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 …

Submissions opened for the Sharjah International Book Fair Awards. Deadline September 1

With Sharjah the World Book Capital this year (check out this interview with Bodour Al Qasimi to find out how that came to be) the Sharjah International Book Fair promises to be even more of a extravaganza than usual. One of the highlights will be the Sharjah International Book Awards. The deadline for submissions is Read More …

Arabic audiobook operator Kitab Sawti grows 20% month on month. Picks up $6 million in new funding as Amazon remains ambivalent towards the Arab book markets

Headquartered in Stockholm, Kitab Sawti has since 2016 been working the Arab audiobook market, largely unnoticed by the outside world. It’s not alone – Dhad, Booklava and of course Storytel Arabia are among its rivals for the affections of Arab audiobook lovers, but it’s a telling point that whereas Storytel is expecting to hit the Read More …

Amazon launches in UAE, home of UNESCO World Book Capital, with only third-party-seller books, no Kindle store and no Arab self-publishing option

The rebranding of online Arab marketplace Souq will surprise few. Two years after Amazon bought Souq it is now, for the UAE at least, rebranded as Amazon AE, and the previously reported January 2019 focus on opening up the Middle East to the US marketplace continues as expected. Middle East online bookstore Jamalon raises $10m Read More …

Harry Potter now available in Arabic audiobook format via Storytel, but press release gets ahead of itself and states Storytel is in 18 countries

Back at the Cairo International Book Fair earlier this year Storytel announced its plans to launch the Harry Potter books in Arabic as audiobooks, and the first audiobook is now available to download. It’s a huge boost for Storytel Arabia and likely to bring to the platform a lot of new subscribers. A press release Read More …

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair oversubscribed by 100 publishers as the Arab Renaissance blossoms

The 29th Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which runs April 24-30 this year, has had to turn away over 100 publishers this year as demand massively exceeded available space at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. This despite fierce competition from the annual Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival and the once in a lifetime celebrations as Sharjah becomes Read More …

Sharjah to be Special Guest of Honour at Moscow International Book Fair in September

Not much to report here but it’s such a fine example of the Global New Renaissance unfolding, that I’m allotting it an item of its own. Earlier today the news broke on twitter – and we have since had a few more details via the UAE’s The National, which reports Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman Read More …

From a mortgaged dagger to World Book Capital – books are woven into Sharjah’s history and DNA

We’re weeks away from the Emirate of Sharjah, part of the United Arab Emirates, assuming the title of UNESCO Word Book Capital, and it’s likely there’s never been a more fitting choice. Not because this is the first Arab nation – in fact Egypt and Lebanon have both carried the title in past years. Nor Read More …

Dubai’s Booklava wins The Bookseller’s AudioBook Publisher of the Year Award

Unsurprisingly, audiobooks have been a hot topic at the London Book Fair, which finishes today, but it wasn’t the usual suspects, Audible and Storytel, that grabbed the headlines. The Bookseller’s Audiobook producer of the Year Award went to an audio outfit in the United Arab Emirates, which may come as a surprise to those who Read More …

Emirates Publishers Association launches Manassah platform to showcase member publishers at regional and international book fairs

When it comes to getting noticed in the international book markets, regional and international book fairs and festivals can play a significant role. At the professional end of the book fair spectrum there is the chance to network with agents, scouts, foreign publishers and see up-and-coming tech initiatives. While consumer-facing events can put a publishers’ Read More …

Amazon Prime Video launches on UAE’s du while global ebook ambitions remain on the shelf

We’re now well into our fifth year without a new Kindle store being launched – the last was the Netherlands in November 2014 – and there seems little prospect of any new Kindle store launches in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile Amazon Prime Video is available pretty much everywhere in the world, and this week comes Read More …

Saudi Arabia’s second book fair of the year attracts thousands, just a week after Jeddah’s record 475,000 turnout

Given the Jeddah International Book Fair ran from December 26 through January 5, we can only attribute five days worth of the 475,000 visitors to the 2019 book fair count, but even so we’re looking at about a quarter million booklovers descending on an Arab book fair so far in 2019, and we’re still less Read More …

Dubai Audio Library “the largest Arabic audio library in the world”

Launched by Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Dubai Audio Library seeks to help the 7 million visually impaired people in the Arab world. It’s an initiative, reports Nasher News, undertaken by the RTA in collaboration with the website Bookshare.org. The Library is a volunteering platform for supporting seven Read More …

2019 Sheikh Zayed Book Award longlist lines up 13 titles for the prestigious Arab literature prize

With contenders from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Syria, Yemen and Norway, the 2019 Sheikh Zayed Book Award long list for the Literature category is announced, with ten novels, two poetry collections and a memoir forming the line-up. Here’s the longlist:   Novel: Esmy Fatima (My Name is Fatima) by Egyptian writer Amro Al Adly (2017) Read More …

The Handmaid’s Tale released in UAE as Arab book market globalisation builds

Margaret Atwood’s famous dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale is available in Arabic – for the first time ever. The internationalisation of the Arab book markets continues apace, and is epitomised by the release of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in Arabic at the Sharjah International Book Fair. Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s novel, set in a Read More …

Big Bad Wolf Kuala Lumpur 2018 announced as debut Big Bad Wolf Dubai kicks off

Big Bad Wolf launches its first foray outside South Asia today, with an eleven day 24/7 non-stop book sale in the United Arab Emirates, with 3 million books laid on for eager readers. The Dubai sale, held in partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF), the National Media Council (NMC) and 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 …

The Week In Review

Here’s a second chance to see the TNPS post from the past seven days. Start the Day Global – 30 September 2018 Sweden’s Storytel Arabia partners with Jordan’s Jamalon to expand MENA audiobook reach Nigerian student writer wins trip to Sharjah International Book fair. They never had prizes like that when I was a kid! Read More …

80,000 titles, 1.6 million books, 1,874 publishers, 77 countries and a message of intercultural tolerance. Sharjah prepares to break its 2017 record

The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) held a press conference this week to mark the countdown to the 2018 Sharjah International Book Fair, which last year clocked 2.38 million visitors. The 1.6 million books that will be on sale is itself a record, as is the 1,847 publishers from 77 countries that will be at the Read More …

Nigerian student writer wins trip to Sharjah International Book fair. They never had prizes like that when I was a kid!

Back in the last century when I was a kid I won my fair share of writing prizes for my back-then handwritten essays and stories. The prizes were much appreciated – a book token, a cinema ticket, etc – but not quite in the same class as the trophy for winning Nigeria’s 2018 Channels Book Read More …