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There is an annual event pinned to the South African publishing and bookselling industry’s calendar. It is the kind of evening where colleagues that have worked, sometimes a lifetime together, gather and reminisce, and discuss current affairs. Discuss business and the business is books. South African publishing and bookselling industry’s calendar. It is the kind of evening where colleagues that have worked, sometimes a lifetime together, gather and reminisce, and discuss current affairs. Discuss business and the business is books. The celebrations are of course about books and the main winner of the evening is, a book. It is the book that all the gathered booksellers and all their compatriots countrywide have most enjoyed selling so far that year. Of […]

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Books and e-books are a key focus for takealot.com. Not just because of our heritage – following our 2015 merger with Kalahari we welcomed a huge number of passionate readers and loyal book buyers – but also because books offer something for everyone.

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Open-Book-Festival

Wednesday 7 September marked the start of the 2016 Open Book Festival. This book festival, that ran from 7–11 September, is a huge event in Cape Town that welcomes all authors, academics, literalists, and book lovers to insightful and fun sessions on authors and their stories.

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NBW-2016

For the first time since its inception, National Book Week (NBW) was celebrated in all nine provinces, which is a great feat for the industry. This year, the proud host of the campaign the South African Book Development Council (SABDC), went all out to promote the importance of books.

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Bridge-Books

In the gorgeous building at 85 Commissioner Street, you will find a new special kind of bookshop, Bridge Books. Only four months old and already on Bookmark’s must-visit list.

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Legends-of-bookselling

A new category, sponsored by Exclusive Books was profiled at the Booksellers’ Choice Awards and this was presented to four legends in the bookselling trade, people who have dedicated their lives to selling books and to supporting everyone in the trade to do so successfully. Benjamin Trisk, the erudite MD of Exclusive Books regaled the audience with tales of yore before calling up Maureen Hargraves of Hargraves Library Suppliers, Henrietta Dax of Clarkes Bookshop, Fleur Mcfarlane of Exclusive Books and Peter Adams of Adams Booksellers.

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Academic-Report

By Mohamed Kharwa. Like last year 2015–2016 has proved to be another challenging year for academic bookselling in the regions and nationally. Bookselling was impacted by protest and student strikes on campuses across the country following the #FeesMustFall protests. A struggling economy, the wide range in exchange rates, political uncertainty, global events like Brexit, and global economic downturns have provided a perfect storm that has made the South African business environment a difficult one to grow in.

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General-Trade-Report

By Olinka Nell. The first half of 2016 proved most eventful in the general trade. The currency rollercoaster first wreaked havoc with unit sales (post-Nenegate) before blowing holes in budgets based on price increase projections (post- Brexit). Prices increased by up to 12% in the first months of the year, with unit sales dropping by more than 6% as a result. Bookshops were still able to show some growth based on higher price, but could potentially be hit hard when prices started to drop after the weakening of the pound in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

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By Melvin Kaabwe. The year saw a further investment by Gauteng into e-learning solutions and an expanded tablet roll-out for public k-12 (basic education) schools. In the private sector, all the chain k-12 education providers continue to improve their own versions of e-learning with emphasis on additonal Learning Teacher Student Materials (LTSM) whilst upskilling teachers to develop more interactive content for their students.

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Library-Report

By Richard Hargraves. I would really like to start a report with, “Full steam ahead!” but I am afraid this is still not the case. Library supply is a case of stop, start and return to the start with reams of paperwork in between. Always have twenty sets of original and certified documents on hand at all times is my advice to people wondering how to break into the market which one would think a very strange requirement. It is an administrative nightmare and ensures you to have a good collection of rubber stamps.

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Education-Report

By Hentie Gericke. The academic year 2014 saw a complete overhaul of textbooks for Grades 1–12. The Heads of the Education Department Committee (HEDCOM) has recommended that the present catalogues be retained for another five years. The main reasons are that the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is happy with Curriculum Assessment Policy Statements (CAPS) and budgets are under pressure. A new catalogue process will put increased pressure on the already strained economy.

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Publishing chief executives have been urged to spend a day working on the bookshop floor by the new president of the Booksellers Association. Ros de la Hey (pictured), who is owner of the Main Street Trading Company in St Boswells, said she hoped to launch a new scheme for booksellers and publishers, called Adopt a C.e.o. Read the article on The Bookseller.

