One of the only companies with enough market presence to pull off self-publishing in India is Amazon. The Seattle company is poised to do big business in India in the coming years, primarily due to FlipKart abandoning the e-book space and giving all of their customers away to Kobo.
Neal Thompson is Amazon’s director for author and publishing relations. In a recent interview he stated “On our bookstore site in India, we have three million digital titles now. We don’t disclose how many of them are self-published, but let me assure you, that’s a pretty solid number.”
He went on to say “Also, we have a best-sellers list on Amazon that changes hourly. At any given time, 20 of the top 100 in India are self-published titles. This shows the future potential in India, where we entered only about a year ago. In other countries where KDP has been around for slightly longer, we see those numbers even higher. So, 33% of the top 100 books in the US are self-published, and in Germany, I think it is 50%.”
“India is a country that has a deep culture of story-telling. It is also a country where literacy is on the rise. I think India is a huge and promising market for us, so we now have offices across the country to tap the potential.”
The one thing that makes self-publishing viable in India is the price. The larger publishing companies often charge between Rs. 210 to Rs. 411, whereas indie books often sell for or Rs.99 or less.
“Our e-books business is growing over 200% year-on-year, and e-books are quickly becoming a large part of our book business in India,” said Sanjeev Jha, director of Kindle content at Amazon.