By Carlo Carrenho, PublishNews Brazil
Last week, Brazilian publishers received an email from digital aggregator Xeriph asking them to sign an addendum to their contracts. The legal text would give Xeriph the right to distribute the publishers’ ebooks to Barnes & Noble, who would include them in their Nook catalogue. It’s nothing particularly unorthodox, save for the very fact that Xeriph had signed a distribution deal with Barnes & Noble.
However, the real kicker came later, as Raquel Cozer of newspaper Folha de S.Paulo revealed, when she wrote that in addition to the aforementioned request, the email also stated that in addition to selling Brazilian ebooks in the countries where Barnes & Noble already operates, the American bookseller would “also soon start selling ebooks in Brazil.”
Xeriph subsequently confirmed the information with the journalist; B&N did not reply to her requests for more information.
So, is Barnes & Noble coming to Brazil? Considering the company’s difficulties in its home market, which has included lay-offs and executive departures, it’s difficult to believe it will be anytime soon. Perhaps they are merely gauging interest and laying the groundwork. B&N would certainly be welcome, but given the head start their global and local competitors have, they will have to offers something truly special if they hope to woo them away as customers.