Lessons for book publishers as Jewish-American journal Forward abandons print editions to go digital only

The Jewish-American journal Forward has just announced that it will print its last edition this spring. Publisher Rachel Fishman Feddersen said in a statement that the print editions are, no longer financially sustainable. The Lebanon Express, reporting the story, explained that, Forward, founded in 1897 as a Yiddish-language daily newspaper serving the American Jewish community, Read More …

India’s New Delhi World Book Fair disappointed with only 900,000 visitors

It was never going to be a record-breaking year for the 27th New Delhi World Book Fair. Like the imminent Cairo International Book Fair this year, the New Delhi venue is undergoing substantive renovation. But while In Egypt they simply moved the event to another venue, in India they chose to hold the fair around Read More …

Amazon’s Audible says self-published ebooks and paperbacks are not evidence that an author has been published

With the announcement in December that Amazon-owned Audible was sponsoring the prestigious Sunday Times Short Story Award came the prospect that the winners would not just earn some extra cash but would have their entries published as an audiobook that would reach a still wider audience. Which all sounds great. The Sunday Times Short Story Read More …

Amazon Prime Video launches on UAE’s du while global ebook ambitions remain on the shelf

We’re now well into our fifth year without a new Kindle store being launched – the last was the Netherlands in November 2014 – and there seems little prospect of any new Kindle store launches in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile Amazon Prime Video is available pretty much everywhere in the world, and this week comes Read More …

Looking Ahead: The Manila International Book Fair September 2019

I frequently hear from TNPS readers that they wish they’d known about a particular book fair, festival or other literary event and its background in advance so they could have attended, or organised something on social media to mark the occasion. So this will be the first of an occasional series looking at events well Read More …

India’s Chennai Book Fair a “huge success”, with over 800,000 visitors at halfway mark and another 1 million expected before close

The Chennai Book Fair set a new record of 1.2 million visitors last year and now looks set to just miss its ambitious 2 million target for 2019. India’s Chennai Book Fair sets the pace for 2019, extends duration and aims for 2 million visitors in January On Monday alone, reports New Indian Express, 60,000 Read More …

Storytel breaks new ground with commercial collaboration with Sweden’s Avanza to offer business audiobooks

Sweden’s banking and finance company Avanza has long offered financial advice via podcasts, so it was only natural that, when Storytel cast its eye over the Swedish audio landscape for untapped niches it should alight on the private finance sector. Storytel takes the next step in its commitment to business literature by launching a unique Read More …

Is China now the biggest book market, redux. Alibaba says 30 million new Chinese readers were added in 2018

While one report citing a $55 billion value for the Chinese book market cannot be taken as gospel, a new report from China’s online giant Alibaba adds weight to the possibility the USA’s claim to be the world’s largest book market is now out of date. As reported here at TNPS a few days ago, Read More …

Storytel launches podcasts in Poland

Podcasts are a great way of reaching consumers with shortform audio, without the full expense that comes with producing an audiobook, and in the US, reports Poland’s Weekend Gazeta, podcasts have been elevated to an art form. In the United States…the releases of subsequent seasons of iconic productions are an event no less than the Read More …

Saudi Arabia’s second book fair of the year attracts thousands, just a week after Jeddah’s record 475,000 turnout

Given the Jeddah International Book Fair ran from December 26 through January 5, we can only attribute five days worth of the 475,000 visitors to the 2019 book fair count, but even so we’re looking at about a quarter million booklovers descending on an Arab book fair so far in 2019, and we’re still less Read More …

“Realising Africa’s Potential as a Global Publishing Leader in the 21st century” will require abandoning 20th century attitudes towards publishing

The International Publishers Association Seminar on Sustainable Development for African Publishers 2019 will be hosted in Nairobi on June 14-15 with the theme “Realising Africa’s Potential as a Global Publishing Leader in the 21st Century.” James Murua has the scoop on this story, so I defer first to the James Murua African Literature Blog for Read More …

China ended 2018 with 225,000 bookstores and a $55 billion valuation. Has China usurped the US as the world’s largest publishing market?

The latest report from China’s Books and Periodicals Distribution Association tells us China finished the year with 225,000 bookstores and outlets, up 4.3% on 2017, with total sales revenue of 370.4 billion yuan ($54.7 billion), up 5.9% on 2017. The Chinese government has played a big role in supporting publishing recently, as Xinhua reports: Private bookstores Read More …

Audiobook revenue doubled in Finland in 2018

While the end of year results are not yet known, audiobook revenues doubled in Finland up until September 2018, standing at 2.5 million euros ($2.8 million) and accounting for 3% of total book sales. Market leader Bookbeat, part of Sweden’s Bonnier, as reported here recently had 150,000 subscribers at end 2019, and Finland’s M&M says 70,000 Read More …

In 2018 750,000 digital book downloads a day went uncounted by Nielsen Bookscan and Data Guy’s BookStat, fuelling the nonsense that people are reading less

Regulars here at TNPS will not have been surprised that Rakuten OverDrive last year surpassed the quarter billion download mark, serving 274 million digital books to eager consumers through its global library distribution service. While the USA is by far the bigger client country of OverDrive we should remember that the company delivers digital books Read More …

Argentina’s 2nd FIL de la Costa is underway

The second edition of Feria del Libro de la Costa is taking place on Argentina’s Atlantic coast. PublishNewsES reports nearly fifty major publishers are alongside booksellers and authors and a range of independent presses which have, Revitalized the production of books in Argentina during the last 20 years (with their) commitment to new writers, with translations Read More …

475,000 attended Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah International Book Fair. The Arab Renaissance continues

When it comes to judging the potential of the so-called nascent book markets, attendance at book fairs and festivals is a good barometer. First we have to divest ourselves of the idea that national and international book fairs all take the form of the celebrated western book fairs like Frankfurt, London and New York, which Read More …

El Salvador gets its first digital library

Times change and you have to adapt to them, reports PublishNewsES, and in the tiny Central American republic of El Salvador the libraries have finally began to embrace the internet. The House of Culture of Metapán, PublishNewsES explains, was, one of the ten first Houses of Culture that were founded in the country in 1973 Read More …

Accra International Book Festival 2019 dates announced. And the hunt is on for the 27 best books by Ghanaian authors

Ghana’s inaugural Accra Book Festival last Year (not to be confused with the Ghana International Book Fair) was an unqualified success last year, and plans for the 2019 edition are underway. The 2nd Accra Book Festival will be formally launched on August 10 and the event itself will run for four days over October 24-27. Read More …

Sweden’s Storytel beats forecast for both subscribers and revenue. 55% of subscribers and 52% of streaming revenue now international

Storytel issued a press release today to say it had beaten its forecast for both subscribers and revenue in Q4, with an average 768,700 paying subscribers across its fifteen markets, up almost 48,000 on Q3. Streaming revenue just beat the forecast, coming in at SEK 291.3 million ($32 million) for Q4, of which SEK 140 Read More …

Print Sales Top 700 Million Units for first time since 2010

NPD Bookscan has reported 2018 print sales at 707.4 million, the highest since 2010. Michelle Obama’s Becoming played a big role in that, and of course in previous years it’s been JK Rowling. Nice to know, in this era of diversity in publishing, that women authors are keeping the industry afloat. Over at Publishers Lunch Read More …