: Ebook sales


Distributing to Perlego – New Retail Channel

PublishDrive is proud to have partnered with Perlego, an innovator in academic publishing. We’re offering our publishers and authors a chance to showcase their books at the Perlego platform among academic publishers.

Long gone are the days when you had to pay hundreds of pounds at the beginning of every term to cover the costs of your textbooks. Dubbed as the Spotify of textbooks, Perlego is an innovative ebook platform which provides users with access to the best professional and academic content, under a monthly subscription fee. Launched in September 2016, Perlego has already established partnerships with over 280 leading publishers and has over 200 000 books in their library. Perlego is targeting businesses, institutions and students directly in the European, Middle East and African region.

Perlego works with a subscription model, offering publishers a percentage of the monthly subscription fee based on the how much of the book is read.

Disruptors at the scientific market

Prior to channeling in Perlego, PublishDrive signed a contract with Mackin Educational Resources. Scientific content is highly popular in different library models like at OverDrive and CNPeReading as well. Big publishers like Bloomsbury are currently improving their ebook sales by trying different channels and models. Will the disruption of trade publishing come from the scientific, educational world?

Book Business believes that it should be. They argue that by following student’s behavior (as they access content online in free or freemium models) educators can better analyze their own success. They will be able to track student’s progress and measure the effectiveness of learning.

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Distributing Public Domain Books: Should You Do It?

When US federal judge Jed Rakoff ruled against KinderGuides in August, one of the main arguments used against the company cited public domain books. Indeed, if the publisher wanted to bring classics closer to the kids, they could have chosen from millions of available books, including the works of Jane Austen, Mark Twain and Dostoevsky.

This prompted us to revisit the question of public domain.

Continue Reading…

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Amazon Ebook Market Share 2017 – is it big enough?

Amazon Ebook Market is not the only store for reaching your readers.

(This article was updated on 25/10/17 with recent data.)

When it comes to publishing an ebook, Amazon is the first thing many people think of. Obviously, Amazon is a dominant player in online book and ebook retailing. However, when it is about global publishing, doors keep opening to new stores, business models and channels: and as an indie publisher, it is your task to explore them. (You can read more about the different business models here.) As an indie publisher, you have to explore other opportunities to make your ebook publishing efforts more profitable on the long term – you can’t simply rely on one big distributor. Who knows what will tomorrow bring?

It may surprise you how many potential readers and what portion of your possible earnings you may lose if you publish only on Amazon ebook market. Why would you do that, especially if you already have your own ebook converted? Look at our numbers and you will understand why it is crucial to go to other ebook stores as well.

This article starts with an in-depth analysis of our recent sales numbers, then we introduce the a recent Author Earnings Report to understand how ebook sales work in the US, UK and on emerging markets. We close with some interesting facts on Kindle app and Kindle reader market share.

Publishdrive’s analysis on Amazon ebook sales

PublishDrive analyzed the sales numbers of publishers signed up and found that in case of English titles only 39% of the sales volume came from the Amazon ebook market (2017 first 3 quarters). It is unquestionably a huge share, but still, if you are exclusive with Amazon Kindle through KDP Select, you may lose 61% of your potential readers and sales. You may earn more money in stores and markets you have never thought to be more suitable for your target group.
Continue Reading…

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How to Increase Your Ebook Sales – 5 Tips

Do you have a new interesting book for your readers? Great.

Do you offer it in the form of an ebook? Also great.

Do you have weak sales figures?

Not that great, but we collected the five most essential tips for you which can instantly help you increase your ebook sales.

  1. Design a professional cover

How do you know that the cover is the main reason for declining sales? The answer is simple: If your book always gets good reviews but it is not selling.

Your book cover is the first contact to your potential customers. It has to get the first interests and make readers want to look into your ebook. It should raise attention, but at the same time, the style of your book cover has to fit both to your target group’s taste and also to the content.

Here are some good examples of what a professional book cover should look like:

      Ebook cover example to increase ebook sales              Everyone's a Genius - ebook cover that increases ebook sales


These covers are delightful, attractive and doing a good job giving visual form to the written content in the book.

Some common mistakes to avoid when designing your book cover:

  • Too much information on the front cover
  • Long titles
  • Poor background
  • Utilization of poor images
  • Using too many colors
  • You want to do it all by yourself

Keep in mind that a good cover is an advertisement for your book, an opportunity to stand out in the crowd. So keep it simple and clean.

As a famous book cover designer, Chip Kidd, once said: “a book cover is a distillation. It is the haiku of the story.”

Finally, don’t forget an attractive book cover is an investment: hire a professional designer for it. At Dribbble, you can choose from more than 11,000 designers from all over the world, and you can define who are you looking for.

