Amazon has been expanding its Australian operations significantly over the past few years.
After finally making the original Kindle available to Australians back in 2009 via the US store - a process that continued with the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Touch - this year Amazon has also introduced the
to Aussie consumers.
And today, that Amazon presence has been consolidated into a single localised web portal, Amazon.com.au. The new Amazon store will offer Kindle books, eReaders and tablets to Aussies in the local currency, rather than just converting from US dollars or Pound Sterling at the checkout.
Content is king
While Amazon isn't bringing the ability to purchase physical books or gadgets to the Australian store (at least not yet), it is bringing a whole heap of virtual goods to the local site.
More than 2 million titles are available today in AUD, with over 400,000 Kindle exclusives counted among that number.
Also included in those stats are 700,000 titles priced under four bucks, and 1.4 million books under $10. Naturally, Amazon is promising lots of local authors as well.
Self publishing made easy
Sure, having millions of other people's books is nice and all, but for the budding Australian author looking to sell the next 50 Shades of Grey, the news that Amazon has opened up its Kindle Direct Publishing platform to Australians is much more exciting.
Just like the international versions of the program, the local attempt offers a 70/30 split of takings from ebook sales, and allows writers to set their own pricing and maintain copyright.
And it handily pays in Australian dollars - which should keep the tax man happy.
App Store goes local, tablets on Fire
As part of the new local push, Amazon is also adding Australian dollars to its local version of its Android app store. Farewell, currency conversion fees!
More importantly though is that the new Kindle Fire HDX is getting an Australian release. Launching November 26 for $329 for the 7-inch, and joined on December 10 by the 10-inch model for $479, the new tablets will also make it to Dick Smith and Big W shelves.
Sadly the local launch isn't accompanied by an Australian release of Amazon Prime TV and movies. That may change as the company navigates its way through the murky rights issues in Australia, but it's still a matter of wait and see.
- Now that there's an Aussie Amazon Store, you should probably read our review of the Kindle Paperwhite