Friday, August 31, 2012

Massive exhibitors turnout light up Sao Paulo International Book Fair 2012

Jumbo Editorial Team

The 22nd Sao Paulo International Book Fair 2012 was described as the largest book fair in Latin America, having hosted as many as 480 exhibitors, which was 37% more than in the last edition in 2010.

The Brazilian Book Chamber, who funded the biennial event, was reported to have invested US$ 15.8 million on the event which was spread over 11 days, from August 9 to 19. 

The Sao Paulo International Book Fair has become an important marker in Brazil’s literary calendar, having plenty of book signings, talks and workshops. 

It’s also hailed as the best book event in Brazil. It attracts journalists, writers and business community from all over the world and with excellent media visibility. 

Besides the broad supply of quality books, it also offers extensive cultural programming, developed to build a taste for reading in over 743 thousand people, including children, youths and adults.

The 22nd Sao Paulo International Book Fair 2012 paid homage to two Brazilian authors, Jorge Amado, internationally known for Gabriela Clove and Cinnamon, and playwright Nelson Rodrigues, who both celebrated their centenary this year. 

One of the features of this year’s Sao Paulo International Book Fair was the significant rise in the presence of international publishers, with the number of foreign exhibitors doubling to 134, from 67 in 2010. 

They come from Germany, Switzerland, France, Spain, Belgium, China, Korea, Japan, Colombia, Peru and Canada. 

The organizers had set the cherished goal to reach a wider range of readers by holding diversified programmes which also focused on digital market, with presentations by Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s VP, followed by Marcílio Pousada, President of largest bookstore franchise in Brazil, Saraiva, and Josh Patesh from Pubslush, among others.

Over the weekend, the popular teen literature writers Thalita Rebouças and Gossip Girl’s Cecily von Ziegesar, spoke with readers and fans, while the much-loved Brazilian cartoonist Ziraldo celebrated his 80th birthday. 

On the other side of the pavilion, a kitchen stand hosts gastronomical programs at the ‘cooking with words’ space, and the National Library Foundation displays an exhibition about classical Brazilian writers.

John Woodcock’s Tenby Shops 1870-1970 launched at historic museum

Jumbo Editorial Team

Tenby, meaning little town of the fishes or little fortress of the fish, is a walled seaside town in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales, on the west side of Carmarthen Bay. Its notable features include 2.5 miles of sandy beaches, the 13th century medieval town walls, including the Five Arches barbican gatehouse, the 15th century St Mary's Church and a museum with art gallery.

The famous Tenby Museum and Art Gallery, the oldest independent museum in Wales having being set up in 1878, was the venue of the launch of a new publication, Professor John Woodcock’s Tenby Shops 1870-1970, on August 29. 

The event was extremely well attended and Woodcock’s book, researched in great detail and written over five years, proved very popular. 

In his opening remarks, Woodcock shared with the audience that he had found the experience of bringing the book to fruition ‘hugely rewarding’ and that he had enjoyed the whole process.

He revealed that he and his family had first come to Pembrokeshire in 1975 and had fallen in love with Tenby immediately, calling it ‘one of the most beautiful places we had ever seen’. 

Woodcock recalled that he had started collecting local guide books and had become fascinated by the old photographs and advertisements for the town’s shops and his researches had extended from there. 

He acknowledged his family for their patience and support, the local people for their time taken to impart their knowledge and memories and the museum staff for their assistance, particularly Kevin Thomas whose help had been invaluable. The book is available for purchase in the museum shop.

SDPI launch compilation of research articles in Urdu

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has brought out a book titled ‘Environment, Society and Sustainable Development’ which is a compilation of research articles authored by former and current scholars associated with the institute.

The book, having highlighted the global issues such as pollution, social segregation and climate change, has been written in Urdu. It was launched at the SPDI Office in Islamabad on August 27. 

The ceremony also focused more on the importance of Urdu as a language to educate the masses of Pakistan. 

The SPDI, to commemorate their 20th year in Pakistan, has planned to produce many more books to add value to the research literature in the national language. 

“The unprivileged class doesn’t know about issues concerning environment and development which affect them because they are either unaware of the existence of information or have no access to it,” Anwar Ahmed, Chairman, National Language Authority (NLA), who was the chief guest in the launching ceremony, observed.

He appreciated the efforts of the SPDI for having published ‘Environment, Society and Sustainable Development’ which he considered taking a step in the right direction. 

The NLA Chairman advised the SPDI to make the book available in schools, adding illustrations and a more creative flare to encourage the younger generation to read it. 

