Welcome on MEDiakitab blog. This program aims at sharing information and ressources dedicated to reading and writing practices, from story telling to digital form, in the Euro-Mediterranean space.

MEDiakitab association, located in Marseille, is in charge of administrating the blog. Contents are a reflection of the activities, analysis and knowledge developped by the network members.


Digital publishing: a chance to take for all the countries?

International Alliance of independent publishers' survey distributed on line

L’édition numérique dans les pays en développement ©International Alliance of independant publishers

During the summer 2011, the International Alliance of Independent Publishers put on-line an unpublished study about digital publishing. The organisation asked Octavio Kulesz, an Argentinean philosopher, “traditional” publisher having switched to “digital” with a new publishing house, to lead a study about perspectives of digital publishing in developing countries. This report is accessible on-line in several languages:  English, French and Spanish.

Beyond the huge diversity of situations according to geographical areas, the report shows a common need of access to information and culture.

Some learning about the Arab world

It dedicates especially an important chapter to the digital book situation on the Arab world. In this area, the digital medium could be an opportunity to overtake the fragmentation and segmentation of distribution system, the weak link of the book industry. These on-line commercial platforms (Arabic e-book, Kotobarabia) and non-commercial (Nashiri) started investing in digital book.

But the digital conversion implies publishers to accept to take the risk of experimentation,about tools, formats and media. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine in a near future an importation of the digital reading model as it exists in developed countries. Special features should be taken into account:  the difficulties encountered in Arabic writing digitalisation, the lack of solvency for digital reading tools and the lack of means of banking payment implies the development of a unique model.

It seems that mobile telephony is the infrastructure to choose to develop digital reading, for electronic trade system reasons and for the level of household equipment. Considering the lack of public investment in research and development, the experimentation could come from training and professional networking organisations which are already working on it (CAFED, KITAB, Abu Dhabi international book fair).

This new offer should meet the demand. Young generations seem ready to adopt new digital practises. Printing on demand could play an important role as well.