Demand Grows for English-Language Books in Brazil

Rising government spending on education, along with more international ties, fuels demand for English-language materials

Brazil is rocking. The World Cup. The Olympics. The economy. Gisele. Books…books? Yes. In English.

In English? Yes, once again. The country’s fantastic boost opens a Maracanã-like window of opportunities for companies that work with imported books in the land of samba. “The growing Brazilian market demands news and knowledge. Quality products — be it art books, technical, trade — can be brought to Brazil. Selling them can be a differential both for distributors and booksellers,” says Sandro Silva, managing director of Superpedido Tecmedd, one of the largest book distributors in Brazil.

Superpedido Tecmedd warehouse

This optimistic view is also shared abroad. “Brazil is the largest market for books in South America and is also a major global book market. As the Brazilian middle class grows, the demand for English-language books will continue to increase,” says Phil Ollila, Chief Content Officer of Ingram Content Group. Last month, Ingram launched a program in collaboration with Brazilian print-on-demand company Singular Digital. “In terms of content, we see a two-way relationship with Singular Digital with books in Portuguese coming to North America and our English language title base available in Brazil.”

Education is the Key

According to survey from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Brazil increased public spending on education from 10.5% of total public expenditure in 2000, to 14.5% in 2005, and to 16.8% in 2009 — one of the steepest rates of growth among the 33 countries analyzed. No wonder education plays a vital role in the diffusion of English-language books throughout the country.

Regional Sales Manager for Oxford University Press, Beatriz Alves

“Brazil’s educational system is changing, with a huge increase of the number of students. Foreign language books can provide capacitation and keep them updated,” guarantees Superpedido’s Silva.

Accordingly, it’s only natural that the largest academic press in the world also has its eyes focused in the country: “Oxford bets heavily on Brazil and has an aggressive goal on medium and long terms,” says the Regional Sales Manager for Oxford University Press, Beatriz Alves. “And it’s important that not only the government, but also the book chain, support the imported product so Brazil can become a country of English readers aptly prepared to the job market in Brazil and in the world—as well as in other BRIC countries.”

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