India’s Pratham Books “Doubles the Fun” as it marks International Literacy Day with its annual One Day, One Story event

September 8 is International Literacy Day, and around the world events are happening to mark the occasion and boost awareness of the issue. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include, at #4, the target of achieving literacy around the world, and while of course that includes adult literacy, the key to a literate world is Read More …

India’s Madurai Book Fair expects 300,000 visitors to buy 1.5 million books. Just another quiet India book fair…

The 14th annual Madurai Book fair is underway in India, running through until September 9. Organised by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPSI) this year’s fair has over 250 stalls, of which 149 are devoted to Tamil books and 67 to English titles, with seven multimedia stalls. The Times of India reports that Read More …

Penguin Random House India to publish 12 new titles in English from Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen

Ranging from autobiographical writings to essays, fiction, short stories, and poetry, Taslima Nasreen’s work has long been accompanied by controversy, and the new titles to be published under the Hamish Hamilton imprint of Penguin Random House India from 2021 are likely to follow suit. Nasreen’s previous 43 books, translated into 30 languages, have been especially Read More …

India’s StoryWeaver introduces first comic book as platform exceeds 15,000 titles in 200 languages

Part of India’s Pratham Books, StoryWeaver is the largest of a number of open-source platforms dedicated to providing free content in multiple languages, including indigenous languages most publishers have no interest in, aimed at school and pre-school children. This month, runs a StoryWeaver announcement, we have added more storybooks in languages like, Marwari, Surjapuri, Korku Read More …

Coimbature Book Festival attracts 125,000 visitors and sells $218,000 of books amid claims social media and smartphones are destroying the reading habit

The fifth Coimbatore Book Festival has run its course and once again the nonsense talked about how smartphones are drawing people away from reading has hit a reality check. More people buying books. More than 1.25 lakh (125,000) people visited the 10-day Coimbatore Book Festival which wound up at the weekend, with business worth Rs 1.5 crore Read More …

Partition, privilege and a Pakistani cop making it big as a crime novelist. Start The Day Global in South Asia

We start the day global today in South Asia, with a look at the literary scene in India and Pakistan. While India is often part of the global publishing debate, Pakistan much less so, and that’s a tragedy, as Pakistan has so much to offer. Take gritty crime novels, for example. They don’t come much Read More …

India’s youngest librarian. Bookboats in Sweden, Norway and, sadly no longer, in Finland

We Start The Day Global today with a look at floating libraries in Scandinavia and a free public library in India where the librarian is still at school. Twelve year old Yashoda D Shenov has a unique claim to fame – she runs her own free-to-use public library. Taking up the top floor of her Read More …

India’s Coimbatore Book Fair launches amid more nonsense about how social media and smartphones are killing the reading habit. It really is time publishers took the blinkers off

Summer is a quiet time in the Indian book fair scene, with the mega-events that attract millions of visitors tending to cluster around winter-spring, but there are some exceptions, and one is kicking off tomorrow, July 19. Organised by the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) and the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India Read More …

The India book market remains “a giant in slumber” as new taxes hit imports amid rising paper prices

In an ill-considered move aimed at protecting the domestic publishing industry, the Indian government has imposed a 5% tax on imported paper books. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the new duties on Friday (domestic print books remain zero-rated) to a dismayed audience of publishers and publishing stakeholders. The tax on uncoated and lightweight paper was Read More …

OverDrive’s Summer Read incentivises kids to read in the summer break, but elsewhere some stubbornly insist if it’s not ink on paper it’s not real reading

Teachers invariably view the long summer break from school with mixed feelings. A chance to relax and recharge the batteries on the one hand. On the other, knowing that some of the progress made in the previous academic year will be undone as many children will have fewer opportunities to read. It’s not a problem Read More …

Airtel Africa’s $1 billion London IPO holds promise for Africa’s publishing industry

When it comes to identifying publishing opportunities in the emerging African markets one can do worse than watch the telcos. Telcos potentially provide the ideal connection between consumers and publishers in countries and regions where traditional ink on paper publishing faces insurmountable challenges, and that the mainstream digital book operators have deemed not worthwhile. Telcos Read More …

StreetLib partners with Storyweaver to globally distribute 5,000 free multilingual stories in UNESCO’s Year of Indigenous Languages

Italy-based digital books distributor and publishing facilitator StreetLib has partnered with India’s Storyweaver to deliver 5,000 free multilingual stories to the world’s children, as part of its commitment to UNESCO’s International Year of Indigenous Languages. Full disclosure: The New Publishing Standard (TNPS) is published by StreetLib to further the debate about the global book markets. Read More …

New competition in the India ebook space as telco Bharti Airtel launches ebook store for smartphones

This week the Indian telco giant Bharti Airtel finally launched its long-anticipated ebook store Airtel Books. Long anticipated? In fact Bharti Airtel signaled its intentions back in December 2017 when it bought into the digital-focussed Indian publisher Juggernaut Books. Bharti Airtel acquires strategic stake in Juggernaut Books So no surprise that the launch this week Read More …

Breaking News +++ Nigeria now has more internet users than any country in Europe. India has over a half billion people online

The March 2019 internet user updates are in for some countries and the numbers bear out TNPS expectations. Nigeria, previously reported as having 98 million online – more than any country in Europe except Russia – has now leapfrogged the Eurasian giant. Against Russia’s 109 million, Nigeria now has 111 million people online, making it Read More …

India’s Kerala Lit Fest numbers confirmed: 260,000 visitors in January

By Indian standards a quarter million visitors to a book festival is actually not that amazing. Some Indian book fairs can attract eight times that figure. But this was only the third incarnation of the Kerala Literature Festival and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the final visitor count, which comes this week via the bi-monthly Indian 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 …

As the London Book Fair looms, invisible millions attend book fairs and festivals around the globe

If it’s February it must be the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela in Bangladesh, an annual festival of books that runs the entire month of February. Last year the boi mela sold books to the USD equivalent of just shy of $10 million. But hands up anyone who has Bangladesh on their book market bucket list? Read More …

India’s Kolkata International Book Fair sees 700,000 spend $1.1 million in first five days, despite free ebooks available

“Book fair rakes in Rs 8 crore with 7 lakh footfall ” is the headline in the Times of India this week, reporting on the first five days of the Kolkata International Book Fair. The Indian notation equates to 700,000 visitors at the event up until Monday, spending over 80 million rupees ($1.1 million) on Read More …

At Zee Jaipur Lit Fest French Ambassador awards Romain Rolland Prize for translation from French to Indian local languages

In our Anglophone-centric  publishing world it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture of the Global New Renaissance unfolding, and to build a faux impression that the world of translations is all about translating English to other languages and other languages to English. But important as English is on the global publishing stage, it Read More …

India’s New Delhi World Book Fair disappointed with only 900,000 visitors

It was never going to be a record-breaking year for the 27th New Delhi World Book Fair. Like the imminent Cairo International Book Fair this year, the New Delhi venue is undergoing substantive renovation. But while In Egypt they simply moved the event to another venue, in India they chose to hold the fair around Read More …