Amazon Committing $10 Million to Grow Literary Translation Imprint AmazonCrossing

Posted on October 13, 2015

Cover of The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch

Amazon Publishing announced that its sinking $10 million into its literary translation imprint called AmazonCrossing. Amazon will commit to funding $10 million over the next five years to greatly increase the number of books it will translate and offer in English in the United States.

The company ways it is determined to increase the diversity of the books it publishes in the U.S. The company is already one of the biggest publishers of translated books in the U.S. Since its inception the company has translated and offered for sale 200 titles in 19 languages from authors in 29 countries. This year it will offer 77 titles from 15 countries and 12 languages. The cash infusion is needed to buy rights andpay translators to bring the works to English speaking readers.

Amazon is actively looking for literary translators, as well as for new foreign books to translate. AmazonCrossing is asking authors, agents and publishers to suggest titles for translation at the new website. It is accepting submissions in the following genres: mystery, thriller, women’s fiction, historical fiction, literary fiction, memoir, science fiction and fantasy. The editors are at the Frankfurt Book Fair and will be taking submissions in person on October 14th from 11:00 am-1:00 pm in Hall 3.0, K31.

AmazonCrossing has been around for five years and shows no signs of slowing down. Some of the foreign works it has published include German author Oliver Pötzsch's Hangman's Daughter series and Turkish author Ayse Kulin' Last Train to Istanbul. Books which will read American audiences next year include Pierced by the Sun by Laura Esquivel, Mexican author of Like Water for Chocolate and Rage by Polish author Zygmunt Miloszewski.

It's a smart move by Amazon. It takes foreign books that are proven sellers in their home country and introduces them to American readers who are looking for something new. Crime and mystery novels seem to translate very well into English and it can be a lucrative enterprise given the increasing globalization of literature.

Photo: AmazonCrossing