At the 12th Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) Publishers Conference, Arab publishers explained how they are utilising cutting-edge technology to deliver high-value Arabic content in order to satisfy readers’ changing needs even as demand for print publications rises in the Arab markets.
Panelists at the session titled “Digital publishing in the Arab World: How are Arab publishers embracing the digital landscape and who are the major operators?” on the first day of the 12th SIBF Publishers Conference at Expo Centre Sharjah. said that while the print industry has continued to grow healthily, the demand for e-books has tripled in the Arab world during the pandemic.
Eman Hylooz, CEO and co-founder of the Abjad Website Jordan, who moderated the discussion, claimed that the younger generation is learning about the beauty of printed books through digital media. Digital publishing consultant Ali Abdelmoneim Mohamed Ahmed with Liberty Education UK, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates said: “More publishers are providing online platforms with their books having digital versions. Publishers can reach new audiences by partnering with audio-ready platforms like Storytel and Audible.
“Classical book sales on e-books rose by 14% in the markets of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates last year,” he continued. Although there are more Arab people in the world than there are in the US, there are fewer books published in the Arab language, according to Lebanese publisher Salah Chebaro, founder and CEO of the Neelwafurat web platform.
While the US markets had 75,000 audiobooks last year, we only produced 8,000 audiobooks. “Consumers can be controlled by using visual or non-visual watermarks, limiting the number of users or devices, and using content management systems,” he said. According to Ama Dadson, the founder and CEO of Ghana’s Akoo Books, the sub-Saharan region’s audiobook market is rapidly expanding and heavily geared toward users of mobile technology.