Epublishing: The Future of The Nigerian Writer

futuristicI think it was over a year ago, after I had just published my book on Amazon.com, I was invited to a book launch by Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA). Truth be told I was reluctant to go but I was a bit curious about everything and decided to grace the occasion just to see if I could share the e-publishing gospel with whoever cared to listen. It held in a small eatery close to Obalende, media coverage was available and the Chairman of ANA lagos branch was there as well. I slipped into the back of the room quietly because the program had already begun, there were 2 writers that were showcasing their new books. It was an interesting program as I listened as each writer read a few lines from their book. The table was stacked with books and I was musing in my mind at the sight of them.

However, one question constantly peeked its ugly head in my mind; how did they intend selling these book?

After the long talk, one of the authors made a very neck-twisting statement, “it’s not about these books it’s just about writing them”. Now looking at the table I could tell hundreds of thousands of Naira had been sowed into the finished work, but it could hardly be guaranteed that anyone would read the book let alone buy it.

So the event came to an end, we gathered together and took picture with the author, he was a very pushy fellow, kind of like the type that always wants to have things done his own way, but it was his day so we could allow that. I came close to the ANA chairman and asked about his book, there was a ring on his finger so I knew he was married which meant more responsibilities, he then gave me a brief insight into his own world as a writer and what he has to deal with in trying to market his book…it was a pitiful experience.

Writing a book is great, once you get past that hurdle of “what should I write?” or “ how do I write?” which I tried crushing in this book, but the real work comes with promoting your book and getting people to read it which is something not many Nigerian authors have figured out.

Allow me to be blunt right here that e-publishing is the way to go if you want to reach a wider audience and you can actually automate the sales of your book by complimenting your offline efforts with online strategies that has been proven to work over and over again.

The world has changed unlike before we couldn’t carry over a 100 books with us around but right now we can have an entire library with us because of the high demand of the ipad, kindle, nook and other devices that enable you to carry so many books with you.

I believe in the power of words, we can change people and our world with words if we can get them to read it.

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TOP 10 NICHES TO TARGET IN WRITING YOUR BOOK

top10I had posted on twitter earlier today about what I’m about to share with you right now, and if you are on twitter you can follow me, here’s my handle @zionnie, and I ‘ll be engaging you all that want to get your feet wet in the writing pond. I’m going to identify the hottest niches out there that people are craving for, and anything you write on any of these niches will attract attention. It’s a pretty long list for today so let’s get started

#1 ROMANCE

romance

It is no mistake that I ranked romance as #1, everyone is trying to  be more romantic and it cut across all genres of people whether single, married, young adults, old people …even kids these days are trying to get more romantic so as to lure the right girl and sweep her off her feet or to attract the right guy. If you have a compelling that has a streak of romance you are sure to get a bit of attention.

#2 EROTICA

This is next in line after romshades of greyance, and believe it or not writer are making a killing in this niche, a popular example of a book in the niche is 50 Shades of Grey Trilogy by E L James and trust me the market for people in this niche is red hot because just like romance it cuts across several genres of people. If you have what it takes to play in this niche dive right it.

#3 FOOD AND DIET

A lot of newfood recipes are being created every day and people are trying to figure out new way to either add or lose weight and this is big. To look trendy and live healthy which is something everyone wants you need to watch your diet. From celebrities to obese kids, everyone is looking for the secret formula that would help them stay trendy and healthy.

#4 PUZZLES

puzzzleFor people running very busy schedules having handy leisure book could be very handy and games like Sudoku puzzles, crosswords, word find puzzles are a great place to start.

#5 RELATIONSHIPS

love

Books on relationships are in popular demand and it is considered to be one of the largest categories in non-fiction. We all want stable, health relationship and we all would want to learn from other people’s wealth of knowledge and experiences.

#6 PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

coveyIn this niche falls everything that has to do with public speaking, motivational, inspirational, goal setting, time management, improving your skills and many other self-help books. Authors in this niche that play big are Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, John C. Maxwell,Steve Covey and there is still room for you.

#7 BUSINESS AND MONEY

richdad

Books on business and money will always be in at the top especially in bad times, because people seek guidance in managing their business and handling their finances and that’s why Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad, Poor Dad Series are still in demand.

