Amazon’s literary translation imprint, the prolific AmazonCrossing has expanded its submissions website to cater for 13 new languages, including Arabic:
It was October 2015 when AmazonCrossing announced a $10 million investment in translating literature into English. Although the imprint hasn’t yet brought out a book translated from Arabic, they have signed on at least one Arabic novel, and seem to be actively seeking more. Indeed, the AmazonCrossing website, which was previously English-only, now allows users to submit book proposals in Arabic, in addition to Bengali, German, English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, Punjabi, Polish, Portuguese, and Russian.
Already, AmazonCrossing has published more than 300 books in translation, which makes it the single-biggest force in literary translation in the US. According to a report in The Seattle Times, “in 2016, there were 607 fiction and poetry translations and Amazon was responsible for about 10 percent, in languages as diverse as Finnish, Hebrew, Indonesian and Chinese.”
This year, AmazonCrossing Editorial Director Gabriella Page-Fort was named 2017 PW Star Watch ‘Superstar.’
Mikyla Bruder, publisher of Amazon Publishing, said, according to The Bookseller:
We have received excellent submissions through the website and today’s announcement empowers those who do not speak English to get in touch with us more easily, and we are excited to meet this expanded network of passionate readers. Our editors find books for translation from a variety of sources, and the new localized submissions website opens the door for suggestions from a variety of countries and languages, including those traditionally underrepresented in translation.
Translator and ArabLit contributor Sawad Hussain was also quoted in The Bookseller, saying, “Localizing the website into Arabic as well as other languages marginalized in the English publishing world, is both a helpful practical change and an important statement on inclusivity.”