Archive for category: News

“The digital South”, the newly-released issue of Bibliodiversity

Categories: Africa, Arab World, Featured, Latin America, News - Tags: , , , ,

The intercultural, interdisciplinary and multilingual journal Bibliodiversity’s last issue focuses on the “Digital South”, thus highlighting the relatively unknown reality of digital publishing in countries of the South.

Based on a selection of the best papers and interviews published in French, Spanish and English on the Digital Lab of the International Alliance of Independent Publishers (IAIE)Bibliodiversity proposes a fresh outlook and provides a platform for voices that were until now little heard, or rather little listened to.

[Read this issue]

Ken Banks on inconvenient truths for M4D

Categories: Africa, Featured, News - Tags: , , , ,

Ken Banks has written a superb article on mobile technology in developing countries (M4D). He is concerned that:

1. Everyone is still excited by the potential of mobile
2. The same projects surface over and over again as proof mobile works
3. Mobile is still largely seen as a solution, not a tool
4. It’s up to the developed world to get mobile working for the poor
5. The top-down mindset is alive and well

Banks is the founder of kiwanja.net, which “helps social innovators, entrepreneurs and non-profit organisations make better use of information and communication technologies in their work”. He’s also a key contributor to the revolutionary FrontlineSMS. In his article he argues:

Development is changing, powered by accessible and affordable liberating technologies and an emerging army of determined, local talent. A local talent that is gradually acquiring the skills, resources and support it needs to take back ownership of many of its problems – problems it never took original ownership of because those very skills and resources were not available.

Well, now they are. The ICT4D community – education establishments, donors and technologists among them – need to collectively recognise that it needs to ajdust to this new reality, and work with technologists, entrepreneurs and grassroots non-profits across the developing world to accelerate what has become an inevitable shift.

Read the full post here.

New Business Models from Argentina

Categories: Interviews, Latin America, News - Tags:

The series “Future of the industry – new business models” is published in partnership by the Frankfurt Book Fair and the German trade magazine Buchreport. In this section, journalist Alejandra Rodríguez Ballester describes the particular publishing system implemented by Editorial Teseo in Argentina.

The publishing company Teseo is geared to the academic world and aims to channel the need for academic publications. For traditional publishing companies needing large print-runs, doctoral theses and university research papers are often unprofitable. Using the print-on-demand system, Teseo produces the book in just the numbers ordered online by the reader. In the process, the publishing company offers the advance option of a digital viewing via Google Books Search. The publishing company also works closely with Amazon which has books produced in its own printing works in the USA. In addition, cooperation is in place with the Argentinian bookshop Prometeo and other virtual booksellers. At www.ebookexpress.com, Teseo also sells its books as e-books at half the price of the print version.

“Teseo is a local, digital publishing company, we have neither a warehouse nor fixed overheads. It is all set up so that we have no need for a fixed location, the centre of our field of activity is the web and 90 per cent of the software that we use is free”, explains Teseo’s boss Octavio Kulesz.

 

Leading a Digital Revolution

Categories: Arab World, Interviews, News

In an article in Egypt Today, Ramy Habeeb explains his vision for Arabic ebooks:

Habeeb explains that he did a survey and discovered that most books in Egypt are “limited in distribution to how far the publishing house can physically carry the books. That means the majority of books published here in Egypt only have a three to five kilometer radius. That basically means your book is not available in Alexandria, it’s only available in Downtown Cairo. Forget Sudan, forget Syria and the Levant and the [Gulf countries].” Habeeb hopes to appeal to readers who have resigned themselves to never finding the books they want and not being able to afford them even if they can find them.

Read the article here.

 

Kirk Biglione’s TOC Frankfurt wrap-up

Categories: Africa, Arab World, News

Ramy Habeeb and Arthur Attwell feature lightly in Kirk Biglione’s TOC Frankfurt wrap-up:

TOC Frankfurt differed from previous TOC conferences in a few notable ways, however. First, the event lasted just a single day, rather than the usual three. As a result, attendees got what might best be described as a concentrated dose of the TOC vision. Then there was the fact that the conference was being held in Europe for the first time. The Frankfurt conference had a distinctly more international feel to it than previous TOCs.

Read the full article here.

 

Kotobarabia’s Arabic E-Books Extend Borders

Categories: Arab World, Articles, News - Tags:

Chip Rossetti covers Kotobarabia’s work on Publishing Perspectives:

Most of the difficulties faced by Arabic-language book publishing stem from two basic problems: government censorship and very limited distribution. But with e-books, Ramy Habeeb, founder of the Egypt-based publisher Kotobarabia, has managed to bypass both seemingly intractable problems. As the first e-publisher devoted exclusively to Arabic-language titles, www.kotobarabia.com now offers over 8500 books in 31 subject categories, ranging from “Literature” to “Business Management,” “Banned Books,” and the provocatively titled “Hot Topics.”

Read the article here.

Press release: Digital-publishing experts launch emerging-markets network

Categories: Africa, Arab World, Latin America, News

Lead consultants from Kotobarabia (Egypt), Editorial Teseo (Argentina) and Electric Book Works (South Africa) have joined forces as the Digital Minds Network (http://digitalmindsnetwork.com), a cooperative venture that pools their resources, strategies and experience.

The co-founders, Ramy Habeeb, Octavio Kulesz and Arthur Attwell, specialise in digital publishing in emerging markets. Each are experienced professionals and entrepreneurs who hold or have held senior positions in publishing enterprises or entrepreneurial ventures. Individually, they have consulted to local and international clients on issues ranging from digitisation and ebook production to metadata management and print-on-demand. Working with small local businesses or large multinationals, the network’s members will provide a distinctly global view, identifying trends and best practice in emerging markets that are often hidden from mainstream international publishing.

Arthur Attwell, of Electric Book Works, says: “Many emerging markets are following a different digital-publishing trajectory to that of the US and Europe, but with experts in this area thin on the ground in our regions, a formal structure in which to share ideas and resources will boost our capacity, and add value for our clients.”

The network’s founders will look to bring other experts into the network. They will be experienced publishing professionals and entrepreneurs who can draw on a wide array of contacts locally and internationally, and demonstrate a combination of technical, financial, strategic, and communication skills.

Habeeb and Attwell will be speaking at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference (http://toccon.com) being held in New York from 22 to 24 February.

About

The Digital Minds Network (http://digitalmindsnetwork.com) is a network of consultants who specialise in digital publishing in emerging economies. While its consultants operate independently around the world, the network adds value for their clients by pooling their resources, strategies, insights and experience.

Ramy Habeeb, Director and co-founder of Kotobarabia.com, graduated from McGill University with a double major in Literature and Religious Studies. In 2004 he established Kotobarabia.com (http://kotobarabia.com), the first Arabic language e-book publishing house in the Middle East.

Octavio Kulesz has a degree in Philosophy from the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has been a professor in Ancient Philosophy at the same university. In 2000, Octavio co-founded the independent project Libros del Zorzal, and in 2007, Editorial Teseo (http://editorialteseo.com). Octavio Kulesz chaired the International Young Publishing Entrepreneur (IYPE) Network in 2007/8.

Arthur Attwell is CEO of Electric Book Works (http://electricbookworks.com), a digital publishing and R&D company founded in 2006. Based in Cape Town, South Africa, EBW finds and tests ways to apply digital-publishing best practice in developing countries. He was runner-up in the British Council’s International Young Publishing Entrepreneur award in 2009. He keeps a blog on publishing-technology at http://arthurattwell.com.