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Amazon UK Kindle Store Goes Live


Amazon UK Kindle Store Goes Live

Amazon’s UK Kindle store has gone live, with 400,000 books now available to purchase.

From the store you’ll be able to get hold of 80 of the top 100 Nielson UK bestsellers, many for cheaper than there paper equivalents. For example, Steig Larsson’s, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, currently costs £3.86 for a paperback from Amazon, but only £2.70 for the Kindle Edition.

Also available are 170 UK and international papers, such as The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Economist, The Independent, The Financial Times and The Evening Standard, along with 9,000 blogs. All subscriptions are auto-delivered wirelessly to the Kindle and start with a free 14-day trial.

Amazon said for those pre-ordering the Kindle that any books purchased from the store will be ready to read as soon as the device arrives.

“The Kindle Store offers the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read at low prices,” said Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle Content, Amazon.com in a statement. “The all-new Kindle will begin shipping at the end of the month, but customers can start reading books from the massive UK Kindle Store today by downloading any of our free Kindle apps for the most popular devices.”

The store opening is in conjunction with the release of the new Kindle e-readers, which are currently available for pre-order and will ship from 27 August. The Wi-Fi only model retails at £109 while the Wi-Fi + 3G model is £149. Many analysts believe this keener pricing will greatly increase the Kindle's appeal, further distancing it from the popular-yet-pricier Apple iPad, which starts from £429. Both Kindles are lighter than the previous models, and feature an improved screen Amazon said.

For those who don't own a Kindle, or want to enjoy their purchased eBooks on other devices, the Kindle software reader is available on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod touch and Android-based devices.

Link UK Kindle Store.


August 5, 2010, 9:34 pm

Now that is the sort of price I was talking about elsewhere. If the store can meet the £3/£4 mark with the majority of books then I'd be more interested.


August 5, 2010, 9:48 pm

e-Books cheaper than their paper equivalents? Surely not? That sounds far too sensible for the e-Book market. I pray this is the start of an epidemic of common sense pricing, and that soon downloadable movies will be cheaper than DVDs, train travel will go back to being cheaper than flying, etc... I have a dream.


August 5, 2010, 10:28 pm

No more Kindle for me then. The Economist Kindle Edition is £9.99 a month making it £360 for 3 years. My print sub is £204. I think I've lost a little respect for the Economist. How could they get the pricing so wrong or do they actually think it's worth the money? Next time they criticise the music industry's failed digital strategy they may want to think about the words pot, kettle and black.


August 5, 2010, 11:01 pm

@ravmania: In defence of The Economist: their pricing for the Kindle edition is the same as their pricing for a quarterly subscription (£30 a quarter, making it £360 for three years). It's standard practice in the publishing industry to charge more for shorter subscriptions than for longer subscriptions (and this also makes economic sense). I suspect Amazon doesn't allow multi-year subscriptions for the Kindle - at least, I haven't seen any magazine providing them - if they had, you'd have seen the same pricing model carried over.

Two other points. I find it absolutely astounding that Amazon charges a monthly subscription to get RSS feeds on the Kindle of one pound per feed. Eh? You pay to get something on the Kindle that you can get for free on your phone? And 1 pound *per feed*? If you subscribe to a dozen feeds, you're paying more than you'd have done for an excellent multi-gig data plan on your mobile.

Finally, I wonder if Amazon is going to get the same level of criticism Apple did for operating a closed ecosystem. There's no reason to close an ebook reader to third-party apps, or to books purchased from other stores as Amazon is doing.


August 5, 2010, 11:17 pm

But still with the VAT.

Trust this gets sorted soon. The government rejects the idea of taxing literacy, but this only applies to literacy served up on dead trees... absurd.


August 5, 2010, 11:28 pm

@Jones & MrGodfrey - Yes, I was also pleasantly surprised by the price of the e-books. Now, I just want to see a Kindle in the flesh, before deciding whether to buy one.


August 6, 2010, 12:07 am

one interesting fact you all might like to know is that paper books are VAT free just like good food and childrens clothes. Whereas ebooks have to pay the VAT so that is 17.5% of the price that can't be cut (although if VAT didn't have to be charged I suspect that the price of ebooks would be the same and the old fashioned publishing world would just use it to get more proffit)


August 6, 2010, 12:19 am

Have to admit, looking at the site, device, catalogue - Ive almost had a complete turn around of opinion. Pricing is almost spot on for books. The monthly fees are slightly on the high side but certainly something I wouldnt complain about getting for Christmas!

Charm El Snake

August 6, 2010, 1:18 am

I'm almost tempted by the latest Kindles, but I'm struggling with the idea of being locked into the Amazon format.

I read there is a big race towards making colour e-ink displays. I think that would be worth waiting for.

john g

August 6, 2010, 1:21 am

I love books. The look of them, the feel of them, the smell of them... the whole immersive experience.

But even I was tempted by the idea of a proficient, affordable eBook reader. TBH, the biggest attraction is the ability to search for things like, in novels, the names of characters that I've forgotten (and, hence, everything the book says about them). But I'm suffering from depression and anxiety, so my short-term memory is unusually poor!!! What I'm not after is the "I've got the latest gizmo and I bet you'd like to mug me for it" buzz. I've had stuff stolen over the years, but never my books!

