Friday, November 30, 2012

Social media at work to boost 8th Karachi International Book Fair 2012

Pakistan News & Features Services

Keeping pace with the times, the promoters of the 8th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF) 2012 have included social media in their plans to boost the annual event to be staged at the Karachi Expo Centre from December 6 to 10. 

They have got into email marketing of what has become the country’s largest book trade event being organized by the Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association (PPBA), with the collaboration of the National Book Foundation (NBF) with Event and Conference International (Pvt.) Ltd being the event managers. 

A page of the event is also visible on while the participants themselves are also mobilizing their digital acumen to attract more customers to their stalls in the upcoming KIBF acclaimed as the premier book trade event of Pakistan. 

The KIBF Organizing Committee has been conducting their meetings more frequently at their Secretariat located in Mohammad Ali Cooperative Housing Society as the event draws closer. 

Their office-bearers are confident of overcoming the various obstacles and they are optimistic about very high, if not record, turnout of the visitors in the five-day event.

Mining magnate Gina Rinehart’s produces inspirational autobiography

Pakistan News & Features Services

Australia’s mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, one of the world's wealthiest people, followed her illustrious father's footsteps on a second front with the launch a book of political essays titled ‘Northern Australia, and Then Some-Changes We Need to Make Our Country Rich’ on November 22. The launch events were held in Sydney and Brisbane besides Perth. 

The date was significant for the Rinehart family as it coincided with the 60th anniversary of Lang Hancock's flight over the Pilbara, when the prospector discovered some of the iron ore deposits that form the basis of the family's vast wealth. 

For hours at the book launch, giant movie screens rained down recurring grainy images of a younger Rinehart courting politicians and business people in 1979 aboard a chartered Qantas 747 dubbed Wake up Australia. 

The 58-year-old widow with a fortune estimated by Forbes at US$18 billion ($22 billion) preferred to play it safe at the launch where she was surrounded herself with hundreds of supporters mostly from the mining fraternity, where she is revered for transforming her late father's debt-ridden iron ore business into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. 

A long queue of people stood just to get hold of at least one book to have it signed by the author, the wealthiest woman in the world, and Australia's most successful entrepreneur. 

Her book ‘Northern Australia, and Then Some-Changes We Need to Make Our Country Rich’ is a collection of essays, speeches, and poems, calls on politicians, environmentalists and the public to support Australia's miners, the nation's main growth engine, or face the consequences of economic decline. It is spread over 220 pages. 

Rinehart's poetry in the book reinforces the message, in one verse she wrote: "Through such unfortunate ignorance, too much abuse is hurled. Against miners, workers and related industries who strive to build the world." 

 "We don't want to see Australia continue on a course with too many heads buried in the sand, critical investors discouraged by bad policies, or even hated, with too few understanding the problems while Australia moves towards being another Greece, Spain or Portugal,” she concluded.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Miami Book Fair International 2012 proves another success story

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Miami Book Fair International 2012 turned out be yet another success story, proving the point that even in today's technological society, readers love books.

Thousands of people of different age groups attended the eight-day literary party held from November 11 to 18, concluding with a street fair from November 16 to 18. 

The weather was ideal for strolling among the vendors, meeting local and international authors and attending classroom sessions with the famous writers as well as those aiming to make it big. 

There was an expansive children's programme, music, food and entertainment that continued to draw return visitors each year. 

The 29th edition of Miami Book Fair International opened on November 11 with the popular series, featuring six nights of readings and discussions with noted authors from the United States and around the world.

The Street Fair commenced on November 16 whose highlight was the Festival of Authors, with more than 350 authors reading and discussing their work, including the Latin American and Spanish authors. 

During the Street Fair weekend, more than 250 publishers and booksellers exhibited and sold books, with special features like the antiquarians, showcasing signed first editions, original manuscripts and other collectibles. 

The first Miami Book Fair International, founded by Miami Dade College and community partners, had taken place in 1984. Since then it has been recognized as the nation’s finest literary festival.

In 2001, the Fair became part of The Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College, a cultural and academic initiative that promotes the advancement and appreciation of literature throughout the year. 

The two-day street fair grew steadily each year and by the 1990s, the renamed Miami Book Fair International had become the largest literary festival in the country. 

