Thesis (Ph.D)

Publishing and marketing Lebanese children's books in the Arab world


The core question this research seeks to answer is: how and why do the publishing and marketing of children’s books in the Arabic-speaking World differ fundamentally from publishing and marketing in larger western children’s books markets? In 2003, the Arab Human Development Report concluded that the Arab book is a “threatened species” (Rogan, 2004). A decade later, this assessment still resonates with Arab book publishers. Sophisticated marketing techniques are still conspicuously absent from the Arabic book publishing industry, and in need of further development. Marketing and market research drives publishing in the West, and advocates the love of books to customers (Squires, 2009, pp. 40-69), (Baverstock, 2008, p: 1), (Bogucki, 2012), (Blythe, 2009, pp. 6-8) while publishing in the Arab World is driven by different priorities. To understand marketing Lebanese children’s literature, given that Lebanon is regarded as the Arab World’s publishing capital exporting 90% of its books, the research employs both qualitative and quantitative methods to collect data, provide a socio-cultural appreciation of the publishing industry, and address the factors affecting book development, customers, and markets. Publishing exists within a framework of influential factors shaping the industry, including legacy publishing houses and family-run publishing houses, mistrust between the different stakeholders in the book chain, and the socio-economic situation in Lebanon and across the Arabic-speaking World. An overview of the Lebanese children’s book publishing houses reflects the traditional methods used to publish and market Lebanese children’s books. Particular attention is given to the crucial role played by book fairs as the key sales channels across the region. A series of surveys demonstrates the importance of picture books for advancing literacy and language capacity among elementary school children as well as creating a love of the Arabic language. The uniqueness of Arab markets is demonstrated when marketing methods used in the UK are applied to the Lebanese market, with variable results. The research highlights the need to further develop marketing mechanisms for Lebanese children’s literature and the need for greater comparative publishing research in the Arabic-speaking World. The research adds to the body of knowledge on Arabic Children’s book, drawing a clear picture of the publishing and marketing of children’s books in Lebanon and across the Arabic-speaking World, offering practical ideas for other Lebanese publishers to work on, and introducing a combination of new methods to understand different players in the book chain process.

Attached files


Kreidieh, S

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Arts
Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment


Year: 2015

© Kreidieh, S
Published by Oxford Brookes University
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