Chair of Judges for the Arabic Booker Discusses the Shortlist

In Arabic Publishing by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije The shortlist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) — better known as the Arabic Booker — was released last week; the winner — who receives $50,000 (shortlisted authors receive $10,000 — will be announced March 14, 2011 during the Abu Dhabi Book Fair. The six writers on the shortlist are from Egypt, Morocco, Sudan and …

Penguin Enters Arab Market with Joint Venture

In Arabic Publishing by Hannah Johnson

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 …

Iraqi Books Hit the International Market for First Time Since the War

In English Language by Chip Rossetti

• Iraq’s publishing and bookselling industry has been damaged by decades of war, sanctions and violence. • However, Baghdad’s al-Muthanna Library — a traditional Iraqi publishing and bookselling powerhouse — has just released its first catalog of fiction and non-fiction titles for the international market since the war. By Chip Rossetti BAGHDAD: Founded in 1936, the al-Muthanna Library in Baghdad …

Do Cash Awards Promote Publishing in Growth Markets?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead story covers the ongoing Sharjah International Book Fair. This year, the Fair introduced three new book awards for English language works (discussed in the piece). In addition, the Egypt-based Dar El Shorouk won the second edition of the Etisalat Prize for Arabic Children’s Literature with the book, Al Noqta Al Sawda (The Black Dot), written …

Web-based Entrepreneurs in the Arab World

In Arabic Publishing by Chip Rossetti

By Chip Rossetti Today’s Gulf News — the English-language daily based in Dubai — has an interesting piece on entrepreneurs in Lebanon who are using social media to build their businesses on the web. The first profiled is a comics-blogger-turned-author, Maya Zankoul, who ended up self-publishing her book, Amalgam, because no local publisher would take it on: even with a …

Middle East Graphic Novelists Push Boundaries

In Growth Markets by Chip Rossetti

By Chip Rossetti • Last week, we looked the market for comic books and graphic novels in the Middle East is small, but growing. • In this, the second part of our two-part series, we examine how graphic novelists in the Middle East are pushing the boundaries of publishing by tackling controversial topics in their work, but also paying a price …

Are Graphic Novels and Comics More Dangerous than Prose Novels?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead story looks at how graphic novelists are pushing boundaries and challenging taboos in the Middle East. In one case, that of Magdy El Shafee’s groundbreaking Metro, the Egyptian courts objected to its depiction of corruption and criminality, fined the author and publisher, and had the book pulled from store shelves. Surely, this is not an …

Are Comics a Universal Medium?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead story looks at the emergence of comics and graphic novels in the Middle East. Different cultures have different relationships to graphic novels: the French and Belgians are passionate about their bande dessinée, the Japanese are mad for manga, while Americans are still best known for their superhero comics. Word pictures date back to the cave paintings of …

Oasis or Mirage: Are there Really Opportunities for Publishers in the Middle East?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka We at Publishing Perspectives have offered dozens of stories about publishing in the Middle East — which, with its population of some 300 million people, looks like a fertile market for publishers. We’ve identified several opportunities and believe the region has real potential for publishers looking to grow. Andy Smart, consultant publisher of Bloomsbury Qatar, agrees and …