Germany’s Bookwire and Denmark’s Saga Egmont: Spanish-Language Content

In News by Porter Anderson

Distributor Bookwire and digital publisher Saga Egmont announce a partnership to make thousands of Spanish-language ebooks and audiobooks available to consumers.

Waiting for COVID-19 testing at a center in Copenhagen, December 20. Image – iStockphoto: Ole Schwander

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Up to 1,800 Spanish-Language Audiobook Titles
Copenhagen-based Saga Egmont has opened a new element of its working partnership with Frankfurt-based Bookwire.

Under the arrangement, announced today (January 26), Bookwire will distribute is as many as 1,800 Spanish-language audiobooks and some 1,300 Spanish-language ebooks from Saga Egmont’s catalogue, making these titles available through mazon, Apple, Kobo, Nubico and Scribd, among other channels.

Saga Egmont is reported by today’s news messaging to have approximately 5,500 German- and English-language digital audiobook titles, and in October, the company’s publishing director, Lasse Korsemann, told Publishing Perspectives that the company was adding as many as 40 positions to facilitate a higher level of digital production and activity.

Now, Natalie Uldbjerg Hansen, editor-in-chief for Saga Spain, is quoted, and she’s making the point understood by many world publishers—that answering the consumer’s demands for a choice of formats is a deepening priority.

Natalie Uldbjerg Hansen

“Our focus,” she says, “is the well-being of our authors and rights holders. It’s our main focus to work hard toward connecting our authors with as many readers as possible within this huge language.

“The books that Saga publishes should always be available to buy or access on whatever platform or service the readers prefer—this is our promise to our authors, and this cooperation with Bookwire is a great leap in this direction.

“This is our contribution, our piece of the puzzle, to try to develop a still very young audiobook market in the Spanish-speaking part of the world together with our great retail partners and public libraries.”

This is not a new relationship for either company. Saga Egmont has used Bookwire’s software for distribution since November of 2019, about five months after Bookwire released its Bookwire OS product.

Eric González Canova

Bookwire Spain’s general manager, Eric González Canova, is quoted today, saying that the new element of the two companies’ relationship “shows how successful the cooperation has been so far.

“Saga Egmont and Bookwire are now expanding their joint strategy for digital distribution on the growth markets to also include this huge catalogue of Spanish audiobooks—and, for the first time, ebooks—in order to strengthen the position of Saga Egmont on the Spanish-language market.

“We’re glad we can bring in the expertise of our local team to assist with this.”

In the newly announced arrangement, Saga Egmont is to supply Spanish-language content retailers including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Nubico, and Scribd, using Bookwire OS software.

Saga Egmont’s digital partners include Nørdica Libros and Alrevés.

This year’s releases from Saga Egmont are to include Spanish-language translations of Jeffrey Archer titles in both Castilian and neutral dialects, along with multi-narrator audio treatments of YA author Laura Gallego’s “Memorias de Idhún” trilogy.

The Danish company was formed in 2014 as a specifically digital element of Lindhardt og Ringhof. Saga Egmont publishes its ebooks and audiobooks in more than 30 languages.

Bookwire now reports having more than 80 staffers based in Germany Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, providing distribution to more than 1,900 publishers contents in ebook and audiobook formats, as well as print-on-demand.

The Coronavirus in Germany and Denmark

In Hildesheim, Germany, on January 17, as coronavirus spread-mitigation restrictions keep streets clear. Image – iStockphoto: Ilari Nackel

At this writing, the 5:22 a.m. ET (1022 GMT) update of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center sees 2,181,720 cases in Germany’s population of 83 million, with 55,038 fatalities.

Those numbers place Germany at 10th in the world for caseload and 11th in deaths.

Germany’s vaccine committee today is reported by BBC News to have ruled that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can only be used in citizens younger than 65, citing “insufficient data” around questions of that UK-made vaccine’s efficacy for seniors. AstraZeneca already was in a position of some contention in Europe, the union demanding the promised doses from the manufacturer.

Jon Henley at The Guardian reports that Germany’s federal leadership expects to ban travel from the United Kingdom, Portugal, Brazil, and South Africa amid growing alarm about virus mutations coming from those markets. “Berlin’s initiative,” Henley writes, “came as EU interior ministers met to discuss a more coordinated approach to international travel restrictions.

And in Denmark, the Johns Hopkins Center sees 197,224 cases in that country’s population of 5.8 million, with 2,072 fatalities.

The Danish lockdown currently in force was anticipated to end on February 7, but health minister Magnus Heunicke has told the nation’s  broadcaster DR this week is that “he does not expect a large scale reopening of society at the beginning of next month,” according to a report from the English-language The Local. The restrictions now in place have been in place since December 25 and include one extension.

The key concern in the Danish market is the B117 variant from the UK, and its potential to become the more-infectious dominant strain in Denmark.

More from Publishing Perspectives on audiobooks is here, more on ebooks is here, more on the Danish market is here, more on the Spanish-language markets is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.