More than 440 publishing houses exhibiting at “Jeddah’s International Book Fair”, made it one of the most prominent events of the year. The number of visitors exceeded 300 thousand people, who bought 8 million riyals worth of books.
Destination Jeddah met with some of the publishing houses to ask them about their contribution at the book fair, their best sellers, and the latest publishing trends to market their writers.
Sibawayh Publishing & Distribution: Saudi Publishing House
Located at the entrance of the north gate of the book fair and using social media banners for attracting book lovers, such as “Instagram” frame, and #sibawayhreader, triggered many visitors to check out their publications.
Islam Omar, PR & Marketing Manager, believes that digital marketing and creating a social media buzz have become essential to introduce new books and writers to the readers, “We target the young generation, who have eagerness to read. Sibawayh launched a digital library that enables readers to borrow books digitally all around the year,” said Omar.
In addition, the publishing house offers a number of collective services for writers who wish to publish their books and for readers to share their feedback on the novels they read. Such as, fast publishing; should one of the novels become out of stock, Sibawayh can print it out from their digital library, and book delivery service.
Sibawayh’s bestselling book:
Author: Ibrahim Abbas
Platinum Book: Kuwaiti Publishing House
A grand booth painted all in black with a hip font that reveals the publishing house enthusiast for young readers and writers drew many visitors attention to stop by Platinum Book booth.
Platinum Book has many publications from the Gulf region, as their main aim is to revive the intellectual scene in the Gulf. Their young team of sales representatives showed enthusiasm in helping readers to choose the books that fit their taste, by giving each one a thrilling synopsis of each book, making it difficult not to pile up more books than they had expected.
Commenting on the growing number of writers in the Arab world and the quality of books published, Mr. Jasim Ashkanany – Manager of Platinum Book said that our role as a publishing house focuses on encouraging writers, “at the end, readers should be the only judge.”
Ashkanany explained, “Not many years back, writers from the Gulf faced difficulties to publish their work, due to the scarcity of publishing houses in the region. Now we are taking a leading role in supporting our writers and creating a platform through which they can publish their creative work.”
“We are proud to be the first publishing house for young writers in the Gulf region.” He concluded.
Platinum Book bestselling books:
Author: Fahad Al Kandary
Title: Melh Al Shaer
Author: Nuha Nabeil
Title: 112 Malouma
Author: Ahmed Heidar
Arab Scientific Publishers: Lebanese Publishing House
The books displayed at this Lebanese publishing house attracted, somehow, an older age group, who are interested in reading translated international bestsellers and established authors, such as Saud Al Sonousy and Monther Al Gabbany.
Jihad Shabaro, Sales and Marketing Director said that Saudi readers are passionate about reading literature work from different cultures, in addition, to local and Arab writers.
Shabaro Added, “Although there are many challenges that publishing houses face in the Arab world, participating in international book fairs and encouraging readers to read, is our mission to preserve the intellectual scene in the Arab world.”
When asked about the escalating prices of books, Shabaro explained, “Publishing Houses have to cover the high cost of printing and distribution. Our priority is to make books affordable to everyone, but there are costs that we have to cover.”
Arab Scientific Publishers Bestselling Books:
Title: Hokoumat Al Thil
Author: Dr. Monzer Al Gabbany
Title: Fe’ran Ommy Hessa
Author: Saud Al Sanousy
Madarek: Saudi Publishing House
Madarek has always been keen on having a distinctive presence at international book fairs, taking place around the Arab world. The publishing house has gained its fame from cleverly publishing books of writers with huge audiences.
Khaled Al Ateeq, Publishing Manager of Madarek, said that Madarek was keen to participate in Jeddah’s book fair, and organize book signings for their authors.
Al Ateeg elaborated, “Jeddah’s book fair success has exceeded our expectations, given that it’s the first year, and we expect it to boom even more on the following years.”
When asked about their bestselling list, Ahmed Massoud, sales representative suggested:
Title: Khawaja Yanni
Author: Mohamed Sadeg Thiab
Title: Ekhla’a Hitha’ak
Author: Yasser Hareb
Title: Mata Yestayqeth Al Najehoun
Author: Ziad Al Drees & Ali Al Hakamy