Flipkart is currently India’s largest online marketplace. Founded in 2007, it has gained in sales and popularity, and now has over 1 million visitors per day. One of the main categories on Flipkart is its online bookstore, which has already taken 80% of the market share. India has huge potential for online book sales due to its newly discovered online purchasing power, and increasingly educated readers. Flipkart has taken note of this by providing a vast selection of books in its store, with titles from both Indian and international authors.
Basically, Flipkart is in the same position now as Amazon was a few years ago, and Flipkart would do well to learn from Amazon’s model. With the world’s second largest population, and second-largest English speaking population, India is one of the top growth markets for books, both print and digital. Reading devices like tablets and e-readers are also becoming very popular in India now, indicating that the readers are starting to lean towards the e-book format. Venturing into the self-publishing space will be a great opportunity for Flipkart to take hold of the e-book and indie book market shares in India.
There are clear indications that Flipkart is heading in the right direction towards introducing its own self-publishing platform. Flipkart has made definite strides into the indie books and e-books market through some recent strategic partnerships. Some key recent steps that Flipkart has taken to capture this market are:
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In 2012, an e-books section was launched on Flipkart on the Android platform, which was later extended to iOS, Windows Phone 8 and the web.
In 2013, Flipkart tied-up with the self-publishing and distribution platform, Smashwords, which has more than 290,000 e-books by more than 80,000 authors globally. This partnership added Smashwords’ extensive catalog of free and paid e-books to Flipkart’s bookstore. Authors will continue to receive Flipkart e-book sales royalties and payments through Smashwords, as with sales through other channels like Amazon.
Flipkart also partnered with Penguin Books to offer short digital reads from its E-Singles selection. The e-singles catalogue includes short digital reads from many categories such as fiction, poetry, short non-fiction, and plays.
Flipkart also entered a similar partnership with Xin-Xii, a large self-publishing and distribution platform in Europe. This collaboration will allow indie authors who self-publish on Xin-Xii to sell their e-books on Flipkart’s online bookstore. Authors will receive 50% royalty from the e-book sales through Flipkart.
In 2014, Flipkart has entered a partnership with US based Publish On Demand Global (PODG) which is a large content distribution network. This will allow the readers to access and purchase the content from Flipkart’s online bookstore. As well, users can purchase the content from Flipkart via Android, Apple iOS or Windows 8 devices.
Is a Self-Publishing Platform the Next Step?
Having made these important collaborations and partnerships, Flipkart has established its presence in the e-book distribution market. Flipkart is now in a good position to launch its own self-publishing platform which can build upon its excellent distribution network and guarantee sales for self-published e-book authors. This will also be an excellent way for Flipkart to come a full circle, as Flipkart was originally launched with the intention of making books easily available to online shoppers and was primarily a bookstore, before it expanded into other product categories.
Image credit: HasGeek on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CS_Rajan.jpg [/author_image] [author_info]CS Rajan is a freelance writer who loves to write on various topics, and is currently working on her first novel. [/author_info] [/author]