Today, Amazon launched India Kindle Store within Amazon.com site. The content of Kindle Store is available for Indian customers in Rupees – and it’s the biggest benefit of this special store I can see so far.
The home page of India Kindle Store is under the address www.amazon.com/kindlestoreindia, but you will be able to see it only if you’re logged in with an account with a delivery address to India, or if you’re logged out and set your country to India (see picture below).
The press release says about over one million books. Most of them are in English. It’s basically the content of Kindle Store, where prices are displayed in Rupees instead of US dollars, that’s it. At checkout, when paying with Visa or MasterCard you will see your purchase totals in Rupees.
When it comes to Kindle ebooks by authors from India:
The India Kindle Store features a vast selection of titles, New Releases, Bestsellers, and works from a range of Indian authors, including Chetan Bhagat, Ashwin Sanghi, Ravinder Singh and Amish Tripathi. Readers will also find exclusive Kindle books such as “Love, Life and a Beer Can” byPrashant Sharma, and “Reality Bites; a not so innocent Love Story” by Anurag Anand as well as over one million free classics available to download and read on Kindle.
You can expect books from Indian authors to be featured on the right side of India Kindle Store home page.
A much better news is that the basic $109 Kindle can be bought now in India, exclusively in all Croma stores across the country, at an introductory price of 6,999 Rupees.
The press release says “this product will launch”, but a huge Kindle ad on the home page links to the info page, where we read:
Kindle and Kindle accessories can now be found in selected retail stores in India. The availability of Kindle may vary by location, so contact your local store for more information. See the list below to find a store near you.
6,999 INR is at the current exchange rate $126. Buying Kindle at Croma becomes cheaper than placing an order on Amazon.com site (it’s still available) and paying additional taxes and shipping costs.
Finally, the news for self-publishers and indie publishing houses from India. Kindle Direct Publishing platform now allows to set up prices specific for India, and receive royalty payments in Rupees. I’ve logged in to my KDP dashboard to check if Hindi was added to a list of supported languages. No, not yet.
Conclusion: Amazon sees a huge potential in India, but changing prices from USD to INR is just not enough to meet the expectations of the Indian customers.