“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online giant Alibaba adds weight to the possibility the USA’s claim to be the world’s largest book market is now out of date.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 …

Books and comics drive the biggest global box office revenue in history

The numbers are in and the numbers are: $42 billion globally, with North America contributing an impressive $11.9 billion of that. As reported here at TNPS last month, US takings were on target to beat the 2016 record of $11.4 billion, and final results show a 4% jump on 2016, and 6.7% growth on the Read More …

Pakistan to launch Adab Festival to the diversity and beauty of Pakistani languages. Anticipates 200,000 for debut event

Pakistan’s Government House will become an open house for three days starting February 1 as the country’s first Adab Festival launches. Co-founder and co-director Ameena Saiyid wants to provide, artists, writers and poets with a platform to exchange ideas and engage in healthy debates (adding) It’s also important to introduce new writers and poets to Read More …

India’s “perfect”, “phenomenal”, “best ever”, “significant”, “watershed” year in publishing

Regulars here at TNPS perhaps won’t be so surprised by the headline. I’ve long said India is publishing’s brightest prospect. And 2018 seems to have been the tipping point at which India shifted from being just another nascent market to a publishing priority. First some headline grabbing quotes from Indian publishers courtesy of The New Read More …

Big Bad Wolf – TNPS Story of the Year 2018

Given The New Publishing Standard only launched in September 2017, 2018 is is our first full calendar year, and our first opportunity to look back on the year and select the outstanding publishing stories, publishing people and publishing industry journals of 2018. Needless to say, being TNPS we were looking at the stories, people and Read More …

600,000 visitors at Pakistan’s Karachi IBF, but publishers and IT Minister do not yet see digital as a way forward in a country with more people online than Spain

With visitors averaging 120,000 a day the Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers’ Association (PPBA) is understandably happy with the turnout for the 14th Karachi International Book Fair, equaling the 2017 record of 0.6 million. And next year promises to be bigger still. PPBA Chairman Aziz Khalid, announcing the dates for 2019 (December 5-9 – this year’s Read More …

Big Bad Wolf to debut in Myanmar in January. Taking 1 million books to Yangon. Expecting 500,000 visitors

Big Bad Wolf has barely had time to sweep up after the gigantic Malaysia Big Bad Wolf sale in Kuala Lumpur, which ended December 17, than the team are unloading the first containers in Myanmar for a debut in Yangon. Myanmar? Yangon? If you learned your geography way back in the twentieth century you may Read More …

Self-publishing is “one of the great growth engines of the Peruvian publishing market”

Over at PublishNewsES this week, a thought-provoking study of the Peruvian book market that, unusually, adopts a holistic approach more akin to that we’d take here at TNPS. That is to say, a view that looks at all the key market segments rather than the usual introspective focus on publishers and offline/online retail. In this Read More …

As Norway bucks the Scandinavian trend, preferring print bought offline, TNPS asks: Do the smaller book markets really have anything to fear from Amazon?

A new report, Art in Numbers, from the Norwegian Cultural Council observes 88% of fiction and 75% of non-fiction is consumed in print via Norway’s high street stores, in stark contrast to neighbouring Sweden where streamed audiobooks and ebooks are the trend. Trine Stensen, CEO of the Norwegian Bookstores Association, explained, That the physical bookstore Read More …

Bolivia is guest of honour at Chile’s 2nd Valparaiso International Book Fair tomorrow. Today an interview with the Bolivian Book Chamber

When one thinks of South American book markets Bolivia probably is not among the countries that spring to mind. But that might change in the next decade as publishers get to grips with the opportunities digital affords to overcome the challenges of reaching readers in South America with print distribution. With a population of 11 Read More …

Ghana’s audiobook start-up AkooBooks wins the African Entrepreneurship Award as western audiobook and ebook firms look the other way

As with ebooks, so with audiobooks. While the big western digital book companies steer clear of the African continent bar a toe in the waters of South Africa, local talent is rising to fill the vacuum.  Kenya’s eKitabu, Nigeria’s Publiseer and OkadaBooks… And in Ghana, AkooBooks Audio, which this week won a High Potential Innovation Read More …

“The most successful year in Simon & Schuster’s history.”

What a turnaround from those heady days of 2010-12 when many believed publishing was doomed, amid very real crises in the book retail and publishing sectors. A time when many predicted (some joyfully) the death of print and that the then Big 6 would follow Borders into oblivion as ebooks became the only format consumers Read More …

Wattpad authors and readers blaze the diversity trail together with #MuslimRomance, #MuslimLoveStory, #IslamicLoveStory, #DiverseLit, #FreeTheLGBT and #Girlpower

While other publishers talk a lot about diversity and equality, and have taken steps to make it happen, Wattpad is way ahead in the diversity game. Wattpad’s 2018 Year in Review is a stunning array of statistics showing that, if diverse writing is readily available to read, the readers will jump on it. But will Read More …

Vietnam’s Unexploded Bombs have killed 40,000. Now 3,000 comic books will help educate kids about the dangers. But could Vietnam do more by digitising?

A common theme in modern-day western children’s publishing is reflecting social issues and challenges. Climate change is hot right now, for example. Elsewhere in the world climate change is certainly an important issue for children’s publishing, but there are often more pressing dangers to confront. UXO, for instance. That’s Unexploded Ordnance, or what we in Read More …

Brazil generates $450,000 business at Mexico’s Guadalajara International Book Fair as it positions itself for the burgeoning global book markets

Called Destinação Brasil, the project of the trade-promotion group Brazilian Publishers more than earned out its costs at the Guadalajara International Book Fair, setting in place business deals for 2019 worth almost a half million dollars. Mexico’s Guadalajara fair, which this year clocked 819,000 visitors, is regarded as the most important trade fair in the Read More …