THE STREETLIB MENA PROJECT

Our mission: to enable any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to have their work available, to any reader and listener anywhere in the world.

An impossible dream in the pre-digital books era. But digital means yesterday’s dreams can become tomorrow’s reality. 

Here’s what StreetLib is doing in the Middle East North Africa region to make that reality happen. 

The Arabic-speaking Middle-East North Africa region (MENA) embraces a population of over 400 million, of which almost half are online. The MENA book market is valued at over $1 billion.

This presents an exciting, if challenging, opportunity for publishers in the Middle East, in North Africa and globally to reach an increasingly literate, well-educated and smartphone-engaged audience. 

RAISING AWARENESS

StreetLib began our MENA mission by seeking to raise awareness of the challenges, and to demonstrate the opportunities across the MENA publishing arena thanks to digital.

By leveraging our global publishing industry journal The New Publishing Standard we have sought to focus attention on the regions’s potential, to push aside the negative stereotypes (“Arabs don’t read”), and the widespread misconceptions (“the internet hasn’t reached North Africa and the Middle East yet”), and sought to show the true potential of the MENA publishing industry in the modern age.

Of course, words are easy. So we’re backing our words with actions. 

Here’s what StreetLib is doing to support the development of the Middle East North Africa publishing industry. 

SUPPORTING AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS

We now have a dedicated digital publishing portal for every country in Arabic-speaking MENA, from Morocco in the west to Oman in the east. 

It’s never been done before, and we’re still rolling out full language support, but right now, for every MENA country, as well as for Israel and Iran, which make up the two non-Arabic speaking nations in MENA, there is now a digital portal where authors and publishers can go and upload books, comics, graphic novels (and soon audiobooks and podcasts) that can be sold or given away across MENA and around the world. 

StreetLib offer unrivalled global digital distribution to retailers, digital libraries, and subscription services worldwide. 

  • There are no upfront fees. 
  • We provide easy-to-use tools to format your works, if needed. 
  • We supply free ISBNs if needed.  
  • For bigger publishers with large catalogues, we have batch upload facilities. 
  • For all authors and publishers we offer monthly royalty payments and detailed analytics. 
  • We are expanding our print distribution options and will soon offer audiobook and podcast distribution. 

SUPPORTING MENA READERS AND LISTENERS 

In addition to offering the best digital distribution through our global partners, we also provide a truly global ebook (and soon audiobook and podcast) store, accessible anywhere in the world where there is a digital connection.

We are in the process of rolling out pan-MENA currency support and payment methods. 

SUPPORTING MENA LOCAL LANGUAGES

Indigenous North African, Middle Eastern and global languages is something StreetLib is proud to support. Through our digital publishing portals authors and publisher can upload content in any language, and while we can’t guarantee all the partners in our distribution chain will support every language, our own StreetLib Store will

We are proud to have partnered with the India-based indigenous languages publisher Storyweaver to offer more than 12,000 children’s books in over 150 languages, free of charge to anyone anywhere in the world who wishes to read them. Storyweaver’s languages include Arabic and many indigenous languages used across the MENA region. 

SUPPORTING MENA LIBRARIES

Delivering published content to digital libraries around the world has been a mainstay of our operation since we launched in 2006.

As digital libraries proliferate across MENA we are looking to partner with any and all MENA libraries to:

  • deliver free and paid content to library catalogues
  • offer our author and publisher portals through libraries to help local authors get published
  • generate revenue for libraries through our affiliate programme
  • offer web-based support (for example sponsored landing pages) to community projects libraries are working with 

SUPPORTING MENA’S EDUCATION SECTOR AND LITERACY PROJECTS

Tunisia and the UAE are among many MENA countries where digital is transforming the educational sector.

At StreetLib we are committed to partnering with education authorities, schools, publishers, literacy projects and corporate operations (telcos, for example) to ensure the smooth flow of content from where it is available to where it is needed.  

SUPPORTING MENA’S PUBLISHING, WRITING ORGANISATIONS AND BOOK FAIRS AND FESTIVALS 

Having a digital footprint, and especially a landing page and web address, is pretty much essential in the modern day. 

At StreetLib we understand that building a website for a national publishers association or other trade body, or for a writers group or a book fair or festival, can be a daunting and sometimes expensive task.

Facebook pages are great, but they don’t always let us show the information we need to get across.

For those that do not have the resources to create their own, StreetLib is offering to create a simple landing page website for any MENA publishing-orientated body that needs one. 

SUPPORTING MENA’S ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT 

The Middle East North Africa publishing industry, already worth over$1 billion, could grow multi-fold by 2025 if the digital opportunity is embraced alongside (not replacing) the traditional print sector.

Publishing creates jobs, entertains, informs, educates and helps breaks down social barriers, increasing understanding and cohesion between nations, and digital can deliver these benefits without damaging the environment.

To find out more about any of these StreetLib services to the MENA publishing industry, contact support@streetlib.com.

For queries about the MENA and global book markets, contact info@thenewpublishingstandard.com 

StreetLib. Your global gateway distributor for the 2020s.

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