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Blogtailors - o blogue da edição

A indústria editorial árabe

Amy Webster explica, num sucinto artigo dos blogs da Bookseller, as especificidades e contigências do mercado editorial árabe. O que podemos contar e esperar.

Alguns excertos:
«From the outset it was clear that the differences between Western and Arab publishing industries were beyond linguistic. Getting to grips with the statistics helped: across 22 Arabic-speaking countries and states, with a population of about 300 million, levels of illiteracy can reach 40%»

«There are no sales figures available, although we were assured that the most popular genres are religion, politics, children's non-fiction, business, self-help and, lastly, poetry and literature. The popularity of religious texts is deep-rooted and demonstrated by the predominance of religious publishers at the book fair—another stark contrast with our secular Western markets»

«Censorship is another key difference. The "big three": religion, politics and sex, are off-limits to writers. Despite the appearance of democracy in Egypt, writers routinely practise self-censorship or risk being unpublished; 99% of publishers won't touch contentious books, and 99% of bookshops won't stock them»

«Bookshops, printers and publishers are frequently one and the same company, introducing problems of distribution. Incredibly, the average book published has a distribution radius of around five kilometres. Distribution networks are based on personal relationships; a privately-owned bookshop carrying its own imprint is unlikely to stock another publisher's titles and independent retail outlets are scarce. Furthermore, the lack of an online Amazon equivalent, coupled with low levels of internet and credit card usage limit consumer choice»

«This explains why book fairs in the Arab world are lengthy and frequent. Fairs are a distribution method in themselves, providing unrivalled access to universities, libraries and the public. Where Western publishers operate in a heavily marketed environment, the Arab industry puts less emphasis on the resultant sale and profit of book publishing. Print runs average around 3,000 and a book rarely retails above 20 pence. When a speaker suggested that Arabic publishers are "not looking for profit", we struggled to relate.»

Para ler aqui.