Amazon.com Wednesday unveiled the India Kindle Store (www.amazon.com/kindlestoreindia), which showcases over a million books, priced in rupees. The company has roped in Croma, part of Infiniti Retail (a fully-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons), to retail its latest Kindle e-reader, priced at Rs 6,999, across 30 Croma outlets and its online store.
An Amazon.com spokesperson declined to comment on whether the company was looking for retail partnerships with leading Indian book retailers for Kindle. The company has also not revealed any plans for the much-talked about Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, through which Kindle users can borrow e-books from about 1,45,000 titles for free (a book a month), with no due dates. “Amazon Prime, the lending library, is currently available only for our US customers and we don’t have any plans to share on its launch in India,” said the spokesperson.
“We are proud to launch this new Kindle store for Indian customers. It offers Kindle book purchases in rupees and the ability to buy and read the works of many great Indian authors,” stated Russ Grandinetti, vice-president of Kindle Content. Amazon.com has also launched Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for independent authors and publishers in India. KDP is a free platform for authors and publishers to make their books available to Kindle customers, both on Kindle devices and free Kindle reading apps. New features for authors and publishers in India include deciding India-specific prices and receiving royalty payments in rupees.
Hoping to cash in on the festive season, Ajit Joshi, chief executive officer and managing director, Croma, said, “Kindle will be offered at our metro and airport stores like those at New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, etc, where we believe customers are open to a dedicated reading device like Kindle.”
The new-generation Kindle features a six-inch electronic ink display similar to real paper. However, it supports only a Wi-Fi connection. Joshi said, “Wi-Fi penetration in offices, homes, public places and airports is on the rise and we don’t see this as a roadblock to Kindle’s adoption, especially since the e-book library and content support on devices like tablets, personal computers and mobiles is already available with Kindle.”