Amazon puts Aussie face on global Kindle store



news Online retailer Amazon this morning revealed it had formally launched an Australian version of its popular online bookstore, putting a formal face on a service which millions of Australians have already been accessing for years and further supporting Australian authors to sell their books online locally.

Australians have long been able to buy some Kindle models direct from Amazon, as well as purchase eBooks online through the company’s online store. However, unlike in the US and some other countries such as the UK, Amazon has never had a dedicated Australian online shopfront, with Australians instead using the company’s US site.

This morning, the company formally launched an Australian online shopfront to access its services. “Millions of Australians are already Kindle customers, and we’re delighted to make it even easier for them to enjoy the Kindle experience,” said Neil Lindsay, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “The new Kindle Store is customised for Australian customers, with local best sellers and curated lists relevant to Australians, and many titles from local publishers and authors such as Tim Winton, Karly Lane and Kate Morton.”

According to Amazon, the new Australian Kindle Store offers over 2 million eBooks with over 26,000 free English-language titles; the latest bestsellers such as At the Close of Play by Ricky Ponting, Eyrie by Tim Winton, Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough and Doctor Sleep by Stephen King; best-selling illustrated children’s books including the Mr Men series and Hard Luck: Diary of a Wimpy Kid; cookbooks including Asian after Work by Adam Liaw and Hungry Campers Cookbook by Katy Holder; comics and graphic novels like Batman: Earth One and The Walking Dead and exclusives from authors such as Germaine Greer, Karly Lane and James Duigan.

In addition, Australian customers will find a broad selection of content from local authors including Rachael Johns, Sally Morgan and Kim Scott; Australian classics from Text Publishing; and titles from Indigenous publishing house Magabala books. Australian customers will also enjoy over 700,000 books priced at AU$3.99 or less and over 1.4 million priced AU$9.99 or less.

In addition, Amazon today announced that independent authors and publishers are now able to make their books available and earn a 70% royalty in the Australian Kindle Store using Kindle Direct Publishing.

Thousands of Australian authors are already using KDP, including Karly Lane, author of Burnt, and best-selling author James Duigan, author of The Clean & Lean Diet. “Bringing my Clean & Lean Diet print books to Kindle has been an empowering experience,” said Duigan. “Self-publishing with KDP has allowed me to connect directly with the people I want to reach with my message of kindness and acceptance. I’m so incredibly happy that the book is now accessible to a global audience.”

Along with the announcement of the Australian online eBook store, Amazon also announced that its new Kindle Fire HD tablet is available starting today at a suggested retail price of $189 at Dick Smith and Big W stores. The 7” Kindle Fire HDX will be available at a suggested retail price of $329 and the 8.9” Kindle Fire HDX will be available starting December 10 at a suggested retail price of $479. Historically Amazon has not made its high-end Kindle models available to Australians directly (although many Australians bought them anyway through third-party companies); these launches represent a change to that policy.

A few good steps by Amazon but nothing huge for Amazon to crow about. Apple has long been selling the same tablets in Australia as it does in the US. And Amazon has long been providing better online services to readers, authors, and hell, general consumers of a wide range of other Amazon-sold products in countries such as the UK. Amazon has a ways to go yet before it gets its Australian service up to par.

Over the past several decades Amazon has largely treated Australia as a massive customer sink which it can pull revenue from … and without contributing much tax or local development back. This is good first step (as is the company’s local AWS cloud computing datacentre), but I’d like to see a sustained, ongoing local development effort by Amazon over several years before I praise Amazon for its commitment to Australia.

Image credit: Amazon


  1. A few of us have been doing price comparisons and the ‘new’ AU is generally more expensive. Canadians complained about the same thing when they got their ‘store’. I’ll stick with the US page.

    Oh, and if you have a gift card balance on the US page, you can’t us it on the AU page.

    Thankfully, Amazon has, at least for now, allowed the option of switching back.

    • Hi Ronson, I’d like to know how to switch back as it does not appear to be very obvious.

      On the matter of cost: I am sent a list of free ebooks from David C Cook every week. Unfortunately since the Australian Amazon store opened, the free books are no longer free!! (Hardly free when they are listed as free on Amazon but really cost $9.99). Buyers beware!!

      The books I’ve been looking at on both sites have been more expensive on the Aussie site than merely the exchange rate plus bank charges. Also when I opened an American account to try and get around the problem (have a legitimate US postal address), it won’t allow me to down load to my kindle here in Australia unless I first change my country to Australia. It won’t even allow me to download via computer to usb. (A bit like Adobe forcing you to use the Australian site to ensure you to pay over 50% more for the same item.)

