The crisis in the large bookstores reinvents the Brazilian publishing scene

The crisis in the large bookstores reinvents the Brazilian publishing scene



After the announcement of two iconic networks of bookstores in Brazil to benefit from the bankruptcy law, the Brazilian book industry is going through a "key moment" that demands "reflection" and "creativity" to "think about new actors" that allow to compose the country's publishing scene, according to experts.

Whether for economic or cultural reasons, selling books in Brazil was never an easy mission, but the publishing industry reached a certain stability and experienced a "boom" in the last two decades, in line with the economic bonanza that accompanied the South American giant years ago. .

But it turns out that the "dream" of consolidating Brazil as a world power did not materialize, although the "big companies" of the publishing sector continued to live under "the illusion" of "a country that did not realize itself", it has a interview with Efe the publisher Luiz Schwarcz, founder of the publishing house Companhia das Letras, associate of the Penguin Random House.

"This is a crisis derived from the difficulty of adapting the large book companies to a Brazil that did not come in. Brazilian growth has stopped, but the publishing market as a whole continues to live in that illusion of growth," says Schwarcz .

In the past weeks, the Saraiva and Cultura bookstores, the two largest and most emblematic networks in the sector, announced that they accepted the bankruptcy law, as well as the closure of dozens of their stores throughout the Brazilian territory.

These two groups are responsible for 40% of the turnover of the main publishers in Brazil, according to the president of the Brazilian Book Chamber, Luis Antonio Torelli.

"The problem is that business model of the larger networks, which became megastores, that model is very difficult to manage and eclipses the main product, which is the book," says Torelli.

Faced with this "tragic" scenario, both Torelli and Schwarcz agree that the Brazilian publishing industry, as an example of what has happened in countries like France, Spain, Germany or Argentina, needs to "reinvent itself" and for that they bet on the small bookstores as the business model "of the future".

And, contrary to the storm that hit the big Brazilian networks, the Simple Bookstore fights for survival supported by the premise of providing "unique and personalized" attention to its customers.

"The great differential of our business is that we offer a more specialized service and we manage to attend in a more affectionate, more attentive way, with more knowledge and with more dedication", says Felipe Faya, one of the partners of the store, without stamps , plates or greater boasts, builds "day after day" his clientele in a discreet house located in a street a few minutes from the emblematic Paulista Avenue.

Faya adds that, beyond the "book as a product", there is a "historical crisis of readers" in the country.

Thus, the 40% of Brazilians who admit not to read often, we must add a business model that benefits the big companies and "strangles" the small booksellers, since the conditions of purchase and consignment "are not the same" for both.

"We understand that our business is in crisis, it has always been and will continue to be in the future if the model of the book market is not changed, which today is very perverse with the small bookstores", stresses Faya.

In the same line, another partner of the Simple Bookstore, Adalberto Ribeiro, sees in the books themselves the way out to revert "that crisis of readers" and argues that the "commercial aspect" of the bookstores must walk alongside their "social aspect" .

Son of semi-literate parents and the only one of his family who has studied a university degree, Ribeiro remembers the influence that books exerted on his career, from when he started as an assistant in a store until the opening of his autonomous business.

"I'm the only one in the family that went to a university and a lot of that was because I started working in a bookstore, as an assistant, the bookstore had that effect on my life," he recalls.

For this reason, one of the mottos of the Simple Bookstore is the constant search for the balance between the commercial strategies of the company and the promotion of social actions and the promotion of reading.

A "difficult task" but which, in his opinion, enunciates the future: "The only way to train new readers is through the transformation of bookstores into cultural centers, into meeting points" that interact with local residents.

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