Each language has its own unique challenges and I thought I knew what to expect after translations into French, German and Spanish, but Russian unexpectedly presented me with a ridiculous amazon book riddle! My Russian translator did a superb job and so I thought that publishing on amazon would be straightforward, especially since Kindle Kids’ Book Creator has an option for Russian…
At first, my book was accepted for sale on amazon, but bizarrely, I could not find appropriate categories for it, despite seeing other Kindle books in Russian on the site. When I asked amazon for help they told me that they did not accept books in Russian! When I highlighted other Russian language books on their site and mentioned Kindle Kids’ Book Creator’s Russian option feature I was told “Russian is not supported on our KDP platform for Kindle devices and apps.” They went on to explain that “Until we can be sure that readers will have a consistently optimal experience reading their Books in a given language, we can’t support that language.”
I have now discovered that other authors have encountered similar language oddities with amazon. Just because a foreign language book is somehow on the site does not mean it should “officially” be there and so authors run the risk of amazon’s quality team suppressing it.
Since being instructed to “unpublish” my book, other Russian translators have told me that amazon is unlikely to have much of an audience in Russia and so I should explore alternative, especially local, options. Nevertheless, I know that Russian books do exist on amazon and since I already use their system why don’t they let me join those other authors? Amazon have told me that they will inform me if things change in the future, but I think it is a shame that they still seem to be overlooking major foreign languages (Russian is a working languages of the UN!) when it is possible to publish in various lesser known ones.