In two separate press releases Thursday morning, Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) announced the official launch of both its Mexico Kindle store as well as Kindle Direct Publishing for Mexican authors and publishers.
The new Mexico Kindle store, for its part, starts with the broadest available selection of the most popular books in the country, including the most Spanish-language bestsellers, more than 70,000 total Spanish titles, 1,500 free Spanish titles, and 1,000 with special pricing starting at just 9 Mexican pesos, or roughly $0.68.
What's more, according to the release, the new store also includes "hundreds of thousands of exclusive titles, including works from authors like Jose Emilio Pacheco, Elena Poniatowska, Sergio Pitol and Carlos Monsivais, as well as comic books from Mafalda and Familia Burrón."
Here's why this is a great move
According to Pedro Huerta, Amazon's director of Kindle Content in Latin America, "The vast majority of Mexicans do not have access to a bookstore in their town, so we're happy to launch the Mexico Kindle Store today and bring a huge bookstore with over 2 million titles to anyone with an Internet connection."
Of course, it's important to note this once again pits Amazon's efforts directly against Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL ) iBookstore in the region, which launched across much of Latin America last October. However, you can bet the folks at Amazon couldn't wait to point out the fact the new Kindle Store has more digital Spanish titles than any other platform, which should help it gain some ground given Apple's nearly year-long head start.
In addition, Amazon is continuing its push to outsell Apple's iPad devices by introducing the Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite devices at brick-and-mortar Gandhi stores -- think the Mexican version of Barnes & Noble -- which currently has a total of 38 locations, including 12 in Mexico city, 15 in the interior of the republic, and 11 in Palacio de Hierro, an upscale chain of department stores in the country.
For authors, the new Mexico Kindle Direct Publishing platform simply extends Amazon's existing self-service publishing platform (which I've previously written about here), allowing authors to earn 35% royalties on their books, or 70% if they choose to enroll in KDP Select, an option with which they can make their book exclusive to Kindle and also have it included in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library on Amazon's broader scope of global websites. In this case, the authors can earn money each time their book is borrowed through the KDP Select program.
And the platform certainly isn't just for aspiring writers, either. Best-selling Mexican author Paulo Coelho, for example, is already offering his books on the Mexico Kindle store through Kindle Direct Publishing, including El Alquimista and Once Minutos.
In the end, like Amazon's existing Kindle Store and Direct Publishing platforms, the new Mexico-centric offering is not only a win for readers, authors, and publishers but also for Amazon as yet another low-overhead way to cash in on the ever-increasing role of digital media as consumers' platform of choice.
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