Amazon started selling its Kindle ebook reader in August last year and recently launched the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Fire devices in the country. However, the world’s largest online retailer is yet to have its “Eureka!” moment when it comes to making inroads into the country’s almost non-existent e-reading market.
“Yes, we are [talking to Indian publishers], but, more importantly, we’re trying to learn the intricacies of this market. In Japan, for instance, Manga comics is an important category for reading. Once we optimised for that, we saw success… we’re looking for an equivalent of that in India,” David Limp, who heads Amazon’s Kindle division told The Hindu.
Amazon’s Kindle lineup starts from Rs 6,000 for the basic version but the more aspirational Kindle Paperwhite version starts from Rs 11,000. While bringing the prices down of Kindle devices might help, as Limp acknowledges, Amazon needs to understand the reading habits of Indians and serve them that content.
“Look at the mass transit system here … commuters are doing everything on it except reading! And, if even if they read, it’s a physical newspaper. Its still Day 1 for us in India, we have a lot to do,” he said.
Probably tying up with Indian newspaper publishers and coming up with a competitive subscription plan won’t be a bad place to start.