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Customer Discussions > Kindle forum

Australian kindle users thread #2 (Kiwis welcome)

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Initial post: May 29, 2012, 6:04:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Nov 22, 2012, 2:39:36 AM PST
Another thread sparked the suggestion that we begin a thread specifically for Australian kindlers, given how many things are different for us (books available, prices, freebies/discounts, etc), and the first phase turned out very active and informative. We're now into the second edition of the thread, and the key points of the information contained in the first thread have been summarised in the FAQ in the posts immediately following this one. If you're Australian, come join us, follow the thread, and feel free to post any specifically Australian info here. Kiwis may find the similar time zones make this thread easier to be involved in, so they too are welcome, and any lurkers are always welcome to speak up as well.

We recommend you use the search function to the right of this thread to check if what you want to know has already been discussed, then scroll down past the FAQ below to get to the active discussion. (Or, if you've checked out a particular FAQ post and still have a question, use the "reply to post" feature and we'll know exactly which one you're struggling with.) If the thread is several hundred posts long when you first encounter it, you'll probably find it a bit much to attempt to read through the whole thread before joining in; just go to the latest post, read back a couple of pages to get the gist of the current conversation, then get involved.

When replying to a specific post in the thread, please try to remember to use the "reply to this post" link at the bottom of the relevant post, so that readers of your reply can easily see what you're replying to (it shows as a link "in reply to an earlier post" in the top RH corner of your reply).

For those who are new to the thread: we know it can seem a bit daunting to jump into a well-established group, but honestly, we're all just sitting round the barbie having a yarn. Grab a drink and a chair, and introduce yourself. You'll be given a warm welcome, and before you know it you'll be part of the gang.

Previous thread here:

If you'd like to order a kindle direct from Amazon instead of buying locally, you may have had trouble finding the links for the various models. Links to the international kindles are as follows:
Kindle, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - for international shipment (went from in stock to out of stock as I looked at it)
Kindle Keyboard 3G, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display, 3G Works Globally - for international shipment
Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - for international shipment (may be out of stock)
Locally, check Big W and Dick Smith, both of whom are currently (as at 22/11) advertising the Basic and the Touch.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:05:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 7, 2012, 12:09:26 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Table of Contents for FAQs

These FAQ's have come from a myriad of posts on our first thread. We hope you find them useful. Thanks to everyone who contributed this information.

Not all of the FAQs are finished yet so please be patient. Those topics are noted as "Coming soon".

If you have a specific query that is not covered by the existing FAQs please post about it and we'll help you if we can.

Within each FAQ:
underlined with ==== is the FAQ heading
underlined with ----- is the topic heading
underlined with .... is a minor heading

Within this Table of Contents items underlined with ---- are separate FAQs. The topics under each one are details of what is contained in that FAQ. A link is supplied to each FAQ.

Tips for posting on this thread.
To find this thread (again).
Track This Discussion.
Colours of links.
Reply to this Post.
Creating a permalink on a post so you can copy the URL into your post
Book links.
Changing your profile name.
Forum Time.

NZ Differences
Sales Region
NZ Prices may be different to the default Asia & Pacific region prices.
Internet browsing in NZ

Why should I buy a Kindle, and which model?
Why should I buy a Kindle?
Why shouldn't I buy a Kindle?
What Kindle should I buy?
Summary of Choices.

Kindle Fire
Reasons not to buy a Kindle Fire

WiFi & 3G
What is the difference between WiFi and 3G?
Connecting your Kindle to 3G.
Connecting your Kindle to WiFi.
Connecting to Amazon.
3G & WiFi Troubleshooting.
Changing 3G provider.

Registering a Kindle, Managing Your Kindle and other account functions
Manage Your Kindle
Registering a Kindle
Changing the name of your Kindle
Device Synchronization
Kindle Payment Settings
Country Settings
Pending Deliveries
Your Account
Your Orders
Cancelling a Pre-Order

How to reset your Kindle (ie rebooting)
Why would I need to reboot my Kindle
How to reboot your Kindle
Rebooting didn't work!

Kindle tips and troubleshooting
Accessing the Kindle Store
Can I return a book that I've bought?
Loading books onto a replacement Kindle
Can I save my books from one Kindle to Calibre, then copy them to another Kindle?
Can I download books to Kindle for PC then copt them to my Kindle?
How many books can I fit on my Kindle?
My Kindle freezes when I try to do a highlight,
I'm charging my Kindle from my PC and I want to continue reading.

Covers, lights and chargers.
Book Lights
Other Useful Accessories

Book prices -Part 1 - Why are they so expensive in Australia?
Blame the publishers, not Amazon.
What can we do about this?
What is a fair price for an e-book?
How do I check prices in other regions?

Book Prices -Part 2 - History
Why are books different prices in Australia, NZ, the US, the UK, etc?
E-book prices at the beginning.
The Agency Agreement.
The December 2011 Price Hikes.
Did all Australian publishers hike their prices?
What about the Authors? Do they still get a fair deal?
Links to more information on book pricing.

Indie Books
What is an Indie Book?
How to find Indie Books.
How to pick a good Indie book.

Sharing Books
Can I copy books from someone else's Kindle?
Can I loan my books to someone else?
So how can I share my books?
Can I have my Kindle registered to more than one account?

Not available in Australia options
The book I want is "Not Available to Australia"
How to check if an Australian edition is available.
How to check if a book is available in other regions.
Taking an e-holiday.
Tell the publisher I'd like to read this on Kindle.

Gift cards instead of Credit Cards.
Using a gift card to buy your books.
To buy a Gift Card.
To Redeem a Gift Card.

Amazon archives & disappearing books.
Disappearing Books.

Downloading, sideloading, and buying books from non-Amazon sources
Coming soon

Customer Service
Coming soon

Coming soon

Converting PDF's and other documents
Coming soon

EreaderIQ for advanced searching, pricetracking and free books
Coming soon

Kindle apps (other than Fire apps)
Coming soon

Libraries and Kindle Books
Coming soon

Other useful websites
Coming soon

Warnings about dodgy Kindle or book websites
Coming soon

Links to Other Useful Posts
Regarding the House of Representatives Committee on IT Pricing, which covers e-book pricing.

If you have a query about one of these FAQs or if we've got something wrong, please post a comment using the "Reply to this Post" link for that particular FAQ.

If you've found these FAQs useful please let us know by posting something on this thread.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:05:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 8, 2012, 11:33:09 PM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Tips for posting on this thread.

To find this thread (again)
From the Amazon Home Page, select Kindle Books, then click on the Discussions link at the top of the page. That will bring up the Kindle forum. Just page through this forum until you find this thread.

We recommend you add this thread to your favourites. After opening the thread from your favourites link, click the "... posts since your last visit" to go to recent discussions. If you are a regular visitor you may want to add the URL for this thread to your browser startup pages/tabs.

When the thread is open refresh the page to see new posts. Go to the top of the page and click the "... posts since your last visit" to go to the latest posts, or "See latest posts" if there haven't been any new ones.

If you're not a regular to this thread and don't want to catch up on the whole thread, especially when it is very large, just click on the last page number shown, then go back a page or to to see what the current conversations are about. You'll always be welcome.

Track This Discussion
Your choice, however this thread does move fairly quickly so getting all those emails can be a chore. Sometimes it can be useful to track, and this option can be turned on and off using the button at the right of the thread.

Colours of links
Clickable links are initially blue but turn brown once you have clicked on them.

Reply to this Post
Please use the "Reply to this Post" link when replying to someone, otherwise posts can be confusing to others. Where appropriate, to help others quote the profile name of the poster you are replying to at the beginning of the reply eg "JJulieJ - ", or "@JJulieJ"

"Reply to this Post" only shows on other peoples posts, not your own. If you reply to a post, that post will show, at the bottom of it, "You replied with" in orange, and "a later post" as a blue clickable link, which when clicked will bring up your response in a separate window.

