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 …

StreetLib completes January tranche of global expansion. 21 countries on 6 continents

When StreetLib launched The New Publishing Standard in September 2017 we made clear the function of the journal was to stimulate debate about the much-neglected global book markets. It was not a StreetLib promotional tool, and not a vehicle to advocate digital at the expense of traditional formats. But occasionally StreetLib becomes part of the Read More …

Cairo International Book Fair beats USA’s biggest book fair visitor numbers in first two days

Last year the Washington National Book Festival clocked a record 200,000 visitors. The Cairo International Book fair has just beaten that in its first two days, averaging 108,500 visitors a day, despite cold weather and a venue that, because of renovations at the usual location, is challenging some would-be attendees. UK’s Bradford Lit Fest and Read More …

More than 4.5 million expected at the Cairo International Book Fair Golden Jubilee

Taking place for the first time in the Fifth Settlement, the just launched 50th Cairo International Book Fair is hoping to set a new world record for visitor numbers, with extra days added to the usually 12-day event. According to Egypt Today, Haitham al-Haj, chairman of the General Egyptian Book Organization. expects the extra days to Read More …

Joyce Carol Oates To Get Jerusalem Prize at Israel’s Mishkenot Sha’ananim International Writers Festival

The Jerusalem International Book Forum (formerly the Jerusalem International Book Fair) will run 12-15 May this year, and for the first time will run concurrent with the International Writers Festival of Mishkenot Sha’ananim. Founded in 1963, the then Jerusalem International Book Fair has long been the Israeli publishing industry’s public face, and the forum where the Read More …

Amazon Prime Video launches on UAE’s du while global ebook ambitions remain on the shelf

We’re now well into our fifth year without a new Kindle store being launched – the last was the Netherlands in November 2014 – and there seems little prospect of any new Kindle store launches in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile Amazon Prime Video is available pretty much everywhere in the world, and this week comes Read More …

Saudi Arabia’s second book fair of the year attracts thousands, just a week after Jeddah’s record 475,000 turnout

Given the Jeddah International Book Fair ran from December 26 through January 5, we can only attribute five days worth of the 475,000 visitors to the 2019 book fair count, but even so we’re looking at about a quarter million booklovers descending on an Arab book fair so far in 2019, and we’re still less 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

Unusually we Start the Day Global today in Michigan, USA, where this delightful story caught my eye over at Publishers Weekly. Girls of the Crescent: Teen Sisters Promote Stories of Muslim Girls When sisters Mena and Zena Nasiri, both avid teen readers, noticed a dearth of YA books featuring Muslim females like themselves, they took Read More …

A mortgaged golden dagger becomes a hub of the global books industry. The UAE’s Sharjah Publishing City marks its first year

Sharjah Publishing City marked its first anniversary this week with a press release saying 17 countries are already using the city as a gateway to the publishing world. So far, along with the UAE itself, businesses from Lebanon, Syria, Sudan, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, France, Britain, India, China, Brazil, Spain, Australia, Ghana and Nigeria Read More …

In Egypt calls grow to boycott world’s largest book fair. Cairo Int. Book Fair Director steps up to explain the CIBF’s unpopular relocation

At the best of times the logistics of setting up the world’s biggest book fair are problematic. Accommodating over four million eager booklovers over fourteen days is a challenge no other book fair on the planet has to face. And yes, we are talking Cairo, Egypt, in Afraica, which in defiance of the widely held Read More …

The Lebanese National ­Library will reopen in Beirut in January, forty years after the Lebanese Civil War saw its destruction

When conflict erupted in Beirut in 1975 the Lebanese National Library was an inevitable casualty, suffering extensive damage to both the building and its collection. It somehow survived until 1979, when the doors finally closed. In January the country will finally have a National Library again, at a new location, and with at least part Read More …

Start Christmas Day Global – 5 not to be missed publishing stories from around the world

As this curation is posted it’s Christmas Day 2018. Whether you celebrate Christmas as a Christian, or as a fun Santa event for the children, or whether it’s just another working day, there’s no getting away from the fact that the story of Jesus Christ began in that part of the Middle East that now Read More …

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 …