Romania’s Eurocon nominations offers an insight into Romania’s vibrant sci-fi scene

Eurocon, the convention of the European Science Fiction Society, is being held in Belfast, Northern Ireland this year, from August 22-25, and the Romania sci-fi journal Helion has just published the Romanian nominations. The nominations come from the Romanian Association of Science Fiction Authors and Clubs, which organises the National Science Fiction Conventions. The European Read More …

“Publish Africa – the digital advantage” # 3 is now available

The joint StreetLib-TNPS bi-weekly newsletter Publish Africa – the digital advantage released its third issue today. Publish Africa is a bi-weekly review of the Pan-African publishing scene across all formats, but with an unashamed tilt towards the digital opportunity unfolding. Written by TNPS Editor-in-Chief Mark Williams in The Gambia, West Africa and published by Italy-based global Read More …

Africa hits 525 million internet users. Nigeria leapfrogs Japan as 6th largest country by online population. Publishers continue to look the other way

It’s happened. As of June 30th 2019, Africa, at just 39.5% internet penetration, now has more than half a billion people online. Nigeria, which leapfrogged Russia into 7th place in the global internet users stakes in December 2018, just edged ahead of Japan in the half year count. African Publishing – The $5 Billion Digital Read More …

The San Diego Comic Con reminds us the attention economy is a two way street for the publishing industry, not an us-and-them battle of buzz-phrases

Tom Cruise. Natalie Portman, Patrick Stewart… The San Diego Comic Con has been dominated by celebrity news about the latest film, TV, comics and games. The attention economy in action, right? How can publishing compete in this brave new world? But actually it’s a reminder that the games, films, TV and celebrity that grab the Read More …

Storytel’s subscription royalties rose 6.4% in Q2. But is $0.20 per hour enough to keep publishers happy? Does the subscription model have a future?

At the start of this year Storytel changed its remuneration model for publishers, from a fixed payment per unit consumed to a rate per hour of consumption. Under the old model Storytel paid publishers between $1.81-$2.13 per book consumed, which disproportionately rewarded shorter works and penalized longer ones. It’s a debate we are all familiar Read More …

Big Bad Wolf announces first Thailand dates for 2019. Three million books to Bangkok

We don’t know for sure yet how many trips Big Bad Wolf will be making to Thailand this year, but we do know the dates for the Bangkok bonanza. At a press conference yesterday Big Bad Wolf announced it would be shipping 3 million books – mostly English – to Thailand for an eleven-day 24/7 Read More …

India’s Coimbatore Book Fair launches amid more nonsense about how social media and smartphones are killing the reading habit. It really is time publishers took the blinkers off

Summer is a quiet time in the Indian book fair scene, with the mega-events that attract millions of visitors tending to cluster around winter-spring, but there are some exceptions, and one is kicking off tomorrow, July 19. Organised by the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association (CODISSIA) and the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India Read More …

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 …