Amazon Launches UK Kindle Store

By Josh Halliday: Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) today launched its UK Kindle Store, with more than 400,000 ebooks now available to download. The price and scope of the digitised books marks a significant point in Amazon’s move towards domination in the ebooks market.

Up against increasing competition in the market, Amazon last week unveiled two more advanced versions of its Kindle e-reader.

The company is looking to pick up consumers who cannot afford Apple’s iPad. In the US, Amazon has slashed the price of its Kindle device to compete with the iPad, which uses the iBook store to sell ebooks.

More than 80 of the 100 Nielsen UK bestsellers are available to download from the new UK store, retailing at relatively low prices. One of the new bookstore’s featured authors, the late Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson, last week became the first author to sell more than 1m ebooks through Amazon.

Larsson’s novel The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest is currently second in the Kindle store’s bestsellers list and available for £2.70 to UK buyers.

“The Kindle Store offers the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read at low prices,” said Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle content at Amazon.

In the US, digital books account for 6% of consumer sales. Many publishers now realise the need to follow the direction of the market.

Amazon’s new Kindle devices are lighter, faster and smaller than the previous generation. The Wi-Fi model costs £109 in the UK, while the model supporting both Wi-Fi and 3G will retail at £149

This article originally appeared in © Guardian News & Media Ltd..