Posts that are replies will show "in reply to" at the top right of the post. If the reply is either yours, or to a post of yours, the message will be orange. There will be an appropriate blue link, either an "an earlier post" or "your post", and clicking on that link will bring up the original post in a separate window.

Book Links
Please use product links for books that you are recommending so that they show up in blue and are easy to spot when people are browsing this thread. Be aware that the default product links provided from the "Insert a Product Link" button often link to the US edition of a book, and the Australian edition can be different. We recommend cutting and pasting the URL from the Book Product page instead, it will turn into a link once posted. Otherwise use the books ASIN, which you can find in the Product Details section of the book page, select "Insert a Product Link", choose "Enter Product ASINs" in the Search menu, and paste in the ASIN.

If you are posting a book link from another source other than Amazon you will need to remove any tags from that source otherwise it won't show as a link.
e.g. /B007A2V2J4?tag=kiq-free-e-20 would not show as a link.
Remove the ?tag ending ie /B007A2V2J4 and it will work as a link.

Creating a permalink on a post so you can copy the URL into your post

If you want to post a URL to another post on this forum you need to create a permalink first.

Go to the appropriate post and click on the Permalink link at the bottom right of the post. The screen will refresh and the URL at the top of your browser will change to that of the post, rather than the one for the beginning of that page. Copy the URL and you can copy it into another post. When someone clicks on that URL it will take them straight to the original post.

Changing your profile name.
To change your profile name select "Your Account" at the top of the screen. You may be asked to log in.
Note: you may be asked to log in at some stage during this process.
Under Communities select "Your Public Profile".
Click the yellow "Edit Your Profile" button at the top right of your profile page.
Click on the "edit name" link next to your Name, then type in your new name.
Click Continue.
Click Continue again.
Click "Save Your Profile".
The name change will change on all existing posts as well as new ones. It may take some time for your name change to proliferate across the whole of Amazon.

Forum Time
Forum time is Pacific Standard Time (PST) or Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Amazon is in Seattle, US. There is no way to change it to local Australian time.
Use set to local time and Amazon time if you need to keep track of what time it is. is useful if you want to convert back from PST/PDT.


Forums always seem to have their sprinklings of acronyms. This one is no exception.

If you're confused this link will help, especially with the many variations of ROFL.

Others that appear on this forum are:

DTB = Dead Tree Book, paper edition

TBR = To Be Read, books that you have bought but haven't read yet

MRR = Master resell rights
When you acquire master resell rights, you sell the product/service to your customers, and you may also grant your customers the right to sell it. You can also pass master resell rights to your customers, if you are in possession of transferable master resell rights. This allows your customers to also sell the product with master resell rights.

PLR = Private label
With private label resell rights, you may not only resell the product but you may also edit the content or product and claim it as your own work (meaning, you become its author). Private Label Rights vary, with licenses offering full authorship while others limit distribution, and restrict what can be done with the content (restricted private label versus unrestricted private label)

RAOK = Random Act of Kindness

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:06:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 30, 2012, 2:46:07 PM PDT
JJulieJ says:
NZ Differences

Sales Region

New Zealand is in a different sales region to Australia.
Australia has its own region, New Zealand is part of the Asia & Pacific region, for some odd reason.

This is an advantage for Kiwis as the Asia & Pacific region does not seem to be affected by the huge price hikes that Australia experienced in early December 2011.

NZ Prices may be different to the default Asia & Pacific region prices.

The price seen when visiting the Asia & Pacific region for a price check is not necessarily the price that an NZ resident will see. There appear to be differences in pricing between countries within a region.

Internet Browsing in NZ

It appears that internet browsing from a 3G Kindle, with an NZ address, is restricted to the Kindle Store and Wikipedia. You will need to connect to WiFi to get full basic internet browsing.

Is full basic internet browsing, using 3G, available for visitors to NZ, whose Kindles do not have an NZ address? Please let us know if you've been able to use Google etc when visiting NZ.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:06:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:07:30 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Why should I buy a Kindle, and which model

Why should I buy a Kindle?

To read books. :-)

You can change the font size on a Kindle. Larger if your eyesight is poor, smaller if you want more text to a page.

Many books are cheaper on the Kindle but please read the FAQ about book prices.

Many books are only available as e-books. See the FAQ about Indie books.

You can have lots of books on your Kindle, not just one at a time.

A Kindle makes travelling so much easier, you don't have to cart heavy paper books with you, you can stock your Kindle with plenty of books before you leave, or you can buy an extra book right from your Kindle in emeregencies as long as you can connect to a WiFi network, or a 3G service, depending on your Kindle.

Kindles are much lighter than many paper books, even with a solid cover on.

You can read one-handed with a Kindle, some models have Prev/Next page buttons on each side, and the Touch has zones for page forward (most of the screen) and back (a small strip on the left side) which work one-handed.

You can read a Kindle in a car, even if you could never read a book in a car. Yes, it's true. Somehow many people who used to get travel-sick trying to read books as a passenger in a car actually find they don't get travel-sick reading their Kindle. DO NOT try to read your Kindle while driving ;-).

You can read the e-ink Kindles in bright sunlight. They are just like reading a paper book in this respect. You do need light to read a Kindle in darkness.

Some Kindles have a text-to-speech functionality, so your Kindle can read to you when you're driving.

Why shouldn't I buy a Kindle?

Although it would be nice to be able to read books, that's not what you mostly want to do.

You want to surf the internet and read your email - most Kindles have very limited internet functions, often just Wikipedia.

You want to play games and run apps. The e-ink Kindles are not really suitable for this but there are a few simple games available. See separate Kindle Fire FAQ for info on this device.

Your best choice would be a tablet eg Samsung Galaxy (Android) or iPad. You can download free "Kindle for Android" or "Kindle for iPad" apps to read Kindle books with.

Which Kindle should I buy?

The Kindle Fire is not available in the Australian region and we recommend not trying to buy one overseas. See the Kindle Fire FAQ for more details.

Most people prefer one of the 6 inch screen Kindles as they are small enough to carry around easily. The 6 inch screen works very well for reading most books but is not as good for books with diagrams. There are a number of different Kindles with 6 inch screens.

Be wary of the battery life claims that Amazon make. They are based on reading half an hour a day and with the wireless turned off unless using it. However all of the e-ink Kindles have sufficient battery life for several days, even if you are a speed reader who reads all day.

Also be wary of the number of books the Kindle is expected to hold. Many of us have found that our Kindles slow down noticeably once we've downloaded a couple of hundred books. However it is not necessary to store all your books on your Kindle. They can be deleted from the Kindle, are available from your Amazon archives at any time, and can be downloaded as many times as you like.

All the 6 inch Kindles have e-ink screens, so can be read in bright sunlight.

Kindle (Basic or K4)

Currently $109 from Amazon, $139 from Australian stockists

This is the simplest and lightest of the Kindles. It is WiFi-only so you must have access to a WiFi network to download books directly to your Kindle.

It has It has Prev/Next page buttons on each side so it is good for people who like to read one-handed. The function buttons are centred below the screen.

The K4 has a virtual keyboard that can be brought up on the screen when required.

There is no text-to-speech capability on this model.

It has less memory than other Kindles.

Kindle Keyboard (often called K3 or KK)

Currently $189 from Amazon, $209 from Australian stockists.

This model has a small keyboard beneath the screen but numbers and symbols are on in a virtual pop-up window. Tip: Use Alt + top row buttons to key numbers directly from the keyboard e.g. Alt-Q gives 1. If you like to make lots of notes in your books this model is best for that.

It has Prev/Next page buttons on each side so it is good for people who like to read one-handed. Most of the other function buttons are on the right of the keyboard.

It has text to speech capability for those that like having their Kindle read to them.

Only the WiFi & 3G model can be bought directly from Amazon, the WiFi-only model has been superceded by a new model, the Kindle Basic or K4. However refurbished WiFi-only KKs are available from Dick Smith Electronics online for $99.
You do not have to pay any extra fees or set up any contracts with 3G providers for the KK. Amazon provides Whispernet free of charge.

