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