Malta Book Festival programme will be delivered to every household in Malta and Gozo

Malta’s National Book Council has announced that the 2019 Malta Book Festival will take place 6-10 November at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta. With a population of just 430,000 it’s not a major logistical challenge but still a remarkable gesture of support for books and reading that the Festival programme will be published in Read More …

Russia’s LitRes expands its Poland operation as North American ebook players continue to ignore east Europe

When it comes to Russian ebooks and audio, one company leads the field. LitRes holds 66% of the Russian digital books market, is a significant player across Eurasia, and is expanding into east Europe. In 2018 LitRes saw its revenues rise 48%, and over 2 million audiobooks were sold, double that in 2017, comprising 25% Read More …

Morten Strunge’s Danish podcast start-up Podimo raises $6.7 million in seed funding for September launch

Nowadays we think of Mofibo as the ebook arm of Storytel, but Mofibo has been dominating the European digital books subscription scene since 2013, three years before Jonas Tellander paid $15 million in 2016 to bring the service into the Storytel fold. Now Mofibo founder Morten Strunge is set to take on Apple and Spotify Read More …

Storytel marks its first year in Italy with a tripled catalogue size and an Originals launch

It’s one year since Storytel went head to head with Amazon’s Audible in Italy, and so far Storytel are keeping their consumer numbers quiet, but are more profligate with the catalogue figures. Having kicked off with just 1,300 Italian titles and “tens of thousands” of English-language titles it was clear Audible Italy was not going Read More …

The imaginary death of books by streaming continues as Netflix makes “massive financial commitment” to DC’s “most-expensive TV foray ever”

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman is no stranger to options. The graphic novel has been in line to become a feature film on a few occasions, reports The Hollywood Reporter, but none managed the distance. One reason was summed up by screenwriter Eric Heiserrer, who said in 2016, the best version of this property exists as an HBO Read More …

Ebook & audiobook VAT set to tumble in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Poland and Czech Republic on 1 July

One reason digital books haven’t, mostly, take off as they did in the US this past decade has been the VAT rate which, in the EU, meant digital books were treated as services and therefore attracted a higher duty than regular printed books. Following an EU ruling last year individual countries have the right to Read More …

Madrid Book Fair set new records for sales and attendance. 2.3 million visitors spent $670,588 a day on books this year

Europe’s biggest book fair wound up earlier this month, and the numbers, actually announced a week ago, have just crossed my desk. 2.3 million people turned out to the Madrid Book Fair this year, spending some 10 million euros ($11.4 million) buying 550,000 books, an increase of 14% on 2018. From TNPS in 2018: Last Read More …

Storytel launches in Germany, leaving Brazil, Thailand and South Korea to come for 2019

After the launch in Singapore earlier this year, Storytel was widely expected to follow through with Brazil and then Germany. South Korea had been confirmed for end of year, and Thailand, while not yet official, the prime candidate for the fifth new market for 2019. Stefan Tegenfalk, Head of Expansion at Storytel, said in a Read More …

With the “attention economy” the latest buzzword excuse for perceived falling book sales, how is it Scandinavia is seeing both video and book streaming rise simultaneously?

The rise and rise of audiobook and ebook subscription streaming across the Scandinavian countries has been mentioned here at TNPS so often it hardly needs rehearsing again. But this week the tremendous interest in digital reading in northwest Europe takes on new significance as we learn that video-streaming is still rising in these same countries, Read More …

Italy’s Turin International Book Fair sees another record year

We hear it so often it’s easy to start believing it. People are reading less. Nobody is buying books. The publishing industry is doomed. Yet with a handful of exceptions the evidence – if we step outside the oh-so-twentieth-century notion that bookstores are the only barometer of interest in and revenue from books – is Read More …

North Macedonia’s Skopje International Book Fair passes unnoticed by outside world

The 31st Skopje International Book Fair drew to a close this week, and information about the event remains scarce, but hopes were high that visitor numbers would exceed the record 45,000 that attended the 2018 edition. This year the 8-day event, somewhat overshadowed by the Thessaloniki International Book Fair in Greece and the Turin International Read More …

Storytel to gift its VAT bonus to publishers, quelling disquiet about royalties under the new pay per minute system

When Jonas Tellander announced Storytel’s plan to moved from a fixed rate payout for publishers to a per-minute-consumed model there was understandable disquiet from publishers, many of whom believed the new model would see their revenue streams cut. And of course some did. Under the old model a one-hour podcast would earn as much for Read More …

Lady Victoria Howard brings elegant erotica to smartphones, chapter by chapter, with a laser focus and global ambitions

Launched last month by LVH Group, a new mobile reading app has taken an unsuspecting world by surprise with a menu of high class erotica written “by women for women” and targeting a global audience. Lady Victoria Howard is a far cry from the pseudo-porn masquerading as erotica that can be found on many mainstream ebook Read More …

Swedish book exports valued at $36 million in 2018, led by fiction, but we don’t know if this is up or down on 2017

A press release from the Swedish Publishers Association this week reports that for the first time an analysis has been made of Swedish literature exports, and the value of SEK 340 million ($36 million) has been attributed to the sector. Fiction led the charge both in overall value and in the number of contracts. Swedish Read More …

Iceland’s Bókmenntahátíð í Reykjavík kicks off next week with the inaugural Halldór Laxness Award among many attractions

If it’s 2019, it must be time for the bi-annual Bókmenntahátíð í Reykjavík which this year has a spring date for the first time.  That will be April 24-27 for those who fancy a spring break in Iceland. Don’t worry if you flunked Icelandic at school. Bókmenntahátíð í Reykjavík is of course the Reykjavík International Read More …

Dates announced for Italy’s 9th Salento Book Festival

The website, twitter and Facebook pages have yet to be updated, but the dates are out for the 9th incarnation of the Salento Book Fair in the Italian province of Lecce. The travelling exhibition will stop at Corigliano d’Otranto , Galatina , Galatone , Gallipoli, Nardò and Aradeo. Reports Teatri Online, Over a month of book presentations, Read More …

International Publishers Association Welcomes European Copyright Agreement

Breaking news via the International Publishers Association: Following the adoption of the Copyright Directive by the European Parliament plenary on 26 March, IPA President welcomed the result and congratulated European publishers for their work. Hugo Setzer, IPA President, said: The IPA welcomes the agreement found in the European Union for a Copyright Directive and would Read More …

Brazil’s publishers anticipate deals worth $350,000 at Bologna

With London and Paris in the rear mirror, European book fair groupies have their next fix coming up on April 1 when the Bologna Children’s Book Fair gets underway in Italy. A common feature at the world’s book fairs nowadays is Brazilian Publishers, an umbrella organization that looks after the best interests of, you guessed Read More …

7.7 million audiobooks users in France. 51% are first-timers. French audiobook listeners read more print books than regular readers

The first survey of French audiobook users this year shows a significant increase in audiobook take-up compared to a year ago. According to the OpinionWay survey, conducted between 30 January 30 and 19 February,14% of French citizens aged 15 and over have listened to an audiobook while a further 7% intend to. Younger booklovers lead 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 …