Amazon is in the process of launching its services in Russia and towards that end the retail giant has begun forging partnership with publishing houses to ensure it has enough ebooks to offer when it launches. The focus will be to offer ebooks initially, though printed books will be added to the catalog at a later stage. Rosman, one of Russia’s largest publishers of children’s books, has already been invited to supply content when Amazon rolls out its service in that country. As PublishingPerspectives points out, there will be about 100 to 150 titles offered to begin with, dealing with “reference, children’s and YA titles.” The title count is expected to go up to twice that figure by the end of the year.
Interestingly, Russians are already known for buying print books in the millions of dollars from Amazon’s overseas sites. Naturally, Russians will have a lot to save in reduced shipping costs once Amazon sets up shop in that country and begins offering printed books. What remains to be seen is how the US online retail giant copes up with the tyranny of Russian geography that is vast and equally varied, something that can easily be termed as a logistical nightmare. This, together with the lack of a pan-Russian book sales network like Barnes &Noble, that creates the perfect setting for ebooks to thrive, and as is evident elsewhere in the world, digital editions are already luring more readers than their printed counterparts.
Amazon has hired the services of former publisher of ABC-Atticus, Mr. Arkady Vitrukas, to head its operations in Russia. Once launched, Amazon will be up against Litres, who is the leading distributor of ebooks in the country. Meanwhile, Amazon is reported to be in discussion with several other domestic publishers, though no other names are available as yet. Also not known is precisely when Amazon is expected to launch its operation in Russia.