As Big Bad Wolf South Korea winds up, BBW is already live in the Philippines, and will be in Indonesia and Pakistan this month

Big Bad Wolf’s debut event wound up in South Korea yesterday. No news yet on how many turned out for the 24/7 eleven day sale of 2 million English-language books, but I’d be very surprised if we don’t see the Big Bad Wolf team organise a second South Korea event before this year is out. Read More …

Malta Book Festival programme will be delivered to every household in Malta and Gozo

Malta’s National Book Council has announced that the 2019 Malta Book Festival will take place 6-10 November at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta. With a population of just 430,000 it’s not a major logistical challenge but still a remarkable gesture of support for books and reading that the Festival programme will be published in Read More …

A prospective Bible shortage drives home the unhealthy reliance of the US publishing industry on China’s printers

Leaving aside any debate about the rights and wrongs of the US-China trade dispute and tariffs being imposed by both sides, the dispute has brought to the fore the unhealthy reliance of US publishers on China – or more specifically of US publishers that have their books printed in China. An estimated 150 million Bibles Read More …

A dystopian short story wins the 2019 Caine Prize

Nigerian-American author Lesley Nneka Arimah has won the 20th edition of the Caine Prize for African Writing with a stunning post-apocalyptic short story, Skinned. The Caine Prize, launched in 2000, has a $10,000 award and is Arimah’s third time shortlisted, and first time to win. Arimah has also won the Commonwealth Short Story prize (2015), Read More …

Can the 2019 Hong Kong Book Fair beat last year’s 1.04 million visitors (150,000 per day)?

If spending hasn’t quite kept pace with growing attendance, still the Hong Kong Book Fair is one to watch this year. The 2019 theme is Sci-Fi & Mystery and as usual there’s a mixture of speakers from Hong Kong, mainland China and around the world. Running July 17-23 the 30th Hong Kong Book Fair, organised Read More …

The India book market remains “a giant in slumber” as new taxes hit imports amid rising paper prices

In an ill-considered move aimed at protecting the domestic publishing industry, the Indian government has imposed a 5% tax on imported paper books. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the new duties on Friday (domestic print books remain zero-rated) to a dismayed audience of publishers and publishing stakeholders. The tax on uncoated and lightweight paper was Read More …

Morten Strunge’s Danish podcast start-up Podimo raises $6.7 million in seed funding for September launch

Nowadays we think of Mofibo as the ebook arm of Storytel, but Mofibo has been dominating the European digital books subscription scene since 2013, three years before Jonas Tellander paid $15 million in 2016 to bring the service into the Storytel fold. Now Mofibo founder Morten Strunge is set to take on Apple and Spotify Read More …

High Demand. Low Supply. Brazil’s publishers talk TransMedia at the BIG Festival. Other emerging market publishers would do well to take note

The BIG Festival has not long wound up in Brazil (June 26-30) and participating publishers, led by Brazil’s international trade promotion project Brazilian Publishers, enjoyed a holistic overview of how book publishing is part of a much wider infotainment industry. The São Paulo BIG Festival, annually since 2012, is the biggest independent games festival in Read More …

Arabic, Chinese and Nordic languages in the running for the 2nd Reading Colombia selection as publishers target the international book markets

Submissions are about to close for the second Reading Colombia, a joint project of the Ministry of Culture, the National Library and the Colombian Book Chamber. Reading Colombia 2019 will be a catalogue of carefully selected titles across fiction, non-fiction, children’s & YA and poetry, that will be up for translations funds as part of Read More …

Comics snapshot: Italy’s Treviso Comic Book Festival set for September.  Graphite – a new comics streaming platform. A comics revival in Myanmar

Preparations for the 16th Treviso Comic Book Festival are gathering steam as the event deadline nears, and the call has just gone out on Facebook and twitter for volunteers to help the event run smoothly. Very little information available at this time – follow the Treviso Comic Book Festival on twitter: @TVComicBookFest – so this Read More …

