Kindle expands into Canada – is CreateSpace next?

Previously, Kindle customers in Canada were serviced by the U.S. site but now Amazon has opened a dedicated Kindle store on the Amazon.ca site. Indie authors whose books are available worldwide will automatically see their ebooks listed on the Canadian site at a price converted from your U.S. dollar price; if you want to set a separate Canadian dollar price you need to visit your dashboard and update your book’s info.

Those authors with a Canadian bank account can now elect to be paid for Canadian sales in Canadian dollars, and by EFT into your Canadian bank account. To do so you need to go to your account page and update your banking info.

For those who have been watching Amazon’s latest moves this side of the 49th — including the opening of the fulfillment centre in Delta, BC — this marks what I believe is the first step in setting up a publication wing that will see Amazon’s print-on-demand subsidiary, CreateSpace, setting up shop here, too. Currently, Amazon.ca has been a black hole for print on demand, with CreateSpace’s Expanded Distribution inadequately addressing Canadian distribution even as Amazon plays fast and loose with titles printed by its main competitor, Lightning Source International: some of you may remember my post in November 2011 when an alleged “glitch” on both North American Amazon sites suddenly changed the delivery times for LSI-produced books from 1-3 weeks to 1-2 months, effectively killing the Christmas market for authors who didn’t contract with CreateSpace. Then again this year, just prior to CreateSpace expanding into Europe, delivery times for LSI-produced books on Amazon Europe sites were also suddenly lengthened. The message to authors was and is clear: contract with CreateSpace and your titles will be listed as “In Stock” on the relevant Amazon sites; contract with a competitor and your titles will be listed with lengthy delivery times, discouraging sales. While Amazon’s anti-competitive behaviour is appalling, what I find more appalling is the lame response from LSI, who seem unwilling or unable to defend their clients and challenge Amazon’s tactics. All this means is the continuing diminishing of LSI and possibly its ultimate demise, and Amazon’s forward march toward a monopoly.

My holiday prediction, then, is that we will see CreateSpace operating in Canada sometime in 2013. Anyone want to place a bet?

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