StreetLib launches digital publishing portals in 20 African countries in February roll-out

For anyone who missed it, StreetLib began the New Year by launching digital portals for authors and publishers in 21 countries across 6 continents, including 5 in Africa. As explained at the time, StreetLib is the publisher behind The New Publishing Standard, and while TNPS is not a StreetLib promotional vehicle and we don’t usually Read More …

US e-textbook subscription service Cengage hits 1 million subscribers in just 7 months

2019 is definitely shaping up to be the year digital subscription comes of age. Hard on the heels of Scribd announcing its one millionth subscriber – Scribd defies its critics. Hits 1 million subscribers , and with Storytel on target to clear a million subscribers by end 2019 – Storytel Q4 report: Subscribers up 44% Read More …

Books-A-Million shutters its self-publishing arm. Sends clients to FastPencil with three days notice

Emails are going out this week telling Books-A-Million’s BAM Publish users that BAM is out of the publishing services business as of March 1. BAM Publish clients will be shifted to FastPencil, an operator that offers services similar to those being discontinued by BAM. Or rather, identical, as BAM partnered with FastPencil in 2016. Which Read More …

Storytel prepares Germany launch, consolidating subscription as a serious challenger to the traditional publishing model

It all seemed so implausible at the start of this decade. Ebooks had officially arrived, thanks to Amazon’s Kindle store breathing life into a format that had been around since long before. But it was just a digital extension of the status quo retail model. It was printed books on a screen, not remotely exploring digital’s Read More …

As Penguin Random House SE Asia goes live, PRH plans just shy of 100 mostly English-language releases this year across the region

A common theme here at TNPS is the much-overlooked demand for English-language content in parts of the world where English is not the first or official language. Perhaps nowhere has that been more apparent than with the Big Bad Wolf phenomenon, where a Malaysia-based outfit ships literally millions of English-language books to countries like Indonesia, Read More …

Rakuten OverDrive adds Marvel Comics to Marketplace

Just weeks before Avengers: Endgame hits the big screen, and with the Oscars success of Black Panther and Into the Spider-Verse fresh in the public mind, Rakuten’s digital library distributor OverDrive has added Marvel Comics to its Marketplace, meaning any of the available titles can be made available to any partner library and can be read on the Libby app. Read More …

Storytel Q4 report: Subscribers up 44% Y/Y. Streaming sales up 38%. Targets 1.1 million subscribers by end 2019

We won’t know the full story for Storytel 2018 until April, but the Q4 results are out and include an overview of the year, and a clear picture is emerging of consistent and sustainable growth, driven by digital. As I’ll explore in a follow-up report on the Swedish book market, what we are seeing in Read More …

Sweden’s digital tax falls from 25% to 6% in July. What will Storytel do with its VAT windfall?

The Swedish government has finally announced its digital VAT plans, and as from July 1 digital services like ebooks, audiobooks and news will be subject to just 6% VAT, instead of the current 25%. The logical next step, one might think, would be for prices to fall in line with the VAT reduction, but as Read More …

As western publishers look the other way millions attend Arab book fairs in February

The numbers are in, and its more records falling as Morocco’s Casablanca International Book Fair pulls a crowd of 550,000, while Iraq’s Baghdad International Book Fair joins Cairo, Sharjah, Algiers and Muscat in the million+ Arab book fair club. I’m still trying to track an official number for the 2019 Cairo International Book Fair in Read More …

Somaliland’s 12th Hargeysa International Book Fair set for July with Egypt as Guest of Honour

Coexistence is the theme of the 12th Hargeysa International Book Fair which will be running July 20-25 in Somaliland An announcement on the Hargeysa Book Fair website explains, Throughout the annals of history, all the conflicts for which humanity has paid in millions of human lives and immeasurable destruction of properties have been based on Read More …

Brazil’s Ubook prepares IPO as Amazon launches Audible Latino, suggesting Audible Spain is still some way off

Brazilian audiobook firm Ubook is preparing for an IPO in Canada that will value the company at anywhere from USD $8 – $15 million as CEO Flavio Osso looks to expand Ubook’s operations further into Europe. UPDATE: Flavio Osso points out that “The range from 8 to 15 million dollars is the the target amount Read More …

Big Bad Wolf plans for 1 million visitors at its Indonesia book sale of 5.5 million books

When Big Bad Wolf debuted in Indonesia in 2016, regional organiser Uli Silalahi of PT Jaya Retail was not convinced the event had legs. Usually book exhibitions are only 3 days with a total of 5 thousand visitors. But here was Big Bad Wolf suggesting not just a twelve day book sale open 24 hours. Read More …

Brussels Book Fair sets new visitor record as readers vote with their feet to defy the books-are-dead doom-mongers

We’re told so many times that books are dead, publishing is doomed and authors need to find new career paths, that it’s sometimes easy to lose sight of the reality. That books and reading are more popular than ever. It’s just that the traditional sales channels and publishing superstar names are competing in an increasingly Read More …

Storm sinks hopes of record-breaking 2019 Ekushey Boi Mela in Bangladesh. Fire ravages Casablanca International Book Fair

Two major global book fairs, both on target to set new records for attendance and sales, had their hopes dashed this weekend as fire broke out at the Casablanca International Book Fair in Morocco and floods devastated the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, the month long national book fair in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The storm swept across Read More …

‘Jessica Jones,’ ‘Punisher’ Canceled. Netflix led the streaming surge and now pays the price as suppliers copy the Netflix model and content is siloed

“Jessica Jones, Punisher Canceled as Netflix Completes Marvel Purge” runs the headline in The Hollywood Reporter, but it’s not so much a purge as the inevitable consequence of the direction video streaming is taking. And publishing is not so far behind. Original content is of course a great draw for consumers, to a degree. But Read More …

Amazon accounts for 50% of online book sales in France

There’s not much to go on here, but also no real surprise. Amazon claimed 50% of online book sales in France in 2018, according to a report by Kantor World Panel. According to the report Amazon was by far the largest online retailer in the country, and its biggest showing was in the books sector, Read More …

Ten day countdown until Indonesia’s Islamic Book Fair kicks off

The annual Islamic Book Fair is scheduled to run February 27 through March 2 this year, and as usual is billed the largest Islamic literary event in SE Asia. Founded in 2001, the Islamic Book Fair was created to offer a book fair with a dedicated Islamic nuance to balance the two big trade fairs Read More …

$5m book sales and 5m visitors already, and still India’s book fairs line up. The 37th Agartala Book Fair is underway

East India’s second biggest book fair after Kolkata is underway in Tripura as the India love affair with books continues. As reported here a few days ago, already over 5 million people have visited Indian book fairs this year, spending the USD equivalent of over $5 million, and there’s no sign the appetite for books Read More …

Storytel wants to reduce visibility on hot romance and erotica because they are too popular

Cupido is a Norwegian site dedicated to all things sensual, and now that includes podcasts. This month Cupido is launching what apparently translates as Cupido Handsfree – a great double-entendre if accurate. To mark the event Cupido tells us that 4,500 of Storytel’s 100,000 titles are categorized as “sensual”, referencing a report in the left-wing Norwegian Read More …

Over 5 million visitors spend over $5 million at India’s 2019 book fairs. And we’re only halfway through February

India’s Kolkata International Book Fair wound up earlier this week and the numbers are in: 2.3 million visitors spent 230 million rupees (US$ 3.2 million) on books in twelve days. Given the price of books in India the volume must have been huge. This just weeks after 900,000 turned out to the New Delhi World Book Read More …