This E-Commerce Giant Is Helping Aspiring Authors Self-publish their Books If you have your tax id handy, you can publish your book in five minutes on the platform

By Vanita D'souza

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Writing is a tough profession, but getting that published is even tougher. Generally speaking, to publish your book, you'll have to approach a publisher via an agent, but it all depends on the former's discretion whether your work will see the light of the day.

However, with the help of technology, the scenario is changing. Thank the e-book industry for that.

E-commerce giant Amazon is one of the enablers in this domain through its Kindle Direct Publishing platform (KDP), where if you have tax id handy, you can publish your book with five minutes.

In a recent conversation with Entrepreneur India, Sanjeev Jha, Director of Kindle Content India, Amazon, talked about the platform and the strategy to be followed in India.

Get Noticed

When bestseller Ashiwn Sanghi attempted to publish his first book, The Rozabel Line, he was rejected by 47 publishers. The story is the same it's just the writers change. And if do you at all get published, you have to brace for the constant fight for a share of the readers' wallet as there are hundreds of bestselling authors publishing something or the other and people don't want to invest on unknown writers. But Amazon's KDP is changing the story line.

Jha said, "In case of Kindle Unlimited (KU), where people have already paid a membership fees, there is no additional cost in trying out a new author. Once people start trying new authors, they tend to write customer reviews and your book gets noticed and starts picking up."

"And like experts say, "jo dikhta hai who bikta hai'," Jha said, "we at Amazon will make sure that you get noticed."

Meanwhile, Amazon has five million titles in India, 1 million titles now in KU and 3.5 million titles via KDP with thousands of Indian authors making a living out of it.

Book to Box

People confuse the shift from books to e-books and Kindle's growth in terms of the number of devices used, he said and added, "more than half of the people, who read e-books, read it on the Kindle app. So it is not just about devices."

Additionally, there is no publisher that Jha is aware of who is not on Kindle e-books platform. "With explosion of people having smart phones and higher screen sizes, we have the ubiquity of having the app and that's where the growth is."

Jha declined to share the specifics of Kindle's market share in e-books domain, giving a tactical reply, "Market share is not the point of concern. We only think about are we reaching out to enough people and removing the impediments in the process."

Grass Route

Early last year, Amazon Kindle launched e-books in five regional languages — Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil and Gujarati.

Analyzing the move, Jha added, "Kindle's readers are not just reading in English or long novels. People are shifting focus to regional languages and short forms and the company has to keep inventing meet all the needs of all of them."

But venturing into the regional segment wasn't a cake walk for Amazon. One of the major challenges faced by the Kindle was, "Translating content into regional languages and scripts like devangri and darvidian posed serious difficulties as we have to get everything right and it isn't an easy job."

But, the e-commerce giant is bullish on the e-books and its growth in the regional segment. Hence, it is working on a plant to introduce five-six new languages in the platform. Alternatively, it also tests the KDP platform in Beta version for region languages, which will soon go live creating a platform for regional self publishing writers.

Vanita D'souza

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

I am a Mumbai-based journalist and have worked with media companies like The Dollar Business Magazine, Business Standard, etc.While on the other side, I am an avid reader who is a travel freak and has accepted foodism as my religion.

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