The SDPI Senior Adviser, Mahmood Khawaja, announced that the book was not SDPI’s intellectual property or under any copyright as they desired to encourage the dissemination of this book between people and institutions. 

Although the book has a price tag of Rs 300, it can be collected free of cost from the office of the SPDI. 

“We are hoping that our stakeholders will spread the news about the publication so it reaches the target audience. We will also be sending copies to libraries, academic institutions and book shops” the SPDI official stated.

A researcher himself, Mahmood Khawaja said the book’s most interesting tenet is that it includes research papers written 10 years ago which still have relevance. 

“It is enlightening and worrying at the same time to find out that a lot of predictions made in earlier papers came true. It makes one realize the urgency in which change is needed,” he remarked. 

The book’s Editor, Humaira Ishfaq, who has been teaching Urdu at a leading university, highlighted the impact which environment can have on society and individuals. 

“If we clean up our congested environment and make people aware of its importance, we will have a healthier society, in mind and body. The public is tired of reading and hearing about the tumultuous socio-political landscape, and a research-based literature will be welcomed as a sense of empowerment will ensue,” she stated.

250 posts completed on Jumbo Publishing’s blog

Jumbo Editorial Team

Another milestone of sorts has been registered with the uploading of post number 250 on the blog of Jumbo Publishing on August 22, 2012. This is post number 251 as the journey towards the magical figure 300 continues.

As many as 21 posts were uploaded on the blog during its first month in January 2011 with another 15 getting there the following month. There have been a dozen posts every month since March 2011. 

The first post on Jumbo Publishing’s blog was ‘Book Review: Spotlight on World Cup 2003’ on January 16, 2011. The century of posts on the blog was completed with ‘Architect Arif Hassan’s Shirakti Taraqi launched’ on August 4, 2011 while the double century was brought up on April 25, 2012 and 250 coming up about four months later. 

The blog of Jumbo Publishing has continued to grow in popularity with hits coming from every part of the globe. Besides sharing about the company’s own publications the blog has covered the books related activities taking place in the various places of the world. 

The coverage of local, national and international publishing and literary events has been widely followed. The blog has been lauded by celebrities who have been appreciative of the high quality of content.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nintendo Power set to bring out farewell issue in December

Jumbo Editorial Team

The news of Nintendo Power's closing has been confirmed less than 24 hours after it was first reported on August 21 that the magazine will cease publishing at the end of the year.

“Nintendo can confirm that Future US will end the production of Nintendo Power magazine with the last issue slated for December 2012," the company said in a statement, directing users to a customer service page for subscription inquiries. 

"Nintendo Power magazine is closing and is not moving to a new publisher. We have nothing further to announce at this time,” a spokesperson of the company said which seemed to have ruled out the possibility that it might once again publish the magazine internally. 

Nintendo Power has been one of the longest-running game magazines in the United States of America (USA), having been published continuously since the summer of 1988, when it started as a bi-monthly outgrowth of the previous Nintendo Fun Club newsletter.

The magazine had switched its periodicity to monthly in 1990, with Nintendo producing articles that were often just thinly veiled marketing copy through late 2007, when it started contracting the brand out for a more independent angle from tech-and-game-focused Future Publishing. 

The gamers fondly cherish the days when their main fix of information about new and upcoming video games came in the form of the monthly Nintendo Power magazine that was delivered directly to their mailbox. 

That experience will now become a thing of the past with the advent of 2013. It was the magazine that had actually become a habit of the gamers who will have to learn to to live without it come the new year.
Nintendo Power Senior Editor, Chris Hoffman, was quoted to have said on Twitter that he was ‘sad to see it go’ and that the editorial team would ‘try to make the last issues memorable.’ 

Nintendo Power writer, Phil Theobald, promised on Twitter that they had ‘something pretty sweet planned for the final issue.’ 

The Nintendo Power editors and staffers were reportedly informed about the magazine's impending closure a week or so ago and they were being transitioned to work on other Future properties, including GamesRadar and MacLife magazine.

Nintendo Power will continue making an appearance until the end of the year but the mood of the editors and the staffers won't obviously be upbeat. They face an arduous task to produce a few more issues and make them memorable too.

Yale Publishing Course 2012 turns out to be another success story

Jumbo Editorial Team

The recently held Yale Publishing Course 2012, organized at the Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, was sponsored by the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).

The course was attended by a number of professionals in the publishing sector from all around the world, in addition to a number of owners and directors of international publishing houses from various cultural, scientific and intellectual backgrounds. 

