The coming of the fourth generation of Kindle readers brought us a keyboard-free design. This promised to, and has proven able to, allow for the expansion of Kindle availability into non-Anglophone markets around the world. What many might night have predicted is that it would allow for the opening of language-specific Kindle Stores right here in the US.
Amazon has now made available a Spanish Language Kindle Store. More precisely, looking at the organization of the store page, they have created a category that amounts to such a store. Clicking on “eBooks Kindle en Español” under the Kindle Store’s main page category listing will take you to the new selection.
Featuring more than 30,000 eBooks already, this store page should open up whole new markets for Amazon. There are more than 45 million people in the United States who speak Spanish as a first or second language, a significant portion of which have only moderate English comprehension, according to census reports. Spanish is also by far the most widely taught second language in the country. There couldn’t be a better way to start expanding the Kindle’s offerings.
Highlights from the Amazon Press Release Include:
• All of the Spanish-language Nielsen best sellers available as eBooks in the United States, and 65 of the top 100 Spanish-language print best sellers from Amazon.com
• The largest representation of Mexican authors, including Jose Emilio Pacheco, Carlos Monsivais and Sergio Pitol
• Kindle Singles in Spanish, including Singles by best-selling authors Kurt Vonnegut and Susan Orlean
• An exclusive selection of Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go books in Spanish
• Compilations of articles from “El Pais,” including exclusive pieces from Mexican journalists writing about Mexican current affairs
• Subscriptions to 14 leading Latin American newspapers such as El Universal and La Nacion
• Popular English-language books translated into Spanish, such as the Hunger Games series, the Twilight series, “Steve Jobs,” “The Help,” and books by authors Stephen King, Nora Roberts and Joel Osteen
The new store will allow KDP self-publishers to create books specifically for this audience by selecting Spanish in their language options when submitting. Kindle Owners are able to set their interface to Spanish by changing the language preference option at the Manage Your Kindle screen on Amazon.com. This last step is not necessary to purchase from this section of the store, but it may be particularly appealing for new potential Kindle buyers.
We can’t say for sure that this will extend to more language-specific subsections for eBooks. Spanish has a special prominence here in the US in numbers that equal those of the next several most popular languages put together. Should it prove popular, however, there is not any reason for Amazon not to offer such a store. They have the systems basically in place, and it is hard to imagine that the ability to purchase Gombrowicz’s work in the original Polish would result in a sufficiently large rush to destroy the servers.