Liber 2011, International Spanish Book Fair

October 11th, 2011 | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Liber 2011, International Spanish Book Fair
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Last week, Liber, the 29th International Spanish Book Fair took place in Madrid. Three days of exhibition, 443 businesses stands from 21 countries and 12,000 visitors from all over the world validated its status as “the main book business industry platform dedicated to the Spanish language and one of the most important international book gathering”.

An improvement of this year was the introduction of a new section: Liber Digital. Twenty-five specialized firms have participated. Arantxa Mellado, space coordinator, says, “It has been extremely well received by professionals. It has not only met the expectations of the participants, there are, also those who even have confirmed that only on the first day have achieved a return.” Also, David Sanchez, the creator of 24symbols, affirms, “in addition to meeting the expectations, we found that the sector is launching and customers are willing to change”.

A study by the Federation of Spanish Publishers’ Guilds, suggests 75% of Spanish publishers are either selling digital works already, digitising existing content or creating exclusively digital material. It found that by 2012, a quarter of Spain’s 900-plus publishers expect to sell digital versions of more than half their backlist and a third will distribute a higher number of new titles as e-books, principally for tablets and mobile telephones rather than e-readers.

Amazon Spain, launched last month, is one of the first attempts of the shift that is taking place in the publishing industry. The webpage offers books in Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque languages. Moreover, we should not forget about Libranda, “a company whose mission is to provide logistic, technical, commercial and, administrative services to publishers, bookshops, enabling them to efficiently manage the digital environment in which they are immersed”.

Even though the digital revolution is starting, it is really slow in the high street. Robert Strokes considers that “sales of e-readers are concentrated mainly in larger stores. In general, the smaller the store the less likely it was to sell either”.

Andres Has thinks that “no matter how many startups there have been and how much potential there is in the market, there is much to be done: not only are there a limited e-books available, those that wish to read them still have very few options for devices on which they can be read”. What Has believes is true,but the Spanish publishing industry is aware of the importance of the change and is on track to become a massive phenomenon.

By Almu Santalices


References: Ifema, Publishing Perspectives, The Independent, The Bookseller (2).