Amazon To Shut Down Publishing House Westland, Authors Say “Rotten News”

From NDTV:

New Delhi: Much to the disappointment of book lovers, Westland, one of the largest publishing houses in India, is being shut down by e-commerce giant Amazon, they announced yesterday.

The publishing company, which was acquired by Amazon from Trent Ltd, a subsidiary of Tata Group, in 2016, has published works of several bestselling authors, including Amish Tripathi, Chetan Bhagat, Ashwin Sanghi, Rashmi Bansal, Rujuta Diwekar, Preeti Shenoy, Devdutt Pattanaik, Anuja Chauhan and Ravi Subramanian.

“After a thorough review, we have made the difficult decision to no longer operate Westland. We are working closely with the employees, authors, agents, and distribution partners on this transition and we remain committed to innovating for customers in India,” said Amazon in a statement.

The news regarding the closure came as a shock to the editors, Westland team members and its public relations agency, who according to a staff member requesting anonymity, were informed about the decision today only. It was particularly sad for bestselling fiction writer Ashwin Sanghi, who wrote his debut novel with Westland in 2008 and went on to publish a “dozen books” over that many years.

“It is sad to see the exit of a publishing institution. The Westland team is one of the finest in the business and there are many emotions and memories of my publishing journey with them that shall always remain with me,” Mr Sanghi told PTI.

Founded in 1962, Westland is one of India’s largest English-language trade publishers, bringing out print books and e-books in genres ranging from popular and literary fiction to business, politics, biography, spirituality, popular science, health and self-help.

Its key publishing imprints include ‘Context’, which publishes award-winning literary fiction and non-fiction; ‘Eka’, which publishes the best of contemporary writing in Indian languages and in translation; ‘Tranquebar’, home to the best new fiction from the Indian subcontinent, the eponymous Westland Sport and Westland Business; and Red Panda, which publishes a range of books for children of different ages.

Several of the Westland’s authors and readers took to Twitter to express their disappointment on the shutting down of a “great publishing house”.

Link to the rest at NDTV

PG doesn’t know if this is any sort of portent for Amazon’s English-language in-house publishing imprints, e.g. Lake Union Publishing, or not, but PG suspects someone in the bean-counting division that oversees Indian operations has dropped this bomb.

PG will be happy to see comments from those who are knowledgeable about this particular move by the Zon.

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