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At its annual Spring conference in the US, the STM Association launched its newest version of the Technology Trends for 2015, an series of three infographics which are very interesting to all players in the global book market.

STM is the leading global trade association for academic and professional publishers. It has over 120 members in 21 countries who each year collectively publish nearly 66% of all journal articles and tens of thousands of monographs and reference works. STM members include learned societies, university presses, private companies, new starts and established players.

The 2015 trends highlight data publishing and reputation management as significant drivers of the industry, all fed by the importance of the article itself connecting the large number of digital objects which now persist across scholarly publishing. A colourful infographic shows the three core developments across the publishing industry which a group of 26 leading companies identified as key to the technological present and future of the publishing industry for the next 3 to 5 years.

Tech trends 2015
2015 STM Tech Trends 2015 Infographic

Amazon currently has an Afrikaans section spanning over 3000 titles. David Henderson takes a look at which Afrikaans authors had a presence on the world’s largest eBook store, how they are selling and what they are doing right (or wrong).

Read his article here.


The SA Book Fair 2015 is less than one month away and preparations are well underway for a new and improved fair. After nine years in Cape Town, the fair will take place in Johannesburg for the first time from 31 July to 2 August.

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Book lovers all over the world celebrated World Book and Copyright Day on 23 April. The SA Booksellers Association strives toward promoting a culture of reading and learning by supporting literary events and initiatives and by assisting its members to do so. Read more on how the country celebrated this important day. Read more on how the country celebrated this important day.

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The national Department of Arts and Culture, together with LIASA (Library and Information Association of South Africa), declared 14 to 21 March to be SA Library Week 2015. The theme for the week was “Connect @ your library!”. This theme focuses on libraries as socially inclusive spaces that connect people, communities, society, information, knowledge and technology. Theresa de Young tells us more about the celebrations.

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The Department of Basic Education (DBE) has initiated the Book Flood Campaign whereby all provinces are expected to organise their own related events in order to collect books from all stakeholders for learners that do not have access to libraries. We have a look at KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape’s campaigns.

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The Department of Basic Education (DBE) Inputs and Contribution to a National Digital E-Book / E-Content Strategy, released in February this year, has been under discussion in many arenas as the local publishing and bookselling industry tries to understand how it will affect them in future business dealings with the department. Jessica Faircliff discusses the strategy in detail.

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SABC Education African EduWeek is widely regarded as the premier education event on the African continent. Now entering its 9th year, African EduWeek 2015, is taking place at the Gallagher Convention Center in Midrand on the 1st and 2nd July will showcase over 120 international exhibitors, host free-to-attend education seminars, offer a new high-level technology conference E-Tech Africa, as well as technical workshops designed to enhance teacher training and development. Get more details here.

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Much has changed over the past 66 years since the first literary festival, the Times Cheltenham Literature Festival was launched in 1949. While festival-goers at most of these festivals can now also enjoy some good food, join in discussions and meet their favourite authors, it is important to have a look at the real purpose and value of these events.

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The Digital Technologies Summit took place on the 18th and 19th of March 2015, at the National Library of South Africa, Pretoria. Clearly, an event that addresses digital technologies and the technology-enabled future of the book industry in South Africa was long overdue. A number of industry and value-chain related challenges and opportunities exist for all role-players in the book sector when faced with digital technologies. In most instances, all are in agreement that digital technologies, although challenging to implement, bring far greater opportunities and solutions than problems and concerns. Nicolene Finlayson reports on the event.

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The past six months have been filled with festivals and fairs all promoting and celebrating the literary industry. In general it seems like interest in these festivals are growing by the day, with more and more events every year. Here is an update on what’s been happening in 2015 so far.

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Oxford University Press (OUPSA), in celebration of their centenary, donated 20 000 dictionaries to children across the country. OUPSA donated 10 000 dictionaries and asked the public to donate another 10 000 by pledging online at no cost to them. The aim of the campaign was to create awareness about the value of education and language. The 20 000 dictionaries are now on their way to 200 schools across the country.

Watch the handover of the Every Child Deserves a Dictionary campaign here.

Edward Nawotka, Editor-in-Chief at Publishing Perspectives, noted in a recent article on BEA, that “In what is a notably smaller book fair than a decade ago, the most impressive amount of floor space is occupied not by an American publisher — but by the China pavilion, one as austere and intimidating as the Great Wall itself.”

“Of course, China is itself largely a self-contained, self-serving market, one that doesn’t need interaction with foreign or overseas publishers to survive. Their commitment and appearance at international book fairs largely seems to be a gesture towards cultural exchange, albeit one sorely lacking an articulate ambassador or two who can help guide the rest of the world in understanding,” he continues. Read more here.

The government recently announced its plan to limit school textbooks to one per subject. Prof. Jonathan Jansen gives his opinion and the implications of the policy. “The combination of official incompetence and the corruption of the textbook industry makes the breathless statement that the new policy will eliminate inequality just another rhetorical spurt by officials more occupied with political impression management.”

Read the full article on Rand Daily Mail.

 

Over the course of the last few years, it has come to feel that we bookish types are stuck in our very own world war one re-enactment, in trench warfare over where the money lines are drawn. Who will taste defeat first? The publishers? The booksellers? The agents? Or, dread thought, might it be the writers? Mounted on my high horse, surveying the clamorous battlefield, I fear it is another regiment which is most in peril. The Readers.

Read more here.

Poetry lovers will have a feast at this year’s Franschhoek Literary Festival with 15 poetry events – for every possible taste – spread over three days. Far from being the lesser literary cousin of the novel, the form’s popularity seems to increase year after year, lending itself, as it does, generously to both quiet reading and reading aloud.

Read more.

In celebration of World Book Day, the International Publishers Association released an infographic about children and reading. 

View the interesting facts here.

 

 

Today, 23 April 2015, the world will celebrate World Book Day.  The SA Booksellers association strives toward promoting a culture of reading and learning by supporting literary events and initiatives and by assisting its members to do so.

Read more on how you can celebrate this important day here.

The Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment campaign is launching the special children’s literacy rights poster below today to assert and affirm for children what they need to become inspired and competent readers and writers. Read more about the campaign here.

Give the gift of reading this April with World Book Day 2015. Organised by the SA Booksellers Association, you will be able to donate childrens’ books for only R15 from participating SA Bookseller members.

Read more.

Read more on how Nal’ibali will celebrate World Book Day here.

It is almost time for the annual Franschhoek Literary Festival. A number of early evening events have been added to the lineup of the 2015 FLF, offering festival goers a relaxing and entertaining wind-down before heading off for dinner.

Read more.

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