Dominic Myers made Europe head of Amazon Publishing

Dominic Myers made Europe head of Amazon Publishing

Former Waterstones boss Dominic Myers has become the head of Amazon Publishing in Europe, with a brief to launch new European offices.

Myers will be located in Amazon’s headquarters in Luxembourg and will be charged with managing Amazon’s publishing operations in the UK and Germany, as well as the expansion plans.

In a note released by Amazon, Jeff Belle, vice president of Amazon Publishing, told "friends": “Dominic was previously the managing director of Waterstones in the UK and brings with him deep retail and book industry experience. Dominic will be located at our Luxembourg headquarters, overseeing our UK and German businesses, as well as launching new offices as we expand our European publishing efforts.”

Myers headed up Waterstones in the two years before the HMV Group sold it to the current owner, Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut, in 2011, at which point James Daunt was appointed as m.d of the bookselling chain. He was most recently working as a non-executive director for the e-book platform Anobii, which became E-books by Sainsbury’s.

Belle said in his letter that Amazon Publishing was now the second most read publisher on its Kindle platform in the US based on paid-for copies.

Belle said: “Our international business continues to grow as well. We have released 118 titles in Germany so far this year, including original works from bestselling authors Emily Bold and Marcus Hünnebeck… In the UK, we are delighted to see early success on the books we have published in the past nine months, with all of them regularly appearing in the UK top 100 Kindle charts.”

Amazon has been pushing its publishing arm in the UK this year, and plans to release 500 titles in 2014. It recently hired Eoin Purcell to head Amazon Publishing UK and earlier this year said its aim was to build “the world’s most author-centric publishing house”.

The news that Amazon plans to expand its publishing operations across Europe also follows its success in having some Thomas & Mercer titles stocked in bookshops in the UK, including W H Smith and Waterstones.

The announcement of Myers' appointment also comes on the same day that Amazon's Kindle First programme launches in the UK. The service offers customers access to Amazon Publishing titles a month ahead of their official release dates. The scheme means customers can get one featured book – chosen by Amazon Publishing editors – for 99p each month. Amazon Prime members will be able to get their chosen title for free.
Editors will also add a note of recommendation to chosen titles, and a “behind-the-scenes look at the stories and the authors”.

The first books in Kindle First, now available, are From the Cradle by Mark Edwards and Louise Voss (Thomas & Mercer); The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning (AmazonCrossing); The Fallow Season of Hugo Hunter by Craig Lancaster (Lake Union Pulishing); and My Sister's Grave by Robert Dugoni (Thomas & Mercer). All are published in November. Customers can sign up for a monthly email alerting them to new Kindle First selections, and books can be downloaded from the Kindle store on or via a Kindle device. All Kindle First books become part of a customer’s permanent Kindle library and can be read on any Kindle device and Kindle free reading apps.

Myers said: “Kindle First adds even more value to our Prime membership and we’re delighted to be able to offer these great titles as early exclusives to all of our customers.
“Not only is this another great service for our customers, it’s also a brilliant showcase for the amazing work being done by Amazon Publishing authors, who will have their books discovered and enjoyed by an even wider audience.”