Ebooks Gaining Traction Among Arab Publishers?

Arabic Literature (in English)

Literary agent Yasmina Jraissati writes in Book Brunch’s Spotlight on Arab Publishing (Sharjah International Book Fair Special) about the precipitous drop in sales that publishers have seen in 2012 and 2013. But this isn’t the whole story:

spotlightJraissati, in “Reaching out to Invisible Readers,” notes five key problems that have been facing Arab publishers for the last several decades: “piracy, lack of systematic distribution channels, censorship, and differences in purchasing power across countries.”

Add this to new troubles in the last two years. For one Lebanese publisher:

In 2012 and 2013, sales appear to have dropped by 20%. To take two different examples, sales have dropped by 90% in Syria and 40% in Egypt. Although the Syrian figure can be accounted for by the ongoing conflict, the Egyptian case is more complex. Before 2011, some 70% of sales during the Cairo Book Fair came from foreign cultural institutions replenishing stocks. Such buyers…

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