  1. Find the right price level that increases ebook sales

The production costs of an ebook are much lower than that of the printed ones. Accordingly, your sales price should also be set at a lower level. As a rule of thumb we advise you to always stay under $ 10 and use price promotions to attract new readers.

Due to the fact that selling more books doesn’t increase your production costs, you can also try out a lower price level (0,99 – 2,99 $ per book) or even there is a way to sell your book for a few days for free. Finding the perfect price for your ebook is not easy, and you can completely get lost looking through all the different kinds of ebook pricing models.

If you want to read more about the existing business models in the ebook industry, take a look at our previous blog post here, where we discussed ebook pricing models in greater detail.

  1. Sell your ebook in different online stores

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket: sell your books through various retailers globally. You can hear a lot about the big players in the industry such as Amazon, Kobo or Apple but keep in mind: there are a lot of other retailers and wholesalers in the marketplace that you might want to consider make your ebook available through.

Some retailers like Barnes & Noble, Apple or Amazon have also self-publishing services to interact with their distribution platforms smoothly.

Others, like Scribd, OverDrive, Baker & Taylor or Gardners are book wholesalers, bringing digital books into certain marketplaces. If you pick a self-publishing service to do the digital uploading to ebook sellers for you, make sure your book gets into – at least – the big players and take a look at the niche sellers as well to see if they fit your books target market.

Publishing is not about Amazon anymore, especially not in emerging markets where the growth rate of the ebook market is above 200% and the major ebook stores are not dominant. More customer contact will result in higher sales volumes, so publish your ebook on multiple platforms. However, searching for, finding and contracting new retailers takes a lot of time and so money. Use professional aggregation sites who will help you through the ebook management process as the ERP for digital publishing.

  1. Help your readers find your ebook

Writing your book is only the first step in the book making process, but hard work comes when you try to sell it to your audience. Defining your target group is not enough. You have to guide them to find your book. And how will they find your book? You need to build a strong web presence.

If you have a website or a blog use it to promote your book to generate leads and drive traffic by displaying your book on the home page.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Goodreads can help you to interact with your audience. Make sure you have regular updates on your social media sites and provide useful content to your readers.

Don’t forget to build an email list to develop your target audience. An attractive cover, the right categorization and a nice preview of your content are also essential elements in finding your audience and increase your ebook sales.

The key points are:

  • use your website/blog to promote your book
  • social media sites are valuable marketing tools
  • use SEO to build traffic
  • build a mailing list
  1. Get your ebook reviewed

A good review can make all the difference regarding ebook sales. It provides you the chance to interact with your readers and build engagement among them.

A good book review and word-of-mouth attract more customers because customers trust more on other people’s opinion than on classical company advertisement.

For that, you cannot buy reviews, but you can build out your professional partnership with bloggers who may be the right marketing channel for your readers. Give free ebook copies to bloggers who will hopefully promote your ebook on their platform. Keep in mind that sample-giving is an excellent marketing tool, but it is not allowed via your website if you want to sell your ebook also in online stores.

Instead of your homepage use the different media tools, like Facebook and Twitter to give samples to your potential readers and fans who will be grateful for them.

Improving your ebook sales take up a lot of work, and you have to put the time in to see results. These tips can help you start learning about the right techniques and methods to use when you want to increase your ebook sales. Remember always to communicate and interact with your readers, which not only can increase your sales but also bring awareness to your work.

You have additional thoughts or insights on the topic? Share it in the comments.


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IPG UK Quarterly Event by PublishDrive

Publishing industry is centered in London and New York where you can be in the vibe of the industry. PublishDrive had the awesome opportunity to get involved in the London publishing scene being a full member at Independent Publishers’ Guild UK. The IPG helps publishers to do better business and become part of a real community — somewhere they can find advice, benefits and information. They give independent companies the support they need to get the most out of publishing and keep their businesses growing what is in perfect line with the values of PublishDrive.

On 26th November there was an event organized by IPG Digital Quarterly – to have an overall view of the digital publishing industry. Andre Breedt (Director of Nielsen Book Research), Lindsey Mooney (Kobo’s Content Lead for the UK), Steve Potter (commercial manager of Wordery) and Jonathan Griffin (business development at PLS) were the key speakers at the event besides the networking part with juices and wine.

