Here’s something to think about – and it’s just a little thing.
You have a lot to do when it comes to getting your book and ebook licensed. My one request and plea is that you keep Australia in mind when you do it. You know? This place!
We have a lot of these:
But you know what else we have a lot of? These:
Now, you may think that’s a stock photo of a woman biting her laptop. And yes, it is. But do you know what else it is? It’s a representation of an Australian trying to buy an ebook version of your book. And she’s biting her laptop because there’s not one available. Then she went and looked up ten other ebooks she wanted to buy. They weren’t available either. So she bit her laptop. That may seem like a strange reaction to non-Australians but 9 times out of 10, biting things is very effective here in Australia. Alas, this is that one time it’s not. No matter how many times I bite my laptop, ebooks don’t appear.
I get it, I really do. So do most Australians. We’re a small market and we’re very far away and very easy to forget about. I think Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country said it best when he wrote:
“The fact is, of course, we pay shamefully scant attention to our dear cousins Down Under – though not entirely without reason, I suppose. Australia is, after all, mostly empty and a long way away. Its population, about 19 million, is small by world standards – China grows by a larger amount each year – and its place int he world economy is consequently peripheral; as an economic entity, it is about the same size as Illinois. From time to time it sends us useful things – opals, merino wool, Errol Flynn, the boomerang – but nothing we can’t actually do without. Above all, Australia doesn’t misbehave. it is stable and peaceful and good. It doesn’t have coups, recklessly over fish, arm disagreeable despots, grow cocoa in provocative quantities or throw its weight around in a brash manner.”
So you put it on the last of your licensing to-do list and if you get the time, you’ll license your book to us. Maybe. The problem is when you do that, and then all your author friends do that as well. Then we’re stuck with no ebooks and nobody cares. Except for us. Look up “Australia” and “ebooks”. There are hundreds of sites with thousands of Australians complaining about not being about to get ebooks.
I have over 300 books on my tbr shelf. Many of them are there because I’m desperate to read them but they’re just not available to me without buying it from overseas and paying exorbitant shipping costs. Ordering two books from Amazon will cost me $25. Having them shipped to me will cost me over $40. That’s almost double the price of the books at the end of the day and Amazon’s free shipping policy does not apply to Australians.
This could all be circumvented if their ebooks were available to me for sale. But they’re not.
So please keep it in mind when you’re doing your licensing. Don’t forget us. Don’t put us off for six-eight months (or forever) and treat us like third class citizens for daring to want to spend our hard earned money on your product.
We will be very, very grateful for the courtesy of at least having the option of buying your work.