Amazon launched its Spanish Kindle store today and its Italian Kindle store today, making those only the fourth and fifth languages to be digitally compatible with the Kindle e-readers. It launched with a catalog of around 22,000 Spanish titles and 16,000 Italian titles, including popular bestsellers. Both stores include access to around 900,000 titles in other languages, including free classics titles.
Spain has opened up as one of the frontiers of digital reading that industry professionals have been watching for some time. 24symbols, a Netflix-like subscription based e-reading program, launched over the summer after its major announcement at BookExpo America and the IDPF conference. Last month we reported that XinXii, Europe’s leading digital publishing and self-publishing platform, had forged a partnership with a major bookselling chain to incorporate its ebooks into the retailer’s online bookstore.
Now, the long-awaited Kindle Stores are up, but with an added bonus. At the same time that the stores launched, Kindle Direct Publishing became available to authors who wish to upload their Spanish-language or Italian-language ebooks to the retailer’s catalog.
“We are excited to introduce the new Spanish Kindle Store which features the most best sellers in Spain, the leading selection of titles in Catalan, Basque and Galician and also includes unique and exclusive titles from Rosa Montero,” said Gordon Willoughby, Director, EU Kindle, in Amazon’s press release. “Kindle is already the best-selling e-reader in the world. It comes with an electronic ink display that reads like real paper, with no glare, even in bright daylight and it offers the convenience of downloading books in less than 60 seconds. Kindle is so small and light that it disappears in your hands, which is just what you want when you are reading a great story like ‘El puente de los asesinos,’ by Arturo Pérez-Reverte.”
Willoughby went on to say this about the ability for authors and publishers to upload titles through the Spanish Kindle store: “Authors and publishers can now reach more readers by using Kindle Direct Publishing to make their books available to customers in the new Amazon.es Kindle Store, as well as customers all over the world. Authors in many countries have already seen tremendous success with KDP and we’re excited to bring the program to Spanish authors and publishers.”
Like its sister devices, the Spanish language and Italian language Kindles incorporate WhisperSync and “Buy Once, Read Anywhere” cloud capabilities, hold up to 1,400 titles, and have a typical one-month battery life. They weigh in at only 170 grams and still offer wi-fi for downloading.