If you travel extensively the KK is a good choice as it can connect to Whispernet in many countries, free of charge, and also to WiFi hotspots. The KK has very basic internet functions and you can use your Kindle to check email although it is very slow, however in some countries you can only access Wikipedia. Amazon may be starting to restrict the use of the Whispernet.

The KK is locked to Vofafone for its 3G service and the Vodafone network is probably the worst in Australia. If you live in an area with poor reception you may be better saving few dollars and buying the WiFi-only model, but you will need access to a WiFi network in this case.

Kindle Touch

These are available in both WiFi only ($139) and 3G & WiFi ($189) models, from Amazon.

There are no buttons on the Touch, tap the top part of the screen brings up the toolbars for further options, including the virtual keyboard.

It has zones for page forward (most of the screen) and back (a small strip on the left side) which work one-handed. You don't have to swipe to turn a page, just touch the appropriate spot.

You can touch words to bring up dictionary definitions or touch to highlight sections of text.

If choosing the WiFi only model you must have access to a WiFi network to download books directly to your Kindle.

Choosing the 3G & WiFi model gives you the ability to connect to a WiFi network if you wish, but has 3G capability for travel or if you don't have access to a WiFi network, as long as you can get Vodafone reception.

The Touch has a feature known as X-Ray, which appears to be more sophisticated than the search function on other Kindles.

It has text to speech capability for those that like having their Kindle read to them.

Kindle DX
Currently $379 from Amazon.

If you read newspapers, magazines, or non-fiction with diagrams you may prefer the DX. It has a 9.7 inch screen with auto-rotation.

It has a keyboard, without numbers, and only has Next/Prev page buttons on the right side.

It has 3G and it's not restricted to Vodafone, but does not have WiFi.

It has text to speech capability for those that like having their Kindle read to them.

Overall it is bigger (about the size of a tablet) and at least twice as heavy as most of the other Kindles.

Summary of Choices

We suggest you read the detailed descriptions for each product on the Amazon website for more details on these products.

If you have WiFi at home and don't travel you probably just need the WiFi-only models.

If you have good 3G reception and/or travel buy a 3G model.

If you want text-to-speech, or wish to buy audio books, buy a KK or Touch.

Keyboard or Touch? That's for you to choose!

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:07:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:08:17 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Kindle Fire

Reasons not to buy a Kindle Fire

The Kindle Fire is NOT available from Amazon in the Australian region.

There is a very good reason for this. Due to licensing reasons most of the functionality of the Fire - apps, movies and videos - can only be downloaded and viewed by residents of the US.

It has a backlit LCD screen, not e-ink, so is not good for reading in bright sunlight.

Beware of buying a Fire overseas or from other suppliers. Most of the functionality will NOT work in Australia and so all you are buying is a backlit e-reader without much of the functionality of the e-ink Kindles.

The Kindle Fire is WiFi only.

It does not support collections.

It does not do text-to-speech and also doesn't support audio books.

It has a battery life of 6-8 hours, e-ink Kindles last for days.

Kindle apps are available free for most tablets and smartphones so if you want to read on a multifunctional device you are better buying an iPad, tablet, or smartphone and installing the appropriate app.

Will the Fire ever be available in Australia? Who knows! The Australian market is tiny in global terms. It may not be worthwhile for Amazon to provide those services here.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:08:12 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:24:36 PM PDT
JJulieJ says:
WiFi & 3G

What is the difference between WiFi and 3G?

WiFi is a local area network (LAN) technology - its maximum range is approximately 100m - and is typically used to provide wireless connectivity for your computer to the internet. You buy your own WiFi access point or router, or you buy time on a shared WiFi network in places like hotels. Some hotels, cafes, MacDonalds, airports etc provide free WiFi. Most WiFi networks, especially private ones, are secured by a password and you can only access them if you know the password. If you have a WiFi-only Kindle the only way you can connect it directly to Amazon is through a WiFi network.

3G uses the mobile phone (cellphone) networks (3G/UMTS/HSDPA), and will work anywhere there is decent mobile phone coverage. As long as your Kindle can connect to this you are connected to Amazon. You do not have to sign any contracts with a provider, it's all supplied by Amazon. The older Kindles (K2 and K1) connect to all Australian and NZ phone networks, the later models (K3 & K4) connect to Vodafone only, which can be a problem outside of the main cities in Australia.

Note for Kindles that have both WiFi and 3G - if you have established a WiFi connection your Kindle will always try to use that, no matter how weak the signal, in preference to a 3G connection. To stop it using the WiFi you have to "forget" that network or move completely out of range, and then reconnect later.

Should I buy a WiFi-only Kindle or a model with 3G and WiFi?
This depends on where you live, whether you have WiFi at home and whether you travel a lot.

If you live in a place with poor Vodafone reception and you don't travel, you only need the WiFi-only model but you will need access to a WiFi network.

If you travel a lot the 3G model is very useful.

Connecting your Kindle to 3G

Press Menu and select "Turn Wireless on".

Your Kindle will connect to the phone network if you are in range (see above re WiFi over-riding this).

Your Kindle should display the signal strength at the top of the screen. Some models only show this from the Home page.

Press Menu and select "Turn Wireless off" when you have finished downloading otherwise your Kindle will use up its battery at a much faster rate.

Connecting your Kindle to WiFi

If you have already established a connection to a WiFi network then you just turn the Kindle WiFi connection on and off as per 3G above. The Kindle will reconnected with your selected WiFi network each time.

Connecting to a WiFi Network

Firstly you have to have a network to connect to. The options are:

* set up your own WiFi network at home, with a WiFi router or access point on your ADSL or cable Internet connection. If you have a broadband modem or router with a small aerial sticking up you already have WiFi within your house. However you will need to know the network name and either the WEP address or password from your modem/router Installaion CD to connect to this. An alternative method is to use a WiFi dongle or USB broadband stick that uses the 3G networks. Mini WiFi modems that use the 3G networks are useful for travel and they often allow multiple devices to be connected - check phone service providers for these.

* use it on a WiFi network at work, university, in a hotel (which you may have to pay extra for). If you're regularly switching between a home network and another network you will have to type in the required password every time, and sometimes you may have to "Accept the Terms and Conditions".

* use it on free WiFi service, sometimes called a WiFi hotspot. These are often found at cafes, Macdonalds, libraries, airports etc. Again you may have to enter a password and may have to "Accept the Terms and Conditions". Some places display the password prominently but at other places you have to ask for it.

* set up your smartphone (or laptop, or a specialised device) to create your own "mobile hotspot" by sharing its wireless broadband connection via Wi-Fi (tethering). Some smartphones have this built in - check the WiFi settings for something that mentions tethering and portable hotspots. Otherwise there is a program called "Connectify" ( The Pro version seems to be required to get Kindles to work properly, though. Warning: using your phone as a hotspot can use up your data allowance very quickly, especially if you are searching the Kindle Store rather than just downloading.

Once you know you're in range of a WiFi network you need to connect your Kindle to it.
Select Menu, and "Turn Wireless on".
Select Menu again, scroll down to WiFi settings and select "View".
After a short time this will bring up a list of all networks that your Kindle has discovered in range. It should be obvious which is the correct one.
Select "Connect" and enter the appropriate password.

If the WiFi network is a public one you may have to "Accept the Terms and Conditions" but this doesn't show automatically. Try using Google or Wikipedia to bring up an internet page and that should bring up the Ts&Cs acceptance.

Connecting to Amazon

Once your 3G or WiFi is turned on your Kindle should start communicating with Amazon. Sometimes this takes a minute or two though. Selecting Menu and Sync and Check For Items can speed this up.

Even if you intend to always sideload your books from your PC, your Kindle needs to communicate with Amazon occasionally, especially if it's a new Kindle. You won't be able to create collections or access a couple of other features, including changing its name, until it has synced with Amazon.

3G & WiFi Troubleshooting
Your Kindle has suddenly lost contact with your home WiFi network: - try turning your network modem/router off, wait a few moments, then turn it back on again.

