The only way to beat the leader is to be better at what the leader does. I was reading yet another excellent article this morning from Mike Shatzkin about the current state of affairs in traditional publishing. He makes good points, which also apply to indies and self-publishers. We need to keep our head in the game.
Amazon earned their place in publishing
They are dominant in ebooks, not because the Kindle is the best, but because of their marketing, SEO, innovation, and creativity. Kindle doesn’t come close to iBooks in an iPad in either the reading experience or the typography/book design quality.
But, buying books on Amazon is the best book shopping experience in the world today. This is due to Amazon’s internal search engine, and to their persistent, insistent innovation in that regard. Day in, day out; week in, week out; month in, month out; year in, year out they come up with the new features which matter. Mike shares a couple of the most recent.
We need to study Amazon to improve our marketing
You will need to work hard to make your Website or blog pages come up before the link to your books on Amazon when searching for your books. Most simply give up and let Amazon do their thing.
But what are you going to do when Amazon is surpassed?
You need to be looking and working hard to keep abreast of the new game changers. As an example, Amazon is only 61% of my books sales in 2013, 2014, and so far this year. Kindle books are only 28.6%. This is incredibly important! This means that my ebook sales outside of Amazon are 136% more than Amazon sales.