Amazon Publishing to Expand in US, UK, Germany

While many AmazonPublishing_thumb.jpgin the press have framed Amazon's publishing efforts as being in retreat, or a failed effort, or having been stymied by B&N, Amazon doesn't see it that way.

An internal memo "leaked" earlier this week, and it revealed that Amazon has by no means given up on disrupting the publishing industry. According to Jeff Belle, the VP of Amazon Publishing, they're planning to hire dozens of more people and  vastly expand their publishing efforts, particularly in the UK.

This news comes on the heels of Amazon’s announcement that they were expanding their German-language publishing division, but that was just the tip of the iceberg. Amazon is planning to release 200 titles in Germany this year and they are also making a major effort to enter the UK book market, where they plan to release 500 titles this year. Many of the titles will go to print simultaneously in the US and the UK.

Amazon has been publishing ebooks in Germany since at least last July, but to be honest this is the first I have heard that they were pursuing a major presence in the UK. While Amazon did of course publish Kindle Singles in the UK, the new effort is going to require a significant increase in staff as the production scales to meet Belle's ambitious goals.

In fact, Amazon Publishing is going to be hiring at least 70 more staffers in a number of locations, including Seattle, New York, Luxembourg, London, and Munich. The jobs will range from editorial to operations and business development.

"We owe our growth to a talented group of authors, such as Helen Bryan, whose sales across her two Amazon Publishing books War Brides and The Sisterhood recently surpassed 1M copies," wrote Belle in the internal memo.

Amazon has 15 publishing imprints at present. According to Mr. Belle, Amazon's publishing division ranks  as the third largest publisher on Kindle in the U.S. for paid units, and it ranks first on copies sold per new release.


About Nate Hoffelder (11473 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

2 Comments on Amazon Publishing to Expand in US, UK, Germany

  1. Not sure the UK, Germany and Luxembourg quite qualify as “worldwide”.

    Looks like Amazon are, as with their ebooks, quite unable to step outside the old print-world territorial straight-jacket they were raised wearing.

    Given Amazon’s inability to impact on the US market with its own publishing efforts is is hard to imagine their doing any better in the UK and Germany.

    The fact that Amazon can only manage third place with its own titles on Kindle, when it owns the shop window, has total control over pricing, controls everything readers get to see, and supposedly has all this wonderful customer data from Goodreads, etc, is pretty unimpressive.

    With Amazon market share continuing to fall in the US, UK and Germany one has to wonder why any author looking to the long-term would want to hand their work to Amazon. The short-term rewards of in-house promo have to be weighed against the unavailability to readers outside the Amazon ecosphere.

    Hard to imagine key UK and German bookstores being any more welcoming to Amazon print titles than B&N were.

  2. Well, now…
    One would think the odds of Waterstones carrying Amazon publishing titles to be non-zero as they are already Amazon partners on the Kindle front precisely to attract Amazon customers to the stores. Refusing to stock their books would only send shoppers back to Amazon online.

    As for the local publishing operations, Amazon already sells their titles globally and they accept authors from all over–one of their publishing imprints is explicitly about translating titles in and out of english. Setting up regional publishing operations is likely aboug digging deeper, perhaps for content with local appeal and not just global. Or it might be their version of “Think global, act local”.,_act_locally#Business

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