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Jamer Books, Brazil

Merche Clark, Director of JAMER Books and Things, provides us with a glimpse of bookselling in Brazil.

What is the name of your shop? JAMER Books and Things Ltda

Where is the shop? It is in an open shopping centre comprising some 24 blocks and altogether some 1600 companies.

How large is the shop? 100m2.

How many people work there? We are nine people.

What kinds of books do you sell? We sell imported English-language books. We do not sell English Language Teaching books. We are very strongly committed to children’s books. We import school materials for international schools using UK and AS curriculums; run school book fairs; distribute children’s titles and adult fiction and non-fiction. We also have an on-line shop.

How long have you had the business? Twelve years.

Where do your customers come from? Schools, on-line, and visitors to the bookshops.

Do you feel optimistic or pessimistic about the state of the book trade in Brazil? Whilst the distribution business has been reduced, our direct sales to schools have picked up and we have also begun supporting companies in University library tenders, so by keeping a wide field of interest we are maintaining our space and believe this will continue for the few years during which time the development of the electronic book market will become clearer.

What do you most enjoy about being a bookseller? Opening the boxes and seeing new books arrive.

Is there anything that you don’t like about this job? It’s a lot of work for limited returns.

How do you choose which books to stock? We try to keep a wide variety of children’s books with a mix between classics (e.g Dr Seuss, Magic Tree House, Peter Rabbit, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter) and new titles. Our adult fiction list keeps an eye on the mass market bestsellers, but we also like to keep at least a reasonable selection of literary fiction.

Do you organise events in your shop? Not usually – but we have an event during the Rio Bienal where we invite our customers to visit us. And in the past we have hosted authors visiting schools in Rio.

Which books and authors are selling well at the moment? Game of Thrones, books on motorcylces, fashion, Dr Seuss, Usborne board books, cube books, and books by Michael Connelly and Cassandra Clare.

How do you get your books from the UK? We use the freight forwarding company, JD Freight.

Batch and Your Business

How long have you been using Batch? We made our first payment to Batch in August 2008. (We have been longtime users of PubEasy, another excellent initiative). Together with Batch, we spent a long time sorting out the way forward with the Brazilian banking authorities.

How does Batch help your business? Allowing us to consolidate payments to ten or more suppliers reduces our banking costs. But apart from this, Batch allows us to keep our system and publishers’ systems aligned. Checking invoices and their payment dates is much more straightforward since the formats are the same for all publishers. In addition, we have access to invoices through Batch which allows us to prepare our import documents in advance of receiving the documents with the cargo. The Batch staff, in particular Linda and Eileen, are very helpful.

Is there anything we could do to improve our service to you? The main improvement would be to open up the system to US publishers.

JAMER Books and Things Ltda
Av das Americas 500
DOWNTOWN Bl 3 Loja 121
Rio de Janeiro
22460-100 RJ Brazil

Tel: +55 21 2274 6156

Contact: jamer@jamer-books.com.br

www.jamerbooks.com.br