I’ve been following the potential of eBooks in India with strong interest for about two and half years now. Unlike the West where eBooks have been around now for some years, driven mainly by Amazon.com’s innovations in eBook reader technology through its Kindle, in India, eBooks have not really been visible and are still to catch on.
However, the atmosphere is slowly changing as they become increasing available through Amazon.in who opened up their store in India last year, along with Flipkart who now sell eBooks on their store as well.
Now is a great time for self-published writers to make their eBooks available in the Indian market. Below are some reasons why:
Internet uptake is increasing
As internet uptake continues to increase across India, more people will be online. The number of internet users had reached 205 million in October 2013. This means the potential for more people to engage in digital content, including your eBooks.
E-commerce is growing
As more people in India get online, this is driving the e-commerce industry which is expected to grow to $56 Billion by 2023.
The buying and selling of eBooks falls under e-commerce and this means an opportunity to sell eBooks directly from your websites and through listing them with popular Indian online retailers.
Huge population of English speaking people
If you write eBooks in English, then India offers you a huge potential market. With the exception of Hindi, most Indians speak English more than any other language. 125 million people in India are reported to speak English.
Huge potential for eBooks written in local languages
One area, which has huge potential in India, is eBooks written in local languages with there being 780 languages spoken across the country. Some of the most well-known ones include Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Gujarati, Bengali, Konkani, Kannada and Malayalam.
If you’re writer in regional languages in India and want to get your work published, self-publishing could definitely be an option for you.
The growth of the economy continues to rise India, which saw it increase at an annual rate of 4.8% in the July to September period in 2013. As people across India become wealthier, they will have more disposable income to spend on eBooks.
Self-publishing platforms in India
There are certain self-publishing companies who have been offering authors the opportunity to self-publish in India for some while. Those who realised the potential of eBooks early on include Pothi.com and CinnamonTeal.
It will be interesting to see what type of growth these organisations will see as the uptake of eBooks increases in India. Another more recent one is Swiftboox.
Availability of technology
Amazon.com has introduced their Kindle eBook reader in India and other organisations such as Kobo have released their devices. Whether the uptake in India of eBook readers will be similar to the masses who use them in the West, remains to be seen.
However, smartphones how now available fairly cheaply, which means their use by people in India has increased, while the tablet market was expected to generate $2 Billion by the end 2013. Expectations are that many people in India will read eBooks through their smartphones and tablet devices.
Apps are beginning to be introduced to for reading eBooks including Handygo’s Rockstand app and Flipkart’s eBook app.
Over to you:
• What do you think about the potential of eBooks in India?
• Please share your valuable views, experiences and thoughts in the comments box below.
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