The eight-day book party draws hundreds of thousands of book lovers to downtown Miami each November for a festival of all things read and written. 

Among the noted authors at early Book Fairs were Mario Vargas Llosa, Garrison Keillor and Allen Ginsberg, Hunter S Thompson, John Updike, Isabel Allende, Tom Wolfe and Alice Walker.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Chess Grand Master Levon Aronian’s biography launched in Armenia

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyan, graced the launching of the book dedicated to the life and activities of the triple champion of Chess Olympiads, Armenia's chess team member and International Grandmaster Levon Aronian, on November 23. 

According to the reports, the book has been authored by the mother of the chess player, Seda Aronova on the eve of Aronian’s 30th birthday. 

The Armenian Grandmaster is flying high these days having received ‘Person of the Year’ award instituted by De Facto magazine. 

The Executive Director of the magazine, Menua Harutyunyan noted that the chess player always emerges victorious in international tournaments, bringing fame to his country. 

“I’m glad to know Levon Aronian, who is an embodiment of decency. He has scored numerous wins this year and deserves the award,” the De Facto official was quoted as saying. 

“I’m happy for the award. There are still a number of other tournaments I’m going to participate by the end of the year and hope to justify expectations,” Aronian remarked in the award ceremony. 

“I’m very grateful. This is a great honor for me. As sportsmen, we are more used to receiving awards after victories,” the Armenian Grand Master added. 

Levon Aronian was born on October 6, 1982. On the May 2012 FIDE list, he had an Elo rating of 2825, making him number two in the world and third highest of all time. 

He had broken the 2800 rating barrier in the November 2010 FIDE world ranking with a rating of 2801, becoming only the sixth player to cross the 2800 rating mark with Garry Kasparov, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Veselin Topalov, and Magnus Carlsen being the others having achieved the feat.

He won the Chess World Cup 2005 while he led the Armenian national team to the Gold medals in the 2006 (Turin), 2008 (Dresden) and 2012 (Istanbul) Chess Olympics and at the World Team Chess Championship in Ningbo 2011. 

Aronian was declared the best sportsman of Armenia in 2005 and was awarded the title of ‘Honoured Master of Sport of the Republic of Armenia’ in 2009 having represented the country in the Chess Olympiads of 1996, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Record participation in Sharjah International Book Fair 2012

Pakistan News & Features Services

The 31st Sharjah International Book Fair 2012, held at the Sharjah Expo Centre from November 7 to 17, created many new records. More than 600,000 visitors were reported to have turned up in the 11-day event and out of them 80,000 were students. 

The record-breaking feat was achieved both in the number of visitors as well as international participation with 924 publishing houses from 62 countries displaying over 1.5 million titles across various stalls and pavilions. 

As many as 90 book signing sessions were also organized during the course of the SIBF 2012 which contributed significantly in making the event a very successful one. 

The SIBF 2012 also witnessed numerous seminars, lectures and interactive activities being held under cultural, cookery, and children’s programmes that provided interactive sidelights to the main event. 

The cultural programme, which included discussions and lectures by famous authors and scholars, highlighted topics in the areas of politics, philosophy, history, art, music, and literature. 

The children’s programme also turned out to be a success story with the active participation of the students having converged from over 150 schools from across the United Arab Emirates (UAE). 

The School children were provided the opportunity to enjoy and participate in over 200 activities combining culture, knowledge and entertainment. 

Several workshops on art, besides story-telling sessions, magic tricks, and creative activities also played a major role in the event’s success. 

The cookery programme also drew large crowds with multi-cultural offerings, recipes, and live demonstrations. It hosted several famous chefs from around the world including Mridula Balijekar from Britain, Manal Al Alem who specialises in Arabic cuisine, and free-lance chef Gerard Baker. 

The cooking demonstrations turned out to be extremely popular with the families who gathered to watch several chefs prepare their favourite dishes and sharing their cooking secrets.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Shaikha Budoor aims further growth of publishing industry in UAE

Pakistan News & Features Services

Shaikha Budoor Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), who also heads the country’s Knowledge Without Borders project, remains extremely confident about accomplishing her cherished goals. 

In a newspaper interview on the sidelines of the 31st Sharjah International Book Fair 2012, held at the Sharjah Expo Centre from November 7 to 17, she described achieving a knowledge-based economy as a part of the UAE’s ‘Vision 2021’ as one of four targets for the development of the country. 

