Two thirds of Kenyans pay to download online video. Almost none read ebooks. Proof Africans don’t read? No. Proof ebook retailers are looking the other way

It’s the twenty-first century. Even in Africa. And contrary to popular opinion, the internet is not only available across the continent but is shaping the continent’s future. This from IT News Africa this past week: If there was ever a time to watch progress in Africa, it would be now. As we have seen so Read More …

Africa’s book industry worth $1 billion and growing at 6% despite piracy and other challenges

It’s not easy being a publisher in sub-Saharan, and even five years ago it seemed to many to be a hopeless cause. But in 2018 we have the International Publishers Association landing in Lagos to hold a Regional Seminar for Africa, and while reports so far are sparse, and I’ll be coming back to update Read More …

Kenya Publishing Association launches quarterly e-journal. IPA holds regional seminar in Nigeria. Audiobooks in Ghana. The African Renaissance steps up a gear

2018 is proving to be a notable year for African publishing. NB: for the purposes of this essay I limit Africa to the sub-Saharan region. TNPS has on numerous occasions covered the Arab Renaissance that embraces North Africa and the Middle East. In Nigeria next week (May 9) the International Publishers Association will be holding 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 …

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 …

“Nobody is rewarding writers so nobody wants to write” – the state of Nigerian literature

“Nobody is rewarding writers so nobody wants to write,” laments Morenike Taire over at Nigeria’s Vanguard, in a discussion about the latest Nobel Prize for literature. Taire continues, “The level of literature that is available is therefore abysmal in nature. There is no competition, no inspiration, no encouragement … Most of the books in which Read More …

Kenya – book sales fall as VAT and piracy bite. Does salvation lie with digital?

The 20th Nairobi International Book Fair wrapped up yesterday after a five-day event themed “United In Reading.” But an otherwise colourful function in Kenya’s capital (the second-largest publishing fair in sub-Saharan Africa after Cape Town in South Africa), which was well-attended by both trade and the public (26,000 visitors), was overshadowed by the dark cloud Read More …