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 …