Publish MENA – the digital advantage #3 is now available

The joint StreetLib-TNPS bi-weekly newsletter Publish MENA – the digital advantage released its third issue today.  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.

De Marque acquires Feedbook assets including the Feedbook digital books catalogue for $0.25 million, taking De Marque to 1.4 million titles

Paying just 230,000 euros (US$ 254,000) for the assets of the collapsed ebook store Feedbooks, the Canadian digital distributor De Marque has at a stroke just added 900,00 titles to its catalogue. There’s more to this story than at first meets the eye, so let me start with, at some length, the upbeat press release Read More …

Start The Day Global with a Muslim superhero; Trinidad & Tobago’s Carifesta;  The Philippines Comic Con; and Barnes & Noble’s reputation

Marvel has confirmed a Muslim superhero named Ms Marvel – Pakistani-American teenager Kamala Khan – will star in a live-action series on Disney+. Very few details available right now, and one can only wonder if this is more about political correctness and the need to appear “inclusive”, rather than a genuine realisation the world needs Read More …

Publishing breathes a collective sigh of relief at Barnes & Noble’s eleventh hour reprieve, but who will buy Nook?

You might be forgiven for thinking Barnes & Noble was such a train wreck that you couldn’t pay someone to take it off Len Riggio’s hands, such has been the tone of some industry commentators. So the news today that hedge fund Elliott Management has (subject to regulatory approval) acquired America’s biggest bookstore chain will Read More …

Nigeria’s booksellers promise vibrant trade, but casting social media as the enemy is not the way to make that happen

Nigeria’s Booksellers Association (BAN) has fresh blood after recent AGM elections, and BAN’s new president, Dare Michael Oluwatuyi, MD of CSS Bookshops Limited, is determined to reverse years of decline in the bookselling trade and return Nigerian bookselling to its former glory. As reported by Nigeria’s Guardian, Oluwatuyi said, We shall embark on qualitative membership Read More …

Middle East online bookstore Jamalon raises $10m in funding for expansion as Amazon remains ambivalent about the $1.7 bn MENA book market

Little known outside the Middle East, Jamalon is the Arab world’s largest online bookstore, fielding over 10 million titles in English and Arabic. Based in the Jordanian capital Amman, but with bases in Dubai and Riyadh, Jamalon purports to be, the largest online bookstore in Middle East, offering more than 10 million titles of Arabic Read More …

Norwegian online bookstore wins Finland’s Dragon’s Den variation Polar Bear Pitching with an icy proposition

Most people reading this will know of the TV series Dragon’s Den, or Shark Tank, or any of thirty localised variations of the show where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to risk-averse investors. Originating in Japan as Money Tigers, Dragons Den has been reproduced around the globe from Afghanistan to Vietnam, and occasionally publishing opportunities Read More …

French ebook store Numilog rolls out pay-per-page reading for consumers. Will it be vulnerable to the problems that Kindle Unlimited faces?

The French ebook and audio store Numilog has been focused primarily, although not exclusively, on academic and reference books, which can be expensive to buy and often are not read end to end. That can be a deterrent to buying, unless you really need to, and so Numilog has rolled out a new consumption model Read More …

Discount ebook deals mailing list BookBub finally adds audiobooks. Launches Chirp in partnership with Findaway

One of the biggest gripes about Amazon’s ACX, the self-publishing arm of Audible and very much the go to place for indie authors to distribute their audiobooks, is that Amazon calls the shots on pricing. Among the many appeals of new kid on the block Findaway is that the author has a semblance of control. Read More …

Storytel Poland: An entertainment platform, not a bookstore with a subscription option

This is a translation of an  original article by Daniel Kotliński, which can be found here. An entertainment platform, not a bookstore with a subscription option. Prospects and plans for the development of the Storytel brand. Like storytelling itself, audio has limitless possibilities. Does an application for audio materials that has been out on the Polish market 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 …

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 …

Scribd defies its critics. Hits 1 million subscribers

It all seemed so improbable just a few years ago, when many believed Scribd would follow Oyster into oblivion as Amazon moved into the ebook subscription game. And then of course there’s all that nonsense about how people are reading less nowadays and how the digital reading fad has faded and how… By the logic Read More …

Romania’s biggest online bookstore sold 1.5 million books in 2018

With a population close to 20 million Romania is by no means one of Europe’s smallest book markets, but often is overlooked by publishers outside the country looking to maximise reach and revenues. Yet Romania has a vibrant online book sector, with Libris leading the online print stores and Elefant the dominant ebook player in Read More …

Start The Day Global – 5 Not to be Missed Publishing Stories from Around the World

A writers workshop in Abu Dhabi that went from 12 to 2,500 members. A pay-to-get-in bookstore in Japan. A book exchange at a train station in Pakistan. How children’s books went from japan to Mosul in Iraq. And how the lyrics of the Moroccan national anthem came to be written. We start today with a Read More …

India’s oldest pavement bookseller turns his final page, but the Chennai street bookstore goes on

If you’re a booklover and you’ve ever been to India’s Chennai then chances are you’ve seen, and perhaps chatted to, RK Alwar, the white-bearded old man to be seen sat in front of the street bookstore known affectionately as Alwar Kadai (Alwar’s shop). Sadly the old man himself passed away this week, aged 95, after Read More …

As the International Children’s Content Rights Fair ends in Thailand, Big Bad Wolf takes centre-stage

The International Children’s Content Rights Fair (ICCRF) in Chiang Mai winds up its four-day run today (Sunday December 2). Focussed on children’s content from ASEAN publishers and rights deals between ASEAN countries and the wider world, the ICCRF seeks to open up new opportunities in South East Asia. Regulars here at TNPS will know my views Read More …

India’s North East Book Fair sees heavy footfall but few buyers for local-language titles

The Northeast Book Fair, held under the aegis of the All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association, wound up its twelve day run yesterday. No final figures yet (I’ll update with any further news) but at the half-way point AAPBSA general secretary Dhiraj Goswami had said visitor numbers had exceeded 80,000 and sales worth Rs. Read More …

Online bookstore Kitab Yatra launched in Nepal

Nepal’s population of close to 30 million spread out across the Himalayan republic presents its own unique logistical problems for bookstores and publishers. The capital, Kathmandu, is the largest city with just 1.5 million residents (3 million for the wider urban area) and the next biggest city, Pokhara, comes in with a population of just Read More …

Is the latest boycott a sign Amazon is preparing to shutter Abe Books?

Today’s headlines about the Abe Books boycott are perhaps the least of Amazon’s worries, as it reels from a quarter trillion dollar stock market devaluation, a billion dollar loss on its India Marketplace, and a new fraud inquiry that saw Amazon’s country head Amit Agrawal, logistics firm Darshita Pvt Ltd directors Pradeep Kumar and Ravish Read More …