Big Bad Wolf returns to Dubai in October, with 3 million books

Very few details available right now, but with one month to go it’s now official that Big Bad Wolf, the Malaysia-based flash-book-sale operation that takes literally millions of English-language books to countries that routinely do not speak English, is back in the UAE in October for its second run. As with the debut event in Read More …

Publish MENA – the digital advantage #3 is now available

The joint StreetLib-TNPS bi-weekly newsletter Publish MENA – the digital advantage released its third issue today.  Publish MENA is a bi-weekly review of the Middle East North Africa Arab publishing scene across all formats, but with an unashamed tilt towards the digital opportunity unfolding.

Publish MENA – the digital advantage #2 is now available

The joint StreetLib-TNPS bi-weekly newsletter Publish MENA – the digital advantage released its second issue a few days ago. Publish MENA is a bi-weekly review of the Middle East North Africa Arab 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, Read More …

The UAE’s Manassah platform delivering results for Emirati publishers at the six month mark

Back in early February I reported here on the January launch of the “Manassah” platform – an initiative by the Emirati Publishers Association (EPA) to get Emirati titles in front of a regional and wider audience. Six months on and we have some news about progress made. The Sharjah City Guide blog reports, …The platform Read More …

25 million books sold to 3 million visitors across 25 cities, and it’s only August. Big Bad Wolf shows us the global demand for affordable English-language books

One would think a country like Indonesia, not noted for its reading reputation, might soon get tired of a Malaysian company turning up with millions (literally) of English-language books in eleven-day 24/7 flash sales. But if there is a limit, Big Bad Wolf has yet to reach it. Not content with taking 5.5 million books 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 …

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 …