#8 PARENTING

parenting

In today’s world where juvenile delinquency is on the increase books on parenting and child raising are highly necessary. In addition to that maternity is also involved, and mothers can share their experiences with other mothers.

#9 RELIGION

rli

Many religious leaders have a large following who subscribe to their teachings and ideas about life, and you could write anything in this niche that is close to what many of their followers buy.

#10 CURRENT EVENTS

baraCurrent events are hot. For instance when Steve Jobs died, content about him went high in demand, the same went for Michael Jackson, Nelson Mandela…if you wrote a book on an event that is fresh people are most definitely going to be looking for materials on it….why can’t it be yours.

 

 

 

THE 4 MYTHS HOLDING YOU BACK FROM WRITING YOUR FIRST BOOK

HANDCUFFSOver 5 years ago, we hired a programmer who specializes in java, we all know java is one of the most efficient programs in the IT world and has been termed as one of the most lucrative programs to specialize in because it pays big. I admit I was an ignoramus in the programming world (still am though) but I looked forward to this training not because I really loved java per se but I loved the monetary benefits that followed it and I believed that anyone teaching it was probably swimming in cash and I wanted so badly to have my own pool of cash too.

However, I lost my zeal on the first day of the class when my teacher appeared, he was a young chap that wore a convenient smile and seemed down to earth but here’s how he shattered my java dreams. We all the #1 rule in meeting people and that is first impression matter a lot. Now, prior to that time I had my own idea of what I thought a java programmer should look like and my parameters were based solidly on the fact that java was high in demand in the marketplace.

Long story short, I did my evaluation on the whole java adventure.

And guess what?

I fell out of love with the idea of learning it faster than I did for learning it, all for the simple reason that my tutor didn’t represent the picture I had in my mind, but who is to blame himself or myself?

I think it’s me because what I considered to be parameters were only myths I had created for myself that hindered me from taking that class serious and the same goes for writing a book there are myths people also have in their minds when it comes to writing a book and these myths are the reasons people give themselves (just like I gave myself)…so let’s debunk the 4 most popular myths.

MYTH #1: I DON’T HAVE THE TIME

This is one of the most ridiculous excuse people make, we all have 24hrs in a day and most of the people that make such excuse spend more time on their phones texting, pinging, using whatsapp or playing angry bird or some other app created by someone else on a daily basis. But if you take time to evaluate how much time you spend on that device you’ll be shocked…so lack of time is not the issue, it’s just a myth you created and sold yourself.

MYTH #2: I DON’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE

Another preposterous fallacy, drop-outs and illiterates have written and published books and in today’s world where instant messaging is in vogue there is no reason why you should hold cuddle such a myth close to heart…and the funny thing is the folks that hold such beliefs are those that are lawyers, bankers, professors and pastors etc. it quite obvious that they write but what they think is that you need something extra-special to write a book. If you ever sat for any exams in your life then you’re obviously can write a book, otherwise you don’t deserve that degree.

MYTH #3: I HAVE NOT ACHIEVED ANYTHING YET

Writing a book is basically about sharing the knowledge you already know with the world and you don’t really have to have achieved anything before you write a book, Robert Kiyosaki simply shared the lessons his Rich Dad taught him long, and so have many others done so it’s not really about achievement is about what you know. What you need to do is sit down and ask yourself what do I know that I can share with someone else?

MYTH #4: WRITERS ARE BROKE 

This is the most hilarious myth and it usually comes from pessimistic people. The truth remains that words will longer than any man born and people write for several reason (which I stated some of the reasons here). But not all writers actually are out for monetary gains for most of them it happens upon them when they least expected it. so consoling yourself with this myth does you no good because for you to write you have some knowledge about something and for the financial part Forbes ranked JK Rowling as a billionaire for her Harry Porter series.

Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Write a Book

5 reasonI know it seems a bit tedious to actually commit oneself to writing a book but the rewards are great and I’ll talk about it as time goes on but the most amazing thing is the fact that opportunities will always present itself as hard work and those who roll up their sleeves and get down to it actually hit the goldmine.

