Amsterdam’s Festival voor het Afrikaans finishes today

Most non-South Africans, asked what are the main languages of that country, would likely respond English and Afrikaans. Amazon seems to think so too, as only these two, of South Africa’s eleven official languages, are supported by KDP. In fact, while English is widely spoken there are eleven official languages – Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern 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 …

As the National Library of Paraguay gets a new Director, Paraguay’s publishing future is digital

Wilma Garcete took over as the Director of the National Library of Paraguay this week. There’s not much information about the appointment other than it was made by the country’s Culture Minister, Rubén Capdevila, and other than as a new appointment the event itself is not especially newsworthy outside Paraguay. I mention it here because 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 …

Pakistan’s Government asked to intervene to combat falling sales. But National Book Foundation’s Javed says “Books do sell well in Pakistan”

With imported paper costs rising, and book piracy rife, Pakistan’s Government is being urged to set up a committee to oversee book prices. Bigger publishers, especially, are having to hike list prices of their books to cover the cost and taxes on quality imported paper. Bizarrely, in a country where there are so few ebook Read More …

Scotland’s Wigtown Book Festival kicks off with record advance ticket sales

I usually tend to shy clear of US and Uk book festivals, which get plenty enough coverage elsewhere, but make an exception for those that drive home a key theme of TNPS – that we are witnessing a digitally driven Global New Renaissance quite unparalleled in human history, and that, far from books being the Read More …

Amazon to invest $1 billion in Indonesia but once again books and ebooks are not on the agenda

First Singapore, then Vietnam, now Indonesia. Amazon continues its move into SE Asia. But once again it seems books and ebooks are no longer part of Amazon’s global ambitions. Amazon moving into new markets is a given nowadays, but it’s been a long time since the world’s biggest online bookstore actually made a move in 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 …

Big Bad Wolf takes 3 million English-language books to Dubai next month as it debuts outside SE Asia

It was back in February that TNPS broke the news that the world’s biggest book sale would be heading for Dubai this year. World’s biggest book sale heading to Bangladesh, Dubai, Korea and Taiwan this year Now it’s official. Malaysia-based Big Bad Wolf, the World’s biggest book sale, will debut in Arabic-speaking Dubai, part of 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 …