Publish MENA – the digital advantage #4 is hitting inboxes this weekend

The joint StreetLib-TNPS bi-weekly newsletter Publish MENA – the digital advantage released its fourth issue just before the weekend. 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. Publish MENA #4 is the usual mix of developments within the Read More …

Big Bad Wolf returns to Dubai in October, with 3 million books

Very few details available right now, but with one month to go it’s now official that Big Bad Wolf, the Malaysia-based flash-book-sale operation that takes literally millions of English-language books to countries that routinely do not speak English, is back in the UAE in October for its second run. As with the debut event in Read More …

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.

Big Bad Wolf takes millions of English-language books to Taiwan, Myanmar, Indonesia and Pakistan as publishers look the other way

Big Bad Wolf took 2 million English-language books to Taiwan this month for its second Big Bad Wolf Taipei event. Last year it drew a crowd of 165,000 during its eleven day 24/7 run. That’s a remarkable achievement given all the books were in English. It’s no one-off. Big Bad Wolf on June 10 closed Read More …

Arabic audiobook operator Kitab Sawti grows 20% month on month. Picks up $6 million in new funding as Amazon remains ambivalent towards the Arab book markets

Headquartered in Stockholm, Kitab Sawti has since 2016 been working the Arab audiobook market, largely unnoticed by the outside world. It’s not alone – Dhad, Booklava and of course Storytel Arabia are among its rivals for the affections of Arab audiobook lovers, but it’s a telling point that whereas Storytel is expecting to hit the Read More …

Amazon launches in UAE, home of UNESCO World Book Capital, with only third-party-seller books, no Kindle store and no Arab self-publishing option

The rebranding of online Arab marketplace Souq will surprise few. Two years after Amazon bought Souq it is now, for the UAE at least, rebranded as Amazon AE, and the previously reported January 2019 focus on opening up the Middle East to the US marketplace continues as expected. Middle East online bookstore Jamalon raises $10m Read More …

Dubai’s Booklava wins The Bookseller’s AudioBook Publisher of the Year Award

Unsurprisingly, audiobooks have been a hot topic at the London Book Fair, which finishes today, but it wasn’t the usual suspects, Audible and Storytel, that grabbed the headlines. The Bookseller’s Audiobook producer of the Year Award went to an audio outfit in the United Arab Emirates, which may come as a surprise to those who Read More …

Dubai Audio Library “the largest Arabic audio library in the world”

Launched by Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai Audio Library seeks to help the 7 million visually impaired people in the Arab world. It’s an initiative, reports Nasher News, undertaken by the RTA in collaboration with the website Bookshare.org. The Library is a volunteering platform for supporting seven Read More …

Big Bad Wolf Blows The House Down. Ten Million Books to Indonesia

Just when you think the world of books can’t get any crazier… We’ve seen Big Bad Wolf take millions of (mostly) English-language books to Sri Lanka this year (1.5 million), Taiwan (2 million), Philippines (twice – 2 million and 1 million)), Malaysia (3 times so far and at least one more to go – well Read More …

Big Bad Wolf Kuala Lumpur 2018 announced as debut Big Bad Wolf Dubai kicks off

Big Bad Wolf launches its first foray outside South Asia today, with an eleven day 24/7 non-stop book sale in the United Arab Emirates, with 3 million books laid on for eager readers. The Dubai sale, held in partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), the National Media Council (NMC) and Read More …

Kurdistan’s 13th Erbil Int. Book Fair reminds us censorship is a balancing act, not a line in the sand

38 books have been prevented from sale at the 13th Erbil International Book Fair in Iraq’s Kurdistan, and the silence from the freedom of speech supporters has been deafening. In stark contrast to the outrage occasioned by Kuwait’s (admittedly larger scale) censorship – A mermaid wearing a bra among the books banned in Kuwait, but Read More …

Sweden’s Storytel Arabia partners with Jordan’s Jamalon to expand MENA audiobook reach

Hat tip to Bodour Al Qasimi (@Bodour) for spotting this story before it made my in-tray. I mentioned Jamalon here just a few days ago when looking at the Amman International Book Fair, happening in Jordan right now. As the Amman International Book Fair gets underway, say hello to Jamalon and Yaqut – Jordan’s hidden Read More …

The Week In Review

Here’s a summary of TNPS posts from the past seven days. Sao Paulo’s Avenida Paulista bookstore closes – Fnac Brazil now has just one bookstore standing Setswana? Indonesian? Can you tell the difference? Nor can Microsoft A mermaid wearing a bra among the books banned in Kuwait, but protests are gathering momentum Big Bad Wolf Read More …

Big Bad Wolf takes 3 million English-language books to Dubai next month as it debuts outside SE Asia

It was back in February that TNPS broke the news that the world’s biggest book sale would be heading for Dubai this year. World’s biggest book sale heading to Bangladesh, Dubai, Korea and Taiwan this year Now it’s official. Malaysia-based Big Bad Wolf, the World’s biggest book sale, will debut in Arabic-speaking Dubai, part of Read More …

Sweden-based Arabic-language audiobook firm Kitab Sawti attracts new investment

We’re just a few weeks shy of the first anniversary of The New Publishing Standard, and if I had to identify one regret at how things have progressed this past eleven months it would be that I’ve not had the time to pursue and develop the many smaller and quirkier international publishing stories that have Read More …

Is Amazon preparing a Kindle Arabia launch at the Sharjah Int. Book Fair later this year?

In November it will be four years since Amazon launched a Kindle store (Netherlands, November 2014), and as I’ve speculated on several occasions here at TNPS, it seemed mostly unlikely there were any new Kindle store launches being planned. Amazon has set up token operations in Singapore and Vietnam, is opening a call centre in Read More …

Books on the beaches – not content with having the biggest book fair in the world, Egypt takes books to the Med resorts

You might think that, with almost four million visitors turning out for the January 2018 Cairo International Book Fair, there wouldn’t be anyone left to warrant another book event in Egypt. After all, as we all know Arabs don’t read. And if you believe that, I’m offering half-price flights to the Moon all next week. Read More …

PRH’s Markus Dohle says audiobooks are the future, not the ebook, as Storytel Arabia ramps up production. But is Dohle missing the bigger picture?

“Audiobooks are the future, not ebooks,” said Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle last week at Spain’s Forum Edita at the Barcelona School of Management of the Pompeu Fabra University. Talking about book publishing in general, Dohle said, The sector is experiencing the best moment of the last fifty years … and maybe of the last five Read More …

While publishers limit their reach with archaic C20 territorial rights, Big Bad Wolf shows us the global demand for English-language books

With a population of 20 million Sri Lanka is bigger by population than all but eight countries in Europe. That alone ought to put Sri Lanka on the radar of publishers as a lucrative market. Its 16.6 million Sinhala speakers is close to the population of the Netherlands. Its 4.7 million Tamil speakers give it Read More …

Bookxcess opens Malaysia’s first 24/7 bookstore as Big Bad Wolf Bangkok and Taiwan are being readied

With a population of 32 million (just 4 million fewer than Canada, and 8 million more than Australia), and 25 million people online (compare Canada’s 33 million online, and Australia’s 21 million online) you wouldn’t be alone in wondering why neither Amazon nor Apple have bothered to offer Malaysia an ebook store. In fact neither Read More …