Amazon Australian Kindle Store: Everything You Need To Know

Amazon is making its biggest push yet into the Australian market, launching an site for its Kindle content, offering pricing for books and apps in Australian dollars and opening up its Kindle Directing Publishing self-publishing platform to local authors. What does the change involve and is it worth switching to the Australian store? Find out in our in-depth launch guide.

Australia flag picture from Shutterstock

Amazon has officially sold the Kindle in Australia via its site since 2009 and through stores since 2011, but up until now content for the device has always come from the US store (or the UK store, if like me you find yourself wanting books from British publishers more often). As of today, there is now an "Australian" Kindle store, offering more than 2 million titles, of which 400,000 are said to be Amazon exclusives.

Those titles will be charged in Australian dollars. At the same time, Amazon is also pricing Android apps from its own App Store (which finally opened up to Australian customers in May) in Australian dollars. For both books and apps, Amazon has usually offered the option of charging in Australian dollars when you reach checkout from the US or UK stores, so you won't necessarily save anything on conversion charges this way. However, this approach does make the pricing more transparent, though we expect in some cases we'll also see the "Australia tax" kick in, with books costing stupid amounts more here than overseas.

Amazon has also finally started selling its Android-powered Kindle Fire ereader tablets in Australia; we've discussed those in a separate post.

What is the Australian Kindle book pricing like? Authors and publishers can set their own pricing, but Amazon says 700,000 of the titles initially available will be under $3.99, and 1.4 million will be under $9.99. Those are the same broad price points it promotes in US dollars. Note this means that 600,000 titles will cost more than $10, and that is bound to include some prominent new releases. There's also a Daily Deal special offering a locally-selected title at a reduced price for a single day. Update: We've carried out a more detailed pricing comparison.

So what happens if I already own a Kindle? You have the option of changing your account to be set in Australia, to take advantage of the local content and pricing. You won't lose access to any pre-purchased books, even if those titles are not available in the "Australian" store. However, newspaper and magazine subscriptions may not convert across (Amazon says it will notify any readers with current subscriptions of the potential impact before they make the change).

Is it worth switching? Depends on your reading tastes, really. 2 million titles sounds like a lot, but Amazon is shyer about sharing the numbers for its US and UK stores. It's worth checking if your favourite authors are available in the Australian store. If they're not, switching isn't a logical move.

Does the tablet launch also mean we'll get Amazon Prime movie and TV content? Alas no. Amazon says its long-term goal is to make content available in all countries, but right now it won't be launching any streaming content on the devices in Australia. This will be due, as usual, to painful and annoying rights issues.

Will we get the lending features available to US customers? Doesn't look like it right now, but we'll update if we find out differently.

So what's the deal with Kindle Direct Publishing? Essentially, it's Amazon's self-publishing platform; you can prepare and upload any titles you've written, sell them for whatever price you like, and keep (typically) 70 per cent of the price. That said, you need to be clear on what rights you're giving up and whether this restricts you; we'll cover this in a separate post.

Anything else we should know? As a side note, Amazon has signed a deal with Telstra to include the Kindle app on all Android phones sold on contract through Telstra. While we hate pre-installed carrier crapware, at least Kindle is an app many people will find a use for.

Excited by the expanded Android presence? Figure you'll stick with your existing account? Share your thoughts in the comments.


    My wife used Lulu (and by extension, KDP) to publish her first book: (click the buy button, damnit!)

    In order to get 70% royalties, you need to enrol in their KDP select program which, in addition to some other things, requires that your Amazon price be lower than anywhere else you sell. It's not bad generally, as you get far more revenue than what you would outside of the KDP program.

      I've been an author with Amazon since 2010 in the UK. I've really enjoyed the experience.
      Pamela St Abbs

    When they set up a full Amazon store, not just a book store, I'll take it more seriously. And even then, only if there is actual benefit in the pricing and availability of products compared to the US...

    Last edited 13/11/13 9:13 am

    I've had a UK Kindle account for years, but I'm frustrated that a lot of smaller publishers offer Kindle title deals that are only for users of the US store. I'm guessing that the Australian store will have even less of a look-in on such bargains.

    Can't wait to browse a higher priced, cut-down selection and be constantly told I really want to buy some shitty Bryce Courtney book about a cattle-driving cat who has dreams about the Rainbow Serpent.

      ...while still missing out on the best titles from the U.S. Screw the segmented book market. The publishing industry is possibly even more broken than television.

    Just checked out the new Aussie Amazon site. Disappointed. Says if I transfer my account to the Aussie store my credit balance will NOT be available here. That is retarded. So I won't change until my balance is zero - which probably means I will never change.

    This article isn't quite everything you need to know.

    Picking an example purely at random The Lesser Evil is $7.99 US and $8.47 AU. Not a bad Australia-tax. It's cheaper to buy it from Amazon AU than it is to weather currency conversion fees and rates.

    We weren't getting US prices when buying eBooks through quite often we'd be offered the UK version of the eBook on that site, and there were books that simply weren't available if you had an Australian billing address.

    So is the new site actually different to what was on offer before?

    You say you buy from the UK store. How do you do that?

    I have a couple of questions, which someone may have the answer to!!! I have book, published in print more than 30 year ago, which I plan to publish as an ebook. Given the subject matter, I suspect it will have a big audience in the US. My question is: If I publish on Amazon Australia, will the book also be listed on Amazon US? If not, can potential buyers in the US and elsewhere for that matter access Amazon Australia and purchase ebooks? Publishing in Australia seems the easiest option but not if it means the book sales will suffer. Any help appreciated? Cheers. Q.

      Great question Quentin, I wondered the same. Have you found the answer?

      I would think they would turn up on all markets. Mine do. The KDP is a single entry arrangement for all countries as I'm in the UK and my books are on a list of European and quite a few world markets. It really is amazing for an independent author.
      Best of luck with your project.
      Pamela St Abbs


    I don't want to have an Australian Amzon account. The selction is poor. How do I change my account back to

      Me too Janoz. I'm not happy with the prices or amount of titles but I don't know how to switch back!

    You can change back my going to manage my kindle and changing the country I believe.

      You can change back but Amazon currently requires you to submit a US Address.

    Update. My older kindle fire HD will now not show audiobooks or newsstand tabs. It is basically useless for audiobooks now since I changed account from US to OZ, AS THEY TOLD ME TO. Tech support say even if if they can "fix this" that I won't be able to access my previous 'US site' purchases as they were bought on a 'different account'. Result? One kindle that's as much use a a blind cat. What a Shambles.

    I have just successfully changed my Kindle BACK from to I used Amazon live chat to get me through the process, but it was basically:
    - Log into my account
    - click Manage Your Content and Devices (under Your Account)
    - Click Settings (on the right top tab)
    -Under "Country Settings" (where it says "Australia") there's a box saying "Change" - if you click that you get taken to a new page
    - At the top of that page, there is a hotlink saying "please click HERE to learn more about other Amazon sites you are eligible to shop on based on your country of residence."- click there
    - On this page there should be a long yellow button saying "Click here to transfer your account to"- one click and you're back to the US site with full purchasing access for all kinds of stuff you can't get at

    Hope this helps someone else who feels stuck at and wants to change back!

    I did change over to the AU site some time ago but couldn't find a lot of Kindle books available that I could find in the US store. Plus I couldn't set up a family sharing arrangement with my wife's account based in the US so I switched back to the US site and don't see any reason to move locally again. Given that I am usually buying Kindle ebooks there doesn't seem to be any real advantage. It's almost like I can download from USA as easily as I can from AU so why bother?

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