Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Buying Amazon ebooks from Malaysia

It had been a long time since I bought a paperback or even held one. Ever since I purchase my first ebook reader, the Amazon Kindle, I'm in loved with it. Not only I can purchase an ebook with a simple click online, they are also cheaper and I can also enjoy reading from a number of talented independent authors who doesn't publish in hardcopy. What a shame if we miss out their work just because they aren't famous enough to be snatch up by publishing house.

When I am reading a series, I often anticipate the next release by marking my calendar and make sure I purchase it only the release date. With ebook purchase, I doesn't need to go hunt down the book from the bookstore anymore. Since I'm in Malaysia, sometimes the book doesn't even get here on time.

One of my friend told me she had no problem buying Amazon ebook for her Kindle, she can even download it directly into her Kindle via wifi. However, I'm not that fortunate, whenever I tried buying ebook from my Kindle or tried to sync my Kindle to my purchase, I have this pop up message indicating that I'm out of their geographical range. In other words, they don't sell their ebooks to Malaysian customer.

Let me describe an easy way for me to purchase their ebook for my Kindle without resorting to illegal means, changing my IP address or performing all sorts of complicated technical steps.

  1. Ensure that under your Amazon account, you already have an US mailing and billing address. Set up your credit card details under 'Your payment option'. Refer to my post Buy Your Own Kindle from Malaysia where I explained these steps. But, you don't actually need a valid US address if you are only interested in buying ebooks. 
  2. Make sure your Kindle device have been registered. You have to check for this at both Amazon website and your Kindle. For Amazon website, go to 'Your Account', 'Manage Your Kindle' and then 'Manage Your Devices'. Check that your Kindle model with the exact serial number is already register there. If you find your device is not present at the page, email Amazon customer service with your serial number and get them to help you register. You can find your serial number in your Kindle by going to your Kindle homepage, click 'Menu', go to 'Setting', the serial number is near the bottom. 
  3. Next check that in your Kindle, your Amazon account also had been registered. Go to your Kindle homepage, click 'Menu', click 'Setting', enable wifi and make sure your device is connected to the wifi successfully. Usually, once you goes online, the device will be registered automatically (if you have already perform Step 2), you can check this under 'Registration'. If it shown not register yet, key in your Amazon email address and password. If all else fail, email Amazon customer service for help.
  4. Now that both your Amazon account and Kindle device are sync, disconnect your Kindle from wifi. This is to avoid them locating you at Malaysia while you make your ebook purchase. 
  5. Choose the ebook you would like to purchase from Amazon, click 'Add to cart' or 'Buy with 1 click'. 'Buy with 1 click' option will be available if you already save up your credit card information.
  6. After the transaction is successful, go to 'Manage Your Kindle'. You will see your Kindle library page. All the ebooks that you purchased can be viewed here. 
  7. To transfer the ebook into your Kindle, connect your Kindle to your laptop via usb cable. Choose the ebook you want and click 'Action' then choose 'Download and transfer via USB'. Then locate the downloaded file and transfer into your Kindle device by copy and paste.
Please note that all Kindle ebooks are now DRM protected, which means the downloaded file can only be read on your Kindle device with the matching serial number. This is why is important to make sure your device is registered correctly following Step 2 and 3. If you share the ebook file with your friend who also own a Kindle, it will not work on their device. 

I hope this help with some of my fellow Malaysian who faced problem with Amazon ebook purchases.