However, the big thing that makes me think this is a next decade revolution is searching the Amazon eBook store for the things I'm currently reading. I suspect that you'd need to be on holiday and in a Dan Brown mood for the store to give you any degree of satisfaction.

And, although I'm very selective about who I lend my books to, it does feel very miserly to buy a book at full price, knowing that I can't share it with anyone else.


August 6, 2010, 2:30 am

Andy / Ed / Gordon / whoever reviews the Kindle for TR: On behalf of thousands working in the academic sector, could I please ask that when you review the Kindle, you report on how good it is at displaying graphical PDFs? (i.e., PDFs which display their pages as image files rahter than plain text) Very many academic databases do this, and I know there are lots of us who're interested in the Kindle, but unsure how useful it'll be to read articles from databases like JSTOR.


August 6, 2010, 2:45 am

I've gone from never taking notice of e-readers to deciding I'm having one of these!


August 6, 2010, 3:13 am

In fact, decided to order one straight after posting on here! :D


August 6, 2010, 4:00 am

Im curious if this means I can buy books on my kindle international in pounds now :)


August 6, 2010, 9:44 am

400,000 e-books, but the ones I want still aren't available in digital format! Looks like I wont be using kindle for a while yet...

Hamish Campbell

August 6, 2010, 11:36 am

'many for cheaper than there paper equivalents', I think that should be 'their'

I'm a bit surprised by the cheaper books, does anyone know if that percentage is similar to the US amazon kindle store? I hadn't heard they had e-books cheaper than their paper equivalent.

David 33

August 6, 2010, 12:33 pm

Having downloaded a few e-books from the Kindle store to try on a PC, I have to admit to feeling underwhelmed. I like the look and feel of a book - even a paperback - and e-books seem to totally miss out on this experience. I want to pick the book up, look at the front and back cover, check copyright details on the inner front cover and read a few excerpts of reviews before I start on the book itself. I also like to read a book with the two pages side by side; reading isn't always an entirely linear experience and the eyes often dart between the two pages. Even though I dislike Apple and its products, the iPad seems to offer a better virtual reading experience, albeit at considerable expense and weight. Although black on white would seem the logical way of displaying a book, real pages aren't pure white and have texture, all of which adds to the enjoyment of reading a book. So, whilst I'm sure I'll buy a Kindle, I think the future of e-books lies with a landscape-format, colour screen that's really capable of doing justice to the beauty of the printed word. And like others, I really object to being locked in to Amazon's format and its way of distributing books; if I buy an e-book I should have the choice of how I use it and whether I want to pass it on to someone else. But I guess it's early days.


August 6, 2010, 1:40 pm

@David - Reading books downloaded from the Kindle store to your PC does not gives you a true picture of what it would be link to read on a kindle. The major difference will be that your monitor is back lit meaning over time you are causing yourself eye strain. Reading on a kindle is different as it uses 'e-ink' which is shorthand to say it is fairly close to the reading experience on paper, i.e. not back lit and no eye strain.

The ipad, while a good device to read from with its format size and quality screen is still back lit and therefore not as suitable for reading from.

I would suggest for a lot of people it will be fine and more than good enough for that purpose but for people who read more often, the kindle screen (and other e-readers) would be better.

Ps, (general point to all) who needs colour? Out all the books I own, struggling to think of any that had colour? Although for papers and magazines it would be nice I guess but prefer a longer battery life over that.

Hamish Campbell

August 6, 2010, 1:53 pm

Yes we are all slaves to our reading conditioning. I'm sure my kids will have next to no trouble moving from lovely paper to e-books and the generation after that will just think it was mad that we once wasted all those trees on books when you could just carry around a digital reader and have access online to every book ever written. They will also likely or not think old people are weird with their fascination with the sound of the combustion engine when one could just have a completely silent electric car like everyone else .

They will be right too.


August 6, 2010, 2:34 pm


In the US the major publishers set the e-book prices and do not permit Amazon to discount them.

This model hasn't been adopted for the UK Kindle store, and for the most part the UK prices are much more competitive.


August 6, 2010, 3:30 pm

I'll ignore haim's car comments for I would always rather hear the engine of a good car. I would also love a colour e-ink reader as I could get EVO magazine digitally and stop filling my book shelves!

I have looked at e-book readers and find the screen fabulous. I had always turned them down due to the price of the books though; after all my local library is free.

However, I am now seeing sensibly priced books on the Amazon store. This, and the £109 asking price, is seriously tempting me for the first time ever.


August 6, 2010, 4:22 pm

I notice that the new Kindle is currently sold out, and Amazon are now taking pre-orders for delivery two weeks after release.

Good thing I got my order in a while ago...


August 6, 2010, 5:02 pm

@Chris, yes saw that. I ordered mine on the day of release (3G version) and they are now talking about shipping on 30th September..


August 6, 2010, 8:59 pm

I do hope everyone kicks up a fuss about the locked-down nature of Amazon's system, because they really need to rethink that. As a rule, if Sony are more open and non-proprietary than you, you are doing something wrong...


August 9, 2010, 6:04 pm

A reminder: you do not OWN the ebooks you "buy" from Amazon. Amazon can revoke your books remotely at any time, and has done so in the past:


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