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 …

Hakuna matata! African authors need to create a canon of African children’s literature that is indeed their own. But that can be achieved without inverted racism and denigrating the works of other cultures

Cultural appropriation, while not new, is a rising theme in a modern world that is connected in a way impossible to imagine even ten years ago, and with it comes an acceleration in examples of perceived and actual cultural appropriation as well as examples of extreme reactions to this appropriation. Back in August this year Read More …

South Africa govt. to step up state publishing programme, threatening future of local publishers

Earlier this year TNPS reported on a move by the Rwandan government to bring its educational publishing programme in-house, putting the future of local publishers at risk. African publishers pay the price for putting all their eggs in one basket Now South Africa looks set to follow suit. Zimasa Velaphi, chief director of communications and 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 …

Falling Fiction Sales -Why Is It Happening? – The Hot Sheet Reviewed – 14 November edition

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 (when possible) 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 Read More …

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 …

Ebook sales doubled in US in 2018 according to Data Guy’s nonsensical BookStat numbers

When Digital Book World announced Data Guy would be delivering the closing keynote speech, during which time he would dazzle us with yet more publishing industry numbers known to nobody else, and incidentally would reveal his true identity and answer his critics, there was a muted response. Data Guy’s true identity is neither here nor Read More …

Thalia invests in Skoobe as Storytel booms. Amazon’s KU a magnet for scammers

As I write this, HarperCollins’ CEO Charlie Redmayne is due to make a keynote speech at Frankfurt on the subscription model. Too soon to report on that, but in a preview interview over at Publishing Perspectives earlier this month Redmayne said, Ultimately, if subscription is a business model that consumers buy into, then it’s incumbent Read More …

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 …

Cockygate, a KU exodus, and indie author advocacy… 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 …

Amazon expands UK imprint ambitions as A-Pub holds half the US top ten today. A-Pub has more titles than Bloomsbury, Kensington or HMH if BookStat numbers are correct

At noon today (GMT) five of the top ten slots in the Kindle charts were taken by Lake Union (2), Montlake Romance (2) and Thomas & Mercer (1) – all publishing imprints of Amazon. With the launch of Topple in February, the number of Amazon imprints reached eighteen. Amazon is already fielding more titles than Kensington, Read More …