She spoke about the vision of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a knowledge-based economy, the growing book market, and the need to focus on the youth in her country where the growth of the publishing industry has been phenomenal. 

“The UAE is a country that not only dreams big, but has had an astounding track record for turning those dreams into reality as anyone who has ever stood on the observation deck of the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa can tell you,” she observed. 

“The overall market worth of the Emirates’ publishing sector is currently estimated to be in the region of $260 million (Dh955 million) and large numbers of the world’s major international bookstores, for instance Borders, Virgin, and Kinokuniya, can be found throughout the country,” 

Shaikha Budoor pointed out. “Several literary festivals and fairs such as the Sharjah International Book Fair, the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, and the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature have also taken place across the country throughout the year making their mark on the international circuit,” she added.
Sharjah’s Knowledge Without Borders project, headed by Shaikha Budoor, has also witnessed the organisation reaching a milestone of bringing around 500,000 books to 10,000 families and is looking forward to achieving the ultimate goal of touching the lives of 42,000 families in Sharjah. 

“My personal journey into publishing began with children’s books when, in 2007, I began searching for good quality Arabic books for my daughter who was then four,” she recalled. 

Shaikha Budoor highlighted that it’s the wealth of well-educated and reasonably affluent readers, along with the UAE’s strategic location and established regional shipping nexus which plays an important role in promoting growth within the publishing sector. 

“With all of these factors in play, the UAE has significant potential to become a hub for international leaders in publishing and distribution for the entire Middle East region, as well as a gateway between Europe, the Arab world, and South Asia,” reckoned, adding that in order to create a ‘knowledge based society,’ an important area of focus is the country’s youth. 

Shaikha Budoor has also played a role in the establishment of the Emirates’ national chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), the UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY) which aims to act as a bridge between all of the stakeholders in the arena of children’s books.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Focus on youth literature in Istanbul Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

‘My Childhood is my Homeland-Children’s and Youth Literature’ is the theme of the 31st International Istanbul Book Fair 2012, being organized by the TÜYAP Fair and Exhibition Organization at the TÜYAP Fair and Convention Centre in Büyükçekmece from November 17 to 25. The fair will host a series of distinguished writers and illustrators within the theme. 

Gülten Dayıoğlu, a Turkish children and youth literature author, has been chosen as the fair’s Honorary Writer, while the Country of Honour is the Netherlands. 

The fair will host more than 600 domestic and foreign publishers, non-governmental organizations, and copyright agencies. A workshop titled ‘digital publishing’ will be opened for the first time in the fair’s history. 

”In European book fairs, the themes are generally issues such as women rights, nature, and environmental concerns. They left behind the issues we are currently discussing in Turkey. They do not need to talk about the subjects like human rights anymore, since these rights are already guaranteed,” Deniz Kavukçuoğlu, Culture Fairs General Coordinator, TÜYAP, was quoted as saying. 

‘We want to follow the latest developments. The European fairs that we admired in the past now stay behind our book fair. They are organized in smaller areas and their numbers of visitors are less than ours. Recently, we went to the Barcelona Book Fair and it could be only compared to the Diyarbakır Book Fair in terms of its scale,” he pointed out. 

Kavukçuoğlu also mentioned about the demand for the Turkish literature abroad. 

“In the past you would never see a Turkish author on bookshelves abroad but now there are works by Orhan Pamuk, Elif Şafak and Yaşar Kemal,” he observed. 

The TÜYAP official noted that there was a great increase in number and variety of the books published in Turkey when compared to the past, adding that Turkey comes in the second place after France in this regard.

Urdu books dominate Pakistan Pavilion in Sharjah International Book Fair 2012

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Pakistan Pavilion at the 31st Sharjah International Book Fair 2012 (SIBF), set up by a private company, is reported to have displayed more than 8,000 titles the majority of which were in Urdu language. 

“The Pakistani Pavilion is a chance to grab many popular Urdu books, there’s not that many of them in the United Arab Emirates UAE. The pavilion has lots of English titles as well, the pictorial books are doing great,” one of the organizers of the pavilion was quoted as saying. 

