Yaoundé Conference – analogue thinking in a digital age. African publishers needs to embrace digital, not re-invent First World battles.

It’s a sad commentary on the state of Cameroon publishing that the best overview of the industry I can find is from 2005. That may be about to change. This past week in the Cameroon capital Yaoundé a conference on the future of African publishing was wide-ranging in its discussions. Titled ‘The Publishing Industry in Read More …

Social media and Instagram are making books sexy again – in NIgeria

Time was, if you had heard of an African author at all, it would be either an author in the US or Britain that originally came from Africa, or a prize-winning African author that had attracted the attention of the western publishing establishment. Put simply, we in the west got to read only that African Read More …

Micro-aggregators in Africa rise to meet growing demand from authors

Authors in the “First World” tend nowadays to take for granted that, even if they would really like a “trad-pub” deal and intend to try the agent-query route first, they have other options. Self-publishing is as simple as finishing the manuscript, providing a cover, and submitting the MS Word doc to a self-publishing portal such Read More …

Storymoja – a book in every hand

Kenya’s Daily Nation weekend lifestyle section carries an interview with Abukakar Adam Ibrahim, the Nigerian author of Season of Crimson Blossoms, which won the Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016, Africa’s richest literary prize. Abukakar Adam Ibrahim was in the Kenyan capital Nairobi in September for the Goethe Institut Literary Crossroads event, which featured two writers from two Read More …

Out of Africa comes great fantasy, but a dark undercurrent of racism responds

With the current vogue for diversity in publishing comes, inevitably, cries of foul as author achievements are dismissed as concessions to ethnic origins and diversity quotas. One would think that award-winning Nigerian-American fantasy writer Nnedi Okorafor (World Fantasy Award, Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa, Children’s Africana Book Award, Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa) had established Read More …

Amazon invests in second submarine cable, but AWS, not ebooks, is the focus

As Mark Twain famously never said, the only certainties in life are that SE Asia is an exciting prospect for e-commerce and Amazon wants to be there. This week comes news of Amazon’s second investment in submarine cables, as it joins Softbank, Facebook and others to finance the 14,000km long, 60Tbps capacity JUPITER (not initials, Read More …

Arabs don’t read, and other nonsense. Why the MENA market is an exciting prospect

The Second Arab Reading Challenge has just wound up. Twenty-five nations took part. Seven million students from 40,000 schools supported by 75,000 teachers. The challenge? To read fifty books a year. And in the United Arab Emirates alone 300,000 students completed the task. So much for the idea that Arabs don’t read. And yet… There’s Read More …

Tencent moves on Wattpad as Wattpad hits 60 million users. Could Nook be next?

Back in September I ran a post here on Nook’s future, speculating on the possibility Nook could be acquired by the Chinese ebook behemoth Tencent, which was actively looking for global expansion possibilities. A sentiment shared by Jane Friedman and Porter Anderson at the Hot Sheet. Nothing yet to suggest Tencent has Nook on its Read More …

Google boost Africa’s web prospects. Ebooks to follow?

  “They have the internet in Africa?” It’s a rhetorical question I’m often asked. Rhetorical because those asking it have just realised I’m posting on the internet from West Africa. The surprise is understandable. If and when we think of Africa, the antiquated Victorian term the Dark Continent may well spring to mind. Not, I Read More …

African sci fi, ebooks in Africa and other crazy notions

We’re a month away from the Aké Arts and Book Festival in Nigeria, and this year the African Speculative Fiction Society will be presenting the first annual Nommo Award for sci-fi. This hard on the heels of two sci-fi movies featuring at the Luxor African Film Festival earlier this year. Yes folks, the Global New Renaissance Read More …