Kindle goes worldwide

Amazon announce the international kindle
Amazon announce the international kindle


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,, and You MUST order from

Kindle Germany
Kindle Germany

Kindle France
Kindle France

Kindle Japan
Kindle Japan

The NYT has a story on the release:

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.

Interesting times as they say,

8 thoughts on “Kindle goes worldwide

  1. I’m really hoping that the Kindle flops this side of the pond, that people opt for the Sony Reader — or some of the other devices that support the “epub” format. It seems to be a much more democratic format, allowing you to read ebooks on PCs/Macs or on hand-held devices, and from what I can gather, doesn’t have the same DRM issues.

    It’s mp3 versus AAC all over again. Although I use an ipod, I’ve gone out of my way to save all my music as mp3.


    1. Long term I see it failing Averill, but I could be totally wrong! I don’t like the platform and I don’t trust the company behind it. I’ll use it for sure, but hope for something better.

  2. I still like paper best; but must admit I’d be tempted by one of these things for the purchasing convenience (we live hours from any bookstore) and the money it would save per book. At THAT price, however, by the time it earned its keep in book savings, a newer better version will have replaced it or the thing would be worn out or broken.

    I can understand such an investment if you’re an agent, reading client’s manuscripts as well as newly released books on the thing, but other than that it seems little more than a glitzy Christmas toy for the rich, than anything really useful for the average reader.

    So thanks for the news and price analysis, Eoin: you’ve convinced me to keep waiting! LOL

  3. I doubt that I’ll buy a Kindle…I prefer paper books. I’ve 2 books published in various e-formats but the Kindle format sells more that all the other formats put together. Amazon take a hefty cut…too hefty, in my opinion…but buyers prefer to deal with them rather than Fictionwise, Smashbooks or Scribd. It will be interesting to see how sales at Smashbooks go with their tie in with Barnes & Nobel and with the Sony Reader .

    1. I think I may skip an dedicated readers Eddie and stick with my ipod touch which has several reader apps which facilitate reading. Stanza is particularly good and having listen to the ceo of the company that created it (before Amazon acquired it) Neelan Choksi at TOCFrankfurt yesterday, I like the product even more.

      His rallying call is an initially modest seeming: Don’t let the industry become a blockbuster one. Foster the mid-list. But when you think through the implications of what he is saying it is quite revolutionary in these hit driven times.


  4. Just to let you know I’ve already ordered one, paying extra for a case at a grand total of 410.00 USD or 277.965 EUR – I don’t want either the Sony Reader or the Kindle flopping. We need the big boys to butt heads regularly or they’ll be able to dictate terms to the rest of us. I do prefer the epub format, but I think Amazon will be forced to adopt it, or make their own more open. But the e-readers only represent one way of reading digital files. Publishing is already going digital – that’s no longer the issue. I think that the content publishers produce will have to be adaptable to suit the needs of their readers. It won’t be what form we can get our favourite text in that matters, but how we choose to read that malleable file on our chosen device.

    1. Oisin,

      I think Kindle and the Reader will fail simply because too few people will buy dedicated devices for books.

      The key as you suggest is access wherever you are regardless of the device. Ebooks and formats are totally old-world thinking. Make it available in the cloud, readable on any device and then the problem of the big boys dissipates, cloud storage is cheap, serving can be done with relative ease and competition should therefore flourish, at least that’s my thinking for now! BuT I’m tired, and I could be wrong!

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