It offered a unique curriculum that focuses on forward-looking approaches to publishing as a global enterprise and provides in-depth information on the latest advances in technology. 

As in 2011, the course was divided into two sessions. One focused on ‘leadership strategies in magazine and online publishing’ and the other one dealing with ‘leadership strategies in print and book publishing.’

It provided print and digital publishing professionals with the skills they need to prosper in a time of unprecedented change with a focus on ways of achieving higher returns in a global economy that has to witnesses a state of coexistence between the print and digital publishing. 

The Emirati delegation participating in the course acquainted itself with the latest systems and studies on the development of effective leadership skills and strategies as well as with the skills they need to prosper in a time of unprecedented change and opportunity. 

Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Amri, Director of the Sharjah International Book Fair, extended his profound thanks to His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, for the unlimited support he extends to the SIBF.

He also thanked Sheikha Bodour Bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) for her close follow up of the course as well as for sending the EPA delegation to participate in the course, as their presence was greatly welcomed and appreciated by the organizers due to the delegation's cultural input vast experience in the publishing field. 

"The Yale Publishing Course is one of courses that we always aspire to sponsor. We also aim to organize similar courses throughout the year, in line with our commitment to the directives of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, to extend bridges of cultural communication and enhance exchange of knowledge with the other,” he acknowledged. 

 “Our sponsorship of the Yale publishing course stems from our belief in the importance of benefiting from international expertise in honing existing skills and learning new skills that will help publishing professionals adapt to changing environment around them,” the SIBF official added.

The Yale Publishing Course was founded in 2010 to fill the gap left by the decades-old Stanford University Publishing Course for Professionals, which was offered from 1978 to 2009. 

It builds upon the Stanford tradition and concentrates more heavily on the business and management aspects of publishing as a global enterprise. 

The Yale Publishing Course began as a one-week session, with students from all over the United States and 16 other countries. 

The students represented all areas of publishing including administration, editorial, sales, publicity, marketing, design, production, business, new media, and new product development. For its 2011 and 2012 programmes, the course was expanded to two sessions.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Record sales, visitors at Shanghai Book Fair 2012

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Shanghai Book Fair 2012, organized by the Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau from August 15 to 21 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, witnessed record-breaking numbers in visitors and sales.

According to reports, despite unusually intense heat and storms, the annual seven-day event welcomed 320,000 visitors and rang up sales revenue of 60 million Yuan (US$9.44 million), breaking last year's record of nearly 300,000 visitors and 54.7 million Yuan in sales. 

The organizers introduced discounted delivery service and free Wi-Fi service at the main venue for the first time in the fair's nine-year history. They also learned from last year's satisfaction survey, providing more seats and reducing noise. 

The services are believed to have helped the satisfactory rate to climb to 99 percent from last year's 98.7. The organizers also selected the 10 most influential books of the fair, based on sales numbers, media coverage and reader feedback. The list, which is not ranked, included six domestic works and four imported ones, crossing genres and subjects.

Local Shanghai-based writer Chen Danyan's ‘Becoming Peace Hotel’ attracted much attention during the fair with her in-depth and vivid exploration of the history and tales behind one of city's landmarks. ‘A Bite of China’ a photo book about Chinese cuisines, was also listed. 

‘Steve Jobs’ a best-selling book in the Chinese market in 2011, continued to sell strongly at the fair and is one of the four translated foreign books on the list. Historian Arnold Toynbee's ‘Mankind and Mother Earth: A Narrative History of World’ also attracted many readers and made it to the list. 

According to organizers' survey of nearly 500 readers at the fair, the largest group of visitors was students, representing 45 percent, while retirees followed at 18 percent. The respondents spent an average of 252 Yuan on books.

The bureau also released a report on the reading habits of Shanghai citizens recently showing that 86.5 percent considered reading very important and 60 percent read to learn. 

The Shanghai Exhibition Center remained buzzing with activity with quite a few well-known Chinese and foreign authors meeting their fans at seminars, lectures and book signing events during the fair. 

With the trend of digital reading on the rise globally and the book fairs paying a lot of attention to it of late, the Shanghai Book Fair also tried something new to make it more digital by using social networking websites to promote itself.

President Benigno Aquino praises Billy Esposo’s maiden book

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Philippine Star columnist, Billy Esposo, was all smiles during the launch of his book ‘Surviving Chronic Kidney Disease: The Billy Esposo Kidney Diaries’ at the Powerbooks in Greenbelt 4, Makati City, on August 17.

