Amazon launches the Kindle worldwide, UK store to follow

<p>Amazon.com has launched an international wireless version of its digital reading device the Kindle, with UK publishers including Atlantic Books, Bloomsbury, Canongate, Faber, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Penguin signed up to make their books available. Random House, however, appears not to have signed an agreement with Amazon.com for the distribution of its content internationally.</p><p><a href="../news/98286-kindle-prepared-for-pre-frankfurt-uk-launch.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/98286-kindle-prepared-for-pre-frankfur... move, which was predicted in July by <em>The Bookseller</em>, and again last week, was announced overnight.</a> Readers in the UK can pre-order the $279 device from today (7th October), and Amazon will begin shipping it on 19th October. As rumoured, the device will be sold from the .com website, rather than the .co.uk domain, and will be priced in dollars. But in a letter to customers, Jeff Bezos, founder and c.e.o of Amazon, said a UK store would be forthcoming: &quot;In the future, we plan to introduce a UK-centric Kindle experience, enabling you to purchase Kindle and Kindle books in sterling from our Amazon.co.uk site.&quot; </p><p>Amazon has partnered with AT&amp;T to utilise its global wireless coverage. Amazon said its Kindle Store would offer international customers new releases and bestsellers &quot;typically priced less than physical editions&quot;. However, international users of the Kindle will pay a $1.99 fee added to any book they download from the Kindle store. Selected new releases will be priced between $11.99 and $13.99. In the US, Kindle owners pay $9.99 for similar titles.<br /><br />Bezos said: &quot;Kindle is the most wished for, the most gifted, and the #1 bestselling product across the millions of items we sell on Amazon, and we&rsquo;re excited to... announce a new addition to the Kindle family&mdash;Kindle with global wireless. At home or abroad in over 100 countries, you can think of a book and download it wirelessly in less than 60 seconds.&rdquo;</p><p>Amazon will offer its customers more than 200,000 English-language titles. Already a number of UK publishers have signed up to make their books available on the Kindle Store, including Atlantic Books, Bloomsbury, Canongate, Faber and Faber, Hachette, Harlequin, HarperCollins, Lonely Planet, Penguin, Profile Books, Quercus, Simon &amp; Schuster and Wiley. </p><p>John Makinson, Penguin chief executive, said: &quot;Penguin is a leading supplier of digital books to Kindle in the US and we are delighted to be extending that successful partnership to the rest of the world. The publishing industry is experiencing explosive growth in digital book sales in the U.S. and we hope to stimulate digital buying elsewhere by making our content widely available on new devices.&quot;</p><p>Stephen Page, publisher and chief executive of Faber, added: &quot;We are always seeking new ways of finding readers for the writers we publish, so we&#39;re excited by Kindle&#39;s launch beyond the US, and to be developing our strong partnership with Amazon beyond physical books.&quot;</p><p>It is not clear why Random House is not part of the equation. Its US spokesman Stuart Applebaum told the <em>New York Times</em> that the company&rsquo;s &quot;discussions with Amazon about this opportunity are ongoing, productive and private&quot;. </p><p>Lonely Planet guides are now available in the Kindle Store, joining existing travel guide selection from publishers Rick Steves, Frommers and Michelin. &quot;Lonely Planet is excited to make a vast selection of travel guides from Australia to Zanzibar available to Kindle customers around the world,&rdquo; said chief executive Matt Goldberg. </p><p>The US Kindle Store now has more than 350,000 books, including new releases and 104 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers, which are typically $9.99 or less. The price of the US version has been reduced from $299 to $259, it was also announced today. </p><p>More than 75,000 books have been added to the US Kindle Store in just the last five months. The device holds up to 1,500 books.</p>