2020 World Book Capital’s censorship double standards: It’s one rule for Malay titles and another if the book is in English

There were many raised eyebrows this past week when UNESCO declared Kuala Lumpur would be the World Book Capital in 2020. Because while there’s no question Malaysia is making great strides to advance literacy and literary endeavours, that is happening in the dark shadow of official censorship. The Malaysian government has promised to repeal the Read More …

In Morocco, selling pirated books “is the only way to make a living,” with the help of the Mafia

Like in many Arab countries, literacy rates in Morocco are not among the highest in the world, but for Moroccans who do read the challenge is finding books they want at prices they can afford. When bookstores are few and far between and offer a limited choice of books at expensive prices it’s not surprising Read More …

Israeli publisher illegally releases book of Arab women’s texts, complete with pirated cover. Calls it an act of salvation

You couldn’t make it up. A publisher in Israel finds a collection of texts written in Arabic by women, steals a cover image from a Lebanese artist, and publishes them as a book, justifying the piracy by saying the book is giving exposure to writers “whose voices have been silenced for years,” and is an 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 …

Storytel’s Jonas Tellander responds to the Swedish audiobook royalties storm

Svensk Bokhandel, the Swedish publishing industry journal that broke the story about Storytel’s two tier royalties – one level for Bonnier, another for everyone else – carries a response from Storytel CEO Jonas Tellander today. I want to be transparent and answer any questions I can answer. The last thing I want to be is Read More …

Storytel’s royalty model “rigged and manipulated.” Storm brews over Storytel’s privileged agreement with Bonnier

With Storytel under increasing pressure from rival operators in the Swedish audiobook arena two things were inevitable. First, Storytel’s market share would fall. And consequent on that Storytel would need to review its royalty arrangements for its content suppliers – in this case established publishers, as Storytel does not deal direct with authors as per Read More …

Britain uses “Kafkaesque” rules to refuse visas to authors invited to the Edinburgh International Book Festival

There’s a clue in the word “international. The Edinburgh International Book Festival may not be the biggest book event in the world, but it is one of the most respected. Or rather, it used to be. But in the insular world of Brexit chaos and intolerance that is today’s Britain it seems the Edinburgh Festival Read More …

Data Guy rewrites the historical Author Earnings US ebook statistics. 2016 US unit ebook sales of 487 million now 525 million. What are we to believe?

I had occasion to revisit Data Guy’s January 2018 Author Earnings Report this week. And I found Data Guy has quietly slipped in new numbers for 2015 and 2016 US ebook market. Said Data Guy on May 31 this year, slipped into the comments thread, four months after the main report went live, US ebook sales totaled Read More …

New York eclipsed as the centre of global publishing gravity shifts inexorably east. The Hot Sheet reviewed

The Hot Sheet is a publishing industry news-sheet for authors, produced every two weeks by Porter Anderson and Jane Friedman, and reviewed here every other Sunday as one of the best bi-weekly industry overviews available to authors. We’re not interested in delivering breaking news, but perspective on stories that are likely to retain meaning for your long-term decision Read More …

GDPR. The Facebook scandal. Amid mounting privacy concerns, Data Guy continues to sell author’s private sales data to Big Pub. But is it even accurate?

It’s now several months since the January 2018 Author Earnings Report arrived. You can still find some of it on the Author Earnings site. But only some of it. Because within hours of the report going live Data Guy was redacting information, and soon after removing entire sections of the report as anger rose in Read More …