Ebooks in Welsh on Kindle

I've just received an email from Y Lolfa saying that their petition to Amazon to allow ebooks in Welsh to be published on the Kindle platform is due to close on 12 July.

Amazon E-book Petition

Thank you for signing the petition calling on Amazon to allow the publishing of Welsh language e-Books on Kindle. It has been signed by over 4,000 people to date. We will close the petition on Friday the 12th of July. We will be sending copies of the petition to the headquarters of Amazon in Seattle and Luxemburg and to Amazon’s Director of Public Policy in Brussels. Copies will also be sent to Meri Hughes, the Welsh Language Commissioner and to Carwyn Jones, the First Minister of Wales.

So far it has been extremely difficult to get any response from Amazon and we would appreciate any suggestions on how we can get Amazon to change their minds. You are welcome to call on friends to sign the petition by following this link http://www.deisebelyfrau.org/

Pob hwyl

Garmon Gruffudd

It is particularly unfair for Amazon to single out Welsh this way because they already publish ebooks in other minority languages such as Basque, Catalan and Galician. There is no conceivable technical difficulty in publishing ebooks in Welsh. In fact Y Lolfa has published ebooks on the Kindle platform in Welsh before, using the loophole of officially describing them as being in English. But Amazon have now closed that loophole and will not allow any more ebooks in Welsh to be published on Kindle. That's why this petition is so important.


I've just checked the website and 4,102 people have signed so far. To me, that seems to be a pathetically low number. So I'm writing this post to urge more people to sign before it closes next week. Let's make a concerted effort to get this number into the tens of thousands, using our blogs, social media, email lists and any other means we can think of.

Bookmark and Share


Anonymous said...

Just signed it. It's the first I'd heard of it to be fair.

Later I shall make a fancy graphic and share it on FB/Twitter where I suspect it will prove popular.

Pwll y Carw said...

Completely agree MH. Absolutely crucial. Signed and tweeted.

Also worth noting that WikiCymraeg entries are lower than other comparable European language groups. If every Welsh speaker contributed just one entry on a field they know something about...

It is an amazing resource and should be exploited to the full.

Funny how technology could be the death knell or panacea of minority languages... too early to call?

Efrogwr said...

I have also signed. The tweet text needs rewriting - it doesn't convey the injustice or even what the issue is.

MH said...

For any who missed it first time round, the story broke in April. There's a piece here in Wales Online. Reading that article again reminds me that Kindle were successfully pressured into publishing an ebook in Cornish. So previous efforts have proved to be successful, and I hope that this will encourage people to think that signing up will not be a pointless waste of effort.

I think it is also worth saying that nobody is asking Amazon to do anything that will cost them money. All the work of converting a book to the Kindle format is done by individual publishing firms like Y Lolfa. We just need Amazon to allow them and other publishers to sell ebooks in Welsh on the portal.


As for Wiki, I couldn't agree more, PyC. But I'd go so far as to say that people don't actually need specialist knowledge. They can simply translate articles in other languages into Welsh. It doesn't matter too much if people make a few mistakes, because other Wiki users can correct them.

As a suggestion, it's probably easier to expand a "stub" or short article than to start a new one from scratch. Just so that Gwasg Gomer doesn't feel left out, look how much shorter the Welsh entry for Llandysul is compared with the English version.

In terms of the general picture, I think digital technology will actually help. It's just that we haven't caught up with the possibilities it offers.


I can do a blog, but I've never really got into how Twitter and Facebook work, Efrogwr. But if you tweet something suitably "punchy", I'll reweet it.

Anonymous said...

I made a guide on how to use twitter if you want to see it. I've been meaning to post a page about FB too. I think once people see the reach of a post on FB in comparison to their blogs they will be amazed. I noticed you have a page on FB Syniadau but you've never used it. At the very least you should connect it to your twitter so it auto posts.

Efrogwr said...

Just to clarify - I meant the tweet option on the when you click through to the petition, not a tweet from this blog. When you sign the petition you are invited to tell your "followers" simply this: "Deiseb e-lyfrau Cymraeg - Llofnodwch nawr! - Welsh e-books petition - Sign now! http://www.deisebelyfrau.org"

Dewi Harries said...

Lan i 4,456

Post a Comment