International Expansion ‘May Be Best’ Opportunity for Publishers

By Jeremy Greenfield, Editorial Director, Digital Book World, @JDGsaid

The 500 million to one billion people around the world who speak English as a second language represent what “may be the best opportunity” for publishers in the future, according to Russ Grandinetti, vice president of Kindle content, who spoke this morning at the Digital Book World Conference in New York.

The growth worldwide of cell-phone, e-reader and tablet-computer adoption will fuel this trend, according to Grandinetti. “There has never been a better time to be a reader in the world today,” he said.

In a session later in the morning, Marco Ferrario, founder of bookrepublic, a large e-bookstore business in Italy, and Greg Portell of New York-based management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, said that sales for e-books will grow faster internationally in the coming years than it did in the U.S. in the past several years.

Citing data from interviews with 40 publishing executives from around the world, Ferrario and Portell contended that while e-book and e-reader adoption around the world lags the U.S., the conditions that had to be developed in the U.S. to give rise to e-books already exist internationally: a market for devices and a huge amount of content that readers want to consume.

Write to Jeremy Greenfield

5 thoughts on “International Expansion ‘May Be Best’ Opportunity for Publishers

  1. Luis Peazê

    The only piece of delicate data he forgot is that ESL goes only for communication not necessarily for reading, of course, the most noble meaning of the word “reading”; cultural subtle nuances and often the most important ones of a character, situation and scenarios are only grasped through the very source language or via loyal upscale translation, unless we are talking about only how to sell stuff, ereaders, titles and or perhaps to try to convince aliens.

  2. Mike Violano

    I agree with Luis; popular fiction is read in local language or in translation. STM digital content travels in English but the opportunity outside the US will be best mined by local publishers and global publishers with a strong local presence in local language.

  3. Luis Peazê

    Thanks for dropping a note conveying my previous comment, Mike. I may sound acid, on-the-polemic-mode and yet contrary to \digital\ BUT I´m not at all, I´m a digital provider myself and actualy a candid person to deal with, the thing is these players are going too fast pairing up with the speed of this fantastic tech wave and forgot they/we are humans and people/consumers need a time frame for absortion of the new, so the entire production matrix, etc. Only because the telecomm and soft/hardware industries want us all to fly doesn´t means we all need to fly up as high as possible right now… I can make an ebook within two or three hours but the ebook itself is just a tiny piece of the broad picture of the publishing market, or we all must to forget this too? We would just slow down a bit and I bet we would cover more solid grounds than this frenetic digital carnival. what annoys me is that many upscale professionals are building a dangerous gap between what they knew before and what the will learn next month because they simply don´t learn one thing and give themselves in to the next wave with stop to think…

  4. Birgitte Rasine

    Luis, thanks for reminding us all of our humanity and the need to slow down a bit. I too love all things digital as well as reading, and in fact am based in Silicon Valley, but I also feel things are moving at a breakneck speed without thinking. We all know what the real driver behind all this innovation is: money. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t worship IPO’s the way we do. Let’s enjoy a nice hot cup of tea and a good book… in the language we want to read, on the device we want to read it on. Most importantly, let’s slow down to speed up. ~ Birgitte Rasine, Publisher, LUCITA Publishing

    1. Luis Peazê

      Right on Birgitte, slow down to speed up, way to go, thanks for sharing my thoughts. The Observatory of the Press in Brazil just published an article I wrote (in Portuguese) addressing this strange would be “tech-cultural gap”, I´ve coined the expression; certain professionals jumped to the next-after-next generation (release?) of gadget/soft before learning the immediate previous one; who have jumped from a Royal to an IBM sphere, from a PDP11 to a PC did not have such gap/lack of cultural knowledge, but today gaps are abundant, sort of moon surface. 20 to 50 years from now (if we as a planet still exist) this will be assessed with bad figures I envision. Am I an old bloke on a rocking chair? No, I am just an astonished kid.



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