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The crisis in large bookstores reinvents the Brazilian editorial scene | Lights | My Account



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Following the announcement of two iconic bookstore chains in Brazil to benefit from the bankruptcy law, the Brazilian book industry passes through a "key moment" that requires "reflection" and "creativity" to "think of new actors" that allow compose the country's editorial scene, according to experts.

Whether for economic or cultural reasons, selling books in Brazil was never an easy task, but the publishing industry has achieved some stability and experienced a "boom" in the last two decades, in line with the economic boom 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, even though the "big companies" in the publishing sector continued to live under "the illusion" of "a country that was not fulfilled", has an interview with Efe the editor Luiz Schwarcz, founder of the publishing company Companhia das Letras, an associate of Penguin Random House.

"This is a crisis stemming from the difficulty of adapting the big book companies to a Brazil that has not entered. Brazil's growth has stopped, but the publishing market as a whole continues to live in this illusion of growth," says Schwarcz. .

In recent weeks, Saraiva and Cultura bookstores announced the acceptance of bankruptcy law and the closing of dozens of stores throughout Brazil.

These two groups are responsible for 40% of the revenues of the main publishing houses in Brazil, according to the president of the Brazilian Chamber of Books, Luis Antonio Torelli.

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

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

And, unlike the storm that hit the major Brazilian networks, Simple Bookstore is struggling for survival based on the premise of offering "unique and personalized" attention to its customers.

"The great differential of our business is that we offer a more specialized service and we can serve in a more caring, attentive, more knowledgeable and with more dedication", says Felipe Faya, one of the partners of the store, without seals, plates or large he builds his clientele day after day in a discreet house located on a street a few minutes from the emblematic Paulista Avenue.

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

Thus, the 40% of Brazilians who admit they do not read frequently, 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, 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 small bookstores," says Faya.

Along the same lines, another member of the Simple Bookstore, Adalberto Ribeiro, sees in his own books the way out of "that reader crisis" and argues that the "commercial aspect" of bookstores should move alongside its "social aspect". .

Son of semi-literate parents and the only one in the family who studied a university degree, Ribeiro recalls the influence that books have had on his career, from when he began as an assistant in a store until the opening of his freelance business.

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

Therefore, one of the slogans of the Simple Bookstore is the constant search for the balance between the company's commercial strategies and the promotion of social actions and the promotion of reading.

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

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