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Congrats to UK, Germany, and France for No Longer Being Amazon’s Second Class Customers

Amazon announced today that the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, the program which lets US Amazon Prime members barrow one free title a month while Amazon pays a fee to the author, will soon be coming to the UK, Germany, and France. This comes just over a month after Amazon launched the Amazon Appstore in those countries and announced plans to sell the Kindle Fire there as well.

Pretty soon Kindle owners in those 3 countries will be able to borrow ebooks with no due dates from a selection of over 200 thousand titles, including including thousands of local-language titles as well as all 7 Harry Potter books in English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.

Wait, the HP ebooks will be available in Italian and Spanish?  That’s rather curious given that the KOLL hasn’t expanded to those countries yet.

Amazon is bumping the funding pool used to pay authors for loans. This month it hit $700,000, a hundred grand more than last month. let’s hope that is enough to cover the extar loans made to all the many newly inducted Kindle owners.

The one detail I would like to know is how Kindle owners in the 3 countries will pay for the KOLL. In the US the charge is rolled into the Amazon prime program, but I didn’t know that the UK, France, and Germany have similar programs.

And while Amazon did post links so we could learn more, the only one I could get to load was the UK. They’re getting this service as part of their prime membership (same for Germany, I’m told). Can you believable those lucky bastards get free 1-day shipping?

In any case, I sincerely hope that expanding the program like this does not decrease the average payout per loan. Let’s see what happens.

Update: Here’s a surprise. Today must be the day for Amazon to show Europe a lot of love because they just announced that the Kindle Paperwhite was coming to Germany, France, Italy, the UK, and Spain. Strangely, Canada won’t get it for now, but European customers will soon be able to buy both the Wifi and 3g models for the Kindle Paperwhite.

The Wifi model will cost €129 or £109 while the 3G model is going to sell for €189 or £169 . They will ship in the UK on 25 October and on 22 November elsewhere, notably the same day as the KFHD launches. That’s going to set the KPW launches to nicely bracket the KPW’s shipping delay in the US, where it is still showing a several week delay.

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Ralph Hummel October 11, 2012 um 4:23 pm

Amazon Prime does exist in France, Germany and the UK for some time now, albeit the features of Prime being very, very limited and were up until now basically geared towards free and faster shipping.

I did follow the link for the French website and was amazed that the Paperwhite is now also available for pre-order from within France, with an estimated shipment date as of november 22nd 2012… That’s the real big news here, at least for me it is!

William Wragg October 11, 2012 um 5:23 pm

You forgot to mention that the Kindle Paperwhite is now also being released in the UK – and I assume the other countries mentioned – at the same time as the Kindle HD.

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