Your Kindle used to connect to 3G but now it won't: - this could be caused by a couple of things.
1. The 3G service is experience problems
If you have a K2 you can try changing service provider (see below) but most K3s are locked to Vodafone. If you know someone who uses Vodafone get them to check/
2. Your Kindle 3G has died. Contact Kindle Support.

Changing 3G Provider
Press Menu and Turn Wireless On
Press Menu again and select Settings
Press 311 (nothing will show while you enter these numbers) then you will get a screen headed
"Switching Wireless Provider". Click OK.
Eventually it should come up with a screen list all the 3G and 2G providers that it can get a signal from. One will be ticked and just show as a number - eg 505,03,2(3G) - the others will be names like Telstra Mobile (3G). The strongest signal is usually at the top so select that to force it to change provider.

This usually only works on K2s.

There has been some discussion about whether it works on later models. It probably doesn't work on the International models sold in/to Australia but this can be checked using the above process. Use Alt-E Alt-Q Alt-Q to input the 311. Some US models may allow service provider changes.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:08:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:10:14 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Registering a Kindle, Managing Your Kindle, and other account functions

Manage Your Kindle
Is where all of the functions to manage your Kindle are found. It starts up showing all items in your Kindle library, the most recent first. This can take a while to load if you have a large library.

At the top left of the screen you can select to narrow this selection down by books only, newspapers, and so on. This also includes Pending Deliveries.

Below that is option for Your Kindle Account including:
Register a Kindle
Manage Your Devices
Subscription Settings
Kindle payment Settings
Personal Document Settings
Country Settings

There is more on some of the functions below.

Registering a Kindle
There are actually two steps to registering a Kindle, although the Kindle instructions don't make this clear.

Step 1: Register the kindle.
* If you have bought the Kindle for yourself it will arrive pre-registered to your account.
* If your Kindle has been a gift you need to register it to an Amazon account.
- You can either do this from the Kindle itself by pressing Menu from the Home page and selecting settings. Under Registration you can select to Register the device. You need to be able to connect to Amazon by WiFi or 3G for this function to work. Enter the email address which identifies your account, and your password, and your Kindle will be registered.
- Otherwise you can do this on your PC from Manage Your Kindle. Select Register a Kindle and a boc will pop up to allow you to enter the serial number of the Kindle and click Register. You can find out the serial number by pressing Menu from the Home page and selection Settings. The serial number is shown under Device Info. The screen will change to the Manage Your Devices screen, which shows a list of all your registered Kindles and Kindle reading apps.

Step 2: Connecting your Kindle to Amazon.
If you registered your Kindle directly from the Kindle you have already connected to Amazon.
Otherwise Turn Wireless On. Your Kindle should connect. Iif you are uncertain select Menu then Shop in Kindle Store. Once the Kindle Store page displays on your screen you can be certain you have connected.
If you can't, or don't, connect your Kindle to Amazon you can still read books that you have sideloaded from your PC, but you can't set up Collections or access a couple of other features. And books won't download automatically to your Kindle until it can connect to Amazon.

Changing the name of your Kindle
You can do this either directly from your Kindle by selecting Menu from the Home page, then selecting settings. Next to Device Name select edit. Key in the new name and Save. You need Wireless on for this.

You can also change the device name on the Manage Your Devices page. Just click on the Edit link. The new name won't show on your Kindle until it has synced with Amazon.

I recommend including your mobile phone number in your Kindle name in case you lose your Kindle. Mine reads "Julie's K3. If found ph <mobile number including country code>".

Note that all Kindles show on your account in alphabetical order of their names, and the first on n the list is the default for 1-click orders.

Device Synchronization
If you have more the one Kindle registered to your account, and people using the other Kindle(s) read the same books as you, at the same time, you may wish to turn Device Synchronization off. This is found at the bottom of the Manage Your Devices screen.

Kindle Payment Settings

This allows you to change your Default 1-Click Payment Method. The current setting is displayed an may be Edited.

Note: Gift Card Balances over-ride this setting, until such time as the Gift Card Balance is exhausted.

Country Settings
This allows you to change the country associated with your Kindle account if necessary. It will display your current country. Click change and you can key in your new address.

Pending Deliveries
This allows you to view all pending deliveries i.e. books that you have bought that have not been delivered to your Kindle. Turn on WiFi on your Kindle to download these books.

If you share your account with others and are not sure who bought a particular book, you can View Recent Successful Deliveries to see which Kindle that book was sent to.

Pre-orders are also shown and you can Cancel or View Details on these.

Your Account
The main screen for Your Account contains all other general account functions related to Orders, Payment, Settings, Digital Content and Personalization. We recommend you familiarize yourself with this screen.

Your Orders
Check Your Orders to see what the latest account orders were. These include Gift Certificate purchases.

Selecting Your Digital Orders will show any unfulfilled orders including pre-orders, and recent completed orders.

You can cancel a pre-order after selecting to view that order.

Cancelling a Pre-Order
See Pending Deliveries or Your Orders above.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:09:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:11:27 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
How to reset your Kindle (ie rebooting)

Why would I need to reboot my Kindle?

Kindle's aren't perfect. There are a few little bugs in their system.

- Sometimes the book you are reading will completely disappear from your home page, and you won't be able to see it in your archives either. You need to reboot.

- You might experience the "white screen of death", your Kindle goes blank and you can't seem to do anything. Try a reboot before panicking.

How to reboot your Kindle

Remove your Kindle from any power source.

Hold the power switch in the "on" position for 30 seconds. Count them, for many of the Kindles it needs to be a full 30 seconds although some reboot after 20 seconds (Kindle Touch?).

The screen will go blank after a few seconds, it may flicker dark once or twice, keep on holding the switch over.

Once you release the switch noth may happen for a little while. Be patient, eventually the Kindle Tree will appear and you will see the bar showing the reboot process.

When it has rebooted it will show your home page. At first all you'll see are your collections, and they will be empty. No worries, in another few moments all your books will appear, including any missing ones, and all in the right collections.

Rebooting didn't work!

You may not have held the power switch over for long enough, try again.

If it doesn't reboot after several attempts, your Kindle may have died. Contact Amazon Kindle Support if it is still under warranty. See separate FAQ.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:09:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 5:29:50 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Kindle Tips and Troubleshooting


Collections aren't folders. They are just tags on your books. So they don't show if you look at your Kindle documents folder when it is connected to your PC.

You can set up as many collections as you like, and a book may be in more than one collection.

If you choose to sort by Collections, your books will only show under the collections they are in, not directly on the home page. The collections will be at the top of the list and only books that are not in any collections will show on the home page.
If you choose one of the other sorts - Most Recent First, Title, Author - all books on your Kindle will show on the home page as well as under the relevant collection(s).

Accessing the Kindle Store
You should have no problems accessing the Kindle Store from your Kindle as long as you are connected to 3G or a WiFi network (see the WiFi & 3G FAQ). Note: some problems have been experienced with the Kindle Touch. If you do have problems connecting to the Kindle Store you should contact Kindle Support.

Can I return a book that I've bought?
If you don't like a book you can return it to Amazon, within 7 days of purchase, no questions asked. Sign in to your account and click the Manage your Kindle button at the foot of the right column and you will see a list of your purchases. Click the plus sign beside the book and if it was bought less than 7 days ago there will be a "Return for Refund" link. Chose one of the several reasons in the drop-down and you will get an automatic refund and the book will be deleted from your Kindle next time you turn your wireless on.

Loading books onto a replacement Kindle
If you have had your Kindle replaced, or have just bought a later model, and wish to set it up like an existing or previous Kindle make sure you do things in the correct order, which will save the effort of moving all your downloaded books into collections

Firstly download the books you require from your archives onto your new Kindle. It is easiest to do this from the Manage Your Kindle page on your PC.

Note: do not download too many books at a time. The Kindle indexes all the books you load on to it so if you are downloading a large number of books do this in small batches and allow the Kindle to finish indexing each batch before starting the next.

