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 …

As the Amman International Book Fair gets underway, say hello to Jamalon and Yaqut – Jordan’s hidden online book and ebook stores

The Amman International Book Fair is underway in Jordan this week as the Arab book fair season gathers momentum. Although smaller fairs like Al Ain in the UAE are already playing to an enthusiastic crowd – Abu Dhabi’s 10th Al Ain Book Fair is underway as the Arab book fair season gathers pace the Jordan Read More …

Books, Pyramids and Sun. The world’s biggest book fair will be 50 in January. And yes, it’s in Egypt

You couldn’t make it up. The world’s biggest book fair is in a part of the world where, so conventional wisdom has it, nobody reads. Egypt’s Cairo International Book Fair will celebrate its 50th edition in January, with the Arab League as guest of honour for this special event, and literally millions of visitors will Read More …

Mark Williams At Large

So many stories slide across my desk that I’ve commented on briefly elsewhere, usually with the self-publishing audience in mind, but that haven’t warranted full TNPS posts. Here’s a selection.  + + + If its September it must be time for the Pakistan book fair season. It kicks off with Paramount’s 30th annual ten-day book Read More …

The Week In Review

Here’s a summary of TNPS posts from the past seven days. Sao Paulo’s Avenida Paulista bookstore closes – Fnac Brazil now has just one bookstore standing Setswana? Indonesian? Can you tell the difference? Nor can Microsoft A mermaid wearing a bra among the books banned in Kuwait, but protests are gathering momentum Big Bad Wolf Read More …

Big Bad Wolf takes 3 million English-language books to Dubai next month as it debuts outside SE Asia

It was back in February that TNPS broke the news that the world’s biggest book sale would be heading for Dubai this year. World’s biggest book sale heading to Bangladesh, Dubai, Korea and Taiwan this year Now it’s official. Malaysia-based Big Bad Wolf, the World’s biggest book sale, will debut in Arabic-speaking Dubai, part of Read More …

A mermaid wearing a bra among the books banned in Kuwait, but protests are gathering momentum

Censorship is a difficult topic that arouses strong emotions, but of course all freedom of speech is relative. From national security to Holocaust denial to incitement to hatred to advocating underage sex, almost every country censors at some level. But some countries take such censorship to extremes. Kuwait is an example. Kuwait has enjoyed a Read More …

Ten global publishing stories not to be missed – 12 September 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. Follow TNPS on twitter here: @thenewpubstd. But twitter is an ephemeral beast. Blink and you miss it. Still, Read More …

The Week In Review

Here’s a summary of TNPS posts from the past seven days. UK’s Bradford Lit Fest and USA’s Washington National Book Fest see record attendance Sharjah Publishing City sponsors Nigerian literature award Ireland: “A buoyant time for publishing.  One of today’s most vibrant book markets.” Sweden-based Arabic-language audiobook firm Kitab Sawti attracts new investment Peru exempts Read More …

Is Amazon preparing a Kindle Arabia launch at the Sharjah Int. Book Fair later this year?

In November it will be four years since Amazon launched a Kindle store (Netherlands, November 2014), and as I’ve speculated on several occasions here at TNPS, it seemed mostly unlikely there were any new Kindle store launches being planned. Amazon has set up token operations in Singapore and Vietnam, is opening a call centre in Read More …

Ten global publishing stories not to be missed – 12 August 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. Follow TNPS on twitter here: @thenewpubstd. But twitter is an ephemeral beast. Blink and you miss it. Still, Read More …