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Amazon launches India Kindle Store

Amazon continues its Kindle expansion abroad with a new India Kindle Store and a partnership with Indian retailer Croma to sell Kindle hardware.

Croma will sell the standard non touch-screen Kindle 4 for 6,999 INR or about $126.

Chalk up India as the next destination for the Kindle, as Amazon has launched the new India Kindle Store and partnered with Indian electronics retailer Croma to sell the Kindle in Croma retail outlets across the country for 6,999 INR or about $126.

That Kindle model is the entry-level, non-touch-screen Kindle, which sells for $79 in the U.S. in a "Special Offers" ad-supported version. The Kindle sold in India will not be ad-supported.

Amazon says the India Kindle Store offers over one million books -- now available for India customers priced in Indian Rupees (INR) -- including 70 of 100 Nielsen Bestsellers, and has the "lowest prices of any e-bookstore in India."

Along with those Nielsen Bestsellers, Amazon is serving up range of Indian authors, including Chetan Bhagat, Ashwin Sanghi, Ravinder Singh and Amish Tripathi. Additionally, Amazon has also launched Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for independent authors and publishers in India. With the country having an estimated population of 1.2 billion people, the store should fill up quickly with self-published titles and Amazon is already offering such Kindle exclusives as "Love, Life and a Beer Can" by Prashant Sharma, and "Reality Bites; a not so innocent Love Story" by Anurag Anand (as well as over one million free classics).

It's also worth noting that U.S. writers who use Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) should now be able to offer their books up in the India Kindle Store and market their titles directly to Indian customers. While the U.S. remains the largest e-book market, the international e-book market is growing at a faster rate and self-publishers are easily able to offer their wares up for sale in those new markets.

In recent months, Amazon has been aggressively moving into e-book markets abroad, with Apple and Kobo also making big pushes into overseas markets. Earlier this week, Barnes & Noble finally announced that it was launching the Nook outside the U.S. (in the U.K.) and will presumably be targeting other countries to expand its brand.

Amazon says the India Kindle Store offers one million books. Amazon