Brazilian conquers a prestigious spot on Kobo’s editorial team.
By Juliana Dalla | Translated by Loretta Murphy
The Canadian publisher Kobo is one of the largest publishers of digital books in the world. It expanded into Brazil in 2012 and among its Brazilian team members is Camila Cabete, Senior Manager of Publisher Relations.
Wave + had the pleasure of chatting with Camila, who told us a little about her career and about the pains and pleasures of the digital book market in Brazil.
In mid-2012, you took over as Senior Manager of Publisher Relations for Kobo Brazil. Before that, you were part of the Gato Sabido publishing team, another publisher of digital books. What prompted you to build a career based on the digital book market?
Camila Cabete – In 2009, I was an Editor. I managed the publishing area of a traditional publisher of technical books – I knew the process and managed it well. I loved what I did, but that year a little device called Kindle came out. I had a few sleepless nights, thinking that my career would end. But fear made me fall head first into the matter. I started studying everything related to digital books. So I went to Gato Sabido and began working exclusively with digital books. The subject is fascinating because I was able to join my passion (editing) with my hobby (technology). I have always been a fan of technology and gadgets and I can say that I found myself.
What were the greatest obstacles faced by you and your publishing partners to turn publishing digital books into reality in a country like Brazil, where much of the population doesn’t have access to digital reading platforms such as e- readers and tablets ?
Camila Cabete – The biggest difficulty is the fact that Brazil has difficulties. Brazilians love technology, and we already have more Smartphones in the country than normal phones. I saw digital publishing as a solution for book distribution in Brazil. In the publishing market, the carriers are the ones who make the money – the books are transported to the most remote places in the southeast region and end up costing twice the price. But fear of the publisher and the paradigms were major obstacles. In Brazil, books have always been for the rich. Publishers have always been very elitist and never needed to upgrade. But I can say that this phase is over and publishers are trying hard and doing things differently than the phonographic industry.
You were recently in Canada participating in a meeting organized by Kobo International. Is the work developed by Kobo in Canada very different from that developed in Brazil?
Camila Cabete – I can say that I feel part of the team even while away. I have daily meetings with my content team, which is located throughout the world. I had never worked exclusively with foreigners. English was my main barrier, but I adapted. I can’t say that it’s natural for me, but since I only work with Brazilian clients, that helps me. Kobo is a wonderful company to work for. My direct bosses are friends, and I feel very secure. In Brazil, there are already four of us, and the work is the same. We want to maintain the Kobo spirit in all countries.
What do you think the Brazilian digital book market has to learn from the Canadian market?
Camila Cabete – We are learning together. More than the digital book market, I think we need to learn how to read. We need to mirror the space that literature occupies within Canadian society. Historically, we are not voracious readers – books were expensive, unavailable in remote places and have always been instruments of the elitist ruling class. This is changing and we are counting on Kobo’s help!