Mobile Internet Growth Fuels Short E-book Production, Sales

More publishers are looking into the “short e-book” market to take advantage of the booming mobile use in Brazil. Singular Digital, owned by Ediouro group, has launched a collection of e-books containing short stories selected from the publisher’s backlist. Initially, seven titles were released at R$1.99 each. They can be bought on Amazon in the US and at Brazilian retailers such as Saraiva, Cultura and Gato Sabido. According to Silvia Rebello, editorial manager at Singular, the aim is to make good short texts available to all readers, but especially the younger ones, who use and appreciate electronic devices, as well as the older readers, who often have problems with their vision and may want to enlarge the size of letters. The idea is to release the books on an ongoing basis.

Objetiva, which belongs to Spanish group Santillana, is also investing in shorter e-books, with plans to establish a new imprint for publishing original non-fiction texts, available only in the digital format. The name and release date, however, are not yet settled.

As reported here earlier, Editora 34, a small publisher based in Sao Paulo, launched e-books containing separate Russian short stories in November and now reports “surprisingly good results.” With prices ranging from free, to R$0.99 to R$2.99, the idea was to use the e-books to offer readers the opportunity to sample a much larger anthology of translated Russian stories, which itself is available both in an e-book version (with 20 stories) and print (with 40 stories).

Brazilian publishers are following a trend set by foreign groups such as Random House, Hachette and Penguin, which all have experimenting with these shorter works. The market in Brazil for such texts is promising, especially once mobile users are taken into account: In 2011, Brazilians activated 39 million new mobile accounts, representing almost 20% growth over the previous year. In total, Brazil boasts 242 million mobile lines — substantially more than the country’s 200 million residents– and approximately 40 million of those devices have access to broadband internet connection

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