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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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