How Do Amazon's Australian Kindle Book Prices Compare?

Amazon now has an Australian Kindle bookstore, which raises one big question: are you better off using that than the original US store? For one perspective on the issue, we've compared availability and pricing for the current top 10 selling books in Australia.

For this comparison, we took the current top 10 bestsellers, as calculated by Nielsen BookScan. For each, we found the Australian Kindle Store price and availability. We also checked availability and pricing on the US store, and converted that price at today's exchange rate.

Title AU US Converted
Ponting:At the Close of Play $19.99 $18.76 $20.26
Eyrie $17.99 $16.98 $18.34
The Winter Sea $12.99 $12.19 $13.17
Sycamore Row $22.99 $21.58 $23.31
Barracuda $10.07 $9.45 $10.21
Dark Witch $16.99 $15.95 $17.23
Save with Jamie - - -
The 39-Storey Treehouse $7.99 $7.50 $8.10
King and Maxwell $14.99 $14.07 $15.20
Cross My Heart $14.39 $13.51 $14.59

Only one title in the top 10 was unavailable on the Kindle Store (Jamie Oliver's Save With Jamie). That proved to be the case in both markets (and also in Oliver's home country, the UK).

Three salient points emerge from this comparison:

  • While Amazon's launch announcement boasted about the high proption of books available for $9.99 or less, that's not often the case for recent releases if this list is any guide. Only one title fell under the $10 mark.
  • For bestsellers, there doesn't seem to be any Australia tax markup. Indeed, on a strict conversion basis, the local store is often slightly cheaper, albeit only by a few cents.
  • Conversely, while there are many Australian authors represented in this list, in every case those titles are also available in the US store. As such, there doesn't seem to be a huge advantage to switching to Australia.

Bestsellers aren't the whole point of Kindle, of course; having access to a breadth of titles is equally important, and in that space you may spot much larger differences. Fat Duck Tech highlights a few notable examples. It very much depends on what you prefer.

If your tastes are relatively mainstream, it seems clear you won't often pay more in the Australian store. That said, it's not entirely evident you'll have access to a better selection either.

Our suggestion? Spend a little time researching your favourite writers and subjects before making the switch or committing to a particular regional store. Feel free to share examples of notable Australian mark-ups or mark-downs in the comments.


    Considering the currency exchange fees (2-4% or more) on most credit cards (except 28 degrees, etc.) this makes buying using AUD even more competitive than at first glance.

    Last edited 13/11/13 12:15 pm

    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.

    Do those US prices include sales tax though?

      Same as people outside Australia don't pay GST (it is removed at checkout, just as it is when people outside Europe buy from European stores), people outside the US don't pay any state sales taxes.

    Why don't you add a column showing prices in the US store if you are living in NZ? Three random examples: At the Close of Play $17.82
    The Winter Sea $9.99
    Sycamore Row $ 14.85
    I'm sure the us prices, if you live in US are probably even cheaper again

    I think the pricing comparison is missing the point. As far as I know the pricing (and availability) has always been by region. If you log into the US Kindle store with a "US" account you get different prices than when you log into an Aus account. So it shouldn't be any surprise if the Aus account on the US store yields roughly the same prices as on the Aus store!

      Comparison was done when not logged in under both scenarios.

        Have you tried using a US proxy or VPN?

        As an example, if I search for John Scalzi's Old Man's War, I get a US$9.38 ebook published by Tor UK:

        If I perform the same search from a US IP address, I get a different US$5.99 ebook published by Tor USA:

        If I go to the second URL with an Australian IP address, it won't display the price.

        They had already implemented regional pricing on, so it isn't that surprising that the prices are roughly equivalent to what we saw before.

    @Angus Kidman

    Suggest you take a look at:

    A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One $2.90
    A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two $5.99
    A Storm of Swords: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three $4.81
    A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Four $4.81
    A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Five $2.90

    A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) $4.99
    A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) $12.99
    A Storm of Swords Complete Edition (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) $19.99
    A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4) $12.99
    A Dance With Dragons: Part 2 After The Feast (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 5) $12.99

    Wow. Signing out and viewing the prices makes me sick to my stomach. This is beyond a joke, and anyone who tries to claim this is to help Australian authors as part of our protectionist market is wrong as well. The Australian price for "Tomorrow, when the war began" is $11.99. The US price is $6.98.

    This is evil.

      OMG $5.00 Difference, call the authorities.


        It all adds up mate. Considering that there is absolutely no difference between the editions and the cost differential (AU vs US) to publishers/Amazon is sweet F-A, this is quite evil. What is the justification for a 60% markup?

        Do you get it?

    The top 10 might be close, but the vast majority are not even in the same ballpark. If you pay AU store prices for this stuff, you're totally nuts.

    I was disappointed that some free books on the American site cost $1.03 on the Australian site. I think I shall change back.

    Guys, I read a really good "free" book that I got from Amazon re digital publishing. The issue is that the publishers and no doubt the Authors are making a load of money on digital books that is obscene! The costs associated with printing a book are vastly different to publishing digitally and I have found digital new releases that are more expensive than buying at the local store in print....I have personally, lost faith in digital books and only now purchase "free" ones, rarely new releases. I must say, I haven't had too many dramas with them. I recommend you check out may help to open your eyes!

    Having played around recently with "free" books from various sources, I can see some justification when a reseller like amazon charges for the same book in Kindle edition. It can take a significant time to find, process, and then convert the book to Kindle format, especially if you have to do any post-processing - like remove para markers, add TOC and cover graphic, etc. Even if Amazon buys the copy legitimately from the original publisher, they may still have to do a fair bit of this just to get it in Kindle format.

    But that does not excuse them from charging significantly different prices for books they already have in Kindle format, depending on which country the account comes from. Seems to be a legacy from the days when book publishers controlled the world market. As an international company, I really do wonder why amazon does this.

      Most (if not all) contemporary authoring is done using computers. So the source material is already in electronic format that is editable and parse-able. So the point that you're trying to make is incorrect.

    The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion US-$8.75, AU $15.80. Big difference there.

    Proption is not a word spelled correctly. It is on the beginning of this page. Proportion would have worked. I was going to sign up to publish my ebooks on amazon but the payment system does not seem to allow payment electronically with my Australian bank. I can't find a way to sell my novels in America or anywhere else when I have no way of being paid. Maybe someone has a clue.

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