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As one of the world’s top philanthropists, perhaps it makes sense that Bill Gates is treating beach reading like an intellectual cause: Each year, he offers up his list of the most important beach reads, none of which have ever featured Fabio on the cover. But this does have Trevor Noah. “Summer is a great time to escape: to the beach, to the mountains, or to the world of a great book. This year, I found myself drawn even more than usual to books that took me outside (and I don’t mean the great outdoors). The books on this year’s summer reading list pushed me out of my own experiences, and I learned some things that shed new light on […]

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flf

From political, critical and topical, to inspiring, fantastical and beautiful – Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF) 2017 promises treasures for visitors and writers alike FLF has always been known for its palette of politics, literacy, literature, humour, creativity, controversy and contrast. This year is no exception, with 150-plus authors from Nigeria, Kenya, the UK, New Zealand, Botswana, Israel – and of course South Africa – sharing their talent, wit and insights across 105 events over three jam-packed days. Who should be there? Everyone who loves to read, write, debate, listen, mingle with literary rock stars and newbies, drink great wine and eat great food. Things to note: • The Franschhoek Literary Festival runs from Friday 19 May – Sunday 21 May […]

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At Cape Town’s ‘FIRST’ Book Sale a large number of local bookshops will all be under one roof at one time with the sole objective of selling a huge selection of multilingual, multi-cultural books that will appeal to all book lovers, at the lowest prices available in Cape Town to the general public. On offer will be amongst others: popular fiction/non-fiction; hardcovers/paperbacks; English/ Afrikaans/Other languages; Academic; Christian and Children’s books. The Cape Town Book Sale to be held at The Avenue, V&A Waterfront from 16th to 18th June 2017, will be a consumer event, run under the auspices of The South African Booksellers Association. To date we have Bargain Books, Wordsworth Books, Books 24/7, Wilstan Books, Hargraves Library Services and […]

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Final-Report-NRS-2016-4

This study was commissioned and managed by the South African Book Development Council as part of the Growth and Development Strategy for the South African Book Sector. The nature of its efforts rests on acquiring a full understanding of the reading habits of adult South Africans. This report describes the findings of robust research that uncovered these reading habits amongst adults from a variety of angles with a view to, on the one hand, find change, if any, in patterns of reading behaviour and, on the other hand, inform strategy for the SABDC to meet its core objective of increasing access to books. Final Report NRS 2016

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Exhibit at the South African Book Fair, 8 – 10 September 2017, Museum Africa, Newtown, Johannesburg. The SABDC invites registered SMME publishers to apply for the exhibition subsidy. The SABDC encourages SMME publishers and entrepreneurs in the book sector to participate in the annual national book fair. The South African Book Development Council (SABDC) in association with Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA) and the Fibre Processing & Manufacturing Seta (FP&M Seta) have the intention to utilize the SABF, as a platform to increase access to mainstream opportunities. Through the SABF exhibitor subsidies, it aims to encourage SMME publishers’ and entrepreneurs in the book sector to participate in the annual national book fair. The Enterprise Development Programme supports greater growth […]

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Nairobi based BRCK Education is a winner of the 2017 World Changing Ideas Awards run by Fast Company. Their product, KioKit is a mobile and very robust kit packing everything you need to build a connected classroom. With the amazing BRCK—a powerful, ruggedized battery, 40 tablets, and wireless charging facilities, the water-resistant, lockable case can be taken far beyond the electric grid and internet network. The Kit was developed in Kenya by the same band of battle-hardened engineers behind open-source software company Ushahidi and iHub, a respected innovation and hacker space in Nairobi. With 57 million children not going to school on any given school day, there’s a powerful need for flexible education infrastructure and engaging content. The tablets come […]

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Held every year on 21 March, World Poetry Day celebrates one of humanity’s most treasured forms of cultural and linguistic expression and identity. Practiced throughout history – in every culture and on every continent – poetry speaks to our common humanity and our shared values, transforming the simplest of poems into a powerful catalyst for dialogue and peace. UNESCO first adopted 21 March as World Poetry Day during its 30th General Conference in Paris in 1999, with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard. World Poetry Day is the occasion to honour poets, revive oral traditions of poetry recitals, promote the reading, writing and teaching of poetry, foster. […]

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Russian librarians may stage significant protests to a planned consolidation of the domestic library industry. The reform could trigger extensive layoffs of workers, the librarians say, and precipitate a crisis in the industry.Earlier in March, the government announced plans to complete a merger of the Moscow-based Russian State Library (RSL) and St. Petersburg’s Russian National Library (NLR)—the country’s two biggest libraries—in coming months. Publishing Perspectives reported, that merging the libraries is part of a major state reorganization of the Russian library system, the idea for which was introduced two years ago.The planned merger has triggered public response and protests before, as well as objections from representatives of both libraries, leading book-industry specialists, and even some state officials. Read more here

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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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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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