Asia Foundation launches Let’s Read Project in Myanmar

Let’s Read is an initiative by the Asia Foundation to bring the joy of reading to children across Asia who otherwise do not have easy access to books. In many parts of the world “book scarcity” is a major obstacle to social development and literacy because young children who might otherwise learn to read simply Read More …

Publish MENA – the digital advantage #3 is now available

The joint StreetLib-TNPS bi-weekly newsletter Publish MENA – the digital advantage released its third issue today.  Publish MENA is a bi-weekly review of the Middle East North Africa Arab publishing scene across all formats, but with an unashamed tilt towards the digital opportunity unfolding.

Celebrating its first anniversary, Singapore’s mobile reading app Dreame is another example of the millions of invisible global digital readers outside mainstream publishing

“Show Your Girl Power” is the topic of to a writing competition to mark the successful first anniversary of the Singapore-based mobile reading app Dreame, owned private equity firm STARY. For those interested, the competition submissions in which “authors can create their ideal female characters and heroines” are open until November 1, but submissions must Read More …

80 million invisible booklovers redux. Wattpad partners with global streaming service Viu to develop Wattpad stories as Viu original content

Operating in 17 markets – Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and  UAE, and newly launched in South Africa, OTT video streaming service Viu has partnered with the digital-first mobile reading app Wattpad to create original content from Wattpad’s hundreds of thousands of online Read More …

Wattpad’s 80 million users are part of the invisible and untapped global digital-first readership many publishers are oblivious to

Several industry reports carry the Wattpad press release announcing the Toronto-based company has added ten million new users this year, a 23% expansion taking its total user base to 80 million people spending 22 billion minutes each month on the site. From the press release: Wattpad, the global multi-platform entertainment company for original stories, today Read More …

With the “attention economy” the latest buzzword excuse for perceived falling book sales, how is it Scandinavia is seeing both video and book streaming rise simultaneously?

The rise and rise of audiobook and ebook subscription streaming across the Scandinavian countries has been mentioned here at TNPS so often it hardly needs rehearsing again. But this week the tremendous interest in digital reading in northwest Europe takes on new significance as we learn that video-streaming is still rising in these same countries, Read More …

Lady Victoria Howard brings elegant erotica to smartphones, chapter by chapter, with a laser focus and global ambitions

Launched last month by LVH Group, a new mobile reading app has taken an unsuspecting world by surprise with a menu of high class erotica written “by women for women” and targeting a global audience. Lady Victoria Howard is a far cry from the pseudo-porn masquerading as erotica that can be found on many mainstream ebook 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 …

Myanmar telco Ooredoo to boost country’s digital libraries

Myanmar, with a population of 53 million, may be at only 33% internet penetration, but that’s still 18 million people online. That’s 2 million more people online than the Netherlands, six million more people online than Romania, and twice the online population of Sweden, all of which have vibrant digital book markets. Myanmar’s digital potential Read More …

India’s “culture revolution.” 200 literature festivals a year as the Indian Renaissance booms

“A culture revolution is sweeping through urban India,” runs a headline in India New England this week. Revolution? That’s a strong term, and perhaps not the best choice of words, but the spirit of the post is spot on. A headline reflecting a theme often espoused here at TNPS, that we are witnesses to, and Read More …

ADIBF PAY app sets the scene for a digital books explosion in the Arab markets

Digital debates are nothing new at the Arab book fairs, but 2018 may prove the tipping point in which digital books start to become mainstream in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region and other parts of the world hitherto considered indifferent to ebooks. The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which starts today in the Read More …

StoryDrive Asia 2017 – Not yet embracing digital the way it ought

StoryDrive Asia wound up a two day conference on Tuesday that has received little coverage in the western industry media beyond that offered by Porter Anderson over at Publishing Perspectives. The following snippets from a StoryDrive press release just issued gives some insights into what we missed, each followed by some off-the-cuff reactions from yours Read More …

Beta Kindle Lite for India’s slow connection readers

India may now be the second-largest smartphone market in the world, but in a country of 1.2 billion people many are still using a 2G connection, making even light-duty apps for e-reading a chore. Recognising that many Indian readers are struggling with the regular Kindle app Amazon a few days ago introduced the Kindle Lite Read More …

Amazon invests in second submarine cable, but AWS, not ebooks, is the focus

As Mark Twain famously never said, the only certainties in life are that SE Asia is an exciting prospect for e-commerce and Amazon wants to be there. This week comes news of Amazon’s second investment in submarine cables, as it joins Softbank, Facebook and others to finance the 14,000km long, 60Tbps capacity JUPITER (not initials, Read More …

India surpasses US to become second largest smartphone market. Publishers should be excited

India is now officially a bigger smartphone market than the USA, and while the US is close to stagnation, with few people left who haven’t connected, India is barely out of first gear. Not for nothing do I constantly say India is the most exciting prospect on the planet for future digital engagement by the Read More …

Google boost Africa’s web prospects. Ebooks to follow?

  “They have the internet in Africa?” It’s a rhetorical question I’m often asked. Rhetorical because those asking it have just realised I’m posting on the internet from West Africa. The surprise is understandable. If and when we think of Africa, the antiquated Victorian term the Dark Continent may well spring to mind. Not, I Read More …

Amazon’s imminent Brazil expansion may be good for ebooks

With reports emerging that Amazon is finally set to gear up its Brazil plans, it seems electronic goods (high demand, high margins, easy shipping) will be the first non-books sector on the agenda, and that might just be good news for ebooks. In India, where Amazon is engaged in a major push to dominate the Read More …

African sci fi, ebooks in Africa and other crazy notions

We’re a month away from the Aké Arts and Book Festival in Nigeria, and this year the African Speculative Fiction Society will be presenting the first annual Nommo Award for sci-fi. This hard on the heels of two sci-fi movies featuring at the Luxor African Film Festival earlier this year. Yes folks, the Global New Renaissance Read More …

Microfiction on mobiles drives India’s online literature boom

Further to our coverage of the Indian micro-fiction site Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT) early this month, this week the Times of India has an update. “It started out small…make that tiny. “With a Facebook page that invited stories no longer than a sentence or two. That was 2013. Today, the one-million strong Facebook community of Terribly Read More …

The largest purchaser of short fiction in the United States

“This American short fiction app is hoping its author quality control will attract a wide audience to its mobile story ‘bursts’”, says Molly Flatt over at The Bookseller’s Futurebook. Flatt is discussing Great Jones Street, the latest addition to the mobile-first short reads realm. Founded in 2015 by Kelly Abbott, Great Jones Street joins the Read More …