The Spanish book industry in general and the media in particular are focusing almost exclusively on aspects of digitization that have to do with the sale of digital content (e-books). However, there is a wide range of options for using the opportunities offered by technology to support the promotion and sale of more physical books, which currently represent around 98% of the Spanish market, with ebooks currently at only 2%.
An example of this is print-on-demand. As shown in other markets, we are seeing sales numbers decreasing for the majority of books,at the same time as a decline in the number of "bestsellers", with sales in the millions. Thus, it seems clear that the book sector needs alternative market strategies and specific approaches to address the nicheeconomy models (long tail).
It is necessary to develop more efficient and competitive print-on-demand (POD) systems. Using efficient content digitization processes to meet increasingly fragmented demand. Such initiatives would offer all books in the publisher catalog to print from as little as one copy. Following the example ofother countries, the distributors in Spain leadthis project in collaboration with publishers, booksellers andspecialized POD partners.
Another factor in this new market will be the position of the supply book chain to offer new ways to sell. Namely to support and exploit Internet marketing techniques. In Spain, there are few initiatives that encourage online purchasing of books. But Spanish online bookshops are certainly not in a strong position here, especially if we consider the arrival of Amazon to our market in the last year.
Last but by no means least, we need complete and updated metadata. We all know how critical this is to sell books (print or digital) online. Of course, traditional bookstores have had no need to do this as part of their processes. In this regard, one of the priorities for the sector as a whole, should besupporting the development of metadata aggregator DILVE, developed for the Spanish Publishers Federation (with complete data and prior to the release of the book to the market), which can serve as a source of information for digital bookstores.
In recent months FANDE (Spanish Federation of book, print and digital content distributors) has included among its members the main companies involved in e-content distribution, now part ofthis association as Libranda, Publidisa, Versus, e-Libro, Leer-e, Esdecomic, Digital Books, Libux, Bubok, Zonaebooks…
The Spanish e-distributors are concerned about issues such as piracy and understandinglegal measures to combat it. Also, a major issue is the taxation of digital content compared to printed(21% vs 4%). We are also trying to establish a library ebook strategy. At the same time as the arrival in Spain of the great global digital companies(Google, Apple, Amazon, Kobo...). These are issues that are currently occupyingthe activity of the Spanish e-distributors.