Posted on 2012-Oct-26
On the lobby page of the newfound Kindle Store in the East, it shows how much Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has put into bringing his best products to Japan in its native language in order to connect with the audience. The scanned Hiragana, Kanji, and Katakana texts are superbly indented in the center, sandwiched by a drop down menu of book categories on the left and the list of bestsellers on the right. With Bezos’ signature sealed at the bottom of the scanned announcement, the inauguration is complete but is not the only thing the retail giant has had in mind.
The Launch of Kindle Store in Japan
Following the recent debut of the front-lit eReader worldwide, Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon decisively marched right into the land of the rising sun presenting, not only new hardware, but also thousands of books. 50,000 titles are the estimated number of books sold during their initial operation competing against the local Sony and Kobo stores that offer 65,000 titles in their catalogues. Kindle’s collection in Japanese is expected to grow significantly in the next two to three years.
Amazon’s Business Negotiation?
Based on the preliminary observation how Amazon has been very busy with their business expansion recently, the latest announcement from Kindle Publishing Team makes sense how they want to tweak their software to better support texts across the growing number of eReading Devices with Publishing Tools v2.7.
In-House Technical Improvement
Feature-wise, the first critical update focuses on Japanese text support as one of the biggest changes. Although KindleGen implements minor fixes and enhancements, Kindle Previewer boasts of several improvements. The support for the newer eReading devices is seen as their priority to make sure content look greats on them. The Paperwhite seems to get a lot of attention from the developing team, yet the discontinued Kindle DX is not totally forgotten. The recent update fixes several issues relating to missing content, improper width and height to render SVG images, incorrect top margin, etc. iPhone/iPad book opening issue is also addressed in the fixes.
To compare with the previous Kindle Publishing Tools launched in July, the recent update seems to tackle how text can be displayed nicely on newer eReaders. KindleGen v2.5 resolved PNG conversion, line breaks, indentation issues, and CSS properties, while the earlier Kindle Previewer touched on a few issues for Kindle Touch. There is also a huge support for Adobe InDesign 0.97 to make formatting styles work correctly. Although, BB eBooks does not advise exporting directly from InDesign due to poor and bloated HTML standards.
The Rapid Spread of eBooks
Even if you are not in Japan, you will still be hearing a lot more about the newer Kindle books emerging from the store on the tech websites. Amazon, on a related note, shows its passion to expand their eBook collection to attract readers through the convenience of making online transactions. To align with the official Kindle store launch in Japan, software development seems like a breadth of opportunities for eBook developers, authors, and publishers to deliver the best possible content when readers are the customers of the ongoing improvement of the eBook industry. So, hopefully, the latest software development will continue to push everyone to realize the highest potentials in eBook through fast and reliable distribution in a customized conversation.
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