Books written by Ray Sullivan

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Amazon Kindle Expands Its International Market

First the Kindle was launched in the US, then in the UK.  Then earlier this year Amazon opened Kindle stores in Germany and France.  Now Italy and Spain have had Kindle stores released.  So what does this mean to ebook readers and self publishers?

Well, for self-publishers it probably doesn't mean they've got a whole load of extra sales waiting for them, unless they're prepared to have their books translated into French, German, Italian and/or Spanish. might be an option, but I'm guessing anyone who tries that is going to create more enemies than friends.  However, for those of us who currently publish entirely in the English language, either variant, there may be a few additional potential readers.  For one thing, many Europeans are multi-lingual, unlike many UK and USA residents.  If the book subject matter appeals to such an individual, then they may just take advantage of the opportunity.  Also there are a significant number of ex-pat English speakers living in these countries who may have struggled to access the UK or US Kindle stores previously if their primary card accounts weren't registered in the UK or the States.

But the real advantage of this release is for residents of those European countries mentioned.  As I've reported previously, and remind everyone at the top of my blog every day, Amazon apply a $2 surcharge to all purchases from outside of the various Kindle stores.  This surcharge benefits Amazon greatly as none of it is passed onto the authors and is on top of the cut they take already - it may not be obvious, but 65% of the purchase price of all ebooks on Amazon costing $2.99 or less goes to Amazon.  It's actually a little more complicated than that in countries that apply VAT - see one of my blogs from last month if you want to learn more about that and can't sleep - but the relative amount is similar.  Compare that to Apple and Kobo,for example, who take 40% and you'll see why authors are keen for you to buy their books from those bookstores.

So it's good news to the residents of France, Germany, Italy and Spain, welcome if you're reading this, and I hope Amazon get some meaningful and interesting ebooks in your language quickly.  If you're watching the ebook scene from the sidelines, then the Kindle has just become a much more interesting option.  I can't offer residents of those countries information regarding the alternatives, such as the Kobo devices, so I'm afraid you'll have to do some research to see if you can purchase their books from your country - I seem to recall Kobo is extending into Europe too - so please do check out my earlier blogs regarding the various eReaders out there right now.

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