The main take away from the IPG workshop was that in the industry everyone is whispering about the threatening plateau of ebooks, but marketing activities can do a lot of magic for ebook sales. However from the presentation of Andre Breedt which was amazingly structured with data and statistics it turned out in my understanding that usually industry professionals does not count two major factors: ebook sales abroad (export) and self-publishing. These two areas are extremely difficult to measure, meanwhile at least 40% of titles are self-published which shows a massive amount of content not easy to track if there is no ISBN associated with the books. So the situation of ebook sales is not that bad at all despite the event at IPG, because emerging markets are still booming in ebook sales, meanwhile in more mature markets self-publishing has a louder voice which makes it less easy to measure in the industry.

Lindsey from Kobo showcased their marketing effort with real data and statistics – what is very unusual to make in public at an IPG event for instance. It turned out that on the UK market Kobo is a marginal player with a market share of 4-5%. However, Kobo is doing significantly better in other markets (such as Italy) and with their new acquisition of Flipkart, India could be an interesting area of growth. In overall, the main tendency is that engagement is growing at Kobo – consumers buy more books, but still 10% of customers make 50% of the sales, so it shows who starts reading an ebook, will be a huge fan and will read more. There are many marketing tips which were mentioned by Lindsey to be working at Kobo. For instance, merchandising activities such as Author Day and special merchandising promotions such as 3 for 2 increased the market share by 782% of the promoted books and by 914% in daily sales during promotion. The special “Daily Deals”  had even better results: 4340% increase in volume, 1615% increase in revenue. Kobo puts a lot of effort on their loyalty program, so the customers in their program buy 5 unit books per month on average and reads mostly romance.

With PublishDrive we believe that ebook sales are growing rapidly, if you can increase your reach in new markets and step foot in underserved areas. As a publisher you have to be more conscious about your ebook management processes and that is what PublishDrive gives you: control over your sales strategy and operations, meanwhile you can focus on the most important job: to create beautiful content.

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PublishDrive CEO in panel about self-publishing at Frankfurt Book Fair 2015

Book fairs are the gathering points of book industry professionals such as investor events or conferences for startups. Everyone goes there for networking and hustling their companies. According to this logic Frankfurt Book Fair is the SXSW for book industry professionals in Europe.

It is never a question whether you should attend Frankfurt Book Fair or not – if you want to meet in person your colleagues or partners who you are constantly in conversation with via email or you want to party out with your future partners, this is the best place to be!

In 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair PublishDrive was honored to be invited by Porter Anderson from The Bookseller to one of the panels about digital publishing. Our CEO, Kinga Jentetics was speaking about how self-publishers may exploit their opportunities in the digital publishing scene. We had the amazing opportunity to speak up with Porter Anderson from The Bookseller, Mary Cummings from Diversion Books and Cameron Drew from Booktrack.

There are a lot of amazing things what these other guys in the panel do, but what the most astonishing for me was during the panel discussion that the audience was extremely engaged and asked very thoughtful questions. We had a full audience eager to ask questions about PublishDrive. Many of them considered themselves as an author or very small publisher, but who are eager to learn more about ebook publishing.

The most important questions were the following:

How does PublishDrive handle metadata?

PublishDrive helps you store your metadata (title, ISBN number, price etc.) in one place in a user-friendly format. Afterwords we take care of all metadata management issues for different retailers. In every country retailers use different categorization for instance in different formats (ONIX, excel sheet, emails!), which makes your metadata management difficult. With PublishDrive we focus on bridging those gaps, so your books will be categorized in the best way in other countries as well.

Does PublishDrive provide professional editing during its book review system? How are books reviewed and in what languages?

We do not offer professional editing, because we believe, you as a content creator are the best in this job. We can offer you services who can help you with that, but our main focus is on helping you in the ebook management process, not in the content creation part. With PublishDrive we accept all languages and all kind of content, however we take care of avoiding explicit content. Other than that we do not judge the content itself, because we believe your readers will decide whether your book is good or not. But in all, we are happy to give you any advice on your content if you need.

What kind of marketing options does PublishDrive have?

PublishDrive has built in social media integration, so you directly can post to your Facebook or Twitter fans in our platform. With PublishDrive we have personal relationships to all stores with extra merchandizing options. Every month we compile a merchandizing plan for our retailer partners where your book may be included. As a result your book may be featured in Apple iBooks for instance. However these services are not guaranteed, because editors will review ourbook suggestions, but we found that 95% of our suggestions were featured for 1 week at least. We do merchandizing plan for free, and we appreciate all relevant marketing materials from you.

What languages does PublishDrive support?

We accept all languages. Currently we have more than 20 different languages in our platform from English to Turkish, Roman, Hungarian, Serbian etc. We constantly develop our retailer partner list globally, so feel free to upload content in any languages.

How is international pricing handled at PublishDrive?

We make pricing easy for you: you set your own currency for pricing and we will do the rest for you. In the background we calculate ebook prices for different countries in different currencies taking into account cultural differencies as well. This way we make sure your ebook reaches the right audience at the right price.

