I 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.