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14-Exclusives

I recently had lunch at Exclusive Books’ Social Kitchen & Bar with a black entrepreneur whom I have known for some years. The Social Kitchen is a mix of fine dining tagged onto a fabulous bookshop and, as you might imagine, the attention to detail in the bookshop spills over into the restaurant so that there is a great feeling of cutting edge design in a post-industrial environment. The entrepreneur told me that he felt very comfortable in the restaurant and I asked him why. He has a Ph.D but has struck me as a fairly functional operator without any real literary flights of fancy. His reply rather surprised me. He said, firstly, that whether I liked it or not […]

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Book Sales in the General Trade in December 2016 Although mercifully free of the load-shedding woes and Nenegate crashes of the previous two seasons, retail sales took a pummelling this Christmas in the slow wake of these events. Consumers under pressure from sky-high food prices, petrol price increases, expensive data and fewer bonuses were careful to part with their pennies. According to Statistics SA, inflation peaked at 6.8% in December, with food prices up by 11.7% in the past year. Retail sales figures are expected to show a negative for the month, despite the 3.8% growth seen in November. Black Friday accounted for 3.5% of this growth, and is likely to have had an impact on December sales. In the […]

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Sm-VSB-05

How to survive There are many changes occurring in the learning content ecosystem worldwide and although each country has its own unique issues to deal with, digital migration and a growth in open educational resources (OER) are universal. Learnings from Canada Tony Ellis, the vice president of industry advancement for the National Association of College Stores (NACS) in the Canada, recently published a study entitled Mapping the Learning Content Ecosystem, which focuses on developing a higher ed course-content strategy, The publication has caused some debate and what is nice about it is that it places the academic bookseller at the very heart of the debate. “Campus stores offer more than traditional print textbooks – and have for quite some time,” […]

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Literacy-Option-5

Working in the field I do, I often have interested parents asking me how they can help their kids learn to read. Often the child seems ready before the given school going age. I also have many parents ask what they can do to boost their child’s reading. This has led me to think a lot about reading – and what goes into learning to read, and how we can help kids read better. If reading is a bicycle tyre, then the spokes are all the different strategies that go into being a reader. Think of your child as being the hub at the centre of the wheel. What you want to do is make sure there are many spokes […]

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Business as usual? Traditionally, the back-to-school season has been one of the biggest for the educational bookseller. Changes in procurement and delivery of books and Learner Teacher Support materials (LTSM) have taken away much of this business over the past years, but booksellers are ever imaginitive and are still finding ways to supply schools by diversifying their content and also their routes to market. The 2014 National Policy for the Provision and Management of LTSM is intended to guide the provision and management of LTSM, including textbooks, home economics equipment and science laboratory equipment, and is aimed at all levels in the system, from the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to provinces, districts and schools. It affects all government schools […]

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Abantu

Creating a vibrant ecosystem Diversity. Representation. Fair representation of the demographic in publishing and bookselling and literature in general world over is a topic that is very current. It is current because there are many initiatives to bring a more diverse voice to the reading public at the moment. We briefly mentioned the Seeing in Colour series that the Bookseller and Harper Collins launched last year in the December edition of Bookmark. This is an initiative to grow a more representative publishing community in the UK. More recently, the Bookseller reported Stephen Lotinga, the chief executive of the Publishers Association (PA), as saying that diversity is a “big priority” for UK book publishing. Lotinga promised targets for houses to aspire […]

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Does one lead and the other follow? The international book trade is a rich and varied creature with each territory influenced – more or less so – by cultural and local influences: priests-turned-chefs in Brazil, economics and business titles in India and home-grown fiction authors in Italy for example. But there are also trends that ricochet around the world. In the last few years we’ve observed the global popularity of adult colouring, a grown-up Harry Potter (of course) and dystopian fiction (initially targeted at the emerging adult), to name but a few. How do you predict what will translate, literally and culturally? How do you take a punt and find you have the next Elena Ferrante? The next Millie Marotta? […]

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For the period: week’s 1 – 52 (2014, 2015 and 2016) Excluding School and Academic Years 2014 to 2016 were extremely challenging years in the South African book trade. We experienced closure of businesses, take overs and amalgamations but what is left at 2016 shows us resilient management and the ability to endure in difficult times. Herewith a brief summary of the past three years in the general book trade. Market Share Top 5 publishing houses by value Our top 5 Publishing Houses are Penguin Random House (Pty) Ltd, Jonathan Ball Publishers SA, Christian Art Distributors, Pan Macmillan South Africa and NB Publishers. The total market share of these top 5 publishing houses over the past three years is as […]

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With the introduction of programs such as Indie Next’s Revisit & Rediscover that highlight backlist titles, as well as backlist book swaps at bookseller gatherings, the American Booksellers Association has tried to encourage independent booksellers to carry more backlist titles. Publishers, too, have been pushing for a change. At the start of the year, HarperCollins introduced one of the most innovative programs to date: offering a discount on Harper and Harlequin backlist books for indies. Publishers Weekly

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21 – 26 February 2017, Grahamstown Presented by: The Puku Children’s Literature Foundation It is Puku Story Festival time in Grahamstown again and festival organisers are thrilled to announce that this year’s guest of honour is legendary musician, poet, storyteller and teacher Latozi Mpahleni, better known as Madosini. Widely acknowledged as the foremost living player of isitolotolo, uhadi and the umrhube mouth bow, Madosini is truly a national treasure formally recognised by the Department of Arts and Culture as a Living Legend. Festival director, Ziyanda Gysman can hardly contain her excitement at having Madosini at the Festival this year. “Alongside other iconic Eastern Cape writers and artists such as Dr Sindiwe Magona and Dr John Kani, Madosini is internationally acclaimed […]