Once you have downloaded all your books, ensure your wireless is still on and go to the home page. Select Menu and then select View Archived Items. Look for and select an item labelled Add Other Device Collections. You will see a list of all Kindles associated with your account. Select the appropriate Kindle. The collections from that Kindle will appear on the new Kindle, and all books that were in those collections on the original Kindle will pop neatly into the same collections on the new Kindle. You can download collections from more than one other Kindle if required.

Any books downloaded after the collections have been imported will have to be moved manually into the relevant collections, as will any new books downloaded.

Can I save my books from one Kindle to Calibre, then copy them to another Kindle?
No, books are DRM'd for each specific device and so will not be able to be read on the second Kindle. You have to download them again from your archives to the second Kindle.

Can I download books to Kindle for PC then copy them to my Kindle
I'm waiting for my Kindle to arrive. Can I download books to my Kindle for PC app then just copy them to my new Kindle to save time?

No, books are DRM'd for each specific device and the Kindle for PC app is a device.

If you have bought your new Kindle on your account it should show up there well before it arrives. Just buy your books and send them to the Kindle. Once your Kindle arrives, turn on the wireless and the books will start downloading.

If the Kindle is a gift you will have to wait until it arrives to register it to your account, and you won't be able to send books to it until it is registered.

There is an option to download books to a specific Kindle via your PC - "download and transfer via USB". Again the Kindle has to be registered to your account to use this option. This is completely different to downloading to the Kindle for PC app. See the FAQ on downloading and sideloading etc.

How many books can I fit on my Kindle?
Each model differs in the number of books it can theoretically hold and you should check the product page for your Kindle for this information.

Some people have found that their Kindle starts slowing down, particularly when searching, creating notes or bookmarks, and sometimes even when changing pages or displaying menus, once they get a few hundred books on their Kindle.

We recommend that you don't keep all your books on your Kindle. Delete them from the device, they will always be available from your archives to download again if you want too.

My Kindle freezes when I try to do a highlight
Firstly check how many books you have on your Kindle. If you have several hundred this may be the cause of the problem (see above). Delete as many as you can and then see what happens.

If it still continues to freeze contact Kindle support.

I'm charging my Kindle from my PC and I want to continue reading

You need to eject the Kindle from your PC first.
Go to Windows Explorer, right-click on the Kindle drive under Computer, and select Eject.
Your Kindle should drop back to your book or home page.

If this hasn't happened check Windows Explorer again to see if your Kindle is still showing under Computer. If so it didn't eject properly, try again.

In the remote instance when your kindle won't eject, no matter what you do, just pull the cable out and everything should go back to normal. It's not what we'd recommend under normal circumstances, but you shouldn't kill your Kindle by doing it if it's really locked up.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:11:02 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:13:32 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Covers, book lights and chargers

Getting a lighted cover or a book light is recommended in case of power failures (and keep your Kindle charged).


A good, sturdy cover will protect your Kindle from day-to-day knocks and help prevent putting pressure on the screen when the Kindle is carried in a bag,

Amazon Lighted Cover

Some people love this cover, others don't like it at all.

The advantage of this cover is that you always have a light so that you can read in low light situations as long as your Kindle has sufficient battery. The light turns off automatically when the Kindle goes to sleep. It is a relatively sturdy leather cover with an elastic band closure. It is moderately heavy.

The distribution of the light is uneven across the screen. Bright at the top right, and dimmer at the bottom left. It is possible that some covers are more uneven than others. Some people find it hard to read the bottom left of the screen and find they get eye strain with this cover, other people have no problems with it.

This cover attaches using hinges which clip in to the left side of the Kindle. With hinged covers care must be taken not to try to open the Kindle the wrong way. A Velcro dot attaching the back of the Kindle to the back cover solves this problem.

Note: Amazon also make a non-lighted version of this cover which has been known to cause problems with some Kindles. These problems do not occur with the lighted cover.

Oberon Covers

Oberon make some of the most beautiful leather Kindle covers. They have a range of designs and each design is usually available in three different colours. They have a pewter button and elastic loop closure, and attach to the Kindle using corners straps, three leather and one elastic. There are useful pockets in each side of the cover, and a wool felt screen protector. The cover folds back easily and stays open. They are sturdy enough to hold a clip-type book light, and some book lights can be slid into the back cover and stay in position. They are moderately heavy.

They are a little more expensive than other covers (US$67 for a K3 cover) but are worth every cent. Shipping is also expensive, there are several options. The second cheapest provided relatively quick delivery.

Some colours do fade more in bright light so care must be taken not to leave them sitting in bright sunlight.

M-Edge Covers

M-Edge make a range of covers, skins and other accessories. Most of these are made from synthetic materials and you can get custom designs. Some of the covers have a special pocket to hold the M-Edge light. They are reasonable quality for the price. Some covers are very light, others are heavier. Some M-edge covers can be ordered through Amazon but for others you will have to go to the M-Edge website.

Incipio Covers

Incipio also make a range of covers. Some are available through Amazon, others have to be ordered through the Incipio website.

Waterproof Covers

Kindles and water do not go well together, neither do Kindle and sand. If you want to read your Kindle in the bath, on the beach, or around (or in) the pool it's advisable to get a waterproof cover.

Many people just use zip-lock bags, and these are certainly fine to shield the Kindle from sand at the beach, or against accidental splashes. With care they could be used in the bath. I keep a box of the appropriate sized ones in my beach bag.

Serious waterproof covers are made by TrendyDigital. TheWaterGuard Waterproof Case is made of heavy-duty plastic with welded seams. It has twin zip locks, with folds between each one, and then domes to hold the top closed. It has a lanyard so you can hang your Kindle around your neck. When not using the lanyard I wind it around the top of the cover and secure it under one of the domes.

Similar waterproof covers, without the TrendyDigital logo, have been available from ebay for $2.55 including shipping. These appear to be identical to the TrendyDigital ones.
Tip: Test your waterproof cover regularly but placing a piece of paper towel or a tissue inside it, seal it up, and immerse in water for half an hour (weight it down). If the paper remains dry your cover is still waterproof.


E-ink Kindles require a light source to read them by. Daylight, normal house lights and bed lights are perfectly adequate. Book lights tend to be less disruptive to bedmates as they are not as bright as a bed lamp.

If you don't have, or like, the Amazon lighted cover, you might like to get a book light or some other form of portable light for your Kindle. They are very useful in a power cut, when camping, or travelling especially where hotels have poor lighting.


M-Edge make the e-Luminator Booklight which fits into a special pocket in the M-edge covers, and also can be slipped into other covers like the Oberon ones. They are relatively lightweight lights that work off 1 AAA battery. The latest ones are touch activated and have three light intensities. The neck of the light is fully adjustable so you can position the light perfectly, and the light is even across the whole Kindle screen. I have an earlier version of this light, with a switch and only two light intensities, and it is excellent.

Note: I use the Energizer Lithium batteries and I get at least a month of night time reading from them, and some nights I read for several hours using my book light.

Other book lights
Regular book lights from local stores also work well on the Kindle, as long as you have a sturdy cover to clip them on to. I'm not sure I'd want to clip a cover on to the Kindle itself. These lights tend to be a little heavier due to the weight of the clip.

Other portable light options

A number of other portable light options have been recommended by forum members:

Headband lights, where the light is attached to a band and worn on your head. These are usually available from camping and hiking stores.

Wind-up torch. Available from Woolworths/Safeway stores, usually found near where the batteries are sold. They sit on your shoulder when lying down, have a couple of light settings and never need batteries. Good for emergencies.

Shake to charge torch. Driving around with it the glovebox of your car can be enough to charge it. Carrying it in a handbag or backpack might have the same effect.


The Kindle only comes with a USB cord, no wall adaptor. Charging through your PC can be slow as USB ports, particularly on laptops often don't provide much current, and some USB ports (perhaps on older machines) don't work to charge a Kindle at all - if your PC has two different sets of USB ports (ie front and back) try switching to one in a different set.

