• Table of contents

    • [+]Preliminaries (3)
    • [+]Introduction (4)
    • [—]Latin America (13)
    • [+]Sub-Saharan Africa (9)
    • [+]Arab World (11)
    • [+]Russia (11)
    • [+]India (11)
    • [+]China (9)
    • [+]Conclusions (6)
    • [+]Appendix (1)

Latin America

Latin America

A new wave of virtual stores

At the same time, numerous traditional bookstores have discovered successful formulas for selling paper books via the Web,[1] perhaps as a consequence of the greater propensity on the part of consumers to buy online, with Brazil leading the statistics in this area.[2] But it is perhaps the incorporation of electronic books into these stores’ catalogues that constitutes the real difference in relation to previous years. Thus, bookstores like Saraiva and Cultura (Brazil), Paidós (Argentina), Gandhi (Mexico), Sophos (Guatemala) and Librería de la U (Colombia) among many others, sell backlists of tens of thousands of e-books in Spanish, Portuguese and English, through their portals.

The region has also witnessed the emergence of purely digital bookshops, that is to say stores that only sell electronic books: such is the case of Gato Sabido (Brazil) and the recent Biblits (Mexico). Opened at the end of 2009, Gato Sabido began with 400 titles in Portuguese and has worked ceaselessly to increase its backlist. It formed an alliance with the British company Interead to offer over 100,000 titles in English and market the e-reader Cool-er. After Interead went bankrupt in mid-2010, the economist Carlos Eduardo Ernanny, the founder of Gato Sabido, made it clear that his company would continue striving to find new content suppliers.[3] Gato Sabido’s texts are sold with Adobe DRM.

Biblits, the first digital bookstore native to Mexico, will appear on the Internet in February 2011 – at least this is what has been announced by its founders, Manuel Dávila, Eduardo Ávalos and Feli Dávalos.[4] This store will not use DRM, as Dávila explains:

We are against digital locks. At Biblits, when you buy a book you also purchase possession of it. It is your copy and you can share it with whoever you want as many times as you want. What is more, if you lose it, the Biblits site gives you a spare copy.[5]

  1. 35% of the bookstores surveyed in the CERLALC report Percepción sobre el clima empresarial editorial – 2010 (CERLALC) stated that they sold printed books through the Internet.
  2. According to the study on e-commerce in Latin America, carried out by the consulting firm AméricaEconomía in June 2010, Brazil represents almost 61% of all Latin American retail e-commerce. The South American giant also has the best postal systems. Cf. América Economía Intelligence: La fuerza del e-commerce, June 2010, pp. 6-7.
  3. Cf. “Cool-er à venda por mais um tempo”, PublishNews, 19th July, 2010.
  4. Cf. Briseño, Karla: “Biblits: llegaron los libros digitales en español”, Clarín Veracruzano, 24th November, 2010.
  5. Ibidem.
Latin America

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