The company announced it reached a deal with Flipkart.com, the largest online marketplace and bookseller in India. Titles will be on the site within the next three to four weeks, Smashwords stated on its blog.
“Flipkart is commonly referred to as the Amazon of India. To be fair to Flipkart, Amazon would probably kill to become the Flipkart of India someday,” Smashwords CEO Mark Coker wrote.
Coker also notes that Flipkart has told him that according to Nielsen BookScan Retail Panel data, Flipkart holds 80 percent market share for online book sales in India.
Flipkart offers reading apps for Android, iOS and Microsoft Windows 8. Readers can also purchase books through the Android and Microsoft apps.
“I’ve been eager to distribute Smashwords books to India for several years now,” Coker wrote. “India represents the fifth largest source of traffic to the Smashwords store after the US, UK, Canada and Australia. In our globally connected world, consumer cultures are becoming more similar than they are different. Online social media marketing touches readers at every point of globe, generating demand for your books. We’re now better equipped to serve Indian readers, who can purchase at Flipkart in Rupees.”
The transition could seemingly be an easy one for Smashwords. While most of its books are written in English, that shouldn’t be a problem for the company or its authors. One of the more interesting statistics from the post is that 80 percent of books sold on Flipkart are English-language books.
Another important point from Coker:
“I think indie authors will have a substantial competitive advantage in India, because indie ebooks are priced much more affordably than traditionally published ebooks. Our 20,000+ free books make our authors’ offering all the more compelling.”
This also opens the door for authors in India to create books as well.
Flipkart was founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who’ve both worked at Amazon.