Amazon has extended its Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service to India at a bargain price but is warning authors that its pay-per-page system will need to be amended eventually for ebooks borrowed in the Indian market.
Kindle Unlimited is launching in India on an initial offer priced at 99 rupees a month, equating to just $1.49, before rising to 199 rupees, which is around $3 a month. The US price per month for Kindle Unlimited is $9.99 while in the UK it is £7.99 ($12.23).
Amazon explains that subscription services in India are priced at around a third of their counterparts in other countries and Kindle Unlimited is following suit.
The company warns that at some point in the future, it will need to adjust the India Kindle Unlimited KDP Select payout to reflect local program economics but for now it will continue to set one KDP Select global fund that will pay for pages read by Kindle Unlimited customers around the world, including India.
India is the second-biggest English-speaking market in the world and there’s huge potential for ebooks. The most common e-reading device in the country is the smartphone, with the country now the third-biggest smartphone market in the world.
India has a high literacy rate and there are 125 million English speakers in the country, which is more than the populations of the UK, Canada and Australia combined.
Customers on Amazon.in will be able to read as many books as they want (up to 12 ebooks at a time) while part of the Kindle Unlimited program, providing another avenue for readers to discover KDP Select authors.
Amazon isn’t the biggest ebook retailer in India as online giant Flipkart is No 1. Smashwords did have a distribution deal which enabled self-published authors to publish their books with Flipkart but Smashwords ended the deal recently, leaving Publishondemand as the only company offering Flipkart distribution for indies.