In addition to his profession as a public accountant, Amir Hajjoul has always had a fondness for content that he was able to exploit starting in 2017 when he was offered the General Management of the Grupo Planeta publishing house in Uruguay.
“It is a noble business to put it in a way, I like to sell books,” Hajjoul assured in dialogue with Café & Negocios and did not hesitate to affirm that “the Uruguayan is a very reader”, in fact, in a per capita comparison with other countries In Latin America, Uruguayan is one of the largest readers in the region.
“Although 10 years ago we all considered that the physical book had a short life, the e-book did not reach the levels that were thought”. Proof of this is the United States —a pioneering country in the sale of ebooks—, which according to Hajjoul today does not exceed 13% or 14% of the total in sales compared to the physical format. In Uruguay, the digital book had its peak during the pandemic when its sales rose close to 9%. Currently these have fallen to approximately 5% of total book sales.
“We have statistics that say that people who buy ebooks also buy the same physical title or a person who buys audiobooks also buys it physically,” said the director.
This was reflected in a very good year 2022 for the publisher, in July, August and September this growth stagnated but facing the summer season—harvest for readers— the prospects are auspicious.
“In November the book fair exploded in people and activities and a great level of sales.” In turn, December is almost the sale of two months in the case of the publisher that publishes 80 local titles a year.
Planet Group in Uruguay
Planeta has become a group that operates in more than 20 countries. He has been in Uruguay for 28 years with a team of 23 people who now work in the new offices of the firm in Sinergia, where they found a comprehensive proposal that meets their corporate needs..
Some of the publisher’s best-selling authors are the 2022 Nobel Prize for the French writer Annie Ernaux, from the Planeta Awards of the parent company that the Spanish author Luz Gabás won, also Leonardo Padura. “Now, in the delivery of the Bartolomé Hidalgo, we won in the narrative category with Alberto Gallo, who is a local author with the title “Ape-English,” he said. Hajjoul. Another of the most read is the Astrological Guide of Lourdes Ferro.
By 2023 the arrival of a new book by Gabriel Rolón is plannedbest sellers from Spain will also arrive and surely news from Uruguayan author Diego Fischer.