Two thirds of Kenyans pay to download online video. Almost none read ebooks. Proof Africans don’t read? No. Proof ebook retailers are looking the other way

It’s the twenty-first century. Even in Africa. And contrary to popular opinion, the internet is not only available across the continent but is shaping the continent’s future. This from IT News Africa this past week: If there was ever a time to watch progress in Africa, it would be now. As we have seen so Read More …

“Amazon eyes Latin American expansion,” says Reuters, carrying the story TNPS broke six months ago.  You heard it here first!

Yesterday Reuters ran the headline “Amazon eyes Latam expansion,” explaining that, having already established itself in Mexico and Brazil, Amazon was now looking at further expansion in  Latin America. Seeking Alpha was also presenting this as breaking news. Explained Reuters, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri met with Amazon’s Elaine Feeney, vice president for infrastructure global expansion Read More …

Warsaw, Minsk, Bucharest, Bratislava, Lillehammer, St. Petersburg, Dublin, Kiev, Madrid, Lisbon – the European book fair season is under way

Although we have had significant European book fairs already this year, it is in May that things really step up a gear, as winter is laid to rest, spring has sprung and thoughts turn to a summer of books. May started with the Thessalonika fair in Greece (85,000 visitors) and the Tanpinar festival in Turkey, Read More …

Juggernaut India’s answer to Wattpad gets its first movie deal as an injunction against another Juggernaut title is restored

Just a year after the digital publisher Juggernaut launched its self-publishing arm Writing Platform, one of its authors has signed a movie deal. Writing Platform is a variation on Wattpad, where unknown authors can upload their own material, but whereas Wattpad is global, Juggernaut’s version is limited exclusively to residents of the Indian subcontinent. Launched Read More …

Brazil’s Flipoços International Literary Festival sees 85,000 visitors, sells $325,000 books in nine days

When I reported earlier this month that some six million people would be visiting book events in May I added the proviso that the real number would be a lot higher as I will have missed many “smaller” events in my snapshot. As all eyes turn to the New York Book Expo, more than 6 Read More …

Spotify plans a MENA launch as thoughts turn to audiobooks. MENA’s digital genie is out of the bottle

With TechCrunch reporting Spotify is looking at tie-ups with Hulu, and possibly a tie-in with Scribd for audiobooks, comes news that Spotify will be a launching in the United Arab Emirates in 2018-19, and looking to make a mark on the MENA (Middle East – North Africa) region. First, let’s take a look at Spotify’s Read More …

“The future of global publishing lies in the emerging markets” – Sheikha Bodour al Qasimi

In an article in VenturesAfrica today Bodour al Qasim takes a look at the potential of the African book markets, using her own country, the United Arab Emirates, as an example of what might be achievable. At which point, full disclosure: Bodour Al Qasim as credited by VenturesAfrica is in fact Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Read More …

Storytel launches its own e-reader, prepares to change royalty structure, as Tellander reports a successful Q1

Along with the Storytel Q1 2018 financial report today comes news that the Swedish audiobook company is about to elevate its ebook arm from a sideshow to mainstream. Storytel Reader is an e-reading device that will be launched in Sweden, Denmark and Finland shortly, with other Storytel markets to follow. Storytel CEO Jonas Tellander explained, Read More …

Amazon expands UK imprint ambitions as A-Pub holds half the US top ten today. A-Pub has more titles than Bloomsbury, Kensington or HMH if BookStat numbers are correct

At noon today (GMT) five of the top ten slots in the Kindle charts were taken by Lake Union (2), Montlake Romance (2) and Thomas & Mercer (1) – all publishing imprints of Amazon. With the launch of Topple in February, the number of Amazon imprints reached eighteen. Amazon is already fielding more titles than Kensington, Read More …

As all eyes turn to the New York Book Expo, more than 6 million people are attending book fairs around the world this May

As we all know, there are three big book events every year – the London Book Fair, the New York Book Expo, and the Frankfurt Book Fair. And if we stretch the imagination a little we can count a few other big book fairs – Guadalajara and Bologna, for example, and lately Shanghai and Beijing Read More …