Amazon today announced the availability of Kindle titles on Amazon’s UK store, amazon.co.uk. While our friends “across the pond” were previously able to buy Kindle books, they were often hit with large international surcharges, currency conversion, and VAT (European tax). Kindle books often cost international customers $2 or $3 more than they cost here — which is especially significant on $0.99 or $2.99 e-books! Even “free” e-books carried extra charges over there. Ugh.
So, I’m glad to see Amazon bring Kindle titles to their UK-based store. The good news is that the prices seem quite reasonable: Right Ascension is only £1.97, which seems pretty fair. (True, they do tack on a small percentage for VAT, but it seems they price the titles appropriately based on the exchange rate and don’t add extra fees — the price works out to $3.13 at today’s rate.) For comparison, the old price would have been at least $4.99, maybe more, for England-based shoppers on Amazon.
The only bad news I can see is that the books’ reviews, sales rankings, and “tags” (helpful keywords, like “science fiction” that users can associate with books) from the US versions don’t transfer over to the UK site, so mine are starting from scratch. Amazon also doesn’t let you shop around: if you’re registered with a US address, you can only shop at the US store; at the UK store, you’ll see “Pricing information not available” and “The Kindle Store at Amazon.co.uk is for UK customers only.” (I believe non-US customers trying to shop in the US store can do so, they just see different — usually higher — prices.)
Anyway, this is another great opportunity and another great benefit of e-books: without doing a thing or shipping anything across the Atlantic, my e-books are now available (at fair prices) to readers all over the world. Judging by the limited information I get from my sales reports, a fair amount of my Amazon sales (on the order of 1/6th or even 1/4th) are from international customers already, and this should only help. To all my readers, wherever you happen to be, thanks for giving my books a chance!
The links to my titles in Amazon’s UK store are below:
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