Intrínseca, Other Top Brazilian Publishers Embrace E-books

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By Roberta Campassi, PublishNews

Over the past six weeks, several more Brazilian publishers have entered the e-book market.

These include Intrínseca, which has had more bestsellers than any other publisher in Brazil in recent years. The company now offers 30 e-books for sale, including Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight and Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. These first e-books represent 20% of the publisher’s catalogue and titles that have sold more than 17.5 million print copies in Brazil. The books are available at several major e-bookstores — CulturaSaraiva and Gato Sabido.

Intrínseca is partially owned by Sextante, promises to digitize 95% of its titles by March 2012. In January, it will begin publishing some new books in print and digital formats simultaneously.

WMF Martins Fontes will also begin publishing of some its most popular books as e-books come 2012, starting with three by J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and The Children of Húrin. These will be followed by C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia and others.

In November, LeYa, part of LeYa Group in Portugal, released its first 40 e-books, including two from George R.R. Martin’s series Song of Fire and Ice. By the end of 2011, the publisher expects 80% of it’s titles to be available as e-books.

Today, nearly all of the biggest publishing houses have started offering e-books, typically pricing them at 30% below print.

Smaller publishers are starting to experiment as well. Editora 34, for example, is offering digital selections from the anthology of Russian short stories, Nova antologia do conto russo, for R$0.99 – R$2.99 (US 0.50 – US$1.60). Readers may also buy an e-book of 20 stories for R$24.90 (US$13.50), or the original print copy, featuring 40 stories (and 648 paper pages), for R$74 (US$38).

Despite all the activity in the digital marketplace, sales remain tiny and still represent less than 1% of total sales.

SURVEY: Have You Ever Bought an E-book from Overseas?

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