By Andres Hax
As tech guru Kevin Kelly has stated, “In technology there are not the haves and the have nots, rather the haves and the haves later.” This is clearly the case for e-books in Latin America. While e-books are high on the agenda of readers and publishers in Latin America, the reality is that digital reading is not yet as massive a phenomenon as it is in the US and in Europe.
But, as Kelly’s dictum suggests, it is only a matter of time. Perhaps the most significant recent news in this regard is the imminent launch of Amazon.com in Spain. Amazon told El Pais that the company would begin selling Spanish e-books for the Kindle towards the end of the year.
They may be the highest profile foreign company to make in-roads into Spanish-language publishing, but there have been numerous home-grown projects of which Libranda is the most ambitious and notable. Not to mention that Barnes & Noble in the United States have had a Spanish-language e-bookstore for more than a year.
Now 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.