I’m always the last person to know. But just in case there’s someone even more out of the loop than I am, I’ve just discovered AmazonCrossing. In 2010 Amazon.com launched the imprint which specializes in foreign language books translated into English. The books chosen are determined by “customer feedback and other data from Amazon sites to identify exceptional works that deserve a wider, global audience”.
This was all brought to my attention while I was writing my review of The Hangman’s Daughter, which was one of the first two books the imprint acquired. What I find exciting is how they choose which books to translate and publish. It’s all driven by sales – which in theory will allow “monolingual” readers (why does the prefix “mono” make everything sound like a highly contagious disease?) access to best sellers of the non-literary persuasion. Books like The Hangman’s Daughter, that probably won’t be picked up by one of the small indie press that specializes in translations.
The easiest way to find out what their offering is to type “AmazonCrossing” into the Amazon.com search engine. About 51 books came up right away…all of which are available on the Kindle.
4 thoughts on “AmazonCrossing”
You’re not the last to know — I’ve never heard of this programme before. Perhaps it only applies to the American site? Must investigate further… thanks for letting me know about it.
Hi Kimbofo! Thanks for the comment & apologies for my delayed response. I’d love to know what you find out. I did a quick check on Amazon UK and they do sell some AmazonCrossing books – but I wonder if there are rights issues involved? (I’m sure other English speaking countries get translations of books we’ve never heard of in the states if only because of proximity?)
I understand the point of AmazonCrossing but I haven’t actually had any experience with the books published through the program. I think there’s some sense behind the idea (that not all translated literature has to be supremely highbrow, certainly!) but am also a bit hesitant to dive in. I’ll be curious to hear what you think of their choices, should you get around to reading more of them.
Hi Biblibio –
Out of curiosity, why the feeling of hesitancy?