It was an honour to take part in the panel discussion with Porter Anderson at Frankfurt Book Fair and to meet so many new publishers and author, see you next time as well!


HOT SPOT – Digital Innovation


Waiting for the crowd at FBF 2015

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Earn more money with affiliate program @ PublishDrive!

We are happy to announce a new affiliate program for ebook publishing!

We found that 30% of our current customers invite others to use our platform. We want to give you back for all of your effort and encourage you to spread the word about PublishDrive. That is why we have launched our affiliate program, where you can easily invite your friends to PublishDrive, meanwhile you earn money!

If you successfully invite publishers, you will earn 3% commission after all sales of first 6 months of publishers you have invited.

How does it work?

·     after registration at you will receive your own affiliate registration link. You should tell your acquaintance about PublishDrive and send them your link

·     every publisher that use this link for registration will be counted as your acquirement

·     for every sale made by these publishers you will have 3% commission for 6 month after the registration of the publisher

At affiliate page – within PublishDrive – you can follow:

·     who made registration with your affiliate link, and when it happened

·     how many books “your” publishers have uploaded

·     how much you earned for each month

And finally:

·     We send your earnings to your bank account 🙂

That’s all! To start, please sign in to, click on the Affiliate button and walk through the steps there.

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New market segment drives ebook sales globally

Publishers and authors are getting more independent and strong-minded about looking for new ways to distribute books globally. They are building sustainable business and managing digital innovation in favor of their long-term goals: finding new readers and increasing their sales globally through new intelligent solutions. But they may miss one selling point in their business: finding new readers in new markets through new stores where Amazon and other major retailers are not the most dominant ones and where English language content is still a scarcity.

Not only innovation in the publishing industry, but demographic trends may help publishers rethink their strategy about exporting their books across the globe. New market segments may arise in a world through mobilization of workforce and education where the market should have been traditionally separated by language and geography. But this situation has changed and marketers have to be aware of the new trends to build appropriate strategy around it.

A UN study (United Nations, 2013) released that 232 million people, or 3.2 percent of the world’s population, lived outside of their countries of origin in 2013. That figure compares to 175 million in 2000 and 154 million in 1990 which shows a significant increase of expatriates community all around the world. An expatriate is “a person who lives outside their native country” according to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Although, these people come from different cultures with different background, they share one common value: they want to be reconnected with their countries by consuming local content which may be even English, German, Spanish, Russian, Turkish or Polish or any other language all around the world.

This common value may be noticed in our sales numbers for a 1.5 year period at PublishDrive in case of one specific Eastern European language, Hungarian content depicted on figure below. A very exciting sales trend may be concluded about these numbers: an average of 31% of sales are coming from people living outside of their home country which shows an emerging new market segment, the expatriates which could not be reached before ebooks and before PublishDrive’s service. Although, Hungarian language is a relatively small language, spoken by 11 million people all around the world and claims to have 350 000 registered expatriates globally (Blaskó, SEEMIG, 2014), this demographic change affects all countries around the world.

As a comparison, you may think that this trend is relevant only for emerging markets on the Eastern part of the world, but data tells the opposite: last year 324 000 people left Britain mostly in hope for better job opportunities somewhere else (Bennett, 2015). As a result, more than 6m British people living permanently abroad counting for almost one in 10 of the UK population. (UN, 2013)

The thorough analysis of sales data in PublishDrive shows that there is a moderate relationship between the increasing sales number of ebooks abroad and the overall sales meaning that there is a new market segment in forms of expatriates who may drive ebook sales. The nominal value and volume of expat sales is constantly increasing showing a higher volume of purchasing power, greater interest in local content and more openness to innovative products from the end-user perspective at expatriates.

Results suggest that expatriate sales are dominant part of overall sales in the industry which may open new doors for publishing revenues. With PublishDrive there are many new stores covered in the East and Baltic area of Europe, Asia and Africa and our partnerships with ebook stores are growing constantly to increase ebook sales globally.


Blaskó, Z., & Jamalia, N. (2014). Surveying Emigration I. Report on the first stage of the SEEMIG pilot study in Hungary and Serbia. Research report developed within the project ‘SEEMIG Managing Migration and Its Effects – Transnational Actions Towards Evidence Based Strategies’. Demographic Research Institute (DRI) and Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO). Budapest: SEEMIG

Bennett, A. (2015): Emigration nation: who are the thousands fleeing Britain each year? Via: Date of download: 20.08.2015

United Nations (2013): International Migration Report 2013. Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division. Downloaded:…/development/…/population/…/Full_Docu…

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