Iraqi Kurdistan’s 14th Erbil International Book Fair closes with 400,000 visitors as another MENA book fair record tumbles

With one million titles on offer it was always going to be a big attraction, but even so the numbers soared over previous years, setting a new record of 400,000 visitors. In 2017 100,000 was the record, so a clear sign that the Arab Renaissance is gaining momentum. The Erbil event in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan Read More …

14th Erbil Book Fair underway in Iraq’s Kurdistan. 100,000 visitors expected

Iraq is probably on few authors or publishers lists as a place to sell books, and no question the bookselling infrastructure leaves much to be desired. But you would be wrong to dismiss Iraq, or any part of the Middle East, as a no-go area for booklovers. This past week the Erbil International Book Fair Read More …

Over 5 million visitors spend over $5 million at India’s 2019 book fairs. And we’re only halfway through February

India’s Kolkata International Book Fair wound up earlier this week and the numbers are in: 2.3 million visitors spent 230 million rupees (US$ 3.2 million) on books in twelve days. Given the price of books in India the volume must have been huge. This just weeks after 900,000 turned out to the New Delhi World Book 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 …

475,000 attended Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah International Book Fair. The Arab Renaissance continues

When it comes to judging the potential of the so-called nascent book markets, attendance at book fairs and festivals is a good barometer. First we have to divest ourselves of the idea that national and international book fairs all take the form of the celebrated western book fairs like Frankfurt, London and New York, which 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 …

New import duties on books hits Iraqi publishing sector. Some claim it’s censorship by taxation

Iraq has enjoyed relative publishing freedom in recent years, but there are signs that might be coming to an end. New import duties are pushing up the price of books to Iraqi consumers, but is this just an ill-advised taxation issue or an attempt to control what Iraqi’s can read? Writing for The Arab Weekly, 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 …

Ten global publishing stories not to be missed. 13 June 2018 collation

The global publishing market has never been more exciting, and every day myriad publishing stories cross my screen that I’d love to develop here at TNPS, but there simply isn’t time. They do make the TNPS twitter feed, however. Follow TNPS on twitter here: @thenewpubstd. But twitter is an ephemeral beast. If you’re reading TNPS in Read More …

20 World Book Day stories not to be missed

Unless you’ve been riding camels in the Gobi Desert in Outer Mongolia, snorkeling in the warm seas around Trinidad & Tobago, on safari in Botswana’s Kalahari, or relaxing on the Caspian Sea beaches of Azerbaijan, you cannot help but have noticed it was World Book Day this week. In fact, even if you were in Read More …

ADIBF PAY app sets the scene for a digital books explosion in the Arab markets

Digital debates are nothing new at the Arab book fairs, but 2018 may prove the tipping point in which digital books start to become mainstream in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region and other parts of the world hitherto considered indifferent to ebooks. The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which starts today in the Read More …

Middle East publishing snapshot. As millions descend on Arab book fairs, Arab publishing ups its game

Last month the second Saudi Arabia Comic Con took place. Numbers are just in and 25,000 people turned up for the event in Riyadh. This past week Saudi cinema re-opened after 35 years, and the first film shown was Marvel’s Black Panther. While In Dubai the Middle East Film and Comic Con attracted 60,000 visitors, Read More …

While all eyes are on the London Book Fair this week, in the thirty days either side of the LBF over 13 million people are visiting book fairs around the globe

The London Book Fair is underway, and there’s no question it’s one of the most important trade book fairs of the year. But these big trade events (the London Book Fair, the New York Book Expo, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the Frankfurt Book Fair, etc,) are just that – trade-focussed events where public access Read More …

Bahrain International Book Fair bucks the trend for global growth thanks to bad timing and a cramped venue

At a time when book events around the world are reaching new heights, as social media drives awareness of fairs, festivals and sales and drives interest in reading, the 18th Bahrain International Book Fair appears to be bucking the trend, thanks to organizational decisions rather than any fall in public interest in books. Visitor numbers Read More …

Ten global publishing stories not to be missed. 17 March 2018 collation

The global publishing market has never been more exciting, and every day myriad publishing stories cross my screen that I’d love to develop here at TNPS, but there simply isn’t time. I also have a rule that I don’t repeat a story published elsewhere on the western English-language publishing circuit unless I can offer some Read More …

Arab Renaissance 3: Baghdad’s Al Mutanabbi Book Street thrives again

 After a devastating car-bomb attack in 2007 Baghdad’s famous book street, Al Mutanabbi, has been a shadow of its former self, but a revival began in 2015. As we enter the eleventh year since the devastation, Al Mutanabbi Street, which reaches almost to the Tigris, is thriving again. In March there will be special readings Read More …

Arab Renaissance 1: The book café themed like a book

In the First World west we take for granted luxuries like book cafes. Elsewhere the concept is not so familiar. Last September the town of Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, got its first book café. That’s noteworthy in itself. More noteworthy still, in a patriarchal society like Iraqi Kurdistan, is that the movers behind the new Read More …

Iraq to allow export of books without a permit

This is breaking news from Nasher, “the world’s first professional hub for Arab publishers,” and details are spares, but it seems the Iraqi government has / is about to lift the restrictions  on publishers sending books abroad. In Nasher’s own words, In response to requests by publishers to aid the revival of the publishing industry Read More …