We missed this earlier.
Amazon has updated its Kindle tablets and Android and iOS apps to support Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati and Malayalam in India. Ebooks on Kindle will be available in these Indic languages along with some exclusive titles. The company plans to add more titles in the future. Currently, the e-reader will also offer translated versions of English books. As of now, Kindle claims to have a library of 4 million books.
The e-reader and Kindle apps currently support English, Chinese, German, French, Japanese, Gaelician, Danish, Finnish etc. Amazon says on its help page that it removes books in languages other than the ones it supports as the books can not be displayed properly. Amazon will also add font size adjustment, notes adding, highlights and automatic saves along with syncing the last read page across all Kindles and Kindle apps.
Kindle India sales 200% up in 2015
According to Sanjeev Jha, the India director for content, India is among Kindle’s fastest growing markets globally and India sales grew 200% in 2015. Jha added that an Indian Kindle user downloaded 10 times the number of books they buy in physical form and tend to read 4 times more as compared to books bought on Amazon. He said that the company was trying to focus on adding “the most relevant books” instead of publishing every book.
In September last year, Amazon launched Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service which would give readers access to over 1 million books for a limited period. The following month, Rupa Publications, one of India’s major book publishing houses, signed up for Kindle Unlimited.
Amazon launched the Kindle Store and Kindle Direct Publishing for independent authors and publishers in India in 2012.
In August, Amazon India launched a used books, offering over 100,000 titles. At the time, Amazon claimed to have 9,400 sellers on the platform. Note that Amazon’s other marketplace Junglee also sells used books among other items.
Westland publishing unit acquisition
Last month, Amazon acquired the publishing arm of Westland Ltd for an undisclosed amount to let Westland authors expand their physical and digital book businesses in India and globally. In February, the Tata owned Westland had raised about Rs 9.5 crore from Amazon for a 26% stake in the company.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s rival in India Flipkart exited its ebooks business in September last year.