Charging with a wall charger is much faster.

Many other devices, eg mobile phones and tablets, come with micro-USB charger units, identical to the Kindle connection. If you have one of these try it with your Kindle.

You can buy USB wall chargers, which have a standard USB plug, or sometimes even two, to plug your Kindle cable in to. Some of these only fit Australian/NZ wall sockets, some come with a set of clip-on international plugs which are very useful for travelling. You can also get USB chargers which plug into cigarette lighter type power outlets in cars. Here are some that we recommend.

Digitor M9912 adaptor, which comes with international plugs. Available from Dick Smiths.

Belkin adaptors, available widely. Note these may not work with the old K2 models.

Hahnel World Charger is a very useful two USB port charger, with international plugs. I got mine through a Ted's Camera Shop outlet, they may have to order it in for you.

Cheap chargers may be available on e-bay.

Warning: US chargers run off 110 volts, we used 220 volts. So unless the US charger is designed to work with different voltages it could burn out if used here.

Other Useful Accessories

Thick elastic hairbands are useful to provide something to slip your hand through to avoid dropping your Kindle. These can be bought at most supermarkets or pharmacies. Put them on the front over then fold the cover back. If your cover doesn't have a way to secure the cover in the folded back position you can use the elastic for this. I put two on my Kindle when I was doing a Lonely Planet walking tour overseas, reading the directions from my Kindle. I slipped my hand right through both the bands then curled my fingers around the edge of the Kindle. It was very secure and easy to carry.

Bobino Cord Wraps are useful, lightweight little plastic clips to keep cables tidy. They come in three sizes and multiple colours.
They are also available in some newsagents and storage goods stores.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:11:47 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 8:38:49 PM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Book prices - Part one - Why are they so expensive in Australia ?

Blame the publishers, not Amazon.

At the moment the price of most of the books in the Australian region are set by the publisher. In particular Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.

The story behind this is summarised under Book Price History below. I hope you'll take the time to read it. Australians have been ripped off for decades with book prices and it's happening again with e-books.

What can we do about this?

Many of us on this thread are refusing to buy over-priced e-books. We each have our own idea of a fair price for an e-book, and won't buy a book until it falls to or below that price.

There are hundreds of thousands of books out there that are at reasonable prices. We can now buy books that were never available in paper format in Australia, typically from US authors who were never published here, and are often priced below $10.

Then there are Indie books (see separate FAQ re Indies). These are usually priced below $5 and some of them are very good. These days many Indie books are available free for short periods, often only a day. It pays to check this thread daily
If you like a book that you've got free, thank the author by writing a review, or by buying their other books.

The choice is yours. If you absolutely must have the latest releases as soon as they are available then that is your choice to pay the high prices. Those books often drop in price after a few months so you may want to wait. If those lower prices are still too high, then try alternative books.

Shop around. By taking an e-holiday you could get books at cheaper prices. See the "Not available in Australia' FAQ for more on this.

Look for recommendations on other threads of this forum. The monthly "Informal Poll - what are you reading" thread is worth watching, however books recommended on this thread may be at rip-off prices. However some may be authors you've never heard of, with reasonable prices, and so worth trying.

Put a tag on e-books that you think are over-priced. We use "<publisher> is Australian for rip off" where <publisher> is the name of one of the Agency publishers. Only do this if the book price is set by the publisher. If tags already exist, click on the box alongside each one if you agree with that tag. Tags are shown on the book product page with a heading something like "Tags customers associate with this product". The heading varies sometimes but the tags are fairly obvious once you know what to look for.

If, like us, you think book and e-book prices are far too high in Australia, vote with your dollars.
Don't buy books from the rip-off publishers unless they are at a reasonable price.
Don't buy the paper editions either, even if they are cheaper.
Do buy books that go on special ($5-$10) for a short while, this indicates to the publisher you're happy to buy their books at reasonable prices.
Keep an eye on this thread for recommendations and specials. They pop up regularly.

Put books that you aren't prepared to buy immediately onto your wish list, then import your wish list into They track the price of your books and send you an email when prices drop.

Post on the Lost Book Sales website when you find a book that is priced too high for you to buy.

What is a fair price for an e-book?

I believe the e-book market should be a global market, not a regional market.

The biggest English language book market in the world is the US market, and I believe prices should reflect US book prices which are typically under $10 for paperbacks, and I believe an e-book should be slightly less than a paperback. There are no printing, distribution costs, bookstore overheads and formatting costs for an e-book, once it's edited and formatted for print, are minimal.

Publishers may choose to charge higher prices for new releases and that's their prerogative. They want bigger initial returns on a book to defray the cost of publishing. People who must have a book as soon as it is released will buy it, others, like me, will wait until the price drops.

Those of us buying online aren't stupid. We can compare prices and we will find ways to buy books at prices we think are reasonable. We are no longer at the mercy of the Australian retailers who are protected by the Australian government.

Indie books are typically priced from $0.99 to $2.99, some are $3.99 and some are $4.99. Personally I wouldn't buy one over $4.99 and will only buy higher priced Indie books if I have read other books by that author and enjoyed them.

Disclaimer: These price comments are the opinion of JJulieJ and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of every one of this thread.

How do I check prices in other regions?

Log out of your Amazon account.

Go back into the Kindle store without logging in again.

You will be able to change the region you are searching in by using the pull-down menu at the top left of the screen. Warning: prices are the default price for that region, some countries (eg NZ) may have different prices from those shown by this method.

There is more information on this in the "Not available in Australia" FAQ.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:12:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 8, 2012, 11:05:33 PM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Book Prices - Part 2 - History

Why are books different prices in Australia, NZ, the US, the UK etc?

The publishing world is broken up into regions. Originally there were just two major regions for English language books, one controlled from the UK, and the US was the other. Twenty or thirty years ago most of our books came from the UK and the prices reflected the current exchange rates. NZ prices were typically a little more expensive than Australian book prices due to exchange rate differences. US books were cheaper but government legislation ensure that book sellers could not parallel-import, they had to sell the UK editions. Eventually Australasia became a publishing region in its own right, as did other parts of the world. Prices in Australia and New Zealand started rising until they reached current prices, which are double that of most other regions in the world.

Most local publishers are owned by major global publishing conglomerates but have companies registered in Australia to operate under, and these companies may have some degree of autonomy.

A book may be published by one publisher in the Australasian region, another in the UK and a different one again in the US. One book I looked at was published by Penguin in Australia, Pan (Macmillan) in the UK, Canada, and India, and by Random House in the US and remaining regions.

Amazon has different regions within Australia has its own region. New Zealand is part of the Asia/Pacific region oddly enough but prices for NZ aren't always the same as other Asia/Pacific countries.

E-book prices at the beginning

When Amazon first made the Kindle available in the Australian region, e-books were typically priced $2 higher than the US price. This extra $2 was known as the Whispernet charge, although Amazon never admitted this. However e-books were still much cheaper than Australian paper books as Amazon were discounting New York Times best sellers to $9.99 ($11.99 here). Other books were the same as or cheaper than US paperback prices, between $5-$10.

Late 2010 Amazon dropped the $2 Whispernet charge in the Australian region, making e-books even cheaper. This happened around the time that Apple opened it's iStore in Australia ;-)

The Agency Agreement

In April 2010, Amazon was forced to sign what is known as "The Agency Agreement" with major publishers. This agreement was collaborated on by five of "Big Six" publishers in the US, at the behest of Apple. Apple did not want to have to compete with Amazon over e-book pricing, they wanted to sell e-books for higher prices for their new iPads. The Agency Agreement allows the publishers to set the price of books, and Amazon has to sell those books at that price.

Initially Amazon refused to sign this agreement but those five publishers - Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster - threatened to withdraw all their books from Amazon unless they signed the agreement. Amazon identified publisher-set prices by including a couple of lines just below the price of the e-book showing which publisher sells that book and saying "This price was set by the publisher".