“There’s a full variety of Pakistan-published books here politics, fiction, children’s, poetry, religion, newspapers, magazines. You name it, we’ve got it. Outside the book fair, you won’t find this much of a selection,” he added. 

He estimated there were more than 50,000 individual copies at the pavilion, being offered at special fair prices. The SIBF 2012, held at the famous Sharjah Expo Centre, featured 385,000 titles from more than 920 publishers, with over 60 countries participating with an awesome variety of categories and languages there. 

Pakistan was chosen the Country of Focus during the SIBF, which was inaugurated on November 7. 

But the decision seems to have been taken belatedly or it was communicated at an advanced stage, which deprived the Pakistan publishing industry the chance of making a big statement. 

Although 22 Pakistani publishers did take part in the SIBF 2012, which was higher than an average of four or five in the earlier years, the participation could have been greater if the management of the Fair made the announcement publicly many months before the event. 

It was a bit surprising than an organization like the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), having grown in stature over the years, didn’t formally announce the declaration of Pakistan as the Country of Focus.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Supermodel Kate Moss launches autobiography in glamorous style

Pakistan News & Features Services

Supermodel Kate Moss launched her autobiography in a glamorous style reminding many of her rock 'n' roll days at the Marc Jacobs shop Bookmarc in London on November 16. 

Unlike a typical book launch where the author gives a good talk to the sitting audience, Moss celebrated the occasion in her own way, not bothering for any grand intellectual address as she charmed her admirers and fans by mingling with them soon upon her arrival. 

Her new book is a collection of her most famous modelling shots. She looked spectacular in the event wearing a beautiful floor length gold dress which moved even the A-list celebrity crowd. 

The 38-year-old supermodel was noted for her best behaviour as she hosted her own book launch party for her autobiography. 

She got all glitzed and glammed up as she took the helm at her own book party leaving the bash in one of Marc Jacobs Spring 2013 dresses. 

Wearing the form-fitting white leopard print mid-length dress with a low hemline and high neckline, Kate looked elegant and on trend as she teamed the silk ombre number, costing £1,500, with simple black stilettos as she was spotted exiting the new Mayfair store. 

Kate set out to make jaws drop as she changed into the plunging golden Egyptian-esque dress which boasted a pleated detail and mesh panels around the seams. 

The dress also featured a knotted detail with tassels draping around the front as Kate accessorised with a gold cuff and a small black shoulder bag when she arrived at 50 St James. 

Her hair was worn in her usual bed-hair waves as she donned a heavier dark smoky eye make-up with highlighted cheeks and she looked excited by the turnout who came to support the iconic supermodel including Florence Welch and Stella McCartney. 

Noel Gallagher and Bob Geldof were also in attendance and were spotted conversing with each other, as well as Nick Grimshaw, Jo Wood and Boy George.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi steals limelight in Sharjah International Book Fair

Pakistan News & Features Services

Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi, one of Pakistan’s top writers and columnists, charmed the audience in his typical style during his presentation at the 31st Sharjah International Book Fair 2012 on November 13. 

Having tremendous fan following in Pakistan as well as outside of the country, he has carved a niche for himself with his satirical style of taking aim at the controversial issues and describing them in his unique tone. 

“I’ve got death threats from people in power and members of the public in Pakistan. I always respond in the same way,” Atta-ul-Haq Qasmi, who also served as the country’s Ambassador to Norway and Thailand, was quoted as saying. 

The 31st Sharjah International Book Fair 2012, in which Pakistan has been chosen as the country of focus, was inaugurated by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, at the Sharjah Expo Centre on November 7. 

The book fair, acclaimed to be one the biggest in the world, features 385,000 titles from more than 920 publishers from over 60 countries. It will continue until November 17. 

“Despite the participation of hundreds of publishers and hundreds of thousands of valuable books in our fair this year, we should not ignore some of the challenges faced by the book and written material in general in these times,” Dr Shaikh Sultan observed during his speech at the opening ceremony while referring to the growing trend of social media and digital publishing in the fast-changing world. 

“We believe that each has his own role and scope, and all of us as authors, publishers and intellectuals have to think of the best ways to maintain the balance of these roles and implement them quickly,” he added. 

“We believe that the publishing houses in the UAE and our region should keep up with this new revolution and innovate attractive ways to display ‘paper’ books and ‘digital’ books to encourage readers to buy books and read them in whichever way they prefer,” Dr Shaikh Sultan remarked. 

