By Hannah Johnson
Pearson PLC announced today that its Penguin Group has launched a joint venture with Egyptian publisher Dar El Shorouk. The “Shorouk-Penguin project” will translate into Arabic 12 English-language titles from the Penguin Classics series, in addition to publishing up to eight original Arabic classics. The first titles will be available in early 2011.
According to the press release, Dar El Shorouk is a leading publishing company both in Egypt and the Arab market. The company has expanded to include magazines, television production and newspapers.
Penguin also has similar ventures in Brazil, China and South Korea. According to the Wall Street Journal, Penguin CEO John Makinson sees this venture as a way to gain entry into emerging markets “where economic growth and demographic shifts have been driving physical book sales.”
The WSJ article goes on to report that physical books are the primary focus of these ventures that Penguin has set up around the world, especially in Egypt. Although digital editions are planned, both Dar El Shorouk chairman Ibrahim El Moallem and Makinson expressed the opinion that e-books were not critical to the success of this joint venture.
READ: The Wall Street Journal coverage of the “Penguin-Shorouk project”