When Amazon launched the Indian Kindle Store I noted that by not supporting any Indian language other than English they left a great opportunity for someone else. Today I learned that iMusti.com looks ready to swoop in and sell the ebooks that Amazon doesn’t want to (maybe).
This media retailer is now selling ebooks in English, Marathi, and Sanskrit. While there are only 50 titles available now, iMusti plansto have a large number of ebooks in English, Hindi, Marathi and Sanskrit. The collection is going include titles on literature, politics, history, music, spirituality, fiction, and children’s ebooks.
There aren’t any public plans for an ereader, but iMusti has already reportedly released apps for Android, iOS, and Samsung.
iMusti is also looking to expand beyond the Indian ebook market. They are setting their sights on Indian emigres living around the world as future potential customers, and I applaud their foresight. For example, there are some hundreds of thousands of India expats living in the US. While these readers are almost overwhelmingly literate in English, that does not mean they don’t want to read in their mother tongue.
And that expat market is worth more than you might realize. One thing I learned at the Books in browsers conference is that there is greater demand for foreign language books than can be seen outside of sales logs. Kobo, for example, has found a small but measurable demand for say, German ebooks in the US, or Italian ebooks in the UK. I actually made those 2 examples up, but the principle remains.