The Shape of EBooks in Spain

Below is a brief outline of the state of the ebook industry in Spain. While it is moving slowly, there have been some big agreements recently that will shape the future of the ebook there. Consumer access to the books, though, remains limited. It will be interesting to see how this works versus the Amazon model, especially now that Apple has entered the game. (The article comes from La Nacion in Argentina and is translated via Google Translate with my corrections).

Is the Spanish publishing industry diving into digital waters? Not really. A few weeks ago in Madrid it announced the upcoming launch of Libranda, a distribution platform for digital books led by Planeta, Santillana and Random House Mondadori. The initiative promises to expand the catalog of electronic books in Spanish: eleven publishers will make their digitized collections available to libraries. For now, however, the reader does not have direct access to the platform. It is not a minor detail: the publishers chose not to neglect the channel now accounts for 90% of its business, and so launched a project that is more a defensive strategy than a full exploitation of the advantages of the digital ecosystem.

While they can not buy and sell ebooks directly through Libranda, readers and authors will benefit of the final price of electronic books which will be 30% lower than the paper copy, and the authors will receive 20% of the selling price , twice as much as they receive a paper copy.

Until the arrival of Libranda, the great platform of electronic books in Spanish was to be TodoEbook, which brings together more than 400 small and medium-sized Spanish publishers, offering 20,000 titles, mostly from collections and nonfiction works whose rights are in the public domain. Now, between the two platforms have 95% of the supply of ebooks in Spanish.

The expanding market for electronic books will result in the growth of eReaders, a scene now dominated by the Kindle, but seriously threatened by Apple’s IPAD. While the latter is more than an e-book reader, a fact revealed when its launch shook the foundations of the emerging ebook industry. According to a recent survey, 60% of Americans heard about the IPAD while only 37% of the Kindle.

On this side of the ocean, Musimundo opened the first shop that sells electronic books in the country. Built on Bibliográfika platform that integrates bookstores and publishers for printing, distribution and marketing of books on demand, now offers an extensive catalog of 20,000 books.

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