Amazon has announced it will invest $10 million over the next five years into translating more books into English.
AmazonCrossing, the translation imprint of Amazon Publishing, has helped translate 200 titles in 19 languages from authors in 29 countries since it launched back in 2010. The fresh $10 million in funding will boost its translation and help increase the number of languages and countries it currently caters to.
Alongside today’s news, the company is also launching a new portal that allows publishers, authors, and agents to suggest books for translation, across most common genres.
“While we are now one of the largest publishers of translated literature in the United States, translated fiction is still a tiny fraction of new publications,” said Sarah Jane Gunter, publisher of AmazonCrossing and general manager of International Publishing. “Our new website for submissions will help us cast a broader net in finding great books for translation, with the hope of increasing the number of acquisitions from countries that are traditionally underrepresented in translation.”
In the past, Amazon has published works from the likes of German author Oliver Pötzsch, who wrote the best-selling Hangman’s Daughter series. Translation offers a potentially lucrative inroad into the publishing realm for Amazon — by taking on proven hit books from other languages, it can claim exclusive access to the rights in English, both as a publisher and as a seller through Amazon.com.