The Olympics are in Brazil…and so is Amazon!

The Olympics are in Brazil…and so is Amazon!

Brazil has a rich literary history, and reading is a strong part of its culture.

However, it wasn’t until late 2012 that it got a Kindle store of its own…more than five years after the USA. This

Amazon press release from December 6, 2012

began with this paragraph:

“SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Dec. 6, 2012– (NASDAQ:AMZN)—Amazon today launched the Brazil Kindle Store (www.amazon.com.br) with the largest selection of the most popular books, including the most Veja best sellers and lowest prices of any eBookstore in Brazil. The Brazil Kindle Store offers over 1.4 million books, now available to Brazilian customers priced in Brazilian Reais (R$), including more than 13,000 Portuguese-language books, 49 of 60 Veja best sellers—the most of any digital bookstore—and the most free books in Portuguese. In addition, Amazon announced that Kindle—the world’s #1 best-selling e-reader for five years running—will go on sale in Brazil in the coming weeks with a suggested retail price of R$299. For more information, and to begin shopping in the Kindle Store, visit https://www.amazon.com.br/. “

With the opening ceremony for the Olympics on Friday, I thought I’d take a look at the Brazilian site to get a sort of current sense of play.

I don’t speak Portuguese, by the way, but I used to speak some Spanish. I’m guessing I can tell enough to be able to identify navigation and sections, but I’ll use a web translator if I need to do that.

The first thing that struck me is how much it looks like Amazon.com…really pretty similar, which helps with the navigation.

The second thing is that the new version of the Kindle is $299…the same price as when it was introduced more than three years ago. The 1st generation of the Kindle in the USA was $399 and you can get the

All-New Kindle E-reader – Black, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

for $79.99.

However, that’s not the best comparison. The technology of the Kindle improved considerably from 2007 to 2012 in the USA. The new Kindle in 2012 in the USA was $69.99 (for the ad-supported model)…so it’s been similarly stable, with increase (and some subtractions) in capability and hardware during that period.

In terms of books, that seems very different.

The monetary unit, the real, is roughly three times the US dollar.

The number one seller in the store (not just the Kindle store) is the new Harry Potter play. The list price (what the  publisher says is the “normal” price for the book) is R$99,07. In the USA, the list price is $29.99…so it’s relatively higher in Brazil.. In the USA, the book is discounted to $17.99 in paperbook (p-book) at the time of writing…and in Brazil, the discounted price is R$89,90…relatively much higher than the conversion rate.

The other thing? No Kindle edition in Brazil…and the USA has it for $14.99:

USA Kindle edition of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (at AmazonSmile*)

That might seem odd…that the p-book is in both countries at the same time, and the Kindle edition isn’t. It could be that the publisher of the p-book in Brazil (Arthur A. Levine) doesn’t have the e-book rights for Brazil.

Looking at the Kindle store in Brazil, there are 4,373,482…that compares to the USA at 4,686,432, which is quite close.

Looking at the best sellers (Mais vendidos), it seems similar to the USA, but the top 20 gives me a few different impressions.

  • None of the top 20 are close to $30,00…which would be about $10 USA. I’m guessing they are all independently published. In the USA,  four of the top 20 are over $10
  • All of the top 20 e-books in Brazil are in Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s subscription service. In the USA, only six of the top twenty are in KU
  • It was interesting to me that a classic, Jack London’s Sea Wolf, is in the top 20..and at R$24,85 is relatively expensive

So, my guess here, and my Brazilian readers may be able to clarify, is that as far as the Kindle store goes, they’ve really embraced the indies (independently published books). They do read some books published outside Brazil…and even English language books can be best sellers.

There’s a little Kindlish background on Brazil as the Olympics’ opening ceremony is almost upon us! This is the strangest Olympics I’ve seen, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be interesting and that I won’t watch.

By the way, I have been to Brazil…and it was the site of my most interesting “traveler’s tale”, but to be clear, this is real. Also, I’ll warn you: it can be disturbing.

We were on a houseboat on a tributary to the Amazon (just as tourists).

More of the local people than was normal weren’t coming back from hunting. There are a lot of risks, so not everybody comes back, but this was unusual.

They had some possibilities: giant catfish (a couple of meters…six feet) were supposedly one possibility.

Well, in addition to the houseboat we had a couple of little boats.

One of them hit some logs…and a body came up.

They could tell by looking at the body, that the killer was a caiman…like a crocodile, sort of. Caimans can’t move their jaws side to side, just up and down. Crocodiles solve that problem with the “death spiral”; grab a limb and spin around to tear it off.

Caimans put you somewhere until you get soft.

They asked us to help look for the caiman.

At night, we went out with other people from the houseboat with flashlights (we were all in boats). We were supposed to be able to tell how big they were (it had to be a big one) by how far apart the red dots were which were their eyes. We were terrible at it…one of my siblings thought they saw a big one…and a crewperson brought it over to us, at about a meter long.🙂

At one point, they told us to go back to the houseboat.

We did.

The next morning, the Captain told us what had happened.

They thought they had the right one (I’ve never known how, and what was going on was quite emotional, so I didn’t interrupt the story and ask).

The captain said something like, “I got in the water and–”

At  that point, we did interrupt!

“Why did you get in the water?”

Captain: “If I am in the boat and I miss it, I don’t know where it will go. If I am in the water and I miss it, it will come after me, and I will get a second shot.”

This was all said quite matter-of-factly.

They cut it open at the site and confirmed there were human body parts in it.

They brought back the head for us to see…it was about a meter/yard by itself.

They told us that from the tip of the tail to the tip of the snout, it was about 5 meters…about sixteen and a half feet.

It was certainly a tragedy…and really shows us how differently people live their lives around the world. That one of the amazing things about reading…it gives us, in some small way, a chance to experience the thoughts and feelings of people from around the world.

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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

3 Responses to “The Olympics are in Brazil…and so is Amazon!”

  1. jjhitt Says:

    I can’t see a reference to Portuguese literature without thinking of Pedro Carolino’s ‘English As She Is Spoke’.

    Several editions exist for the Kindle:

    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_18?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=english+as+she+is+spoke+kindle&sprefix=English+as+she+is+%2Caps%2C149

  2. Lady Galaxy Says:

    Another good reason to read, as if anyone ever needed a reason:
    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/08/03/read-books-live-longer/?em_pos=small&emc=edit_hh_20160805&nl=well&nl_art=3&nlid=73901939&ref=headline&te=1&_r=0

    • Allie Says:

      Lady Galaxy: I wonder if it’s because if people are busy reading, they spend less time doing risky stuff? Or even simple-seeming things like driving. If you spend half an hour reading, you’re not spending half an hour on the highway… which is PRETTY safe but not quite as safe as the people home reading.
      Just random musing on the subject!! Of course you need no extra reasons to read! Thanks for the link.🙂

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