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The UK’s Publishers Association (PA) has followed its membership survey with what its leadership calls a manifesto, setting out key priorities on which the publishing industry wants government focus during and after its negotiations to leave the European Union. Brexit: Implications for the UK Publishing Industry is a four-page document out today (September 6), talking points for what the industry sees as important. Publishing in the United Kingdom, according to the PA, collectively contributes more than £4.4 billion (US$5.9 billion) to the economy. Digital revenues comprise some 32 percent of that, the PA says, while export sales of books account for 43 percent. Read more here.

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OPen-book

Open Book 2016 has kicked off and will run until the 11th of September. Have a look at this year’s programme on their website.

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legends

The South African Booksellers Association would like to congratulate all of the winning publishers and booksellers who took home awards from the annual Sefika Awards dinner tonight. The evening gala event, sponsored by Novus Holdings, Imperial Sasfin Logistics, Geodis Wilson and Sapnet is arranged to thank and celebrate both booksellers and publishers for the roles they play in promoting literacy and a culture of reading by producing and selling quality books in South Africa.

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Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chqumadzi

Nielsen Booksellers’ Awards Shortlisted Book  Sweet medicine takes place in Harare at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic woes in 2008. Tsitsi, a young woman, raised by her strict, devout Catholic mother, believes that hard work, prayer and an education will ensure a prosperous and happy future. She does well at her mission boarding school, and goes on to obtain a scholarship to attend university, but the change in the economic situation in Zimbabwe destroys the old system where hard work and a degree guaranteed a good life. Out of university, Tsitsi finds herself in a position much lower than she had set her sights on, working as a clerk in the office of the local politician, Zvobgo. With a salary […]

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Recipes for Love and Murder, published by Random House South Africa.

Nielsen Booksellers’ Awards Shortlisted Book Meet Tannie Maria: She’s fifty-something, short and soft (perhaps a bit too soft in the wrong places) with brown curls and untidy Afrikaans. She is also the agony aunt for the local paper, the Klein Karoo Gazette. One day, her life takes a sinister turn when a woman in the area is murdered and she becomes entangled in the investigation… to the intense irritation of a handsome local policeman. But what else will this amateur detective uncover in a small town marinated in secrets? Warm, poignant and entertaining, Sally Andrew’s delightful heroine blends together intrigue, romance and cooking in this irresistible new mystery, complete with a few mouth-watering recipes.

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Little Suns by Zakes Mda is shortlisted for the Nielsen Booksellers' Choice Awards.

Nielsen Booksellers’ Awards Shortlisted Book ‘There are many suns,’ he said. ‘Each day has its own. Some are small, some are big. I’m named after the small ones.’ It is 1903. A lame and frail Malangana – ‘Little Suns’ – searches for his beloved Mthwakazi after many lonely years spent in Lesotho. Mthwakazi was the young woman he had fallen in love with twenty years earlier, before the assassination of Hamilton Hope ripped the two of them apart.

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Immer Wes, by Irma Joubert, is shortlisted for Nielsen Booksellers' Choice Awards.

Nielsen Booksellers’ Awards Shortlisted Book It is a shock when she sees Gustav again at one of the baron’s many functions. The hardships of the war, however, has taken its toll and there is little left of the once beautiful and rich woman. He did not recognize her immediately. She makes an effort to ensure that it stays that way because the humiliation would be too much for her with her calloused hands, her dull hair and her skinny body.

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Ikarus by Deon Meyer

Nielsen Booksellers’ Awards Shortlisted Book On December 17th, the body of Ernst Richter was exposed at the dunes beyond Parklands – Ernst Richter, alleged internet entrepreneur and the owner of the contentious site Alibi.co.za, disappeared inexplicably a month ago. Even in normal circumstances the Hawks, Benny Griessel and Vaughn Cupido, would have struggled because at Alibi.co.za everyone lies through their teeth. But circumstances are not normal. Griessel has started to drink again and Cupido is in love. December 24th, a young viticulturist confessed to a lawyer in Cape Town which turned the entire case on its head. Christmas will never be the same again. 

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