The book is a collection of Esposo’s notes starting from when he was diagnosed with chronic renal disease in 1999. The ninety-four journal entries cover a span of twenty-eight months of hemodialysis and kidney transplant. 

The triumphant smile on his face during the graceful ceremony told the story. He has not only written and published his very first book besides launching it he had reasons to feel elated for having dealt with a disease that’s considered one of the leading causes of mortality in the Philippines. 

The presence of President Benigno S Aquino III, who described Esposo’s book as a good weapon to help Filipinos who have the same illness, earned enormous grace to the occasion.
“I’m sure that this book will find its way into the shelves of many nephrologists and become a useful resource for many of our countrymen. This book might come as a surprise especially as it gives an account of not only the physical trials, the terror of cyberspace he had to endure but also the spiritual and emotional trials that came with it,” the President declared. 

The President praised Esposo for attacking the problem of chronic kidney disease (CKD) from a different angle by making sense of the suffering and illness without compromising the painful realities of the disease, thus encouraging other sufferers not to give up. 

 “I’m certain and I speak for everyone when I say that we are all glad to be here today. Twelve years after he began his dialysis treatments to celebrate a milestone in both the health and career of a good friend and perhaps even a milestone for all others who continue to battle this disease,” the President added.

In his famous column ‘As I Wreck This Chair’ Esposo stated that many of his friends were surprised that his very first book had delved on a subject matter that he hardly has a mastery of except to suffer from it. 

“They had expected me to write on my experience in the 1986 Cory Aquino Media Bureau during the Snap Presidential Campaign, or my insights into the untold and little known true history of our country, or explosive political inside stories, or the dynamics of geopolitics that are prodding the Chinese invasion,” he wrote.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Chetan Bhagat’s first non-fiction book launched

Jumbo Editorial Team

Crossword, one of India’s leading lifestyle bookstores, and Rupa Publications, a noted publishing house, launched Chetan Bhagat’s book ‘What Young India Wants’ in Mumbai on August 10.

Author of five novels, all of which went on to become blockbuster sellers since their release, this is Bhagat’s first non-fiction book. Prominent among those present in the book launch were fashion designer Masaba, Bollywood director Abhishek Kapoor and actress Shahzan Padamsee, at Crossword’s Kemps Corner outlet in Mumbai.  

‘What Young India Wants’ is a book based on Bhagat’s vast experience as a successful writer besides being a motivational speaker and a columnist. 

In clear, simple prose and with great insight, he has described contemporary India, analyses some of the complex issues faced by the everyday young Indian, offers solutions and goes as far as to invite discussions. 

He questions hard and demands answers about issues that urgently need to be addressed like the increasing rate of student suicides, ever increasing corruption, political parties among other issues.

Bhagat, along with Masaba, Abhishek Kapoor and Shahzan Padamsee, discussed some of the issues addressed in the book, shared a few stories, experiences and their hopes for a better country. 

As mentioned in the book, they asked the question ‘Unless we are all in agreement on what it is going to take to make our country better, how will things ever change?’ 

 “We are extremely happy to launch Chetan’s first non-fiction book on the Crossword platform. We appreciate his efforts towards connecting with the youth to bring about a change in the country. We wish him the very best,” Kinjal Shah, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Crossword Bookstores remarked.
Bhagat is the author of five novels, all of which have gone on to become blockbuster sellers since they were released. They have also been adapted into major Bollywood films. 

He was named one of the ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ by Time magazine and one of the world’s ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ by Fast Company, USA. 

His five blockbuster novels are Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of my life (2008), 2 States (2009) and Revolution 2020 (2011).

Thursday, August 9, 2012

E L James's Fifty Shades of Grey becomes bestselling title in British history

Jumbo Editorial Team

E L James's ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has become the bestselling title in British history, with sales of 5.3 million copies reported since April. The book has fared exceptionally well in all its formats- hardback, paperback and ebook.

It’s being written that ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ alone is dragging the book trade out of the recession, but outside Christmas, this July was the strongest month for physical book sales since 2007. 

It has been successful in surpassing even the Harry Potter books and ‘The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown, which had been fellow competitors for the title. 

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has sold more than 5.3 million copies counting both print and e-book copies, according to the Guardian. The book’s sequels, ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ and ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ have sold 3.6 million and 3.2 million respectively. 

“The whole process has been both extraordinary and rewarding. I couldn't be more pleased with the sales and would like to thank everyone involved,” the author Erika Leonard James, more famous as E L James, remarked.