However, that’s not what I want to talk about today. What I want to share with you are the 5 most important reasons why you should write a book, after I learnt these simple truths i have become a self-ordained apostle of the book writing movement and I think you should join me asap.

There are 5 reasons why I think you should write a book, and I’ve not refrained from talking about it, so here we go:

#1 ROYALTY

Royalty simply means getting paid for work done once over and over again. Actors, Sport stars, writers ajknd so many others enjoy such priviledges and the same can apply for you if you actually write a book. To really explain my point, J.K. Rowling published her first book in the Harry Potter series; Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 1997 and that book is still on demand till date, hence for every book ordered in 2014 J.K. Rowling gets paid royalty on a work she actually did in 1997…get the picture.

#2 PERSONAL BRANDING

Have you notrobertkiyosakiiced how we tend to be drawn towards certain people’s works than others…it’s not magic, but a simple concept called branding. Personal branding is the secret behind why some folks stand out and others don’t and you can brand yourself with books. Robert Kiyosaki published his first book Rich Dad Poor Dad back in 1997 at a time when hardly anyone knew him nor his philosophy of finance, but after his interview on the Oprah Winfrey Show Robert became famous and became branded as an expert on the personal finance topic.

#3 BUILDING A FOLLOWERSHIPaudacity of hope

You can’t claim to be a leader and not have followers, as a matter of fact there’s an African proverb that says that he that claims to be a leader and has no one following is only taking a walk, if you think you have what you take to be a leader in whatever field you’re in. I don’t mean to be pushy but I can honestly tell you that almost leaders write. In 2006, Barack Obama published his second book The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, in his book he shared his message of hope which resonated with millions of Americans and led to his successful presidential campaign that earned the office of the President of United States.

#4 BUILDING AN EMPIRE

It’s a authurknown fact that people have built empires with books, the numbers are numerous Robert Kiyosaki, J.K. Rowling and others and there is still room for more writers like you and I. However, one of my favourite examples is that of Sir Conan Doyle, author of the famous masterpiece Sherlock Holmes Series, he literally had to kill the main character in the book to get rest because the English public wanted more. Sir Conan Doyle died in 1930 but his book are still in popular demand in 2014 and some have been converted in movies.

#5 PROMOTING OTHER PRODUCTS/SERVICESfurniture

The last but not the least reason why you should write a book is to promote a product or service you provide. For instance if you sold furniture, you could write a book teaching people what kind of furniture to look out for when furniture shopping and in that book you could state your reasons why but the real idea in doing so is to actually let them buy from you.

In conclusion, you have no excuse not to write a book only if you’re an illiterate but if you can send an email, write a text, post on facebook then you sure can write a book the only question is that of your commitment to it.

So when are you going to get started?

How I Published my First Book Pt.2

GREGSo there I was exhilarated with my new accomplishment, I had succeeded in writing 3 books and I was still amazed at myself about it more because I could now see that it was possible to actually write a book. Now I’m one person that gets easily distracted, and I think my attention span is really, really short so for me to get something it has to be loaded in the least possible minutes. However, coming up with the discipline to put a book together was a feat worth celebrating (which I did).

There still lingered in my mind the insurmountable mountain of how do I get published, the cost implication and other intricate details I was still blinded to.

My mother shared my excitement and encouraged me to get it published as soon as I could, so I began thinking about contacting any of the publishing houses in Lagos. I knew I was not a known writer so I would face rejection, probably have my manuscript gather dust on some guy’s shelf.

Now, in the US or Europe where things were a lot smoother you still could push a bit but here in Nigeria what chance did I have, and how much would it demand from me?

The guys in Shomolu that handle printing were reliable but I was totally ignorant about the process and apart from paying for their services, I would also pay a huge cost for being ignorant as well.

The answer came through a very good friend of mine, Daniel who told me about e-publishing and how it could help me get published online without going through the traditional dark alleys of rejection and broken piggy banks.

Daniel doesn’t have wings neither does he come from heaven, but at that point in time he was like the angel Gabriel delivering the good tidings to Mary, and like I confessed earlier about my short attention span it help up while I listened to Daniel’s thesis on epublishing and amazon.com.

