Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Kindle! Kindle!

Did you know the collective noun for a group of kittens is a kindle? That's appropriate, because kittens are what I'm having at the news that Amazon's Kindle will be available worldwide later this month.

It's still available only from the US site, as Kindle-format books will be (that's Kindle books such as my Sophie Green series), priced $279 (that's £175 of your British pounds). But this is actually a Good Thing, as anyone who's ever bought anything from the US can attest. No matter the exchange rate, nearly everything is cheaper in US dollars. The Sony Reader Touch retails at around £239 in the UK ($395), and $299 in the US (£188). Do they think we're all made of money?

But I digress. The US-centric sale of the Kindle up until now meant that not only would Amazon not ship the device to you, but that even if you did get your hands on one, you couldn't use the wireless feature to download books anywhere outside of the US. No, not even Canada (although the cynic in me wonders how close to the border you have to get before the wireless cloud magically disappears). Now you can get it all over the world (not everywhere: but I randomly clicked on a whole bunch of tiny countries, and the only one unavailable was Chad).

What does this actually mean? Two things. One: that ebooks just got a huge boost in the UK, Canada, Australia... you can now buy my books on Kindle wherever you are (except of course poor Chad)!

The other thing it means is that my Christmas wish list just got a whole lot more expensive...

ETA: The Smart Bitches alerted me to the fact that the Kindle isn't available in Canada. Nor New Zealand, although it is in Australia. Democratic Republic of the Congo, yes; Canada, no. Weird.


  1. I did know about a kindle of kittens, as it happens. I even have a children's book of that very name on a bookshelf somewhere downstairs.

    Excellent news re Kindle reader. Suspect your relatives view it slightly otherwise.

  2. This is very exciting. Except the price, of course. I put the Kindle in my shopping cart just now to see what p&p would be, and with $20 p&p and around $40 import duty, the whole lot came to nearly $350. Which is still more than I really want to pay.
    But yay for potential sales boost!
    And the whole instant-download thing...oh my. I need to befriend some rich, generous people.

  3. I suspect if it was sold in the UK, the price difference would be similar to the Sony, and it'd still be much cheaper to pay for shipping/taxes etc on the US version.

    This week my camera has decided to pack up on me, so depending on whether I can get it fixed cheaply, that might go to the top of my Christmas list--which is already very expensive, as I could also use a new computer--oh, and some funds for RWA Nashville next year...

    Do you think that nice Derren Brown would give me next week's lottery numbers?

  4. I'm pretty sure I had the Kindle of Kittens book too, Jan.

    And yes! I want a Kindle for Christmas.

  5. You know what, the more I see it written down, the Kindle of Kittens book sounds familiar. One of those YA plucky kids/cosy vet stories? Or am I making things up again?

    As for the Kindle, I'm still not convinced the Sony isn't a better deal. Apparently the Kindle is easier to use (the wireless download for one sounds brilliant), but the Sony has a far wider range of books available, and crucially you're not tied down to one retailer.

    Ah well, I'll just have to come into a lot of money and then I can have one of each.

  6. Nope, not like that at all. More an awful warning not to go wandering over the roofs when the mood takes you. I'll bring it Wednesday.