This didn't affect us too badly in Australia as we were still getting the benefit of US prices. However prices of new releases did rise to $14-$16, still a good deal compared with our paper book prices. However many people weren't happy with these prices and refused to buy books over $9.99 (the price Amazon use to discount NYT best sellers too). Also most of the higher priced e-books dropped after six months or so, once the US paperback edition was released, and we got the benefit of that as well.
This agreement is being challenged by the US Justice Department and the European Union. A couple of the US publishers have settled out of court, but there is a court case pending against Apple and the rest of the publishers. So far no-one has noticed any price drops in the US, and we don't expect to see any here in Australia.

The December 2011 Price Hikes

During the first week of December, 2011, we watched in horror as prices of e-books from the Agency publishers were hiked, by a minimum of $3.50 to $10+ per book, in some cases doubling the price of that book e.g.

The new release price of Matthew Reilly's Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves was bad enough at $18.67, this jumped to a record $26.04, before settling between $20-$22. Publisher Macmillan.

Storm Rider by John Francome jumped from $8.66 to $20.83. Publisher Hachette

New release The Jefferson Key by Steve Berry jumped from $9.99 to $20.83. Publisher Hachette.

It wasn't just new releases that jumped in price, back listed books jumped also.
Di Morrissey's new release The Opal Desert jumped from $9.99 to $20.83, and her older books jumped from $9.99 to $13.54. Publisher Macmillan.

The In Death series by J D Robb went up to $12.50 and $14.58, and new releases cost $20+. Publisher Hachette.

The worst price hike I found was a short story by Steve Berry which I had bought at $1.53. This jumped to $12.50. Publisher Hachette.

Nice timing too, Kindles has been selling in selected Australian stores for a few months and thousands were probably going to be given as Christmas gifts. All those new Kindlers who hadn't a clue that prices were so much lower before the price hikes would be happy to see Kindle prices a few dollars less than paper book prices, especially for books that were still only out in the expensive trade paperback and hardback editions. Those folk haven't had time to compare prices with other regions so probably think they are getting a great deal. Not!

To make matters worse the new prices appear to be linked to the Australian dollar which means that the price in US dollars goes up when the Australian dollar is high, and drops when the Aussie dollar falls. OK the price works out the same in Aussie dollars but for those of us that now budget our book-spending in US dollars it feels like we're paying more.

Regulars on this forum have emailed the ACCC on this matter but they originally claimed "there appears to be no evidence of any anticompetitive agreement between book sellers on Amazon in relation to prices". Since the Australian Government has started an investigation into digital pricing in Australia, the ACCC have changed their tune somewhat. However the Agency Agreement circumvents Australian competition legislation as under the agreement the publishers claim they are legally setting the price on behalf of the individual author. Of course, the authors really have no say in how their books are priced but the law doesn't see this.

We are continuing to try to bring this matter to the attention of the media and other organisations. It's an on-going saga and may take some time to resolve.

Did all Australian publishers hike their prices?


Local publisher, Allen & Unwin, has kept its prices low but prices vary. Some books are over $10, some are under.

Big Six publisher Random House was not part of the original Agency agreement but may have signed since. However Random House did not hike their prices in December. Their new releases are often well over $10 but drop to $9.99 or below after six month or so.

There may be other, smaller, publishing houses in Australia with reasonable prices.

What about the Authors? Do they still get a fair deal?

I've read that traditionally published authors get royalties of up to 17% of the retail price of a book, so higher prices do mean better returns, BUT that rate only applies to best-selling authors. Royalty rates can be much lower for mid- and low-ranked authors.

Indie authors publishing through Amazon get 35% for books sold at a price under $2.99, or sold outside of the US and 70% for books priced between $2.99 and $9.99 that are sold in the US. At the 70% rate an Indie author is getting better royalties than some TradPub authors.

Links to more information on book pricing

Here are a few interesting articles on this topic.
Reading between the lines of that article what I saw was essentially a newcomer to online retailing, e-reader technology and publishing (Amazon) trying to offer a good deal to as many people as possible. Amazon took the losses on those best sellers, not the publishers. Certainly Amazon were out to sell Kindles and cheaper books made that attractive but I don't necessarily see them as the baddies. Then along comes another technology retailer, Apple, who is notorious for high prices on its products and doesn't want to have to compete at lower price levels, so sets up a really sweet deal (Agency Agreement) with the publishers which essentally fosters price-fixing. Agency + Apple then have more power than Amazon and so Amazon has to agree to higher prices, which are not good deals to anyone but the publishers.
However I disagree with the statement in the article that "$9.99 or less for every book was and remains unsustainable for retailers and publishers alike". I'm not sure what percentage of revenue is obtained from new release (hardcover or trade paperback) sales but mass media paperback prices in the US have been well below $10 for quite some years. So I'd expect e-books to end up below $10 as well even if we do have to put up with a short, new release, period of a higher price for a few months.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:13:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 8:37:02 PM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Indie Books

What is an Indie book?

Indie is short for Independently Published.

Many are authors who self-publish their books on Kindle and aren't backed by a traditional publisher.

Some are authors who originally were published traditionally but who have regained the rights to some or all of their books and have chosen to publish those, and any new books, independently. Other books by these authors may still be published by the original traditional publisher.

Indie can also refer to small publishers who are not necessarily the authors. There are six large trade publishers in the US, many of which trade under a number of "imprints" - specialized lines within the larger company that just cover one or two genres eg romance or SciFi/Fantasy. Small publishers who are not part of that group can also be called Indies ie Independent Publishers.

These days many TradPub (my abbreviation for Traditionally Published) books can be very formulaic. Indie books may not be as quite as polished as professionally published book, but that is made up for by less formulaic and more diverse selections.

How to find Indie books

Watch for recommendations. You'll soon get to know the people whose recommendations you can trust, especially on this thread.

Many Indie authors have subscribed to the KDP Select program, which allows them to offer their books free for short periods, often just for a day at a time. Check the freebie threads (with chat and without chat) daily for books that sound interesting.

Go to the Meet Our Authors forum. This is where authors are allowed to promote their own books.

Check the specific genre forums for recommendations if you only want books in a specific genre, but you'll have to sieve through Tradpub recommendations as well.

How to pick a good Indie book

Indie authors vary! Many are excellent, many are mediocre and some are downright terrible. Also we all have different tastes in books so even if a book has been recommended it might not suit you.

First of all, read the book description. Does it interest you?

Look at the way the book description is written. If it's badly written, chances are the book will be badly written.

Look at the reviews. Check the pattern of reviews - how many of each rating.

If a book only has a small number of review and those are all five stars, beware. In this case check the profile of each reviewer. If that person has only reviewed that book, no others, then chances are that person is a friend or family of the author.

A couple of bad reviews don't mean a bad book, some people have different tastes and, unfortunately, some reviewers post bad reviews just to be spiteful.

Read a few of the reviews, they can also give you a sense of whether you will enjoy that book.

Finally read the opening chapters of the book online (Look Inside) or download a sample. This will give you a good indication of the author's style and whether the book will interest you.

Most Indie books are priced between $0.99 and $2.99, but some are higher, so you can take a punt on an author without feeling you've blown a lot of money. Trying a new TradPub author is far more risky pricewise, especially now, and even new books by established authors can fall below standard.

Once you've found a good Indie author, check to see if they have written any other books and buy them or add them to your wish list.

If you're really enjoyed an Indie book, please write a review about it. The review doesn't have to be long but try to indicate why you liked the book.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:13:35 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 8:36:15 PM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Sharing Books

Can I copy books from someone else's Kindle?

No. Books from Amazon are locked to one device only, using a technique called DRM (Digital Rights Management), so you can't copy books from one Kindle to another.

There is a plug-in to Calibre that will strip the DRM from books, see the Calibre FAQ.

Can I loan my books to someone else?

Lending books is not available outside of the USA.

So how can I share my books?

