Spain Lowers Tax on E-books, Opens Digital Library

In Global Trade Talk by Emily Williams

By Emily Williams

Spanish football fan

A very important — and positive — development for the incipient Spanish e-book market took place this week.  On Tuesday the Spanish Minister of Culture, Ángeles González-Sinde, announced that the government would set the value added tax for e-books at 4%, the same as for paper books.  E-books had previously been in the same category as software, with a VAT of 16%, one of the main complaints of both the book publishers and the retailers who are trying to build the market there.

Gonzáles-Sinde made the announcement at an event inaugurating the Enclave project, which will allow the National Library of Spain to offer e-books for sale.  In addition to access already granted to public domain books, visitors to the library’s website who want to purchase an e-book still under copyright will now be redirected to one of the 90 publishers who have selected and contributed a total of 1,300 titles.

The Ministry of Culture described the site as “an important showcase for the Spanish publishing market” and said visits were growing at a rapid pace, from 270,000 in January 2009 up to 1.3 million in November.

El País article had the scoop.

Visit the Biblioteca Hispánica website.

About the Author

Emily Williams

Emily Williams as Manager of International Digital Content at Barnes & Noble.com. Before that, she worked as digital content producer for Publishers Marketplace, contributor to Digital Book World and Publishing Perspectives, and also held a senior scout position with Maria B. Campbell & Associates.