Digital Publishing in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Good News, The Bad News

In Growth Markets by Guest Contributor

Sub-Saharan Africa’s dearth of cash, political will and a reliable supply of electricity are preventing the “digital revolution” from making large-scale changes in the way Africans read. By Tolu Ogunlesi The Namibian government has a goal of installing computers in every school and every community library in the country by 2014. This is one of the key objectives of the …

A Bookseller Who Bridges Print and Digital, Day and Night, This World and the Next

In Europe by Roger Tagholm

Watkin’s Books — the world’s most famous mind-body-spirit bookstore — nearly went under in 2010. A 21st-century business strategy and an American with vision saved it from extinction. By Roger Tagholm LONDON: You wouldn’t expect the owner of London’s –- if not the world’s -– most famous mind-body-spirit bookshop, Watkins, in Cecil Court, a Victorian walkway off Charing Cross Road, …

Why Bogus Flap Copy Erodes Readers’ Trust

In Editorial & Opinion by Guest Contributor

Using platitudes like “remarkable” and “dazzling” in flap copy is forgivable, but calling a book “funny” when it is anything but is a much worse crime. Editorial by Nico Vreeland Flap copy always lies. It’s sickly understandable, considering the competitive marketplace for books. But, as a reader, it’s intensely frustrating to wade through book descriptions where the truth is more …

Droemer Knaur’s Neobooks Brings Self-to-Traditional Publishing to Germany

In Europe by Amanda DeMarco

Neobooks, an online writing community launched by German publisher Droemer Knaur, is seeking out the intersection between self publishing and traditional publishing. By Amanda DeMarco BERLIN: Despite what the majority of the German publishing community might think, online author and reader self-publishing communities are not a new phenomenon in the country. Platforms like Epidu or Bookrix have allowed authors to post their …

Reading in the Cloud: “Spotify for Books” from The Publisher’s Standpoint

In Digital by Guest Contributor

Based on the Spotify model, streaming e-book subscription platforms are tricky to monetize properly for publishers — though they appear to be inevitable. By Javier Celaya MADRID: Yesterday I offered two different points-of-view on whether the streaming, cloud-based Spotify model was suitable to the book world — the first, from the reader’s angle, and the second one from the author’s …

Is “Spotify for Books” Possible?

In Digital by Guest Contributor

The concept of cloud reading, also known as “Spotify for books,” sounds appealing, but has different implications depending on your position in the market. By Javier Celaya MADRID: During most of the meetings I held with national and international publishers at the last London Book Fair earlier this month, I was asked by many what my thoughts were on the …

Russia’s Literary Monster: The Wild, Unpredictable World of Vladimir Sorokin

In Europe by Daniel Kalder

A “living classic,” Sorokin pushes boundaries by writing about a Russia rife with violence, coprophilia, violence, rape, violence, aliens, violence, clones and more violence. He makes his American debut in New York this weekend at the PEN World Voices Festival. By Daniel Kalder At the London Book Fair earlier this month, Russia was featured as Guest of Honor. Nearly every Russian …

Buenos Aires: 2011 World Book Capital in More Ways Than One

In Growth Markets by Edward Nawotka

In Buenos Aires, there are books for sale on what seems to be every corner and may be more books per sale per capita than perhaps any other city in the world. By Edward Nawotka BUENOS AIRES: We’re currently in the midst of the Buenos Aires International Book Fair — better known to Spanish-speakers as the Feria del Libro. The …