Flipkart may stop selling ebooks in India. The company recently announced that it is reviewing its digital options, telling Medianama: “Currently, we are evaluating our eBooks strategy and are working towards redefining our digital offerings to our customers.”
Flipkart introduced ebooks to its store in 2012. It created an app where titles bought on Flipkart can only be read on its app much like Kindle or Barnes & Noble do. But things recently took a turn when Smashwords announced that it was pulling its ebooks from Flipkart.
In Mark Coker’s own words: “Flipkart determined their systems are not yet capable of supporting the dynamic nature of the Smashwords catalog. As a result they will begin winding down the relationship with Smashwords and remove our titles.”
The thing is, Flipkart is a huge seller of goods – goods of the physical kind. It seems that by pulling back, Flipkart is allowing others in the ebook realm to take hold of the Indian market while it focuses on its core products.
Amazon recently announced the launch of Kindle Unlimited in the country, making it the first Asian country to receive the service. Amazon seems to be gaining steam in this burgeoning market, and it should look globally to expand its reach. As the US and UK have seemingly plateaued in the ebook world, places such as India where the share of the ebook market is anywhere from one percent to five percent, will only grow bigger.
The time to capture readers who want to digital is now, but it seems Flipkart may not be on that train.