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Old 08-02-2010, 09:58 AM   #1
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Amazon's strategy

Since I returned my Kindle 2i today as a result of pre-ordering the Kindle 3 WiFi I decided to look around a little for the availability of Swedish E-books. As some of you are well aware of, Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy is the hottest seller in the Kindle store, but I had a real hard time locating those books in Swedish. As a matter of fact the few online book retailers I found had a meagre selection of E-books, none in mobi/azw format.

So I began to think about Amazon's strategy with the Kindle, and it wouldn't surprise me if they have a two-pronged strategy going. One for the US, where E-book penetration is a lot stronger, and one for Europe/Rest of World, since we are lagging behind, especially in the "software" section.

It would not surprise me to see Amazon releasing the K1 and K2 for a very, very low price with world wide shipping for a pittance. Enough people around the world study English from the 2nd grade up and are fairly competent in reading English literature (maybe not Austen and Wilde, but Ludlum and Patterson). Offer that segment an E-book reader for $79 and some free downloads, soon enough you have a critical mass that will hound E-publishers in their own home country for titles compatible with the Kindle (98 % of those will never find MobileReader, Calibre etc) in their own mother tongue. In steps Amazon, willing to license the AZW format and perhaps even selling the "know how" on running a digital book store.

Or am I just a sinister bitch?
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:04 PM   #2
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Could be.

Otherwise it could be just that Amazon isn't big enough to work with all the book markets at once. Swedish book offerings would be somewhat of a niche, would it not? According to wikipedia, there's only 10 million Swedish speakers in the world. Of those, how many would be interested in ebooks? Amazon will probably prioritize publisher relations by the potential customers, in which case, you'll see Spanish, Chinese, Indian Kindle stores before getting anywhere near Swedish.
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Old 08-03-2010, 12:21 PM   #3
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I am perfectly aware that publishing Swedish E-books will be very low down on the scale, but releasing a $49 Kindle 1 capable of Chinese holds a huge potential. My guess is that Spanish speaking markets would be similarly susceptible to the allure of a dirt cheap Kindle. With the Kindle 3 out they now have a spread from easy and cheap toa advanced and expensive.
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