Amazon is closing Westland, the Indian publishing company it acquired in 2016. What will happen to its catalogue and authors?

From The New Publishing Standard:

Amazon’s latest triumph of hope over experience comes to an end with the slow realisation that the India publishing industry, even if you own the largest digital platform in the world and have bought a successful home-grown publishing house with some of the country’s biggest author brands, is not a get rich quick scheme.

India has long been a triumph of hope over experience for Amazon, which has invested billions in the hope of one day returning profit from this huge market of 1.4 billion people, 755 million of whom are online.

. . . .

We don’t know, and likely never will, whether Westland ran at a loss for Amazon, but we can safely say Amazon is taking a loss by not selling on the company, rather choosing to close it down and absorb the human assets into the system. That of course being a reflection of how Amazon does business, not of Westland. Amazon buys, grows and profits from its acquisitions or buries them, to ensure a competitor doesn’t pick up the pieces.

In this case Amazon acquired Westland from Tata Trent back in 2016, and of course used its own platform to promote the books of its publishing company, just as it does APub – although interestingly Amazon never sought to meld Westland with APub.

Link to the rest at The New Publishing Standard

1 thought on “Amazon is closing Westland, the Indian publishing company it acquired in 2016. What will happen to its catalogue and authors?”

  1. Talking around an NDA:

    Whether “Westland ran at a loss” is beyond my knowledge. I make no statement regarding that, or Amazon’s standards for it.

    There were significant IP issues with Westland’s catalog, and the operation of India-based publishing businesses (especially for English-language books first published abroad), that almost certainly proved more significant than was anticipated at the time of the acquisition. The OP falls deeply, deeply into the trap of assuming that “the way business, and publishing in particular, operates in the US is the default, and everybody else just follows the US model with perhaps a few tweaks.” On the basis of personal knowledge: Not so much.

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