Amazon Trio: New German Imprint, Kindle Drop, Higher Prime

In German Buch News by Dennis Abrams

By Dennis Abrams

Amazon Publishing announced the launch of a new German-language publishing program under the Amazon Publishing umbrella. The European Amazon Publishing Team will acquire German-language fiction for publication in Kindle and print editions on Amazon.“We’ve been delighted with the reader response to the German translations released by Amazon Publishing, and are excited to have Publisher Sarah Tomashek and her team in Munich supporting our efforts to bring great works written in German to a wider audience,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice President of Kindle, EU.

The program’s debut list for spring 2014 includes:

Klang der Gezeiten (The Sound of the Tides), a new work of contemporary fiction from international best-selling author Emily Bold.

A new murder mystery featuring Berlin police investigator Jan Tommen from best-selling author Alexander Hartung, and a new edition of the first book in the series, Bis alle Schuld belgichen (Until All Debts Are Cleared).

New York fur Anfangerinnen (New York for Beginners), the romantic best-selling debut novel from FOCUS Magazine New York Bureau Chief Susann Remke.

“By publishing my new book Klang der Gezeiten with Amazon Publishing, I’ll have a visionary publishing partner by my side who can flexibly react to fast changes within the book market,” said Bold, whose previous works Touch of Eternity and Breath of Yesterday, both from “The Curse” series, were published in English by Amazon Publishing. “My successful partnership with Amazon Publishing in the U.S. encouraged me in my decision to publish with them in Germany.”

Sarah Jane Gunter, Director of International Publishing, said, “Over the past five years, Amazon Publishing has worked hard to create an author-centric publishing experience that connects readers with outstanding fiction and non-fiction from around the world. We’re excited to expand the opportunities we can provide to German authors by acquiring and publishing works in German, building on the success we have had bringing top German authors to English-language readers through our AmazonCrossing translation imprint.”

Kindle PaperwhiteAnd in another story, Trefis Team at Forbes examined the value of Kindle hardware sales for Amazon, and wasn’t impressed by what they saw:

“We estimate that Amazon’s sales of Kindle devices stood at roughly 2.4 million in 2009. This figure shot up to 20.1 million by 2012 and at that point it appeared that it could turn into a very big business. Most of this growth acceleration was fueled by the launch of Kindle Fire tablet in the last quarter of 2011. Amazon garnered some success initially but the celebrations didn’t last long as there was a slight decline in 2013.

“The outlook is grim and as a result, we estimate that this business constitutes less than 5% of the company’s value. The overall value of Kindle devices, however, extends beyond hardware sales and appears to be a strategic pursuit by Amazon to promote and sell digital content. The company earned an estimated $3.9 billion in revenues from sales of Kindle devices, barely enough to cover its next shipping costs of $3.5 billion.”

Forbes estimates that Kindle sales, including both the basic e-reader and the Kindle Fire, came down a bit in 2013, to 19.7 million. They attribute much of the drop to increased competition from Android-based tablets, which they believe took some share away from Kindle. In the future, Forbes predicts that “Samsung, Apple and other companies will continue to dominate the market with their technically superior products and operating systems, that boast of a very large app library as well. Additionally, we believe that e-readers may lose popularity and utility as consumers continue to flock towards tablets for multipurpose use.”

Read the entire article here,

And finally, CNN Money reports that for the first time since its launch nine years ago, Amazon is increasing the yearly fee for Amazon Prime from $79 to $99 per year. They speculate that:

“Amazon’s quick, free delivery and wide product offering is causing major problems for traditional brick and mortar retailers. There are risks that some Prime members will drop the service with the higher fee. But Prime membership might still make sense at the higher rate, depending on how often they take advantage of the free two-day shipping option.”

About the Author

Dennis Abrams

Dennis Abrams is a contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives, responsible for news, children's publishing and media. He's also a restaurant critic, literary blogger, and the author of "The Play's The Thing," a complete YA guide to the plays of William Shakespeare published by Pentian, as well as more than 30 YA biographies and histories for Chelsea House publishers.