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 …

The Week In Review

Here’s a summary of TNPS posts from the past seven days. Sao Paulo’s Avenida Paulista bookstore closes – Fnac Brazil now has just one bookstore standing Setswana? Indonesian? Can you tell the difference? Nor can Microsoft A mermaid wearing a bra among the books banned in Kuwait, but protests are gathering momentum Big Bad Wolf Read More …

Kuala Lumpur to be UNESCO World Book Capital 2020

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) has picked Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur to succeed Sharjah as World Book Capital in 2020. The title is currently held by Athens, which will concede the title to the UAE’s Sharjah for 2019. In a statement Unesco said Malaysia’s capital was selected because of the city’s strong Read More …

The Indonesia International Book Fair is underway. An analogue book fair in the world’s fifth largest country by internet users

With one million books up for grabs at big discounts this year’s Indonesia International Book Fair should pull in big crowds in what I regard as one of the planet’s most exciting publishing prospects. One million books at a book fair may sound like a lot, but it’s small beer compared to the 5.5 million Read More …

Big Bad Wolf Bangkok brings 3 million English language books to Thailand this month. Now selling 15 million books a year to 3 million visitors

Big Bad Wolf Bangkok opened yesterday (Aug 10) and this time it’s three million English-language books laid out at one venue for eleven days of literally non-stop (24/7) book-buying, in a country notable for being somewhere “nobody reads.” This image is from Bangkok 2018 and typifies the Big Bad Wolf scene. New books, stacked high, Read More …

Sunday of Love’s 1001 libraries for Vietnamese hamlets project

Vietnam’s Sunday of Love group has been helping connect the street children of Ho Chi Minh City with books since 2007, but only in 2014 was the first of the “1001 libraries in remote hamlets” built, in Binh Phuoc province. Now there are more than 200 micro-libraries nationwide, fielding from 300 to 1000 books where Read More …

Just a month after 2 million attended the Kuala Lumpur Int. Book Fair, BookFest Malaysia is pulling in another 700,000

It was just over a month ago, on May 6, that the ten day Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair drew to a close. The KLIBF has pulled in two million visitors every year since 2013. Just 34 days late and Malaysian booklovers are flocking to Kuala Lumpur for the country’s biggest trilingual book event, the Read More …

While publishers limit their reach with archaic C20 territorial rights, Big Bad Wolf shows us the global demand for English-language books

With a population of 20 million Sri Lanka is bigger by population than all but eight countries in Europe. That alone ought to put Sri Lanka on the radar of publishers as a lucrative market. Its 16.6 million Sinhala speakers is close to the population of the Netherlands. Its 4.7 million Tamil speakers give it Read More …

Bookxcess opens Malaysia’s first 24/7 bookstore as Big Bad Wolf Bangkok and Taiwan are being readied

With a population of 32 million (just 4 million fewer than Canada, and 8 million more than Australia), and 25 million people online (compare Canada’s 33 million online, and Australia’s 21 million online) you wouldn’t be alone in wondering why neither Amazon nor Apple have bothered to offer Malaysia an ebook store. In fact neither Read More …

7 million users in the Philippines as Wattpad’s Tencent-backed Asia plans step up a gear

The Philippines has long been one of Wattpad’s strongholds, but this month comes news from Manila Bulletin that fully 7 million of Wattpad’s 65+ million users around the world are from that one country. After the latest $51 million round of Wattpad funding in January, with a substantial portion coming from China’s Tencent – Tencent Read More …