To share books all Kindles and Kindle reading apps have to be registered on the same account. You can have as many devices as you like on an account but there is a restriction as to how many of those devices can have the same book downloaded at the same time. Typically this is six devices, although some publishers may restrict the number to less. Note: this is not a download limit, you can download a book as many times as you like. If you have reached the download limited the book must be removed from one device before it can be downloaded to another.

Families may want to share one account for their book purchases, book clubs could also set up an account to share books among their members. It is easy to track who has bought which book as emails of all purchases are sent to the person whose email address is on the account. See the FAQ on Registering a Kindle etc for details on who to check who has ordered a book based on which Kindle the book was sent to. Family members and book club members can "pay" for their purchases by sending a gift certificate to the account holder, who can then apply it to the account. See the Gift Certificate FAQ.

Warning: once a book is purchased on an account it cannot be transferred to another account.

Can I have my Kindle registered to more than one account?

No. A Kindle can only be registered to one account at a time.

However you can change the account your Kindle is registered to, and download books from that account. While you are registered to the other account you will not be able to access the archives of books in your original account, you will have to reregister the Kindle to that account to get access.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:14:11 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 8:35:29 PM PDT
JJulieJ says:
The book I want is "Not Available to Australia"

The number of e-books available in the Australian region is increasing every day. For example, in two years it's more than tripled, and there are well over 1 million e-books available now, exacty how many is shown at the top of the displayed list of books in the Kindle eBook Store. However sometimes a book shows with a green "Not Available in Australia" message, or you can't find it when you search.


1. If you've clicked on a link on this forum, the link may be pointing to the US edition of the book. In many cases the Australian edition is listed on Amazon separately. See below on how to check if they are really available.

2. Some authors are just not published in Australia, and therefore the e-books are not available in the Australian region. Publishing rights in Australia are complex and also protected by law. A publisher may own the rights to a particular book, and it may be available in bookstores, but the publisher has chosen not to release the e-book in Australia. See below for a hint on how to get around this.

3. The book hasn't been converted to e-format, yet.

How to check if an Australian edition is available.

From a product page showing the green "Not available to Australia" message, look at the Formats section of the page. If it shows a "Kindle Edition" link, click on that and it will bring up the Australian edition. Incidentally holding your cursor on the "Kindle Edition" link will bring up a pop-up box that shows the publisher of that edition and whether it is available.

Sometimes this link doesn't show even if there is an Australian version. It's always worth doing a search by either author or book title to see if it actually is available. Sometimes the various editions aren't linked in the Amazon database. Also sometimes the book has a different title in other countries.

Note: when you search in the Kindle Store, logged in to Amazon and therefore set to the Australia region, you will only see books that are available in the Australian region.

How to check if a book is available in other regions.

Log out of your Amazon account.

Go back into Kindle Books without logging in.

Using the pull-down menu under "Your Country or Region" at the left of the page, change the region to where you want to search in. Note: since you can't buy books without logging in which sets your region automatically back to Australia, you can't buy books from other regions without taking an e-holiday (see below).

Taking an e-holiday

We feel that it is not appropriate to give details on how to do this on this thread.

We highly recommend you look at a wordpress blog about tarots and tarradiddle to find instructions on how to take an e-holiday. This blog was created by a regular poster on this thread.

Tell the publisher I'd like to read this on kindle

The folks in the US have a button on the product page for a paper book to click to tell the publisher they'd like to see that book on Kindle. We don't have that button, unfortunately but there is a work-around that is sometimes available.

On the paper book's product page, click to look inside. At the top of the "inside" window there are usually a couple of tabs. Put your cursor on "Kindle Book" and you may get a pop-up window with a link to "Tell the Publisher".

This only works if there isn't a Kindle edition anywhere though. Unfortunately there is no way to "tell the publisher I'd like to read this Kindle Book in my region".

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:14:49 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 8:34:40 PM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Gift Cards instead Credit Cards

Using a Gift Card to buy your books

If you want to avoid all those tiny credit card transactions, which may trigger questions from your credit card provider, buy yourself Amazon Gift Cards and apply them to your account. Your one-click purchases will automatically come off the Gift Card Balance first, and for other purchases you usually have the choice of using your Gift Card Balance or your credit card.

Using a Gift Card is also a good way to keep track of your spending, as long as you remember to check your Gift card Balance regularly.

Gift cards are also useful if books on one account are shared among several people, all of whom buy books on that account. If those people wish to pay separately for their books they can set up their own Amazon account and use it to send Gift Cards to the shared account to cover their purchases.

To Buy a Gift Card

At the top of the Amazon screen there is a link for "Gift Cards". Click on that and you will be able to purchase a gift card. Under Digital select E-mail.
Select an amount, or enter one if you don't like the selection.
Enter your email address.
That's all you need to do so click on the yellow "Add to order" button. This will bring up a small window and give you the option to Edit or Delete that order. Then click "Proceed to Checkout". You may have enter your account password at this point.
Select the Payment Method, which defaults to your credit card, and press Continue.
Then press "Place your order".
You will receive an email confirming your Gift Card order.
You will also receive an email containing the Gift Card redemption code which you can copy and paste.

To Redeem a Gift Card

Go to Your Account
Select "Apply a Gift Card to Your Account". You may have to enter your account password.
Copy and Paste the redemption code from the gift card email into the box.
Click on Apply to Your Account.
Your balance will be updated by the gift card amount.

Keep a regular check on your gift card balance and top it up if necessary. If it does run out subsequent book purchases will come from your credit card.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:15:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 8:33:58 PM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Amazon archives & disappearing books


Amazon keeps a record of every book that has been purchased on your account. This is known as your Archives. When you buy a book it is automatically linked to the Archives as well being downloaded to the device you have selected.

If you choose to download a book to your Kindle it will show on your home page, and may be moved into your collections. That book will not show in the Archive list on that Kindle until you delete it from that device. Another Kindle that is attached to your account will see it in its Archive list.

You can also see your Archives, in its entirety, on the Manage Your Kindle page of your account. This page also shows when you bought the book, the price and order information.

Since the books are always in your Archives you do not lose them if your Kindle dies or is stolen. All you have to do is download them again to the new Kindle. You need your 3G or WiFi on to download from the Archives, just as you would to download any book directly to your Kindle. You can download a book from your Archives as many times as you like.

Many of us choose to delete books from our Kindles once we've read them. There is some evidence that Kindles slow down when there are more than a couple of hundred books on them. The Kindle indexes every book that is on it and functions like bookmarking, returning to the Home page, and opening up the menu may be affected. So far nobody has noticed page turns slowing down.

If you want to delete a book completely from your archives you can do this from the Manage Yoir Kindle page. Amazon still knows that you bought that book and a "previously purchased" message will still show on the book product page, however once you have deleted it from your Archives you would have to buy it again if you ever wanted to read it again.

Books that you have bought from other sources than Amazon will not appear in your Archives. You need to back these up onto your PC.

Disappearing books

We have seen occasional posts from people claiming books have disappeared.

Sometimes this is just because they didn't know to check their archives.

Occasionally the current book you are reading will disappear from your Kindle. To resolve this you have to do a hard reboot of your Kindle. Hold the power slide over for at least 30 seconds (time it if necessary), and wait for the Kindle to reboot. It will show empty collections at first, then all your books will appear, including the missing one. This is probably a bug in the system.

There have been rare reports of books going missing from Archives. If, after checking everything possible, this is true you should contact Amazon Kindle support.
Click on the yellow Contact Us button on the right of this page.
It helps if you have proof of your purchases and you may wish to file all the order confirmation emails that Amazon sends you so that you can reference them if necessary.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:15:48 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:24:20 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Reserved for an FAQ.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:16:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:24:34 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Reserved for an FAQ.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:16:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:24:45 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Reserved for an FAQ.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:17:46 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:25:05 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Reserved for an FAQ.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:18:23 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:25:18 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Reserved for an FAQ.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:18:55 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:25:28 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Reserved for an FAQ.

Posted on May 29, 2012, 6:19:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 6, 2012, 4:25:38 AM PDT
JJulieJ says:
Reserved for an FAQ.
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