KDP Now Supports Arabic eBooks (Beta)
It may have taken Amazon about eight years longer than it should have, but earlier this month Amazon added Arabic support to its digital publishing platform, KDP.
They sent out an email to authors on the 14th (I did not get it). According to the email and the relevant page on Amazon’s site, authors can sell an ebook in Arabic and earn a 70% royalty.
From the way the page is phrased, it appears authors can only get the 70% royalty if they agree to give Amazon exclusive sale rights to said Arabic ebook by putting it in Kindle Unlimited. Otherwise, authors would only get a 35% royalty.
I do not know for certain that Amazon has imposed that restriction, and I am waiting for clarification. (Amazon imposes similar restrictions for ebooks sold in Brazil, Japan, Mexico, and India.)
I can tell you, however, that according to one source on Twitter the Kindle itself has supported Arabic ebooks since at least March. He thought the font was "an outright crime against an entire culture".
jhowell December 25, 2017 um 11:43 pm
Your link to the Arabic (Beta) page on KDP is broken.
Regarding fonts, the latest Kindle Previewer, Kindle for iOS and Kindle for Android all support two nice Arabic fonts: Diwan Muna and Sakkal Kitab. The latest e-ink Kindle firmware does not yet have those fonts and the fallback font has poor Arabic characters.
There are no Arabic language dictionaries yet.
I don’t know for certain, but I suspect that Arabic language books are going to only be available in the new KFX format, as is the case for the recently added Indic language books.
Nate Hoffelder December 26, 2017 um 12:14 am
Nuts! Thanks for the heads up on the link; that is a problem with one part of Amazon not playing nice with another.
jhowell December 26, 2017 um 11:41 am
I looked at some free books in Arabic that were put up on amazon.com about a week ago. As I suspected they were all only available on the Android (including Fire OS) and iOS platforms and only available in KFX format.
Mark Williams – The New Publishing Standard December 27, 2017 um 5:41 am
Arab News reported on this from the Jeddah Book Fair in Saudi Arabia on December 21.
(I would have reported it as part of my Jeddah IBF coverage over at The New Publishing Standard but my laptop died on me, so looks like you have the western scoop on this, with Michael Kozlowski chasing your behind.:-))
It’s possible, but improbable, that this is a prelude to Amazon taking the MENA (Middle East North Africa) book markets seriously in the wake of the Souq acquisition. Meantime Google Play is the only Big 5 western ebook player with dedicated MENA ebook stores.
Nate Hoffelder December 27, 2017 um 8:39 am
yes, and I credited that site as the source (even though I heard it through Twitter)
JayPanoz December 28, 2017 um 4:40 pm
“I can tell you, however, that according to one source on Twitter the Kindle itself has supported Arabic ebooks since at least March.”
This is unclear to me. Question is… does Kindle now support Arabic with a right-to-left direction? The screenshot indeed appears to be left-to-right – Arabic is a RTL script, cf. https://www.w3.org/International/tutorials/bidi-xhtml/ so having it laid out left-to-right is not what you could call “proper support.”
More recent tweet from the same Twitter user which complains Kindle doesn’t handle RTL right: https://twitter.com/ra/status/900011896438444037
jhowell December 28, 2017 um 6:33 pm
Only the Android (including Fire OS) and iOS apps currently support Arabic books with correct reading direction and nice fonts. Kindle for PC and e-ink devices do not, at least not yet.
jhowell December 28, 2017 um 7:17 pm
For example, one of the Harry Potter books is available in Arabic (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0774TM745). The "Available on these devices" popup shows only Fire tablets, Kindle for Android and Kindle for iOS. No actual Kindle devices support that book.
Nate Hoffelder December 28, 2017 um 7:41 pm
Thanks for the clarification, J!
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