Spain’s Digital Times

December 19th, 2011 by Almudena_Santalices | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Spain’s Digital Times
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It seems these days we only think about ebooks. Two Spanish publishing houses, Ediciones B and Planeta, and Spain’s biggest bookseller Casa del Libro, just launched new products, all of them related to the electronic books.

Ediciones B has not only launched last month a new digital imprint, B de Books, but also claims to be “the first e-book publishing venture without DRM encryption”.  In the beginning B de Books will have 300 titles available and will be able to buy online in platforms such as Amazon, Libranda and Apple.  For its part, Planeta has released two new low-priced e-book imprints: Zafiro (for romance) and Scyla (for science fiction, fantasy and horror).

Casa del Libro is currently the e-book market leader in Spain, and launched November 23th its e-reader Tagus, a six-inch screen, Wi-Fi-enabled device, with a copy of the Real Academia Española dictionary.  It also offers cloud storage of an unlimited number of titles for an unlimited time. E-books can be browsed online and read offline on other devices after downloading a free app from Android Market and the Apple App Store. According to Xavi Solà, this release has given access to “the largest Spanish-language book catalogue in the world”.

Since this September Amazon has begun operating in Spain, offering printed titles, before launching the Spanish Kindle. It is also worth mentioning the positioning of Google Books. Luis Collado, director for Spain and Portugal Google Books and Ebooks says “the firm aims to make reading e-books as easy as using email”.

– Almudena Santalices

Sources: ABC / Publishing Perspectives.

Liber 2011, International Spanish Book Fair

October 11th, 2011 by Almudena_Santalices | 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).