Explosion in Number of New Brazilian Imprints

Spurred by growth in the publishing industry and an increasingly diversified readership, Brazilian publishers are creating a flurry of new imprints. Last month, Companhia das Letras, Leya and Publifolha announced the creation of new brands to explore different segments of the book market, and there’s more to come – Globo Livros, for example, is expected to present five new imprints soon.

Penguin's US business imprint is among the latest crop to come to Brazil.

Companhia das Letras, 45% of which is owned by Penguin, announced it is creating four  new imprints. The first one will debut in April. Named Paralela, it will be more commercially driven and characterized by higher print runs. Two titles will be launched per month — one of the first releases is Scarpetta, by the best-selling crime author Patricia Cornwell.

In September, Companhia das Letras will launch Seguinte (12 titles per year) and Boa Companhia (six anthologies per year), both aimed at young readers. Together, they will replace the company’s current imprint for children and teens, Cia. das Letras, which will be shuttered.

Finally, in March 2013, Companhia das Letras will launch Penguin Portfolio in Brazil. The imprint, originally founded in US in 2001, will comprise business, management and marketing books. Penguin Portfolio is the publisher’s first venture in the segment, and it will publish ten titles annually.

According to a statement by Companhia das Letras, the international publishing industry is facing a process of diversification and segmentation, while in Brazil it is booming, with new bookstores opening, more literary events and fairs taking place and more people buying more books.

“With small imprints, we will be able to work closely with authors and take better care of each editorial process,” said Matinas Suzuki Jr., executive director at Companhia.

The Brazilian branch of the Portuguese group Leya is also investing in a new imprint named Fantasy – Casa da Palavra, which will focus on fantasy literature for young readers. It will be managed by Casa da Palavra, a Rio de Janeiro-based publisher acquired by Leya last year. According to Raphael Draccon,  coordinator of the new imprint and a writer himself, the publisher’s aim is to take advantage of one of the most popular literary segments in the world.

Leya is already the publisher of George R. R. Martin’s series, the Song of Ice and fire, a big hit in the Brazilian market. Next releases include the first in the John Carter series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Down These Strange Streets, a collection of stories edited by Martin and Gardner Dozois.

Publifolha, a publisher better known for its illustrated books and travel guides copublished with DK, is investing in its new imprint Três Estrelas, which will concentrate on nonfiction books. The main focus will be in journalism — Publifolha is owned by Grupo Folha, which publishes Folha de S. Paulo, the largest newspaper in Brazil — but will also pursue science and history books, as well as biographies.

The imprint will publish 18 titles this year and 24 titles in 2013, including both Brazilian and foreign works, such as Talking About Detective Fiction by P. D. James, A cozinha do Diabo: um jornal contra Hitler (The Devil’s Kitchen: A Newspaper Against Hitler), by Silvia Bittencourt, in which the Brazilian journalist investigates the story of the Münchener Post, a newspaper that fiercely opposed Hitler and the Nazi regime.

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