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.