Upon logging onto the Internetz today I have discovered that Kindle Direct Publishing now offers their Kindle Store via Amazon Japan! Of course, KDP’s expanding markets are nothing new, especially recently, but I have a very special interest in the Japanese market, so this is really exciting news to me!
Some people are already selling their self-published ebooks in Japan as I’m writing this, but I think it’ll be interesting how it plays out for most people. Most people are probably selling works in English only, which can work throughout greater Europe, but not too much in Japan, which is one of the lowest ranking first-world Asian countries when it comes to learning English. (And I’ve worked in English teaching in Japan. I totally believe this position. Although I am surprised Hong Kong and Taiwan aren’t higher.) Also, sorry guys, but Kindle is not a “thing” in Japan. In terms of the E-reading market, Kobo (shock!), Sony (another shock!), and even iPads (Japan loves their iPads and iPhones, although the laptops and desktops never seem to have taken off) seem to dominate the E-reader market. (Anecdote time: I remember when I first took my Fire back to Japan and attempted to find a cover for it in the giant, I mean GIANT electronics and accessories stores in Nagoya. I was finally told by multiple workers that Kindle gear isn’t carried at this time.) In the beginning, I think we’ll see most sales are coming from expats and maybe a small section of the Japanese themselves. But who knows! With the recent launch, it could go any way, really.
Now, for my personal excitement: Japan is a market I would very much like to corner, and uh, not just because I happen to write stories taking place in Japan and featuring Japanese characters at the moment. (Although that is a good reason.) I have a few social connections in Japan that could be quite beneficial to me, and have had emails from people asking me if they could buy my ebooks on Amazon Japan. Now I can finally say I do! Hooray!
I suppose I should be off to translate my author profile and book description in Japanese. Just because I can. (Btw, here’s my current book on Amazon Japan! Because it looks cool there!)