It didn’t take much convincing to convey the message that epublishing was not just the way to go, but the only way to go for me. I leaped as a lark as I reminisced over the thought of being published without much hassle.

I eventually went through the simple steps Daniel taught me and in no time my books were online.

Why am I telling you my story?

I’m not bragging about anything not am I trying to be someone that has achieved something extra-special but I’m simply trying to say that if I can do it…so can you.

If I could write a book, why can’t you?

In my next post I’ll be sharing with you a couple of reasons why I think you should write a book, I preach the gospel of writing a book like an evangelist and in doing so I found out one thing.

People are lazy.

There will always be a reason why you can’t do what you think you can’t do but rarely find reason why you should do it.

Start writing now.

How I Published my first book. PT 1

epublishingNo sooner had I finished writing my first book when the second began brewing up on the inside of me…I knew it was close but something needed to ignite it then it would flow out. i celebrated my first book in a very quiet way because I knew that was just the beginning and I needed to figure out a way of getting it published. My mom was very supportive all the way (I think it’s just a mother’s thing to want the best for her children, fathers on the other hand console themselves with the idea of role-playing the word “breadwinner”). I felt like a woman who had just had her first child and was beginning to want another one very quickly…crazy ain’t it?

However, I went on everyday searching for the right inspiration that would make me discipline myself like I had done previously for the first book. Seek and you shall find goes the biblical verse, and I got a ping on my blackberry from my sweetheart, and the moment I read it…gbam it hit me.

I had finally connected with inspiration and I was ready to go through it all over again ( I can’t share with you what she told me but it really got my adrenaline up). I got to work in good time, sat down and began jabbing away at the keyboard of my laptop…the words were flowing spontaneously. I think I went on for more than 2 hours because I was still very much under the anointing of that inspiration like a preacher that had gone on for 2 hours pounding away and still has more pages left…lol.

I did that for another week and I must confess that I loved every bit of it, it was so sweet that if it were honey, I would probably still be licking my fingers 2 hours after the first dip. [Read more...]

How I Wrote my First Book

An African Boy's DreamIt was mid-2012, and I was longing to write a book, my first book. I had an idea of what I wanted to write but with my hectic schedule I knew I was bound to get nowhere with it except I came up with a plan. Prior to that time I had written a 2000 word story just to entertain myself with the idea that I was a writer, but I wanted more and I knew I desperately had to do something about it.

I was like a mother heavy with child, just hours away of delivery and the birth pains were kicking in badly. So I decided to do something drastic about it. I didn’t know how I was going to end my story but I knew exactly how I was going to start it and with that thought in mind I decided I was going to budget 2 hours of my day to writing my book.

The first thing I did was first clear my mind of any other thought and make writing my book my #1 priority. Here’s an advice for you if you want to write your first book; first you must unite yourself with the words you want to write… the bible tells us that the word became flesh, so you must understand that every word you’re about to pen down is a part of you and only then can you write from within.

All the way to the office I rehearsed the storyline in my mind over and over again. I had purposed in my mind not to be distracted from my mission afterall 2hrs in a day was a worthy sacrifice I could offer in return.

As soon as I got to my office I went to my seat( no time to chit-chat around…I had a mission) and I began to vent the words line by line, and watched as words turned to sentences, sentences turned to paragraph, and paragraph turned to pages…I was enjoying every bit of it.

As I began to give birth to my first book, I could feel a part of me appear in front of me on screen in exchange for an inner satisfaction I really can’t describe to you right now. The 2 hours I had budgeted lapsed before me in no time and I would often come out of what seemed like a writer’s trance feeling like the time I had set aside for the day was too short.

I did this for over a week, working under the same frame of mind and energy. Alas, I hit the final full-stop, I had done it. What had seemed like a herculean task was finally over and I still felt like venting more words onto my laptop screen.

Now, my purpose of sharing my first book experience is to let you know that you can do just exactly the same thing and achieve the result you desire. I titled the book An African Boy’s Dream. It was a story of struggle, hope and determination. I penned down every word inspired by what I had seen the African child goes through everyday.

It’s my story. It’s our story. It’s the story of every African child.

