Book News From Around The World

From Australia to Brazil, we’ve uncovered exciting book news from around the world. While e-books are bursting through global barriers in India and Japan, the written word is being put to the test in Brazil’s overcrowded prisons. Read on to see what exciting booklover news is making headlines across the globe ...

Australia

Current import barriers in this country limits access to newly published books, but a new arrangement will help bring Australia’s publishing industry up-to-date with the rest of the global market. As it is now, bookstores can only sell a book themselves if a local publisher imports it within 30 days of publication and restocks the supply within 90 days. The new deal will set the dates with initial import at 14 days and renewal supplies also within 14 days. This means our friends down under will have access to new books sooner.

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India

E-books are making big strides in India, and Penguin Books is finalizing plans that may have a huge impact on the print industry. So what’s going on? The publisher plans to offer 240 titles as e-books, with more to come. By the end of the year, Penguin hopes to offer the largest digital list of Indian titles. They will start by offering digital versions of the titles that Penguin has published in 2012, as well as some 2011 bestsellers, and then expand the conversion of print books to digital ones throughout the Penguin catalog. This changeover will affect the company’s backlist as well as the books being published now and in the future. Good E Reader reports that this might mean that Penguin will have the most Indian e-books by the end of 2012. Furthermore, the publisher plans to amp up the e-books’ exposure throughout the world by making deals with some of the biggest retailers including Apple, Amazon, Google and Baker & Taylor. Analysts are buzzing that this move may spell the end of the road for the printed book quite soon.

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Japan

The battle for e-reader supremacy in Japan is heating up. The Kobo Touch is now available for pre-order. (The device was released yesterday, priced around $100 USD.) This has Amazon is keen to get their foot in the door. The company, which has been in talks with Japanese publishers for the last three years, is now advertising the Kindle as a product that will be on sale soon on its Japanese site.

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Brazil

Enriching minds and reducing crowded prisons? That seems to be Brazil’s plan. The county has just announced that they will offer prisoners a chance to shorten their jail stay if the inmates take up reading. Each book read knocks four days off their sentence — capped at 12 books (aka a 48-day reduction) per year. The plan, entitled Redemption through Reading, will also help incarcerated readers work on their writing — they’ll need to submit book reports if they want to see the benefits of their time spent with their noses in books.

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What do you think of these developments? Let us know in the comments below and click here to find more publishing industry news.