BRAZIL’S WOMEN READ THEIR WAY TO THE TOP: Self-help is the Rage, and an American Author is becoming a South American Hero
Steven Carter is the Dean of a graduate school in Los Angeles, California. He stopped writing books almost ten years ago after a writing career that produced twenty books, including seven national bestsellers and the New York Times bestseller “Men Who Can’t Love”. Until very recently, he thought he had left the world of books behind. Then Carter learned that close to one million copies of his books would be sold in Brazil this year.
At first, Carter thought someone was pulling his leg. But then his Brazilian publisher, GMT Sextante, sent him a first-class ticket to Brazil and invited him to visit in April and ’meet the press.’ Thirty interviews later, it was clear that this was no April Fool’s joke. Carter learned firsthand something he could have never anticipated: Self-help is the rage in Brazil right now and Carter’s books are all going platinum.
Thanks to its brilliant gamble on Ethanol, and the recent discovery of more than 800 billion dollars worth of oil reserves, Brazil is uniquely positioned to become the most powerful voice in Latin America, and it may soon have the 5th largest economy in the world. The middle class is swelling. Women are flocking to the big cities where extraordinary opportunities await, experiencing a level of economic freedom, equality, and power they could not have dreamed of twenty years ago. And that is translating into book sales.
The women of Brazil are using their income wisely to invest in the future. They are pumping money into the economy. And one of their smartest investments is books – self-help books that are helping them negotiate this brave new world. Brazilian men are not happy with rapid changes in the balance of power, and women are looking for a road map to help them navigate through the push back. That’s where Carter enters the picture.
Two of Steven Carter’s self-help classics, “What Smart Women Know” and “Men Like Women Who Like Themselves,” seem to have the answers that the women of Brazil are looking for. As a result, Carter’s titles have now celebrated 103 weeks on Brazil’s bestseller lists – that’s 103 weeks of being top ten in the country, regularly outselling authors like J.K.Rowling and Barack Obama.
Carter’s success was recently the subject of a Los Angeles Times feature story. To read this story, go to: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-self26-2008jul26,0,2920383.story
Marcos Pereira, co-founder of GMT Sextante, is not entirely surprised by the success of Carter’s work. Pereira is watching women move into the marketplace in a new and different way. “The role of women in the Brazilian culture and economy has evolved,” explained Pereira, “If you think of the U.S. twenty years ago, I think this is happening now in Brazil. Women are rethinking their roles, enjoying their independence, embracing their success. And these books are providing an immensely valuable support system.”
Steven Carter has already visited Brazil three times this year. He is currently studying Portuguese, hoping to make future media tours thru Brazil a bit more seamless. Still, the language gap does not seem to throw him. “I was worried at first,” admits Carter, “but I now see clearly that the messages in these books are not lost in translation.”
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