This is just a short list but here are some reasons I suspect this is a rush release by Amazon:
1) It’s not shipping till 19th October! Did they need the news before Frankfurt and not have the device ready?
2) No country specific sites, you need to order the device from Amazon.com
3) The iphone/itunes app is not yet live in Ireland, I doubt it is live in the UK yet either (Twitpic)
4) No word on the extension of the Digital Text Platform to other countries (that would extend the device to independents and authors outside of the US, currently you need a US Bank Account)
I’m sure there are more, but this feels like something of a rushed and to my mind fluffed launch, despite the massive space given on four site home-pages to the product!
So Amazon announced that they are now allowing pre-orders of the Kindle worldwide. They launched no country specific sites for this, just a letter on the homepage of Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr and Amazon.co.jp. You MUST order from Amazon.com
International users of the new Kindle will have a slightly smaller collection of around 200,000 English-language books to choose from, and their catalogs will be tailored to the country they purchased the device in. Amazon said it would sell books from a range of publishers including Bloomsbury, Hachette, HarperCollins, Lonely Planet and Simon & Schuster.
Among the apparent holdouts: Random House, which is owned by Bertelsmann, the German media conglomerate. Stuart Applebaum, a Random House spokesman, said the company’s “discussions with Amazon about this opportunity are ongoing, productive and private.”
As does our own Irish Times (though, to be frank, it’s basically a rewrite of the NYT piece).
I’ve checked and Amazon will allow preorders for Ireland, but the full cost is
Items: $279.00 ($20 more than the US version for no apparent reason)
Shipping & Handling: $20.98
Total Before Tax: $299.98
Estimated Tax:* $0.00
Import Fees Deposit $64.50 (Customs will make us pay this anyway so that’s free money for Amazon as far as I can tell)
Order Total: $364.48 (For an ereader, you must be joking!)
But think on this
Amazon devoted the front page of FOUR of their international sites to this product. It must be making them money in large amounts or else why would they do that. Two posts I read yesterday pointed to royalty statemenst reflecting good sales for ebooks, this one by Andrew Savikas (from an author perspective, well an author who is a publisher) and this one from kirstin Nelson (so from an gents perspective). I wonder what the kindle element of that is? Perhaps we really have passed the point of no return.