Final preparations underway for Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah International Book Fair. 500,000 expected

Prince Mishal Bin Majed, governor of Jeddah and head of the supreme committee for Jeddah International Book Fair, has been inspecting the book fair arrangements as the final days count down to the official launch on Wednesday. Running December 26 through January 5, the fourth incarnation of the eleven day book fair in South Obhur Read More …

Storytel Arabia inks audiobook deal with top Arab publisher Dar El-Shorouk

Storytel ends 2018 on a positive note, with a deal to produce  600 audiobooks from titles in the 4,000-strong catalogue of one of the most prestigious publishers in the Arab world, Dar El-Shorouk. Cairo-based Dar El-Shorouk publishes award-winning Arabic authors such as Bahaa Taher, Hisham Mattar, Youssef Ziedan, Alaa Al-Aswany, Ahdaf Soueif, Tawfiq Al-Hakim, Ahmed Read More …

Saudi Arabia’s 4th Jeddah International Book Fair set for 13 days over western Christmas and New Year

Yet another reminder that the global book markets care nothing for the idiosyncrasies of the western publishing calendar. While western publishing all but shuts down, bar the retailers, for the Christmas and New Year festivities, Saudi Arabia will be holding its second-largest book fair, starting December 26 and winding up January 5. The Jeddah International Read More …

Dubai Audio Library “the largest Arabic audio library in the world”

Launched by Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai Audio Library seeks to help the 7 million visually impaired people in the Arab world. It’s an initiative, reports Nasher News, undertaken by the RTA in collaboration with the website Bookshare.org. The Library is a volunteering platform for supporting seven Read More …

Despite censorship controversy Kuwait International Book Fair attracted 300,000 visitors. MENA on target for 10-15 million visitors this Arab book fair season

The Kuwait News Agency report extolling the success of the 43rd Kuwait International Book Fair carefully avoided any reference to the censorship controversy that beleaguered the event. But it did mention that the Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammad Al-Jabri  had held, a meeting with the organizers to go over Read More …

2019 Sheikh Zayed Book Award longlist lines up 13 titles for the prestigious Arab literature prize

With contenders from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Syria, Yemen and Norway, the 2019 Sheikh Zayed Book Award long list for the Literature category is announced, with ten novels, two poetry collections and a memoir forming the line-up. Here’s the longlist:   Novel: Esmy Fatima (My Name is Fatima) by Egyptian writer Amro Al Adly (2017) Read More …

Has the Kuwait book ban been overturned?

The just-ended Kuwait Book Fair attracted a lot of unwelcome international attention this year thanks to what were often wildly irrational censorship decisions resulting in 700 books banned in 2018 and over 4,000 books banned in the last few years. But has that censorship ban just been overturned by the judiciary? One report from Alqabas Read More …

Countdown to the Doha International Book Fair in Qatar

427 publishing houses from thirty countries – that’s the Doha International Book Fair, which launches November 29 and runs through to December 8. With the Arab book fair season well under way, close to five million people having already attended MENA book events so far (over two million each at Sharjah and Algiers), and many 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 …

The TNPS Week In Review

It’s been a quiet week at TNPS for various reasons, but here’s what was covered this past seven days.   Storytel confirms Brazil launch for 2019 as Mexico launch nears. Sharjah 2.23 million. Algiers 2.2 million. 4.4 million visitors to Arab book fairs in the past two weeks. The Arab Renaissance gathers momentum. The Arab Read More …

The Arab Renaissance set back by worsening censorship in Kuwait. Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov among 1,000 titles banned at Kuwait Book Fair

After the resounding success of the Sharjah International Book Fair in the UAE, extolling a message of cultural tolerance and publishing freedom, the Arab literary arena was this week plunged into controversy once more as the Kuwait International Literary Festival kicked off. Running November 14 through 24 the Kuwait event was already standing in the Read More …

Sharjah 2.23 million. Algiers 2.2 million. 4.4 million visitors to Arab book fairs in the past two weeks. The Arab Renaissance gathers momentum

The Sharjah International Book Fair just missed last year’s record-breaking 2.38 million visitors, but it was still a fabulous show, with 2.23 million turning out to the UAE’s biggest literary event. Sales numbers haven’t been announced yet, but at day 7 (of 11) were reported to be running at 15% higher than 2017’s record-breaking sales. Read More …

The Handmaid’s Tale released in UAE as Arab book market globalisation builds

Margaret Atwood’s famous dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale is available in Arabic – for the first time ever. The internationalisation of the Arab book markets continues apace, and is epitomised by the release of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in Arabic at the Sharjah International Book Fair. Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s novel, set in a Read More …

As Sharjah takes centre-stage, Kuwait’s Almultaqa Prize Announces 5-book Pan-Arab Shortlist for 2018

With the Sharjah International Book Fair underway in the United Arab Emirates you could be forgiven for thinking there was only one bookish event happening in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) arena right now. The just finished Khartoum International Book Fair, for example, passed almost completely unnoticed in Sudan, while the still on-going Algiers Read More …

Big Bad Wolf Kuala Lumpur 2018 announced as debut Big Bad Wolf Dubai kicks off

Big Bad Wolf launches its first foray outside South Asia today, with an eleven day 24/7 non-stop book sale in the United Arab Emirates, with 3 million books laid on for eager readers. The Dubai sale, held in partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), the National Media Council (NMC) and 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 …

Bodour Al Qasimi lines up for the IPA presidency 2021. Setzer in January. Global publishing’s prospects just got a whole lot brighter

The International Publishers Association met at Frankfurt this week to appoint the next president and vice president of the organization. Current IPA president Michiel Kolman ends his two year tenure on December 31 and will be succeeded by current vice president Hugo Setzer, who will hold the post for two years until December 31 2020, Read More …

Start The Day Global – 5 October 2018

We Start The Day Global today with e-visits to Botswana, India, Brazil, Kuwait and the UK. First, this from twitter. This is Sebilo Books advocating its readers to head along to Goodreads to find their next read. We’ve all heard of Goodreads, of course. Sebilo Books? That’s a small publisher in Botswana in southern Africa. Read More …

GQ Middle East launches today

TNPS is generally focused on the book publishing market rather than magazines, but reports today on the launch of GQ Middle East as an example of how the outside world is gravitating to the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region as the Arab Renaissance unfolds. We were expecting the launch last month, per the announcement Read More …

Sweden’s Storytel Arabia partners with Jordan’s Jamalon to expand MENA audiobook reach

Hat tip to Bodour Al Qasimi (@Bodour) for spotting this story before it made my in-tray. I mentioned Jamalon here just a few days ago when looking at the Amman International Book Fair, happening in Jordan right now. As the Amman International Book Fair gets underway, say hello to Jamalon and Yaqut – Jordan’s hidden Read More …