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Dear Author/Publisher, Where Are Your Readers? Part 2

If you haven’t read the first part of this article, we recommend that you do by clicking here

Part of the global trend is that many publishers, newspaper houses included,  are recording a huge drop in sales of physical books and are moving their operations online. It isn’t that people are no longer reading. Instead, it is that they are reading differently.

Even libraries in the leading educational institutions globally are moving from physical books to electronic access. Instead of books, we are seeing huge servers and networks of internet-connected PCs. A lot of research is done online via search engines. As a matter of fact, many people now school online, acquiring knowledge and skills that they would otherwise not have had access to without doing a lot of travelling and incurring huge expenses.

A Cultural Change

What we are seeing is a huge cultural change. The readers are alive and well. They are only just adapting a newer medium. Here is a quick summary:

  1. Readers are moving online for their content consumption.
  2. Readers are using their PCs, tablets and smartphones as the new channels for content consumption.
  3. E-books, e-magazines, blogs, and video are the new media available on these new channels.
  4. While video isn’t huge in these parts yet because of high data costs and inadequate infrastructure, people are consuming content more and more that way.
  5. The physical book is not dead yet, but its viability as a sole means of income generation is seriously being threatened.
  6. With the exception of regions where infrastructure and costs make it not feasible, as a rule, publishers and authors need to start thinking of putting their works out via new media FIRST, and in physical book format second.
  7. Publishers and authors need to get “social”: in other words, they need to engage their readers on the readers’ where they hang out and on their own terms. In this new world, people hang out on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc).

It is a new world. Publishing and education is fast changing from what we grew up with, and we must change with the times in order to stay relevant.

First Veritas has an e-distribution channel to over 1000 online retailers. As an author/publisher, you can take advantage of this. Call 08104039756. Read more about the e-distribution here

Dear Author/Publisher, Where Are Your Readers?

It is becoming increasingly common to hear authors and writers of books complain of dropping sales and engagement. We hear phrases like “Nigerians do not read”, and the like. Publishing books seems to be a fast-declining industry. Even newspapers are no longer selling as much as they used to. If publishers and authors are not selling as they used to – and many are not making any money off it any more – there are questions that need to be asked.

 

For example, is it true that Nigerians do not read, or is it that we are not paying attention to what they read? Or could it be that authors and publishers are ignoring the section of Nigerians who read?

 

Statistics are difficult to come by in Nigeria, not to mention accurate statistics. However, a look at trends here in the country and elsewhere may give us hints as to what is really going on. For example, globally, there is an increasing shift in reading culture from hard cover books to virtual material – ebooks and e-magazines. Newspaper houses all over the world have found that much of the news they carry is already available online hours before they hit the press. They have also found that the average person with internet access has migrated to getting their news online as against from printed paper.

 

Publishing online is not only faster, it is easier and costs much less than traditional publishing. There is also the question of reach. The potential to reach much more people across huge geographical divides than printed materials can do is unprecedented.

 

With the advent of mobile technology, the terrain has changed even more. Comic book publishers are churning out mobile apps for their readers to subscribe to their favourite comic books. Authors are publishing e-books, so anyone can buy those books and read on their smartphones or tablets.

 

These are global phenomena, and perhaps these can give us hints as to what is happening in the Nigerian environment too.

First Veritas has an e-distribution channel to over 1000 online retailers. As an author/publisher, you can take advantage of this. Call 08104039756. Read more about the e-distribution here