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 …

Kindle’s Islamabad Children Literature Festival concludes in Pakistan, but no, it was nothing to do with Amazon

When we in the west hear the word kindle we immediately think of ebooks and reading.  After ten years in which Kindle has become as synonymous with e-readers as Hoover has with vacuum cleaners that’s a natural association. So when someone tipped me off that Amazon was involved in a children’s book fair in Pakistan, 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 …

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online giant Alibaba adds weight to the possibility the USA’s claim to be the world’s largest book market is now out of date.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 …

“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 …

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 …

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 …

With no new Harry Potter books, Pottermore sales and revenue declines as Harry Potter remains inaccessible to much of the globe

It’s been a while since the release of The Cursed Child, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the Hogwarts Library digital audiobook, and revenues have been hit, as The Bookseller reports. In the period, revenues were £32.8m, down from the previous year’s £40.3m. Pretax profit was £3.4m, compared with £3.5m. Nevertheless, the result showed that Pottermore Read More …

As India’s Niyogi Books prepares to launch its first Hindi titles next month, the company sees digital as an ally, not a threat

For a paper-importing country like India, rising paper prices pose a more serious challenge in coming years than online price discounting and the rise of ebooks. As Indian publishers strive to find and retain readers in a price-sensitive market so these challenges mount. Some, it seems, prefer the ostrich approach to dealing with arising problems: Read More …

600,000 visitors at Pakistan’s Karachi IBF, but publishers and IT Minister do not yet see digital as a way forward in a country with more people online than Spain

With visitors averaging 120,000 a day the Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers’ Association (PPBA) is understandably happy with the turnout for the 14th Karachi International Book Fair, equaling the 2017 record of 0.6 million. And next year promises to be bigger still. PPBA Chairman Aziz Khalid, announcing the dates for 2019 (December 5-9 – this year’s Read More …

Nigerian ebook and music aggregator Publiseer plans Egypt launch. Takes on Nathan Hull as adviser

It all seemed so unlikely. Twin brothers in Nigeria, one an author, one a musician, decide to distribute their and other artists contents through a micro-aggregator called Publiseer. Only launched in Lagos in August 2017, twins Chidi and Chika Nwaogu have since expanded their operation to Kenya, Ghana and most recently South Africa. Now we Read More …

Self-publishing is “one of the great growth engines of the Peruvian publishing market”

Over at PublishNewsES this week, a thought-provoking study of the Peruvian book market that, unusually, adopts a holistic approach more akin to that we’d take here at TNPS. That is to say, a view that looks at all the key market segments rather than the usual introspective focus on publishers and offline/online retail. In this Read More …

As Norway bucks the Scandinavian trend, preferring print bought offline, TNPS asks: Do the smaller book markets really have anything to fear from Amazon?

A new report, Art in Numbers, from the Norwegian Cultural Council observes 88% of fiction and 75% of non-fiction is consumed in print via Norway’s high street stores, in stark contrast to neighbouring Sweden where streamed audiobooks and ebooks are the trend. Trine Stensen, CEO of the Norwegian Bookstores Association, explained, That the physical bookstore Read More …

Storytel confirms Bulgaria launch for 2018. At least six new markets in 2019 (inc. Brazil and Singapore). Mofibo ebooks to come under Storytel brand

Although we don’t have the date yet, it’s now official that Storytel will be launching in Bulgaria this year, and as there’s only this month to go it now seems certain Storytel Bulgaria will formally be announced in the Bulgarian capital at the Sofia Literary Festival (11-16 December), running in tandem with the Sofia International Read More …

In the fight against Storytel, Denmark’s JP/Politikens Hus acquires Danish online bookshop Saxo.com

The acquisition, subject to regulatory authority approval, of Denmark’s largest online bookstore Saxo by minority stake-holder JP/Politikens Hus has repercussions beyond the Danish border. If the translation is accurate, Saxo’s Jørgen Balle Olesen said in a press release, I hand over the keys to JP / Politikens Hus with a mixture of pride and vodka. Fortunately, Read More …

Nigerian music and ebook aggregator Publiseer launches in South Africa

Given the company’s name, Publiseer, from the Afrikaans word for “publish”, there was a logical inevitability that Publiseer would at some stage launch in South Africa. It just happened. South Africa joins Ghana and Kenya and home country Nigeria as Publiseer, the music and ebooks aggregator, continues on its mission to be a pan-African distributor. Read More …

The TNPS Week In Review – Nov. 4-Nov 10

This past week on TNPS:   Sales down but visitors up at Brazil’s Porto Alegre Book Fair. The world’s untracked book sales redux.   The Handmaid’s Tale released in UAE as Arab book market globalisation builds.   Bangladesh Book Fair in Kolkata sets the scene for Kolkata IBF and the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela.   Read More …

With an online population bigger than the Netherlands, Myanmar gets its first national ebook store with telco MPT

While the Big 5 western ebook retailers look the other way, the digital format continues to gain ground across south and south-east Asia, driven by mobile. Next year Storytel will launch in Singapore, while Thailand’s Ookbee has long had a strong presence across SE Asia. Yet bizarrely neither Amazon nor Apple offer ebooks in any part Read More …