      If I cannot legitimately switch back, I think I’ll sell my kindle and swap over to another device. I feel quite ripped off!!! Hope Amazon reads this (but I doubt). I will make a noise on FaceBook about this too.

      Aussies are sick of being charged one price to buy overseas and a highly inflated price here in Australia.

    • “A few of us have been doing price comparisons and the ‘new’ AU is generally more expensive. Canadians complained about the same thing when they got their ‘store’. I’ll stick with the US page.”
      Yeah, that’s my thinking on the matter. Even if the prices aren’t different now, I don’t want to be beholden to Australian publishers who are still used to charging what works in the Australian retail model. I’m not looking forward to the day when the Australian kindle store becomes mandatory.

    • Based on 1 book I did a quick comparison with,
      Buying from the AU store is cheaper than buying from the US store with my Australian VISA credit card.

  2. I would assume the site is charging in AUD instead of USD. I’ve only compared a few books but generally speaking if you take the USD amount from and convert it to AUD (I used then you end up with a slightly higher price than what Amazon is charging on the store. Plus there won’t be bank fee for overseas currency purchases.

    • Do you get the same price if you view the US site from a US IP address, though? I’ve heard that Amazon charges more to AU customers, but I don’t know how accurate that claim is.

      All I know is that they charge more for a Kindle file than it costs me to get a dead tree edition airmailed from BookDepository in the UK…

    • “Plus there won’t be bank fee for overseas currency purchases.”
      The only thing I find more astounding than the fact that banks still have overseas transaction fees, is that people still use those banks that do.

  3. That is great news for Australians. Still as long way to come to where the US Amazon is. I love my free books. I never have to buy a book. Which Aussies cannot do as yet.

  4. I checked the books i bought from and compared the prices to and they are general cheaper. For example, Matthew Reilly’s “The Tournament” was released this week. I purchased it on the US site for US$14.07 and it was charged as AU$15.50 on my credit card. Yet, the same book is AU$14.99 on the AU site. I also bought 4 other books – each was US$6.99 but was AU$7.70 on my credit card, yet each book is AU$7.29 on the AU site.

    did a comparison for other books and it the AU is seemingly cheaper – because the prices are in AUD and there is no currency conversion required

  5. And if there is a difference in price based on US IP and a AU IP, then it is the publisher that is to blame. I’ve seen it many times that it clearly states “Price set by publisher” – so we can’t necessarily say it’s Amazon that set up an AU store so that they can charge more.

    • “so we can’t necessarily say it’s Amazon that set up an AU store so that they can charge more”
      Indeed, that would be confusing cause with effect. I think the result will mean Australians are charged more, not because of Amazon’s desire to charge us more, but Australian publishers wanting to charge us more. And even then, there may be other factors going on – such as the bookstores that carry the physical product putting pressure on the publishers not to price them out of existence.

  6. No wishlist.
    Have to search for all my books, and mark them as “I own it”.
    Viewed items aren’t moving across browsers on the same domain.
    Recommendations not working (even after viewing heaps of books and adding items I own).

    I don’t think the is finished somehow.

    I still hate seeing the “This title is not currently available for purchase” message.
    They could at least define it better with “This title is not currently no longer available for purchase” for books that have been replaced by newer editions.

    • Yes! No wish list, are they kidding?? I had over 100 items on it, where is it? Not happy

  7. I am blind and being able to read kindle books on my iPhone is totally amazing. I have some free books that I get notifications about. These are from the US store of course. Also no wish lists is a real problem. currently if I am reading a book from an author I really like I can click add to wish list and grab it next time I’m near a pc etc. Not sure if prices will be more expensive or not, but I’m concerned that the content will be restricted. sticking to the US store for now.

  8. I’ll tell you something else that irks me about Amazon USA vs Amazon AUS.

    A reader buys a copy of my book via cannot leave a review for that book on
    The reader can only leave a review on

    This sux, big time.
    From an author’s point of view 99% of my sales are in America.
    I have only sold a small number of books via the Amazon AUS site.

    It’s much better for Aussie authors if the reviews are can be added to Amazon USA.

    I write action sci-fi and it sells very well in the USA.

    What I have asked Amazon and have yet to get a logical answer back for, is why readers who buy from Amazon AUS cannot post reviews at Amazon USA?

    Far from Amazon being a worldwide distributor they are now starting to be country specific.

    Meanwhile Smashwords is looking better all the time. Both for readers and authors.

    Amazon is not the friendly author/reader entity it presents itself to be…Amazon is all about making money, that’s all.
    Amazon could care less if an indie author makes any money or not, the more authors they get the more percentage of each sale they can take.
    That’s as far as their interest in authors and readers goes.

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