Hi, SSIW friends,
I am in a “wrong
side of the pond” situation. We live in the Commonwealth (better
known as a state) of Pennsylvania in the USA. My wife has a
subscription to amazon.com (USA version) with which she buys &
downloads eBooks for reading on her Kindle. I have located many
desirable eBooks on the amazon.co.uk web site, but most of them are
not obtainable through amazon.com (USA). I chatted - at great length,
as those things go - with a support assistant at amazon.co.uk. It
seems that I can subscribe to UK’s Amazon “Kindle Unlimited”
only if I provide a UK mailing address and a valid credit card. You
SSIW folks know that I have the cedit card which works to pay for my
SSIW subscription, even from this side of the Atlantic. But until our
choir, Côr Cymraeg Rehoboth, comes to visit Wales again in
2017 (we were there in 2013), we won’t have anything that I can call a UK mailing address.
Can any of you let me use your address to “locate” me in the UK, so I can set up the UK Amazon account? Or can you you offer any other sort of suggestion? I’m not wanting to do anything illegal or cause an international diplomatic incident. I just want to be able to have access to all those good Welsh language books and other books to read on my tablet. Can you help?
I’ve had my own issues with Amazon’s decision to have two separate stores for the US and UK. However, from what they told me, to have a UK account you need both a UK mailing address and a credit card attached to a UK bank account, not just a credit card in general. I could be wrong, but that’s what various staff members led me to believe.
And this is not just a problem between the UK and US, but within Europe, and perhaps other parts of the world as well. e.g. I cannot, with my UK address, buy an e-book from Amazon Germany, although I can happily buy a real book from them. It seems somewhat crazy. But this has been the policy for at least some years, so I doubt if it will change any time soon. Unfortunately.
I have both acounts, US and UK, however I am able to buy something from one and something from another. I CAN NOT BUY ANY E-BOOK from UK store although I can buy ordinary books. To top all, I can not buy toys, electric or whatever thingys from any store at all. So this is how I am drivins slalom inbetween one Amazon to another. For now I was able to buy whatever e-book from Amazon.com though and I’m living in Slovenia so it’s a bit weird you can’t do that being in US. However, to be honest, I didn’t try to buy any Cymraig e-book in any store yet though.
Y Lolfa also offers e-books but I think as all good things you might find useful, they’re not compatible with kindle though (or are they?)
Thanks for your advice. Mailing items back and forth between the UK and USA is so very expensive. Buying paper copies and having them shipped over the pond just isn’t reasonable. Some of the items I’d like are only available in eBook form. I think I’ll keep on exploring it. Maybe there’s some transnational bank with offices in both countries. Why do we make such a big deal about international trade agreements if the result is that we can’t buy each other country’s products?
The freeware Calibre can convert just about any format of e-book into any other format. This is all perfectly legal, but there are some technical issues you have to be aware of, and as always, google is your friend.
Well, I actually don’t know what format kindle uses. Y Lolfa mostly sells e-books in epub format. If kindle is in consense with it then @davebusey might “win” on desired Cymraig books though.
Amazon uses their own format but they started by buying Mobi. So .mobi is what a Kindle can use which is basically the kindle file format with no copy protection.
Diolch @craigf. To be honest I’m not too much “at home” on the e-books field …
Dave, we’d be happy to try and help, if it’s possible - once we’re up and running properly in the new year…
Thank you all for your help. Idid a little checking on the internet about eBook Reader formats. (I
prefer to use IXQUICK for my internet searches. When I get in contact
with google, I am always feeling that the “friend” is
looking too closely over my shoulder, trying to measure my every
breath.) As a “proof of concept” experiment I bought a nice
eBook from Y Lolfa. I installed FBReader to the Android-based tablet.
It worked fine! Although there are literally dozens of eReaders
available on the Play Store, I picked FBReader because (1) it’s open
source, (2) it’s a UK developed program, so I knew they’d have the
ePub USA vs UK format variations - if any - all worked out, (3) it is
highly recommended in reviews, and (4) it has millions of installed
users. I like the selection of content on Y Lolfa, but the greatest
proportion of them are “dead tree” publications only. There
are still many eTitles from other publishers which I’d like to
explore, so I’ll continue to pursue the Amazon UK challenge. If SSIW
and Y Lolfa both have figured out to accept credit card payments from
overseas without my having a UK address, I can’t understand what
Amazon’s issue might be. Thank you all, my friends!
Glad to see you have had some success! The reason you can’t purchase some e-books from outside your own country isn’t anything to do with credit card payments, but rather geographic restrictions due to copyright issues. This comes from the publishers and not the retailers. On the bright side, an EPUB is an EPUB no matter whether it is from the US or the UK.
For anyone that would like to learn (more than they might ever want to know ) about all things ebooks, this is a great resource: MobileRead Forums.
Wouldn’t that apply to paper with printing as well as e-books? If you couldn’t buy the printed version, OK, but given that you can…???
I’m no expert on this subject…It has to do with laws which are obscure and don’t necessarily make sense. In some countries, e-books are taxed, and the the laws are trying to prevent people from avoiding paying the taxes by purchasing from another country. There are also laws around “point of sale” - for a paper book, the place where the sale takes place is the location of the physical book (a store or warehouse). But e-books exist on a server somewhere, and in some countries the law doesn’t consider the location of the server as relevant (it could be anywhere, and the purchaser doesn’t necessarily know where). So where the purchaser is located becomes the point of sale.
The publishing world has a business model which has stayed the same for a very long time. Many publishers have divisions in different parts of the world (for example, US, Canada, Europe). Authors have contracts with those publishers that give certain publishing rights. With the advent of digital publishing, the geographical divisions start to blur (those point-of-sale issues). The whole thing is a mess that really needs to be figured out. If authors and publishers want to sell e-books, and people want to buy them, it doesn’t make sense for anyone concerned to restrict sales like this. Nobody gets what they want. We can only hope they can figure out a new business model that benefits everyone sooner rather than later!