Spanish books are not the easiest thing to find in your average US city or town. Booksellers got jaded after botched attempts to translate English-language bestsellers produced error-ridden Spanish versions that sold poorly. When Spanish books are available, they often cost double or triple what the English translated edition fetch. Times are changing, and Spanish eBooks and Audiobook sales have been dramatically increasing, due to the rise of e-readers and reading apps on tablets.
In the last few years the availability of Spanish eBooks sales have tripled. This is primarily due to the increased number of them available. In 2010 only 10,000 Spanish-language print titles were in stock at online booksellers in the U.S. out of a total of about 650,000 Spanish titles worldwide. Today Barnes & Noble’s over 65,000 Nook eBooks available in Spanish. Amazon’s Spanish-language page — EBooks Kindle en Español — now boasts more than 70,000 titles. That’s more than double the number offered when the site debuted in April 2012. Amazon said they expect to see foreign eBooks grow around 40% in 2013, once the final sales are tallied. Amazon owned Audible has stated that last year Spanish books accounted for an 25% increase in sales.
Despite the growth of Spanish-language book sales, they are still fairly small compared with those in English, accounting for less than 5% of the United States entire publishing sector, which brings in $7.1 billion in annual sales.
What are the driving factors of Spanish eBook sales? This can be attributed to Latinos adopting tablet computers and e-readers at an accelerated rate. According to a recent study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. In 2011, about 1 in 20 Hispanics owned such a device, the group found; in 2012, the number had jumped to nearly 1 in 5.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.