On the heels of Amazon’s announcement that it is launching a German-language publishing program, PW has received a copy of a memo from Jeff Belle, v-p of Amazon Publishing, about the company’s plans to hire 70 more staffers in 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 a note soliciting recruits. He added that he was "encouraged" by the recently launched Kindle Worlds, Jet City Comics, Waterfall Press, StoryFront, and Day One literary journal.
At present Amazon has 15 publishing imprints and, according to Belle, it ranks #3 on Kindle in the U.S. for paid units, and #1 on copies sold per new release. He also deemed the company’s Kindle First program--it was introduced in November and allows Prime members to download one free pre-publication e-book and others to buy one for $1.99 from a selection of Amazon Publishing titles--"a hit."
From the memo it’s clear that Amazon has already begun a big push into the U.K., where it will release more than 500 titles this year. The books will include a combination of U.S.-acquired books to be published simultaneously in the U.K. and U.K. acquisitions. As for Germany, Belle said that the goal is to publish more than 200 German-language books in 2014.