Publishers have long bemoaned Africa’s lack of a “book culture” but some hope that the advent of smartphones and the internet could help change this, writes journalist Chris Matthews of BBC World News in his comprehensive article.
For some editors e-publishing is fast proving a far more efficient business model than traditional methods. Especially because in some African countries it is hard to find good paper as well as good printing presses. So product quality is a major issue.
Nigerian Jeremy Weate, of Abuja-based Cassava Republic, publisher of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, states:
“We don’t have to worry about printing, warehousing, distribution or engaging in fruitless marathons across the continent for payments that will never come.”
Another of Nigeria’s independent publishers, Kachifo, is the first mainstream publisher in the country to release an e-book novel before it was published in print. Fine Boys by Eghosa Imasuen was made available on the Amazon Kindle prior to its paperback release, while the text was also included as part of e-reading initiative Worldreader’s latest anthology. Worldreader is a non-profit organization that aims to eradicate illiteracy by delivering the largest culturally relevant library – digitally and inexpensively.