images.jpgAn article discusses this today in Publishing Perspectives. There is, according to the author, a long ways to go as current Argentine publishers look at ebooks with much suspicion. There is also an institutional problem as importing an ereader can incur duties that are higher than the price of the ereader itself!

However there is some hope:

If on the supply side of the equation — namely publishers — the general attitude towards e-books is one of suspicion, we should admit that in contrast, from the users’ point of view, things couldn’t be evolving more rapidly. From the two ends of the publishing chain — authors and readers — it is evident that the digital age has already landed: hundreds of young poets and novelists have started to work 100% online, via blogs and web magazines; conversely, thousands of people are enjoying those high quality and (to date) free texts.

Moreover, the large-scale program Conectar Igualdad (Connecting Equality), recently introduced by the national government, aimed at providing students with netbooks, will soon lead massive amounts of youngsters to look for digital content. The public sector has also been very active in promoting new technologies at the town hall level. A case in point is the program Opción Libros, belonging to the Direction of Creative Industries of the city of Buenos Aires: this unit is organizing the third Publishing Conference for next September, which will be fully devoted to the digital revolution.


  1. importing an ereader can incur duties that are higher than the price of the ereader itself!

    It’s often worse than a 100% increase. Argentina has notoriously high customs duties but the shippers (DHL, etc.) also tack on absurd miscellaneous fees for handling, processing, and so on. Also, many times a customer will hit a brick wall during the package claim process which somehow can only be resolved via the paid services of a customs facilitator. Altogether, it’s not uncommon for the entire shipping/customs costs to be as much as 200% of the original purchase price.

    Just for fun, I looked for ereaders on the Argentine equivalent of Ebay (mercadolibre). Most tech shoppers here use it because most retailers sell new products there, not just mainly used items like in the U.S., so it’s the easiest way to find items and compare prices. I found only one ereader, the Sony PRS-300, which sells in the U.S. for about $150. Here the price is US $370 which is around 250% greater than the price in the U.S.

    Argentina has no native tech industry to protect with high tariffs and duties. So it’s a mystery to me why they are so high, other than that the government can make a whopping amount of money off of imports.

  2. Customs taxes are outrageous here; no wonder I’m stuck with my el cheapo chinese tablet bought through . I cracked open the device and soldered a tp-link wifi usb adapter, so I can download rss feeds while taking care of scarce battery life. Now it`s more of a tablet. Add RescoKeyboard with iSkin, uBook (customized skin and overlay.uov), and TotalCommander (kinda Norton Commander, useful for a crude full-text search of uBook .ubd files with annotation metadata).As for the local pub industry, they’re still undecided, local publishers conducted a survey by some Roberto Igarza Consultant

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