India’s StoryWeaver introduces first comic book as platform exceeds 15,000 titles in 200 languages

Part of India’s Pratham Books, StoryWeaver is the largest of a number of open-source platforms dedicated to providing free content in multiple languages, including indigenous languages most publishers have no interest in, aimed at school and pre-school children. This month, runs a StoryWeaver announcement, we have added more storybooks in languages like, Marwari, Surjapuri, Korku Read More …

Wattpad’s 80 million users are part of the invisible and untapped global digital-first readership many publishers are oblivious to

Several industry reports carry the Wattpad press release announcing the Toronto-based company has added ten million new users this year, a 23% expansion taking its total user base to 80 million people spending 22 billion minutes each month on the site. From the press release: Wattpad, the global multi-platform entertainment company for original stories, today Read More …

OverDrive’s Sora digital reading app for schools had 5.5 million checkouts in its first year, and saw reading time double in six months

This is a remarkable story that blows apart the faux narratives that smartphones are destroying the reading habit and that kids don’t read digitally. Yes, of course kids love printed books, and long may they continue, but printed books have production and distribution costs as well as practical issues of accessibility (everything from fixed font Read More …

Publish MENA – the digital advantage #2 is now available

The joint StreetLib-TNPS bi-weekly newsletter Publish MENA – the digital advantage released its second issue a few days ago. Publish MENA is a bi-weekly review of the Middle East North Africa Arab publishing scene across all formats, but with an unashamed tilt towards the digital opportunity unfolding. Written by TNPS Editor-in-Chief Mark Williams in The Gambia, Read More …

Chile’s 30th International Children’s and YA Book Fair prepares for kick off

If it’s August it must be time for Chile’s FILIJ – from the Spanish Feria del Libro Infantil y Juvenil – and this 30th edition promises to be the best ever. Running August 21 through September 1, the event will be, oriented to science, new technologies, games of role, migration, gender and inclusion; topics that will Read More …

The UAE’s Manassah platform delivering results for Emirati publishers at the six month mark

Back in early February I reported here on the January launch of the “Manassah” platform – an initiative by the Emirati Publishers Association (EPA) to get Emirati titles in front of a regional and wider audience. Six months on and we have some news about progress made. The Sharjah City Guide blog reports, …The platform Read More …

Dash – a new digital-first commercial fiction imprint – launching from Orion this autumn

Commissioning editor Victoria Oundjian will lead Dash, a new digital-first commercial fiction imprint from Hachette-owned UK publisher Orion, with the aim to, connect readers with stories, fast. All fiction genres are up for submissions  (dashdigital@orionbooks.co.uk) and authors are being sought across the English-speaking world. The Bookseller reports that the first title for the new imprint, Read More …

Despite all the streamed video, social media, games and other book-killing distractions, 76% of German kids 4-13 like reading

That headline finding comes from Kinder-Medien-Studie 2019 which took the pleasure pulse of 7.31 million German kids between 4-13 years old and lined up their media consumption habits. That will be Germany, one of the richest nations in the world, where we can safely say the kids have every option available to them when it Read More …

A commercial fiction prize worth AU$ 10k launched by HarperCollins and Australian Society of Authors

The Australian Society of Authors and the HQ imprint of HarperCollins Australia have launched a new commercial fiction award for Australian and New Zealand authors. Open to previously unpublished titles, the first prize is a book contract with HQ and an advance of AU$ 10,000, while second prize will be a 20 hour website consultation Read More …

New award announced for authors writing in te reo Māori

Appropriately in this UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages, the Storyines Children’s Literature Charitable Trust has announced a new award for writers in New Zealand’s te reo Māori  language. The award is named after the late Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira, who led the revival of the Māori language in the country. The annual Storylines Dame Read More …

Storytel hits one million subscriber target five months ahead of expectations as audiobook and ebook users “rise significantly” during summer

Storytel has added 200,000 new subscribers since the start of 2019, taking it across the one million subscriber threshold as of today, August 12. In a press release marking the occasion Storytel CEO Jonas Tellander said, I am extremely moved and very thankful for the fantastic response Storytel receives every day from people all over Read More …

Beijing International Book Fair fields 2,600 exhibitors from 95 countries this month as the centre of publishing industry gravity shifts inexorably east

The 2019 Beijing International Book Fair is looming, and it promises to be the most significant yet as, against a background of a US-China trade war, some 2,600 exhibitors from 95 nations and regions showcase their wares in a country not so long ago considered a pariah state in the publishing world. This year Romania Read More …

“Adapting to the context and speed of the world.” Cape Verde delivers a lesson for publishers as the tiny African nation embraces 5G

Cape Verde’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Olavo Correia announced plans this week to put the archipelago at the forefront of the internet revolution by being among the first countries in the world to embrace 5G technology. Supported by China’s Huawei, this bold initiative in an island nation of 560,000, with just 352,000 online, Read More …

As Angola Cables launches its first live global gaming portal, a reminder publishers need to rethink and redefine anachronistic territorial restrictions

Angola Cables, as the name might suggest, is an African multinational telco involved with laying the infrastructure for the internet connectivity that drives the global digital economy. NexTV News Africa reports this week that Angola Cables has partnered with gaming and e-sports specialist Qwatti eSports to launch a, new service that will be opened to Read More …

StreetLib-TNPS launches new B2B MENA publishing newsletter ahead of the IPA Regional Seminar in Amman

Originally planned to go live to mark the occasion of the Sharjah International Book Fair later this year, we decided to bring forward the launch of our B2B newsletter for the Middle East North Africa book market after Hugo Setzer, IPA President, announced the IPA Middle East Regional Seminar, to be held in Amman, Jordan, Read More …

While some publishers see social media as the enemy, others understand Instagram = instabooks = instaprofits

We hear it so often it’s easy to start believing it. Nobody reads because they are all on social media on their smartphones. And let’s be honest. It’s easy to buy into that narrative. Just take a look around. It seems practically everyone is glued to their smartphone instead of reading books. Or so the Read More …

25 million books sold to 3 million visitors across 25 cities, and it’s only August. Big Bad Wolf shows us the global demand for affordable English-language books

One would think a country like Indonesia, not noted for its reading reputation, might soon get tired of a Malaysian company turning up with millions (literally) of English-language books in eleven-day 24/7 flash sales. But if there is a limit, Big Bad Wolf has yet to reach it. Not content with taking 5.5 million books Read More …

With a week to go, the Nepal International Book Fair is cancelled due to tax hike on imported books

It was to have been the 23rd Nepal International Book Fair, running August 14 to 30. Now it won’t run at all. Amid protests at a government levy of 10% on imported books, supposedly to protect the domestic publishing industry and encourage reading, publishing houses and booksellers have been unable to affordably buy enough books Read More …

IPA announces first ever Middle East Publishing Seminar for September, with a strong focus on digital

“Read. Empower. Transform: The role of reading for the future of the Arab world” is the title of a newly announced two-day IPA (International Publishers Association) Regional Seminar that will be taking place in the Jordanian capital Amman Sept 30-Oct 1. Organised in conjunction with the Union of Jordanian Publishers the event, described as “the Read More …

As audio becomes Bulgaria’s fastest-growing publishing sector, TNPS ponders where next for Storytel

A report in Bulgaria’s Investor this week notes audio is now the fastest growing sector of Bulgarian publishing. The OP is, appropriately, in audio, and of course Bulgarian, so I’ve not been able to decipher much from the commentary, but the news gives pause for thought as to where Jonas Tellander will venture next with Read More …