Storytel marks its first year in Italy with a tripled catalogue size and an Originals launch

It’s one year since Storytel went head to head with Amazon’s Audible in Italy, and so far Storytel are keeping their consumer numbers quiet, but are more profligate with the catalogue figures. Having kicked off with just 1,300 Italian titles and “tens of thousands” of English-language titles it was clear Audible Italy was not going Read More …

Peru’s 6th Cusco International Book Fair set for August launch with indigenous languages the theme

FIL Cusco has opened calls for participants in the 6th incarnation of its international book fair, to run August 29 through September 8. Bolivia will be guest of honour. In this UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages the book fair will have indigenous languages as its theme and will give, special emphasis to the use, visibility Read More …

The art of the book fair – Guatemala

Regulars here will know I’m a sucker for book fair art, and never more so than when it involves a local theme and children, so I was delighted to see one particular piece of peripheral from Filgua 2019. That’s the 14th Guatemala International Book Fair (from the Spanish Feria Internacional del Libro en Guatemala) which Read More …

Big Bad Wolf to take 2 million English-language books to its tenth market – South Korea

No images for this one yet – the Big Bad Wolf site has yet to be updated with the details – but next month the world’s biggest book sale debuts in South Korea. The Korea Times tells us Big Bad Wolf will kick off its 24/7 eleven day book buying bonanza on July 5 through Read More …

Ebook & audiobook VAT set to tumble in Finland, Norway, Sweden, Poland and Czech Republic on 1 July

One reason digital books haven’t, mostly, take off as they did in the US this past decade has been the VAT rate which, in the EU, meant digital books were treated as services and therefore attracted a higher duty than regular printed books. Following an EU ruling last year individual countries have the right to Read More …

Publish Africa bi-weekly email newsletter debuts 27 June. Subscribe now to catch the first issue

A gentle reminder that the StreetLib-TNPS bi-weekly newsletter “Publish Africa – the digital advantage” debuts on Thursday June 27. If you’d like to have it land in your inbox every two weeks then subscribe here. Publish Africa is a bi-weekly review of the Pan-African publishing scene across all formats, but with an unashamed tilt towards Read More …

220 Taiwanese publishers expected at Taiwan Strait Book Fair in PRC as the two Chinas work towards an integrated publishing sector

Set for September 20-22 this year the 15th Taiwan Strait Book Fair is being held in Xiamen, Fujian Province in mainland China, alternating each year between Taiwan and the People’s Republic. This year 120 exhibition booths have been set by for Taiwanese publishers, and a total of 220 publishers from Taiwan are expected to participate. Read More …

Madrid Book Fair set new records for sales and attendance. 2.3 million visitors spent $670,588 a day on books this year

Europe’s biggest book fair wound up earlier this month, and the numbers, actually announced a week ago, have just crossed my desk. 2.3 million people turned out to the Madrid Book Fair this year, spending some 10 million euros ($11.4 million) buying 550,000 books, an increase of 14% on 2018. From TNPS in 2018: Last Read More …

Toy Story 4 pays the price for historical indifference to future markets. A lesson publishers can learn from

Not for the first time, a major Hollywood movie opened in China before the US, but hopes of a stellar performance were dashed. The fourth movie in the hugely successful Toy Story franchise went head to head with a re-release of a 2001 film from Japan, and came out behind. In The Hollywood Reporter’s own Read More …

In the audiobook market stakes, Bookbeat takes a surprise lead, adding 24 markets. Total 28. But this isn’t a gamechanger yet

With just 50,000 titles Bonnier’s Bookbeat is no match for Audible or Storytel in volume terms, and we shouldn’t see the sudden leap from 4 to 28 markets as a gamechanger for CEO Niclas Sandin. Sandin himself concedes as much. The press release Sandin optimistically states, We believe that the audio book can become one Read More …