Amazon fires up Kindle in Australia

Wireless e-reader will be available for $US279 Kindle wireless e-book reader Kindle wireless e-book reader

Amazon is to make Kindle available in Australia following a US-only availability for the e-book reader since its launch.

The device, which enables users to wirelessly download via 3G, books, magazines, newspapers and personal documents and view them on a 6-inch electronic ink display, will be available from 19 October for US$279.

Amazon’s Kindle Store will offers international customers over 200,000 English-language books from publishers such as Bloomsbury, Faber and Faber, HarperCollins, Lonely Planet, Penguin, and Simon & Schuster.

More than 85 US and international newspapers and magazines will also be available in the Kindle Store for single purchase or subscription.

Key features include: 3G wireless connectivity, USB connectivity, 2GB of memory for storage for up to 1,500 Books, automatic backed up of books to Amazon, battery life of two weeks with wireless turned off and up to four days on a single charge with wireless on.

Kindles’ “Read-To-Me” feature allows text-to-speech allowing the device to read most newspapers, magazines and books out loud. Adjustable text size, instant dictionary lookup and the ability to add annotations to text, highlight and clip key passages and bookmark pages for future use.

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More about: Amazon, Schuster, Simon & Schuster
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Mark Fahey


The photo attached to this story is of the original version one Kindle. The version which has been released to Australia is the much more desirable second generation.

Sally Collings


Now Australians can buy a Kindle, but if you're looking for Australian books, you'll be disappointed. Publishers (and authors who hold the digital rights in their works) need to have a US address, bank account and tax number in order to put content up in the Kindle Store. This basically excludes most publishers and authors, other than those that are part of an international group (Random House, HarperCollins et al) – one of the reasons that there is very limited Australian content available on Kindle.

There is, however, one option for Australian authors and publishers who want to publish on Kindle. Red Hill Digital offers a distribution service that enables any publisher or author who hold the digital rights to their works to export their books into the leading online stores (Kindle, Soney eBook store, iPhone/Stanza, etc). Robert Collings and I set up Red Hill Digital (sister company to Red Hill Publishing) earlier this year to give Australian authors a way to scale the e-barriers that are currently in place with Amazon etc.

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