March 20, 2015
Amazon Publishing dons a beret
by Kirsten Reach
Amazon Publishing has arrived in France, with Clément Monjou moving from their Kindle and AppStore to head the division.
The first two books coming up from Amazon Publishing France are a romance novel by Stephanie Bond and a thriller by Dave Buschi. Monjou, who edited eBoutiquin.fr before his time at Amazon, will serve as senior editor. He has to figure out three more titles to publish before the end of the month. (No pressure.)
Former Waterstones managing director Dominic Myers is the head of Amazon Publishing in Europe. Frankly, the expansion in Europe is a head-scratcher; Amazon Publishing in the U.S. hasn’t had the kind of big success you’d expect from a company before it expands internationally. Then again, it doesn’t seem profit is Amazon Publishing’s bottom line. (Or Amazon’s bottom line.) The publishing division is a small arm of a retail giant.
In October, Amazon became the leading online retailer in France. The French Parliament has been working hard to prevent this. They passed the “Anti-Amazon Law” at the end of last June, which is designed to prevent online retailers from offering free shipping AND a 5% discount.
The French can slow the discounting, but Amazon will continue to build its presence in Europe in any way it can.
Kirsten Reach is an editor at Melville House.