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Why India and Brazil are the next hot e-book countries

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Published on http://paidcontent.org.

India and Brazil are on their way to becoming e-book powerhouses, but their path there looks different from the transition in the US and the UK.

Twenty-four percent of Indian adults with Internet access have bought an e-book, Bowker’s Kelly Gallagher said in a panel at the Publishers Launch BEA conference today, and 18 percent of Brazilian adults have done so.

In predicting e-book penetration rates, it’s key not just to look at the “technology-savvy” countries, Gallagher said, but to look at the size of the overall population combined with Internet penetration rate. “Suddenly, India becomes the second largest potential market” after the U.S., he said, followed by Brazil. The UK and Australia have high Internet penetration, but their populations are small.

“The perfect storm”

Gallagher calls e “the perfect storm for publishing in emerging countries.” Here’s why:

  • Growth of the middle-class economy, focused on education
  • English is the universal language, at least of business. Translated works will be important, Gallagher said, but “where these readers want to go today is not in leisure reading, but primarily focused on business. And they are asking for the content in English.”
  • Advancements in the online payment process (we’ve seen it in the prepaid phone card system, for instance)
  • No supply chain necessary; affordable tech

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