Amazon has established a second publishing imprint, launching, AmazonCrossing, which will do English-language translations of foreign-language books. Its first title will be Tierno Monénembo’s The King of Kahel, which will be released on Nov. 2. English-language editions of The King of Kahel will be available in print format through Amazon’s online store and will also be released as an e-book.
Amazon said it will choose titles for AmazonCrossing the same way it does for AmazonEncore--using customer feedback and “other data from Amazon sites around the world to identify exceptional books deserving a wider, global audience.” In addition to selling the titles through its own channels, Amazon hopes to sell AmazonCrossing books in bookstores.
Amazon’s creation of the new imprint won the endorsement of Chad Post, publisher of Open Letter Books, a nonprofit press that publishes only works in translation. “There are many thousands of books out there worthy of being translated and published in English, but that are currently unavailable to us monolingual readers,” said Post. “The more international books that are available in English, the better. It’s exciting to see a company like Amazon investing in such a worthy cause like AmazonCrossing, and in a way that will definitely help expand the audience for literature in translation.”
Kahel was originally published in France in 2008 and was the winner of the French literary prize, the prix Renaudot, which is awarded to the author of an outstanding original novel published during the current year. Monénembo is the author of nine books and one stage play.