It was the publishing industry’s Super Thursday yesterday. In Colombo.
In the UK of course it was also Super Thursday, the day when some 500 hardcover titles are released on one day, marking the start of the Christmas book-shopping season.
Publishers big and small, except indie authors, were lining up to get their new hardcover releases on the plinths and shelves of bookstores across the nation.
Except indie authors because hardcover editions are still a rarity on the self-publishing circuit, even though many indies do well with paperbacks thanks to POD.
But let’s get back to the real Super Thursday. The first day of the world’s biggest book sale, in Colombo.
No, not Columbo, the quirky detective played by Peter Falk back in nineteen bow and arrow, but Colombo the capital of Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka? World’s biggest book sale? Has Amazon opened a Sri Lanka store?
In fact this is nothing whatsoever to do with Amazon, but yes it really is the world’s biggest book sale.

A pertinent reminder that, while we in the Anglophone markets struggle to imagine publishing even existing without Amazon’s involvement, in the wider world publishing is doing just fine despite the absence of the world’s biggest book store.

The Sri Lanka Big Bad Wolf sale kicked of yesterday with 1.5 million books at special sale prices and will run 24 hours a day for the next ten days selling, wait for it, English-language books.

The Big Bad Wolf sale, Sri Lanka

The Big Bad Wolf sale, Sri Lanka

The brainchild of Malaysia-based Andrew Yap and Jacqueline Ng, and opened in Colombo by Sri Lanka’s Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, the Big Bad Wolf sale began back in 2009 in Malaysia and is now held in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and, starting this year, Sri Lanka.

The 2017 Malaysia Big Bad Wolf sale was in May-June. Here’s how it worked.

You pop along to the fair, check out the huge selection of books, then buy a small or a large “tapau box” (or a family buy – one large and one small for a discount) and cram in as many books as you can.

Sounds like fun to me!

For anyone in Jakarta, the Indonesia Big Bad Wolf sale started late last month and still has a few days to run.

For the just started Colombo event Check out the Big Bad Wolf Sri Lanka website to find out more. There’s a drop down menu to visit the Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand Big Bad Wolf events.

Hmmm. 1.5 million books up for grabs in the world’s biggest book sale. Not in America, and nothing to do with Amazon.

Next time you hear someone trot out the tired old twaddle about how the foreign book markets are a waste of time because no-one reads, and how English-language books won’t sell outside the Anglophone countries, just say to them “Big Bad Wolf.”