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The Amazon Reader makes its debut in France
"To make available all the books ever written, in all languages in less than 60 seconds." This is the "Kindle vision" defined by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. This vision was displayed on the homepage of the American Group’s French website on October 7, the launch day in France of the Kindle digital reader, which marks the arrival in the French digital reader market of the leader in online book sales.
Although so far the Kindle can’t quite offer the size of the Library of Babel, amazon.fr is, however, advertising a catalogue of 35,000 French e-books, plus the 800,000 it is already providing in other languages. Flammarion, La Martinière, Editis, Albin Michel and L’Harmattan, in recent weeks have all formalized agreements for the distribution of their digital books via the Kindle Store, which also provides access to the digital catalogues of the Hachette and Gallimard groups.
Although preceded by Fnac which, having launched its "fnacbook" a year ago, has now signed a partnership agreement with the Canadian company Kobo for its new reader, Chapitre.com (with the Oyo reader) and by Apple’s iPad, Amazon has plenty of strings to its bow. Free applications mean it can be installed on computer or on a smart phone, so its customers won’t only be those who buy the Kindle. The Kindle also offers a self-publishing system that means it can begin its prices at just afew cents. All royalty-free texts are available. Finally, it has singed an agreement with the GIE Media Group to provide access to daily newspapers - L’Equipe, Le Figaro, Libération, Le Parisien/Aujourd’hui en France, and to three magazines (L'Express, Le Point and Le Nouvel Observateur).