When Spanish Prince Felipe de Borbón wakes up in his San José hotel room Monday, the day of Oscar Arias inauguration, the latest edition of his hometown newspaper Madrid s El País will be waiting for him along with his coffee and gallo pinto. The prince, along with the leaders from around the world visiting for the big event, will be able to get a bound printout of his country s paper thanks to a new service now available for non-princely readers in Costa Rica as well.
A partnership between Costa Rican company Europrensa, S.A. and Canadian company NewspaperDirect, now allows customers to choose from a list of more than 320 papers from 57 countries, from Lebanon s Al-Mustaqbal to Hungary s Eszak-Magyarorszag to Romania s Bihari Naplo. The list also includes the foreign
papers Europrensa was already selling in Costa Rica, such as The New York Times and The Miami Herald, plus a wide selection of smaller U.S. papers such as The Christian Science Monitor and The Sacramento Bee.
If someone wants an Arabic newspaper and calls me at 6 p.m. today, I can have it for them the next morning, said Roberto Sisti, general manager and co-owner of 12-year-old Europrensa. We re going to be able to bring today s papers to the points of sale at eight in the morning It s something absolutely revolutionary, to have the paper from New York or Paris or London at eight.
To help spread the word about the new service, Sisti spoke with incoming President Arias and obtained a list of where the heads of state and other leaders in town for the inauguration will be staying. Europrensa will deliver papers from the leaders countries on Inauguration Day, he said.
As of May 2, the foreign papers previously for sale at places such as supermarket chain AutoMercado became available only in the new digitally printed format, and subscribers to other papers will also receive the digital version, he said.
The papers are printed in black and white and bound tabloid-style. Asked whether he thought the change in format the lack of color, smaller font and different feel, for the same price as imported papers will alienate some customers, Sisti said he thinks the fact that the paper will be available so promptly will overcome those concerns.
Before, the papers came at noon, when the first plane arrived, and we began to deliver them to clients at 2 p.m., he said.
He added that the company has been conducting test printings for 15 days and delivering the new papers to embassies.
I thought, These are never going to sell, said Marc Roegiers, co-owner of 7th Street Books in downtown San José, where digital copies of USA Today and Italy s La Repubblica were on display Wednesday. But they ve been moving.
One exception to the switch: the Sunday edition of The New York Times, according to Sisti. The massive paper is too bulky for the tabloid binding and will continue to be imported as before.
NewspaperDirect, founded in 1999 and headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, is the world leader in digital newspaper distribution, according to its Web site. In addition to its Print-on-Demand service, described above through which the company is licensed to print digital copies of newspapers in their original design and page layout it offers a service called Press Display, launched in 2003 and available at pressdisplay.com, through which users can view the entire newspaper online.
Its digital newspapers are available at hotels, cruise ships, yachts, airlines, retailers, libraries and research facilities around the world, according to the site. Sisti said that in Costa Rica, newspapers including Le Monde, El País, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, and The Miami Herald, are available at book and magazine retailers, large hotels, convenience stores and Automercado supermarkets.
For more information on points of sale, or for subscriptions or special orders of the other papers available through Europrensa, call 232-6682.
For more information on Newspaper-Direct, including a full listing of newspapers available, visit newspaperdirect.com.