Everyone who lives outside US knows this devil feature of Kindle Store – a mysterious international fee. It usually ranges from $2 to $4, and it’s not proportional to the price of the book.

It doesn’t hurt that much when you buy a book which costs, let’s say $12.99. But if you want to get the cheap one, be prepared to pay twice as much as in the US. For instance, you have to pay $3.44 in Poland, if you want to buy one of the 99-cent self-published books.

Luckily, there are certain books for which you won’t pay international fee. First group is Kindle Daily Deals (with some restrictions). Second one I know of is Kindle Singles.

Currently there are 169 Kindle Singles in Kindle Store. I’ve checked some 50 of them. In one browser I was logged in with my Polish account. In the second one I was logged out, with a country set up to US.

Only one book, The Sum of My Parts by James Sanford, had a different price for each destination – $0.99 for US and $3.44 for Poland. It’s a clear sign the international fee is being applied. The rest of the books had same price for both locations.

Kindle Singles are one of my most favorite next-book-to-read destinations. I love short form reading and the books selected for Kindle Singles are really exceptional, naming only the recently released dystopian short story from Margaret Atwood, I’m Starved for You, or Kurt Vonnegut’s never published before Basic Training.

I’ve noticed one rule about international fee. It’s more probable to see it, if the book is less popular. Unlike titles featured as Kindle Daily Deal, which are intended to be high volume, not all Kindle Singles sell well.

It’s nice that you don’t have to pay any extra money for the ones, which are less popular – but are definitely worth reading.

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  1. I live in Australia and I’ve bought dozens of Kindle books, I’ve never seen or heard of this ‘international fee’ of which you speak. I’ve never paid it, I just checked several new Kindle books on Amazon and none of them seem to include it. What is it and why don’t I get charged it? (Not that I’m complaining mind you!)

  2. David, we Australians used to pay the $2.99 “Whispernet” fee on top of the price of the ebook, regardless of whether we were paying for our own connection or not.

    After a good deal of protest, Amazon did a deal with our telcos, and we no longer pay the extra. I imagine this will happen in other countries, if they insist on it and have a large enough ebook-buying population. (Australia is half the U.K. book market, despite our overall population being less than a third of theirs. We read a lot.)

    As the article states, it really sucks to be stuck paying $2.99 on top of each ebook price, just because you are part (for example) of the majority of the English-speaking population, who don’t live in the U.S. I really don’t see how Amazon can justify charging $2.99 per average 400kB ebook download, especially when most Amazon users pay for their own connections and quota. Any IT business would laugh hysterically at that rate.

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