Amazon has a section listing a few basics for using the International Kindle 2 (which they continue to call Kindle US & International Wireless).
This post is my Detailed Guide for international kindle owners. If you’re deciding whether to get an international kindle check my international kindle review.
International Kindle Guide – Kindle Owners who live outside the US
International Kindle Guide from Amazon
Start by getting the official guide from the Kindle Documents page at Amazon on your PC. It ought to be on your Kindle 2 already.
Choose between –
- International Kindle Guide in PDF.
- International Kindle Guide in Amazon’s AZW format.
- Kindle US & Wireless (same thing) documentation in other languages – at the moment only German, French, and Brazilian Portuguese.
If you need to transfer it to the Kindle –
Download to your PC, connect your Kindle to your PC via USB, and drag the file you have downloaded to the Documents folder in the Kindle. Only the AZW format files are supported.
Note: The Kindle shows up as a drive and in it there are a few folders – we want to drag the Kindle Guide to the ‘Documents’ Folder.
My Video Kindle 2 Guide
Have put together a very comprehensive video guide on the Kindle 2 that includes –
- Kindle Basics.
- 20+ Kindle 2 Tips and Shortcuts that will work on the International Kindle (except the Browser tips).
- Where to find free books.
And a lot of other good things.
Note: It’s in English so you might want to get the official Kindle Guide if you don’t read English.
Buying the International Kindle 2
Skip if you already own one.
- Log In – You can sign in using your account on any other Amazon site (except Amazon Japan). Use the same email and password and Amazon recognizes it automatically. If you don’t have an Amazon account anywhere, create one.
- Currency Conversion Charge – Kindle price is in US Dollars so check with your bank or credit card on charges – they are usually around 3%.
- Shipping – All Kindles ship by International Priority Courier. It’s quite expensive so factor that in to your budget.
- Import Duties – If your country is in the Amazon Global Program import fees are collected by Amazon. Else, your country’s customs department will charge you the fees on delivery.
International Kindle 2 ships with the Kindle Limited Warranty. Do read the terms.
- This does not cover accidents, misuse, fire, Kindles that have been repaired or modified, and commercial use (read the terms for more).
- The 2 year extended warranty from the Kindle Store is NOT available internationally.
- It’s a good idea to get a 2 or 3 year insurance plan that covers 1 or more drops. The Kindle does not usually survive a drop.
- Replacement Kindles are usually $180 or full price and for international kindles Amazon will probably ask for full price.
Basically – get a warranty.
Kindle Customer Service and Help.
Kindle International Customer Service Number (NOT free): 1-206-266-0927.
You can also ask questions and talk to other Kindle Owners at the official kindle forum.
Shopping the Kindle Store
Update: Amazon is now letting you choose what country you’re from when you visit Amazon.com. It might not show for US visitors (it did for me – visiting from Canada). The choices are –
- US – this is the default Kindle Store setting unless Amazon detects you’re visiting from somewhere else and sets that.
- Asia & Pacific
- Latina America and Caribbean.
- Middle East.
The setting is on the top left right below the ‘Shop All Departments’ and ‘Kindle Store’ links. You only see it on Kindle Store pages.
What books you can see changes based on this setting. What books you can buy changes based on your Home Country setting (see next section).
Check out my Kindle Store Guide. The big caveats are –
- The number of titles available in different countries varies widely. Go to the Kindle Product Page and pick your country to see how many titles are available.
- Kindle Store has mostly English Books. There are a few newspapers in different languages – However, most of the Kindle Store is English.
- Kindle Book Prices are $2 to $4 more than in the US Kindle Store. This is due to higher wireless charges outside the US and having to re-negotiate book deals outside the US.
- Kindle Blogs are not available outside of the US.
- All prices are in US dollars and your bank or credit card will probably charge conversion fees.
Viewing and Updating Your Country
Here are the instructions from Amazon –
- Visit the Manage Your Kindle Page.
- Scroll down to the “Your country” section.
- Click the “Edit” link if the displayed country is incorrect.
- Choose an existing home address from your Amazon.com account or enter a new one.
- Click the Update information button when finished.
It’s important to be careful with Your Country settings because it changes what price kindle books are, what books are available, and whether you get charged $1.99 per book download.
Be very careful about changing it to the US (to try to get more books) –
- It’ll make all your books cost $2 per download, including re-downloads of books you’ve already bought.
- There’s probably some sort of rule or setting to catch people trying to pretend to be in the US.
WhisperNet in Your Country
In Mexico, Japan, and Hong Kong you get free Internet browsing. No other countries support this at the moment.
If your country gets WhisperNet you get –
- Shop in Kindle Store via WhisperNet.
- Receive the books you buy via WhisperNet in 60 seconds or so.
- You can send your personal documents to the Kindle for a fee of $1 per MB. Formats supported are unprotected Word, PDF, HTML, txt, RTF, jpeg, gif, png, bmp, PRC and MOBI. These will be converted into Kindle Format.
- The experimental web browser is not available.
Note: You can get documents on your Kindle for free by emailing documents to email@example.com (which sends them to your email) and then transferring from your PC to your Kindle.
International Kindle Charging outside the United States
One easy way to charge your Kindle is via the USB cable. Plug it into your PC and the Kindle charges from it.
The charger that comes with your International Kindle supports 100V to 240V.
This means you do not need an expensive voltage adapter and just a physical plug adapter that lets you plug the Kindle charger into your home plugs.
You can get this at a local Electrical Store or dollar store for just a few dollars (or x amount of your currency). Dixons and Maplin in the UK and BestBuy in Canada are a few examples.
Keep in mind –
- International Kindle uses a Lithium Polymer battery that recharges in just 4 hours.
- Keeping the wireless off is a very good idea. With wireless off Kindle battery lasts for over a week. With it on, just a few days.
- It’s best to recharge your Kindle when the battery charge left is between 25% and 75%.
Kindle Australia – No Charger
Kindle Australia does NOT ship with the US compatible power adapter. This is probably because of some regulatory issue.
Closing Thoughts on the International Kindle
This guide used a lot of information from Amazon’s official guide for Kindle US & International owners who live outside the US.
Please add your own tips and findings and also questions and comments.
The International Kindle 2 is a big move forward. When you consider that Amazon had to negotiate –
- Wireless Contracts in 84 countries.
- Get agreements to book deals in these and another 90 or so countries.
You get a good idea of why the delay was so long. Glad that it’s finally here.
Hope this guide helps you get the most out of your International Kindle. Do leave any international kindle tips and tricks you find.