The literary merit of the book has been questioned by some quarters but commercially this could not have arrived at a better moment when the modern book trade was so much existentially challenged. 

The Guardian Editor, Philip Jones, has noted that the month of July had been the strongest fiscally for the book world since 2007, not counting Christmas, and credited James with inspiring the upswing. 

“Every half-decade the book business comes up with a title that crystallises what it means to put an author in touch with a reader,” Jones reckoned.
However, some critics have objected to the books’ writing style and content. London Review of Books critic Andrew Hagan said he found the gender roles portrayed in the book distasteful. 

“It's not that 'Fifty Shades of Grey' read as if feminism never happened. They read as if women never even got the vote,” Hagan thought. 

 The news of the record came soon after the announcement that EMI Classics would release ‘Fifty Shades of Grey ¬– The Classical Album.’ The tracks, which include selections by Chopin, Bach, and Thomas Tallis, are all mentioned in James’ novels and were chosen by the author. 

The CD will become available in digital format on August 21 and in physical form in September.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sharjah International Book Fair to be boosted further with Education Ministry’s initiatives

Jumbo Editorial Team

The functionaries of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) met with the officials of the Ministry of Education of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to discuss future avenues for cooperation between the two entities.

The talks come in line with the directives of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to nurture cultural strengths and to foster closer bonds of support and collaboration between various government departments and other entities to advance the region’s culture and heritage. 

The meeting, which was attended by Ahmad Al Ameri, Director SIBF, Salim Omar Salim, Head of Marketing & Sales, SIBF, Murad Abdullah, Director, Government Communications Department, Ministry of Education, and Fathiya Mohammad Ebrahim, Head of the Public Relations section, Government Communications Department, sought to explore ways in which the SIBF and the Ministry could work together to further mutual goals.

“Ready and easy access to books is one of the most vital prerequisites for creating a society where a culture of education and learning thrives," Ahmad Al Ameri, Director, SIBF, remarked. 

"The SIBF is continuously striving to be at the centre of knowledge and literature in the region, and as such are committed to creating and supporting initiatives that advance education amongst all residents of our country, and our youth in particular,” he added.

The 10-day annual event exemplifies Sharjah’s dedication and commitment to developing and maintaining a culture of reading as is encapsulated in the SIBF motto ‘For the love of the written word.’ 

The bookworms of the region will get another opportunity of getting access to the best of the written word during the 11-day Book Fair to be held at the Sharjah Expo Centre during the month of November.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bollywood King Shah Rukh Khan launches Shashi Tharoor’s Pax Indica

Jumbo Editorial Team

Shah Rukh Khan, the undisputed King of Bollywood, launched politician Shashi Tharoor’s book ‘Pax Indica’ in Mumbai on August 4 in what turned out to be star-studded launch. Also present on the occasion were actors Anupam Kher and Rahul Bose besides writer Chetan Bhagat and adman Suhel Seth.

Tharoor, a former Minister of State for External Affairs, advocated for a separate exam for the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), saying NRIs should be allowed to appear for this exam and roped in as diplomats. 

“I would love to have a separate examination, which will also be open to NRIs, as they will be natural diplomats for us. Imagine an eligible kid who has grown up in Spain, France or any Arab country. Such a person would be a terrific asset to us,” Tharoor, an MP of Thiruvananthapuram from Kerala, reckoned adding that he had met many NRIs who had voiced their interest in joining India’s foreign services. 

“I wanted a catchy title for general readers. I didn’t mean world domination like Pax Romana or Britannica. What I meant was a peace system, a system of peaceful relations among countries with India playing a significant role, which is also congruent with its own domestic interests,” he explained the book’s title, loosely based on Latin terms such as Pax Romana and Pax Britannica which refer to periods of relative peace under Roman and British rule.

In Pax Indica, his 13th book, Tharoor has explored India’s relations with neighbouring countries, Europe, the Arab world and the USA and analysed its foreign policy.

Tharoor also put forward the theory of multi-alignment in the book. “That, instead of non-alignment, is perhaps more relevant to the present and the future,” he said. 

The Maharashtra Governor, K Sankaranarayanan, described the book as a very good analysis of foreign policy and a must-read for students and researchers. 

The panel discussion, also featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Anupam Kher, Rahul Bose, Anil Dharker and Chetan Bhagat, enlivened the proceedings.

The presence of Shah Rukh Khan in particular generated tremendous media interest. The Bollywood King, who has had a massive following in different parts of the world over the years, spoke in the regal style of his own.