When I decided to publish Fairy Tale Fail digitally via the Amazon Kindle Store in April 2010, it wasn't because I did my research and found it to be the best platform. I didn't care, and just wanted the book to be available to as many people as possible, and Amazon made it relatively easy for me to set everything up.
I was told that through Smashwords I could sell the book in more formats and gain entry into ebook stores that were competing with Amazon. So a few weeks later I put up FTF on Smashwords, also easy, and reformatted my manuscript so it would qualify for Premium Status and be accepted into the digital stores of Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, and the just-announced Apple iBookstore.
Now it's nearing the end of the year, and looking over the sales reports, I see an obvious leader: Amazon. Then again I never did doubt its reach, but looking at the comparison now I see that for me as an indie author Amazon has done the best job of getting my book, and name, out to their public.
Sony's second-place finish is surprising -- I don't know anyone who owns a Sony Reader or buys books from its store, so when I started out I pretty much ignored them in my marketing plan (sorry about that). I'm glad and thankful that Reader owners would take a chance on a title and author they barely know.
On the other hand, Barnes & Noble and Apple iBookstore -- what's up? I thought they would be Amazon's closest competitors, not just in e-readers but book sales as well. Maybe Nook owners aren't into chick lit written by a Filipino indie author, or the ones who might be bought their epub from Smashwords instead. Maybe iPad owners would rather download apps. Or they're reading their ebooks on the Kindle app, like some of my friends, which means Amazon needn't worry about having the best device, as long as they can evolve and be compatible with whatever device their buyers want to use.
What have I learned from this?
#1 - Releasing Fairy Tale Fail digitally was a great decision, and I really should release another one in the next few months.
#2 - Amazon rocks as a distribution channel.
#3 - Since it's not that much effort anyway, I should continue to release my next ebooks on other stores too.