AmazonCrossing, the Amazon.com publishing arm that deals with works translated into English, will dedicate $10 million to expand its efforts over the next five years. This move will most likely position the publisher as the largest of translations in the US:
Even without exact numbers, there is more than enough evidence to suggest that AmazonCrossing has found a level of success. It’s published over 600 books over the last five years, including the million-selling Hangman’s Daughter; and Amazon doesn’t often make lengthy, multi-million dollar commitments like the one it announced last week to projects that aren’t bringing in revenue. AmazonCrossing has found this success by avoiding competition with traditional publishers for authors and books—instead, it seeks out stories that connect with readers in places other publishers aren’t looking, effectively using American publishers’ abysmal translation rate against them. And, because American publishers translate so little, foreign agents and authors are more willing to work with Amazon than their American colleagues—they have fewer options.