International Publishers Association announces line-up for 2nd IPA Africa Seminar in Nairobi

If last year’s inaugural IPA Africa Seminar in Lagos was a much needed wake-up call to a global publishing industry that had largely ignored the world’s second largest continent, the 2nd incarnation in Nairobi in June will elevate the debate to the next level. From the IPA press release: Leading figures in African writing and Read More …

Chinese bot translates 300-page book from English to Chinese in 30 seconds with 95% accuracy

This is a post that will send shivers down the spines of translators everywhere. First the bad news (if you’re a translator – great news if you’re a publisher!). India’s YourStory reports that a 300-page book written in English by Indian author Srinivas Mahankali, totaling 100,000 words, was translated into Mandarin by automated software in Read More …

Bodour Al Qasimi lines up for the IPA presidency 2021. Setzer in January. Global publishing’s prospects just got a whole lot brighter

The International Publishers Association met at Frankfurt this week to appoint the next president and vice president of the organization. Current IPA president Michiel Kolman ends his two year tenure on December 31 and will be succeeded by current vice president Hugo Setzer, who will hold the post for two years until December 31 2020, Read More …

Four in ten books sold in Sweden are through a subscription service. But might both print and ebooks be the casualties of the great Scandinavian experiment?

Forty percent of books sold in Sweden are through a subscription service. Total book sales revenue in Sweden increased by 6.2% last year but, perhaps unsurprisingly given the rise and rise of the subscription model in Scandinavia, digital is leading the charge. And traditional bookselling outlets are getting hammered. While there are many upsides to Read More …

Publishing News Round-Up 7 May 2018

It would be impossible to try cover even a fraction of the publishing news that lands on my e-desk each day, but there’s so much happening in our industry that passes unnoticed. So here’s a selection of some of the best publishing stories from the past 48 hours or so. Apologies if some are behind Read More …

As Netflix approaches the global revenue tipping point, publishers need to sit up and take notice

Netflix has beaten expectations yet again, adding another 7.4 million subscribers January through March. And crucially nearly three quarters of them came from outside the US. In the next three months Netflix will, on current trends, reach the tipping point where the bulk of its revenue comes from outside the USA. And here’s the thing. Read More …

Ten global publishing stories not to be missed. 2 April 2018 collation

The global publishing market has never been more exciting, and every day myriad publishing stories cross my screen that I’d love to develop here at TNPS, but there simply isn’t time. But if you’re reading TNPS in the first place you probably share my obsession with all things international publishing, and would no doubt enjoy Read More …

China’s unmanned 24/7 bookstores track customer trajectory to offer book recommendations as booklovers move around the store

While we in the west have been enthralled by Amazon’s move into bricks & mortar bookstores and its experimental Amazon Go no-checkouts grocery store, China’s Beijing Publishing Group takes things to a whole new level. The first of 20 planned BPG stores opened inside China’s Beijing International Book City in Tongzhou district, and at just Read More …

Beware the future. It’s closer than you think. AI and Publishing

Anyone who thinks AI won’t be able to write literature that’s as good as anything a human can produce within a couple of decades is deluding themselves. That was ALLi’s Dan Holloway over Christmas on the ALLi site, but I’ve deliberately kept the quote until today because it is one best suited to open the Read More …

Cyber Monday Amazon’s biggest shopping day ever. But still way behind Alibaba. What future the international Kindle stores?

Cyber Monday 2017 broke records in the US. Amazon claimed it was even bigger than Prime Day, and it is believed to have accounted for over half of Black Friday’s online sales. Pretty good going from what is often termed the biggest e-commerce company on the planet. But by what definition? By market capitalisation Amazon comes Read More …

Yaoundé Conference – analogue thinking in a digital age. African publishers needs to embrace digital, not re-invent First World battles.

It’s a sad commentary on the state of Cameroon publishing that the best overview of the industry I can find is from 2005. That may be about to change. This past week in the Cameroon capital Yaoundé a conference on the future of African publishing was wide-ranging in its discussions. Titled ‘The Publishing Industry in Read More …

Tencent joins the half-trillion club, and look how close it is to Amazon…

On Tuesday Tencent, the Chinese e-commerce titan, leapfrogged Facebook to become the fifth most valuable company on the planet. China now holds two of the top six places in the world rankings for market capitalization, and while Apple is still too far ahead to be dislodged, both Tencent and Alibaba are within shouting distance of Read More …

Harry Potter and the magic of Augmented Reality

Two big AR stories are making the news this week, both with consequences for the publishing industry. Apple is working on an augmented reality head-set that will likely launch in 2020 and replace the iPhone as top product, according to Bloomberg. Tim Cooke believes AR will be the next big thing. That’s AR as in augmented Read More …

Pay with bitcoin at Amazon?

Bitcoin is often the topic of discussion in publishing circles, but at the moment it’s just speculative debate, even though Amazon has owned the domain name amazonbitcoin.com since 2013. But this week CoinDesk is reporting Amazon has snapped up three more cryptocurrency domain names – amazonetherium.com, amazoncryptcurrency.com and amazoncryptocurrencies.com. No suggestion yet that this is 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 …

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Analogue Publishing

The Harry Potter books have been translated into 68 languages and have sold 400 million.  Or so says Pakistan Today, reporting on the new Harry Potter exhibition in London. That number is echoed by Rowling’s publisher Scholastic, although Britain’s The Guardian earlier this year was asserting the eightieth Potter translation was under way and sales Read More …

Why social media will drive the nascent ebook markets

“When it comes to their social media preferences, U.S. teens are about as loyal as Brutus was to Caesar,” writes Felix Richter over at Statista. “Back in 2013, Facebook was still their social network of choice. In 2014, Instagram took the throne for a while before being replaced by Snapchat in 2016.” Today Snapchat is the Read More …

Publishing Brief – PublishDrive and StreetLib in the news

It’s been an interesting week on the aggregator circuit. Usually, either at Frankfurt or to coincide with Frankfurt, we hear about new initiatives, partnerships and other news from the western distributors, but this year it’s been relatively quiet. But not totally. Among the pleasant surprises was a series of three posts by PublishDrive’s Zsofia Macho Read More …

India – Publishing’s Brightest Prospect

After 100 years the OUP embraces local-languages. As I touched on yesterday in a post marking Bloomsbury’s first five years in India, one of the biggest challenges facing publishing is catering to the twenty-plus official and many more “unofficial” languages that the Indian people use, often without English as a second language. But that challenge is Read More …

The Future of Barnes & Noble. Part 1: Nook

Nook, by Barnes & Noble. But for how much longer? Over the weekend The Digital Reader ran an insightful post on the future of Nook, the ebook arm of America’s biggest bricks & mortar bookstore chain. “Len Riggio has just dashed the hopes of everyone who had been praying for a Nook turnaround.” Nate Hoffelder Read More …