Retail giant Amazon has is making sure that english language readers will have access to more exotic and foreign reading material than ever before. The company has committed a massive $10 million, to be distributed over the next five years, to help translate more books into the English language.
AmazonCrossing, the translation arm of the company — which was launched back in 2010 and has already converted almost 200 titles in 19 languages from authors in 29 countries — will be using the monies to pay translators, as well as increase its intake of material from different languages and countries.
The company has also launched a brand new portal which can be used by publishers, authors, and agents alike, to suggest new books for translation.
As per Sarah Jane Gunter, publisher of AmazonCrossing and general manager of International Publishing,
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. 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.
The move — while certainly very great from an academic viewpoint — also offers Amazon the chance to reach its hands into a market with vast potentials. Translating these books will allow Amazon exclusive rights, and not only as a seller but also as a publisher. That being said, we can probably depend upon Amazon to take its pick out of the bestselling titles in the foreign languages.
The company already has considerable past experience in the field of publishing and has churned out works from popular authors such as Oliver Pötzsch, the writer of the best-selling Hangman’s Daughter series.