At the Writer’s Guide to E-Publishing, Mark Williams, one half of the Saffina Desforges writing team, explains why 99 cent e-books often cost considerably more outside the US, namely because of the 15% VAT in the EU and the two US-dollar Amazon surcharge levied on every e-book sale to any country outside its favoured fourteen. And the brand-new Kindles are only available in the US as well And you’re actually relatively well off, if Amazon only charges you two dollars extra for an e-book (including a free e-book), because they don’t serve many country, particularly in Africa and Asia, at all.
I already blogged about the Amazon surcharge a while back and touched upon the problems facing readers in countries not served by Amazon in this post on the main blog, but it really bears repeating: So far, the so-called e-book revolution is mainly a Western phenomenon and likely will remain so for a while, because Amazon is deliberately making it difficult for people in many countries to buy e-books.
Luckily, some of the smaller vendors are more on the ball. This is also why I’d advice any author not just to publish with Amazon and Barnes & Noble.