Nigeria International Book Fair kicks off today with a mission to make digital reading acceptable

The 19th Nigeria International Book Fair got underway today. I’ll report on the event further as news comes in. Here to briefly look at a pre-launch call for the establishment of a Nigerian Book Commission to help guide the industry in a period of transition and challenges. Challenges? Everything from piracy to distribution to rising Read More …

Iceland’s Bókmenntahátíð í Reykjavík kicks off next week with the inaugural Halldór Laxness Award among many attractions

If it’s 2019, it must be time for the bi-annual Bókmenntahátíð í Reykjavík which this year has a spring date for the first time.  That will be April 24-27 for those who fancy a spring break in Iceland. Don’t worry if you flunked Icelandic at school. Bókmenntahátíð í Reykjavík is of course the Reykjavík International Read More …

New Zealand authors struggle to survive on earnings from their writing, mirroring UK authors’ plight. But is there such a thing as a fair wage for writers?

At end March a body called Copyright Licensing New Zealand published a study on author earnings in New Zealand which embarrassingly only reached my desk this week (hat-tip to Book Squad). Commissioned by Copyright Licensing New Zealand in conjunction with the NZ Society of Authors, NZ Writers’ Guild and Playmarket, the report by Horizon Research, Read More …

Marvel’s China-first strategy is a lesson western publishers can learn from

Marvel’s newest superhero movie, Avengers: Endgame, launches across the world in April, and is predicted by some optimists to be the first Hollywood movie to break the half billion dollar mark at the US box office. Given none has yet broken the $400 million mark, that’s wildly ambitious. Observes The Hollywood Reporter, The biggest U.S. Read More …

Breaking News +++ Nigeria now has more internet users than any country in Europe. India has over a half billion people online

The March 2019 internet user updates are in for some countries and the numbers bear out TNPS expectations. Nigeria, previously reported as having 98 million online – more than any country in Europe except Russia – has now leapfrogged the Eurasian giant. Against Russia’s 109 million, Nigeria now has 111 million people online, making it Read More …

While Bologna grabs the publishing industry headlines, 2 million descend on Kuala Lumpur for Malaysia’s international book fair in the land of Big Bad Wolf and the Bookfest

Malaysia seems not to be a priority book market for publishers outside SE Asia, guided by the belief that few people read in that part of the world. But as is so often the case, these urban myths evolve in response to local conditions, and fester into unfounded pseudo-facts that leave readers across the region Read More …

StreetLib publishing portals now reach half the world. Makes a $5 bn African publishing market valuation for 2025

Italy-based digital books distributor and publishing facilitator StreetLib has completed the fourth stage of its global roll-out with all of the Middle East and South Asia enfranchised. The company now offers an author and publisher portal for literally half the world. Full disclosure: The New Publishing Standard (TNPS) is published by StreetLib to further the Read More …

While publishers look the other way Big Bad Wolf takes 1 million English-language books to Pakistan

Big Bad Wolf has already shipped millions of English language books this year for its 24/7 11 day flash sales, each attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors. Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar are already behind us – although most of those will be having multiple repeat events this year, such has been the demand. Malaysia Read More …

From a mortgaged dagger to World Book Capital – books are woven into Sharjah’s history and DNA

We’re weeks away from the Emirate of Sharjah, part of the United Arab Emirates, assuming the title of UNESCO Word Book Capital, and it’s likely there’s never been a more fitting choice. Not because this is the first Arab nation – in fact Egypt and Lebanon have both carried the title in past years. Nor Read More …

Publishers stand to lose sales worth $46,000 per day thanks to poor search abilities of smartspeakers

For a while it seemed like smartspeakers were the new black of digital audio, driving sales ever higher. But a new study by Score Publishing suggests all is not well in the smartspeaker market, with book-related search queries at best delivering accurate results only 72.5% of the time, and the one we’d expect to do Read More …

Bangladesh Ekushey Boi Mela winds down after a two-day extension, but has it been enough?

The month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, aka the Dhaka Book Fair, has wound up for another year, and it’s improbable any records have been broken as bad weather and bad luck worked in tandem to undermine the event. It got so bad that the event was extended an extra two days, concluding Saturday March 2 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 …

Tanzania’s 2018 Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature sets the scene for the Kenya Swahili Literary Festival

Weeks before the first ever Swahili Literary Festival kicks off in Kenya in the first days of March comes news that the 2018 Mabati-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature will be presented at a special event at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania on Friday. Brittle Paper reports that, The prize winners…Tanzanian Zainab Alwi Baharoon, Read More …

Emirates Publishers Association launches Manassah platform to showcase member publishers at regional and international book fairs

When it comes to getting noticed in the international book markets, regional and international book fairs and festivals can play a significant role. At the professional end of the book fair spectrum there is the chance to network with agents, scouts, foreign publishers and see up-and-coming tech initiatives. While consumer-facing events can put a publishers’ Read More …

“A sweeping fantasy epic steeped in Pan-African history and folklore—one of the most anticipated books of the year.” Widely unavailable in Africa

That was the Wall Street Journal this week. Well, maybe not that last bit. What the Wall Street Journal actually said was, Four years after winning the Man Booker Prize, novelist Marlon James returns with a sweeping fantasy epic steeped in Pan-African history and folklore—and one of the most anticipated books of the year Sadly Read More …

Amazon’s Audible says self-published ebooks and paperbacks are not evidence that an author has been published

With the announcement in December that Amazon-owned Audible was sponsoring the prestigious Sunday Times Short Story Award came the prospect that the winners would not just earn some extra cash but would have their entries published as an audiobook that would reach a still wider audience. Which all sounds great. The Sunday Times Short Story Read More …

Looking Ahead: The Manila International Book Fair September 2019

I frequently hear from TNPS readers that they wish they’d known about a particular book fair, festival or other literary event and its background in advance so they could have attended, or organised something on social media to mark the occasion. So this will be the first of an occasional series looking at events well Read More …

Is China now the biggest book market, redux. Alibaba says 30 million new Chinese readers were added in 2018

While one report citing a $55 billion value for the Chinese book market cannot be taken as gospel, a new report from China’s online giant Alibaba adds weight to the possibility the USA’s claim to be the world’s largest book market is now out of date. As reported here at TNPS a few days ago, Read More …

“Realising Africa’s Potential as a Global Publishing Leader in the 21st century” will require abandoning 20th century attitudes towards publishing

The International Publishers Association Seminar on Sustainable Development for African Publishers 2019 will be hosted in Nairobi on June 14-15 with the theme “Realising Africa’s Potential as a Global Publishing Leader in the 21st Century.” James Murua has the scoop on this story, so I defer first to the James Murua African Literature Blog for Read More …

China ended 2018 with 225,000 bookstores and a $55 billion valuation. Has China usurped the US as the world’s largest publishing market?

The latest report from China’s Books and Periodicals Distribution Association tells us China finished the year with 225,000 bookstores and outlets, up 4.3% on 2017, with total sales revenue of 370.4 billion yuan ($54.7 billion), up 5.9% on 2017. The Chinese government has played a big role in supporting publishing recently, as Xinhua reports: Private bookstores Read More …