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.
|Ponting:At the Close of Play||$19.99||$18.76||$20.26|
|The Winter Sea||$12.99||$12.19||$13.17|
|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.