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The SA Bookseller’s Association recently announced the development of an official online training programme. The qualification will carry the endorsement of the association, with plans to obtain SETA accreditation in the next phase. This exciting new project was made possible thanks to generous sponsorship by Bargain Books and Exclusive Books. The programme is being developed for SABA by a company called Tuit Learning, who specialise in online courses, and have extensive experience in partnering with universities and companies in South Africa. Students will be able to enrol in individual courses, but will need all the courses to obtain the qualification. It will be available from the SABA website, and is open to anyone at a cost of R1500 per course. […]

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Book Aid International has teamed up with 20 stars of the children’s book world to celebrate the 20th anniversary of World Book Day (WBD). The charity began releasing a new reason to promote children’s books on social media on 3rd February and is continuing every working day until WBD on 2nd March. Book Aid International hopes the celebrations will draw more attention to the value of children’s literature as well as the need for children’s books in the communities where the charity works. The rest of the campaign will feature additional laureates, authors and publishers and a blog will be updated daily on the charity’s website. The project is running alongside the organisation’s WBD celebrations such as school children donating […]

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One night in the fall of 2015, a bookseller from Hong Kong was blindfolded, handcuffed, and abducted to China, where he spent months in solitary confinement for selling controversial political books banned in mainland China. Four other booksellers met the same fate, and since then—despite mass protests over what happened—several bookstores have closed. In a new pop-up bookstore in central Hong Kong, open on February 16 and 17, Amnesty International will sell more than 1,000 books with blacked-out passages to call attention to the censorship. Hong Kong, which is part of China but has a separate political system, has laws protecting freedom of expression. The new bookstore points out how those laws are threatened, affecting both booksellers and the press. […]

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14-Exclusives

The shortlist for The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2017 has been announced and South Africa has a few nominees. The new and much touted Exclusive Books Hyde Park store has been shortlisted for the Bookstore of the year and is competing against old timer Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France and New Zealand’s Time Out Bookstore in Auckland for the title. The awards, which are held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association celebrate excellence in sixteen categories, including international publishing, academic and scholarly publishing, children’s publishing, literary translation and digital innovation. The second South African contester, in for the second year in a row, is the Open Book Festival run by SA Booksellers Association member The Book […]

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The goal of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) project is to create a new city library in the late monarch’s honor by converting an existing structure into a Library scheduled to open in March this year. This is welcome news in comparison to the pressure currently being placed on library budgets in the US and the UK. The project, situated on Ratchadamnoen Klang Avenue, is part of a campaign to advertise Bangkok as a City of Learning, one that promotes a culture of reading. The initiative was launched in 2013, when Bangkok was named by UNESCO as a World Book Capital. BMA officials say they hope that the library’s prime location—accessible to both car and public transportation, and “just a […]

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In a question and answer period with analysts following the release of its results for 2016, Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky touched on why the online giant has opened bookstores and other physical stores. “We think the bookstores for instance are a really great way for customers to engage with our devices and see them, touch them, play with them and become fans. So we see a lot of value in that,” Olsavsky said. He indicated that Amazon will continue to add more physical spaces, saying that “we’re still in that phase where we’re testing and learning and getting better.” He had no definitive word on expansion plans for the bookstores, noting that the company will open five bookstores this year […]

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20-21Jonathan-Ball

When and how did you start in the book business? I joined an American company, Collier-Macmillan in late 1970. I was about to finish my National Service in the Air Force and applied to an advert in the newspaper. I hitched from Pretoria to Johannesburg in my blue step-out uniform. Too late to make it home to change into ‘civvies’ I went straight to the interview in my Air Force blues. This turned out to be fortuitous as the person conducting the interview, Rudi Houwert, had been in the Royal Dutch Marines. Lean (having never had a publishing lunch), sun-touched, short haired – Houwert like the ‘cut of my jib’ and took me through for an immediate interview with the […]

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21-Fogertys-Bookshop

Where: Walmer Park Shopping Centre Port Elizabeth Since: Shop opened 29th November 1946 Contact: Teresa Fogarty Are you chain or independent? Independent How did you get into the book selling business and acquire your own store? My father Basil Fogarty started the shop in a basement shop in Port Elizabeth’s Main Street. The shop was huge and full of the most amazing books. My parents used to hold Art Exhibitions for the likes of Erma Stern. The shop moved from 59 Main Street to the Library Building on the Market Square and then across the road to the Traduna Building for about 20 years. During this time I took over in 1987. I have been running the shop ever since […]

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18Frankfurt

Frankfurt was abuzz this year with a variety of talking points for publishers, booksellers and related stakeholders all facing an exciting new phase in the evolving story of human-kinds finest invention, the book. The guest of honour this year was the Netherlands and Flanders region. I was most pleased to see the vast array and depth of available content from all genres and variety of forms. The availability of book content has never been more engaging for people to enjoy, from pop-up books to holographic electronic reserves of digital content. Now more than ever, there really is something for everyone to find accessible. Some of the most interesting topics for me and other trade visitors related to digital were:

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Our two data supply members; Nielsen Bookscan international and Bookdata Sapnet give us a good look at the markets. The Sapnet numbers show a steady uptick in sales over the past three years with regards to both quantity and average selling price. Key Book Trends

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