He honoured winners in the awards ceremony that followed the formal inauguration. The awards included the Etislat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, Cultural Personality of the Year, Best Local Publishing House Award, Best Emirati Author, Best UAE Printed Book about the UAE, among others.

Pervez Hoodbhoy’s bombshell explodes in book form

Pakistan News & Features Services

“Should a bomb fall now, the destructive effects would be much greater than Hiroshima, because cities are densely packed, have much more flammable material and fires can spread without control,” Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy, a renowned physicist, observed during the launch of his explosive title ‘Confronting the Bomb: Pakistani and Indian Scientists Speak Out’ at Kuch Khaas in Islamabad on November 13. 

“Nuclear weapons pose an existential threat to Pakistan and India and there are no plans to deal with this catastrophe. If a nuclear bomb falls on one of our cities, it could result in 500,000 casualties. That is five times the number of deaths caused in Hiroshima in 1945 by a nuclear bomb which released energy equivalent to 15 kilotons of TNT,” he warned. 

“If Pakistan and India use all their nukes against each other, it could lead to a global catastrophe,” he added said, citing scientific calculations after taking Pakistan’s and India’s nuclear power in to account. 

Talking of using nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy reckoned that nuclear electricity was not a viable option for either India or Pakistan. 

“Nuclear power plants are much more expensive than other sources of energy. Even in the US, nuclear electricity is more expensive than power generated through other sources. Nuclear electricity would cost us even more as we import both our reactors and fuel to run them,” he reasoned.

Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy has edited the book ‘Confronting the Bomb: Pakistani and Indian Scientists Speak Out’ which is a compilation of articles written by Pakistani and Indian scientists on the subject. 

It has been published by the Oxford University Press and sponsored by the Heinrich Boll Foundation.

The book discusses both the political aspects of the two countries’ nuclear programmes and technicalities such as early warning, problems related to fissile material and the effects of a nuclear exchange. 

Heinrich Boll Stiftung’s Country Director in Pakistan, Britta Peterson, talked of how the idea of the book was born one chilly morning in 2010 in Islamabad, when she consulted him for a translation of a few essays on nuclear issue into Urdu. 

The subject of book should attract many readers besides those who are the followers of the nuclear technology. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Yale Publishing Course 2013 offers early bird discount

Pakistan News & Features Services

The prestigious Yale Publishing Course 2013 will be organized at the Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, in July next. 

According to an official announcement, the Leadership Strategies in Magazine and Digital Publishing course will be organized from July 14 to 19, to be followed by the Leadership Strategies in Book Publishing course from July 21 to 26. 

The speakers in the Leadership Strategies in Magazine and Digital Publishing course will include Michael Clinton of Hearst Magzines, Amy Wrzesniewski of Yale School of Management, Cynthia Leive of Glamour, Scott Dadich of Condé Nast, Richard Stolley of Time, Inc. and People while Madeline McIntosh of Random House, Inc., Richard Foster of Yale School of Management, Kirsty Melville of Andrews McMeel Publishing and Patricia Arancibia of Barnes & Noble will share their experiences during the Leadership Strategies in Book Publishing course. 

The applications for the 2013 programmes are now being accepted and an early bird discount is on offer. The early applications will be entitled to 10% off tuition fee. 

The discount will be provided on tuition fee if the application is received prior to 11:59pmET on Thursday, January 31, 2013 and payment of tuition is made in full by February 28, 2013. 

The discount cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. As the enrollment is limited, the prospective participants are being encouraged to apply early not only to avail the discount on offer but more importantly to secure their ticket for the Yale Publishing Course, recognized globally as inspiring, thought-provoking, and truly transformational. 

In order to foster a close relationship between faculty and students, the size of the class will be limited to 70 students per programme. 

These unique programmes afford mid to senior-level professionals access to a worldwide peer network and speakers who are exceptional industry leaders and distinguished professors from the Yale School of Management. 

Each programme concentrates on the most pressing issues facing publishers today and on building leadership and management skills. 

After five days of lectures, case studies, hands-on workshops, and one-on-one office hours with individual speakers, the participants emerge with the knowledge and expertise that enable them to meet the challenges of an ever-changing publishing landscape.