“itbaá” to Revolutionize Self-Publishing in the Middle East
Canon Middle East, (CME), the leading provider of imaging technologies is proud to have partnered with the revolutionary platform “Itbaá” at Riyadh International Book Fair 2022, from September 29 till October 8, 2022. “Itbaá” is a unique solution that enables writers with access to a platform that allows self-publishing, whereby emerging authors can upload their books onto the platform and people can view and print the books directly and on-demand. Moreover, for avid readers, the platform also doubles as an online bookstore, offering a unique book selecting and printing experience.
This new concept boasts many benefits for not only the publishing industry as a whole, but also the category of self-publishing. Most notably, it provides an opportunity for new and emerging writers, who are usually considered risky investments by traditional publishers, to self-publish and have their dreams of being published, become a reality. It eliminates a large degree of risk for traditional publishers, where unnecessarily large quantities of book printing, complex book sales forecasting and unnecessary warehousing are avoided, as well as shipping charges when book fairs are held outside of home countries. Moreover, no longer does an author need to have a specific circulation in mind when publishing, now any book can be published digitally first and then produced in the desired quantity on the spot, which can become a real game-changer for the book-publishing industry. This portal acts as the “New Publisher” by offering an efficient, viable and cost-effective platform that is all set to revolutionize self-publishing and printing across the Middle East.
During Riyadh International bookfair 2022, Canon Middle East, together with Itbaá showcased the full integration between the platform and Canon technology. The Canon imagePRESS C10010VP series is the ideal partner for this platform as it not only offers superb print quality, but also perfect binding, with 3 side trimming and saddle stitching. The full capabilities of the imagePRESS C10010VP series were displayed during the fair, demonstrating how it makes printing operations effortless by enabling printing and binding of books on demand – across any minimum quantity. Additionally, this is a fully automated system that requires no human oversight. Enabled by a fiery FS400 printing server, which uses an API to communicate between the cloud, printing server and portal, flawless printing is achieved every time – without any manual staff operations.
According to 2022 statistics by the research organization Wordsrated, the global publishing market is expected to grow at 1% per year, whereas the self-publishing market is expected to grow at 17%. Moreover, the number of self-published books has increased by 264% in the last five years, signaling a self-publishing trend that is expected to grow. In keeping with this global trend, through access to “Itbaá” it will now be easier for potential authors across the Middle East to ensure access to print on demand capabilities that suit their individual needs.
“Platforms like ‘Itbaá’ are not only innovative, but also a need of the times and we are honored that our technology is being used to power progress and support the printing industry. The developers of this platform chose to put Canon equipment at the heart of their printing solutions, and we are very pleased to see customers taking advantage of our technology and putting it to use in such pioneering and creative ways,” said Shadi Bakhour, Business Unit Director, Canon Middle East
“Itbaá” has been developed by Khaled Bamohamad, an established Tech-entrepreneur who is the pioneer behind print.sa, the first online printing platform in Saudi Arabia which hosts over 200 printing centers, across 35 cities. Commenting on his latest venture “Itbaá” he said: “Our platform offers unique opportunities because it features an ‘on-demand’ production model that enables cost-effective production for everyone. In a way, it has democratized publishing, where anyone and everyone can be self-published and we are very proud that our platform is being powered by Canon technology. Canon is synonymous with being best-in-class and we wanted to partner with the best.”
The Riyadh International Book Fair is one of the largest book festivals in the Middle East and offers an opportunity for companies, institutions, and individuals interested in literature and the processes of publishing to come together. A main aim of the festival is to promote and develop a shared passion for culture, literature and reading across Saudi Arabia, and the “Itbaá” platform powered by Canon’s technology is aligned with Canon’s commitment to Saudi Vision 2030 to enhance digital transformation and stimulating and promoting the culture of the Kingdom.