This post is a special Kindle International edition of Frequently Asked Kindle Questions. This second edition addresses people who are using the Kindle International outside the US.
An earlier edition addressed people who currently have an earlier version of the Kindle (the Kindle 1, Kindle 2 , or Kindle DX) and are in the USA.
Q. I’ve ordered the Kindle International. When should I get it?
A. That’s going to depend on where you are and what kind of shipping you used. People have already started to report receiving them in Europe.
Q. Will I be able to use it out of the box?
A. Since the K2i (Kindle 2 International) can be charged using a USB connection, you should be okay with what came with it. In most countries (but not Australia) you get a US power cord with it. That cord is “universal voltage” (from 100 to 240 voltage…should be everywhere). However, you may need a plug adapter, so it can fit in your wall outlets.
Q. I can’t find my USB adapter.
A. It’s the same cord as the power cord. Slide the end off that would plug into the wall.
Note: some European customers are finding that an initial reset makes it more responsive. Hold the power switch (on the top edge of the Kindle) to your right as you face the Kindle screen for twenty seconds. Give it a minute to reset itself.
Q. How do I use my USB cord to charge my Kindle?
A. Plug the big end into your computer, with the design (the “Vulcan fork”) facing up. Plug the little end (again, Vulcan fork facing up) into the Kindle’s bottom edge. The screen should change to show that it is in USB mode.
Q. I have more than one USB port on my computer. Does it matter which one I use?
A. Yes. Some USB ports are not powered and won’t charge the Kindle. Generally, a port on the computer itself is fine. If you have a USB port on your keyboard, for example, it may not be properly powered.
Q. Can I use my Kindle while it is charging?
A. Yes. Keep the Kindle connected to the computer, but “safely remove” or “eject” it. If you are using a PC: in the bottom right corner of your computer screen (near the clock), you will typically see a grey rectangle with a green arrow. You might need to click a right facing chevron (like an arrowhead without the stick) to see it. You may see a choice for a USB storage device. After you click on that one, it should show you a choice for the Kindle. If it tells you the Kindle can not be stopped at this time, don’t disconnect it. If it won’t let you safely remove, you can shut down the computer. When the Kindle shows you the regular screen, it is safe to disconnect.
Q. Can I use it without charging it first?
A. Probably, but it’s a good idea to plug it in. That’s recommended in the Kindle Quick Start Guide, which should have been in the box.
Note: if you are not using the Whispernet, keep it off. While the Kindle is trying to find a signal, it will use significantly more power. Home-Menu-Turn Wireless Off
Q. My Kindle International was a gift. Do I need to do something to register it?
A. Yes. It’s possible your Kindle was pre-registered if you bought it for yourself. If not, you can register it one of two ways. If you have a wireless connection, you can go to Home-Settings-Register. You’ll need the e-mail and password associated with your Amazon account. If not, go to the Manage Your Kindle page. You’ll need the serial number, which is on the back of the Kindle (in addition to the e-mail and password).
Q. My Kindle is registered. How do I buy my first book?
A. This is key. To avoid any possible charges, you may want to shop directly from your computer. If you download to your computer and then transfer to your Kindle’s documents folder using your USB cable, you will not have any additional charges.
When you buy the book, use the dropdown where it says “Deliver to:”, make sure you select Transfer via Computer.
If you don’t, and you are outside your country’s Whispernet area (for example, a US customer abroad), you may be subject to charges.
Q. How much are the charges?
A. For Americans when abroad using the wireless:
- $1.99 to get a book from the Kindle store or your archives
- $1.99 to get a single issue of a subscription
- $4.99 to get all of your subscriptions for a week
- $0.99 per megabyte (rounded up) to send personal documents
Remember that you avoid these charges by downloading to your computer and transferring using your USB cord.
Q. The Kindle store says I’m in one country, but I’m really in another one. How can I change it?
A. Go to the Manage Your Kindle page. If you are moving, you can change the country associated with your account there.
Q. Does the Kindle International work all over the world?
A. You can read books all over, but which books you can buy and whether or not you have wireless access varies. Go to the Kindle International, and you can check to see what the access is like for your country.
Note: just because there is wireless coverage shown in your country does not mean that the Kindle or Kindle content will be available there.
Q. Why aren’t certain books available in my country?
A. It’s up to the rightsholders. For example, German publishers may not have secured the rights to sell certain e-books in the USA. So, they wouldn’t haven’t prepared those books. Now that Kindle books can be sold in Germany, it’s reasonable to assume that more books will become available. In the future, it may be more likely that publishers negotiate for worldwide e-book rights.
Q. Why wasn’t my country included in the program?
A. There are a number of things that need to be resolved: technical; legal; and licensing. It’s reasonable to assume that Amazon wants to do business in as many countries as possible.
Q. I think something is wrong with my page buttons: they are hard to push.
A. The Kindle buttons push on the inside edge, not the outside edge. This makes it less likely for people with limited tactile sense to drop the device. Push the button on the edge towards the middle of the Kindle.
Q. My Kindle international won’t connect to the wireless. Is there anything I can try?
A. Yes. Try Home-Menu-Settings, then type 311. It may take a minute or two but you’ll be given a list of carriers to try. Try connecting and if it doesn’t work, try a different network. This may be a slow trial and error process.
Q. What if I need help from Amazon and I am out of the country?
A. You can go to this page to contact Amazon, either by e-mail (which is free) or by telephone: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/contact-us/kindle-help.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200316870&type=email&skip=true#csTop . The telephone number for help out of the country is 1-206-266-0927, but remember that international calling fees will apply.
Q. I want to read up on the Kindle. Where can I see the documentation?
A. You can get the manuals (even in other languages than English) at the Kindle Documentation page.
Q. What else should I do to take care of my Kindle?
A. Get a cover, get a recovery service sticker…see this earlier post, How to love your Kindle.
If you have additional questions about using the Kindle International outside of the country, let me know.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.