While everyone is watching to see how Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) will counter Apple’s iPad, the online retailer is concentrating on other things. The company has unveiled its second publishing imprint, AmazonCrossing, which will acquire the rights to foreign-language titles and publish the English versions. Secondly, it has finally released a free Kindle for Android app a year after it created one for the iPhone and iPod touch and a month after its iPad app became available.
Amazon’s publishing move follows last year’s launch of AmazonEncore, a program aimed at promoting books from independent, unknown authors who stand a good chance of attracting a wider audience based on “buzz” from Amazon reviews. Once a book appears to garner a certain cult status, AmazonEncore kicks in with an offer to partner with the offer of marketing support and distribution through the online store as well as independent bookstores via third-party wholesalers.
The idea behind AmazonCrossing is similar, in that the e-tailer believes it can easily find books outside the U.S. to promote and publish, as an increasing share of Amazon’s revenues come from book sales.
Meanwhile, the addition of the Kindle Android app is designed to extend Amazon’s e-book sales to those who might not have a Kindle. All of which also gives Amazon another opportunity to show off its “openness,” as the company stresses that buying a Kindle e-book lets users read it across their PCs and Macs, as well as their Blackberry smartphones. The news also comes a few days after Google (NSDQ: GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt told shareholders that the company