Sun Tzu, Dale Carnegie, and Steven Carter Are White-Hot In Brazil: A South American Country Turns To Books From The Past To Plan Its Future
TWO ARE GONE AND ONE HASN’T WRITTEN A BOOK IN ALMOST TEN YEARS, YET ALL THREE AUTHORS DOMINATE SHELF SPACE IN BRAZIL’S BOOKSTORES, TOPPING THE COUNTRY’S BIGGEST BESTSELLER LISTS MONTH AFTER MONTH.
Going into a bookstore in Brazil is a bit like traveling back in time. Yes, you’ll find J.K. Rowling and Paul Coelho, but the shelves are dominated by three iconic authors from the past. There are at least half a dozen different versions of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”, piles of Dale Carnegie’s positive-thinking classics, and at least two giant stacks of the Steven Carter/Julia Sokol self-help classics, “What Smart Women Know” and “Men Like Women Who Like Themselves.”
Clearly the message being sent from this very progressive South American country is clear: New is not always better. These non-fiction classics have been topping the bestseller lists in Brazil for years, handily competing with every new book title that comes along.
Brazil has continued to surprise the world in recent years with its intelligent investments, particularly its investments in alternative fuels. And Brazil’s women, the primary driver of book sales, have more discretionary income as they accumulate more wealth and independence in a rapidly transforming society. Clearly, Brazilian women are investing that money in books.
The Los Angeles Times recently published an article about Steven Carter’s stunning success in Brazil. (To read this article, go to: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-self26-2008jul26,0,2920383.story.) Carter’s self-help classic, “What Smart Women Know” has been on every major bestseller list, including Epoca Magazine, Folha de S. Paulo, and Brazil’s most prestigious list, Veja Magazine. Carter recently celebrated his 103rd week on the Veja list, a truly extraordinary accomplishment.
The 15-year old sequel to “What Smart Women Know”, “Men Like Women Who Like Themselves”, has been following right behind its sibling since it was released in Brazil in April of 2008.
Steven Carter’s Brazilian publisher, Marcos Pereira, co-owner of the self-help/spirituality publishing company GMT Sextante (also publisher of one Sun Tzu translation), has not been completely surprised by Carter’s feat. He knows how strongly Brazilian women are responding to well-written books with a psychological slant.
“The role of women in the Brazilian culture or economy has evolved” explained Pereira, “If you think of the U.S. 20 years ago, I think this is happening now in Brazil. Women are rethinking their roles, enjoying their independence, embracing their success” Translation: Brazilian women are taking the reins and using time-tested books to help them plan their futures.
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