Whats your story?

whats your storyYesterday, I aroused the thought within you of writing your first book, and I’m now going to follow up on that with something very interesting. We actually started out as little kids pumped with stories, both the true and untrue and it was very entertaining. If you notice most of the stories we heard are often told at evenings for whatever reasons I can’t comprehend right now, but the evenings just happen to give the stories some after effect that adobe can’t give.

I remember my primary school days at Carol School, I think I was 7 years old and I often joined the School bus back home. Usually as kids there would be rumours and stories that would be taken as fact and one of my favourite was the rumour that the red caution button in the front of the bus could make the bus fly.

From the moment I heard it I would always stare at the red button wishing I could press it, and it took me long time (when I was way older) to come out of the illusion I had been sold about the fly-button.

Anyway, we all grew up with stories, whether good or bad there were lessons we got from them and even proverbs especially the one about the tortoise and his cunny ways that always cost him something dear.

If you take time off your busy schedule you’ll probably come up with a story that’s over 5 years that taught you something and the best part of it is that you can write it and sell it and make a living from it. [Read more...]

How To Write your FIRST book

type writerWriting your first book is not so easy but neither is it as difficult as you would tell yourself and I can prove it to you. For most people, they give up before even starting because they are afraid of writers block…which is absolutely normal. Let’s look at it this way for a moment, every word we pen down is an expression of who we are and the reason we most times get stuck is because we are trying to write someone else’s life and not ours. We are running away from ourselves and that’s where the chances of getting blocked are high.

So, in writing your first book give it a KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid)….the moment you try to make things very complicated that’s the very moment you get lost in the words. But there is a trick to the KISS .

Why not start with you?

Most people are trying to write about people they have never met, places they have never been, discussion they have never had and because of this they obviously run out of ideas. However, if you start your writing journey with the people you meet or have met, the places you have been or intend on going to and let your imagination take over you’ll experience the miracle of writing.

For example:

I woke up pretty early this morning for a family devotion which lapsed for about 30 minutes, did my usual push-ups and began to lazy about until I got a call from my blogger friend whom we had scheduled a meeting for 7am. She was upset (most ladies are…right..lol), nd ranted a bit with respect to our meeting. I knew I had messed up so I hurriedly jumped into the bathroom to get a shower and before long I hopped right out and into my clothes and hit the streets…” [Read more...]

How to Create an Online Brand that stands out

aheadIt’s a known fact that people buy into brands more quickly than they do to persons. Of course there are cases where individuals have built a brand around themselves and are now worth millions of dollars eg. Jim Rohn, Robert Kiyosaki, Les Brown etc. These folks run businesses as well but what really makes them stand out is the fact that they well known than the businesses they own or run…they are brands.

Why is building a brand so important especially in the world that we live in today?

It’s because people trust brands.

In attempting to connect with other people they must know you, like you and trust you and these elements are very important in branding and goes without much controversy.

To build long term businesses or brands you must understand your personality and make sure you play to your strength, while you work on improving your weaknesses. My reason for saying this is that we most times anoint our business with our personality unconsciously and it either affects us positively or negatively.

In the marketplace, there are a thousand products and services making all sorts of claims, demanding our attention. How do we make informed decisions that trigger our emotions to make us buy?

Products don’t talk, neither do services talk but people do.

What I’m trying to tell you is that people connect with people. That’s the reason why price doesn’t matter in the marketplace, but the message behind the product does and most importantly the person conveying the message.

That’s the reason why 10 people can say the same thing in 10 uniquely different ways that either attracts other people or turns them off.

This is the fundamental truth about branding and it can be outlines in 3 steps:

• Discovering your personality/strength
• Finding your story
• Conveying your story in every message

That’s how people stand out…

Now I’m pointing you towards finding what you’re most comfortable with( strength) then the story behind how you discovered it and then you put it in every message.

Who has used this concept?

A lot of people have, let’s talk about Robert Kiyosaki, In all his books Robert always talks about his personality which is based around learning how to take risk in business, the story behind it is framed around the advice he got from both his Rich Dad and his Poor Dad, and he uses these stories in every book bringing out salient points that makes him a best seller.

Does this concept work?

Yes, it does. It’s not about the product nor is it about the service but about your story because that’s what people connect with and that’s what makes your brand stand out.