Amazon Quietly Ships New Kindle With Support for Russian, Signalling Plans for a Local Kindle Store

kindle itunes logoIndie authors with ebooks in KDP are often the first to notice major changes to Amazon’s ebook platform but it looks like I got the drop this time.

While I was working on the review for my Kindle loaner unit, I happened to check the language option menu and I noticed a couple surprise addition.  As everyone knows, the Kindles support languages of each of Amazon’s local Kindle Stores: German, Italian, Japanese, etc. 

The new $79 Kindle supports all of those languages, and it also has a couple quiet additions. I reported yesterday that it supported Dutch, and today I can reveal that my Kindle also offers a localized Russian language menu option.  I can’t speak as to the accuracy of the translation, but I do see the option in the settings menu.

faux Russian support, from a 3rd-party patch
Given that Amazon has had a team in Russia since April 2013, it should come as no surprise that they’re interested in that market, but I was somewhat surprised to see the new language option.

The thing is, Russian is not yet supported in the Kindle Store. This means that Amazon now has an ereader with menus in a language in which Amazon does not sell ebooks. I happen to find that a little odd.

Of course, that oddness is only temporary; I fully expect Amazon to launch a Kindle Store in Russia by the end of the year. I am basing that guess on the recent Google Play Books expansion, and the rule of thumb that where one international bookstore launches, another will shortly follow.

If you have ebooks in KDP, please do me the favor of keeping an eye out for signs of a new local Kindle Store. There have been times where the interface is partially updated with references to a new Kindle Store or program (this is how I broke the news that Kindle Unlimited was in the works).

When Amazon does launch in Russia, it will face a couple well established and well financed players, LitRes and Bookmate.  As I reported back in May, one is an ebook/audiobook retailer, while the other is a social ebook subscription service. They’ve picked up financing from two of the major online retailers in Russia, and secured contracts with publishers.

They have the lead on Amazon, and I for one am looking forward to seeing how much of a lead they keep after the Russian Kindle Store launches. If they are nimble and good then it’s possible they could stay ahead of Amazon,


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Ebook Bargains UK10 October, 2014

    Two new Kindle stores in a year, Nate? Amazon’s on amphetamines!

    With the Q3 results imminent, now is the time for Amazon to start wheeling out the headline grabbers (b&m store, anyone?) to keep lazy journalists focussed on trivia and not on the numbers.

    It will be interesting to see what else Bezos pulls out of the hat in the next week or so.

  2. Declan Conner18 May, 2015

    But Amazon do have Russian content for sale on .com as eBooks. Not sure if this has happened since your post. Here is the link,p_n_feature_browse-bin:618073011,p_n_feature_nine_browse-bin:3291441011&tag=viglink20273-20

    1. Nate Hoffelder18 May, 2015

      Yes. It’s now one of the key sections of the Kindle Store.



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