The last two decades have seen technology transform almost every aspect of human existence. We’ve seen the spotlight rest on fintech innovations, agritech solutions, edutech and the likes; but today, we’re exploring the impact of technology on literature and how Nigerian writers can tap into this fountain of wealth.
Nigerian Literature and self publishing
Where once literature was put to press in publishing houses and in paperback forms, new technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones have transformed the way Nigerians write/publish and read literary works.
With the convergence of literature and the new media, books can now be self published by authors at their own convenience using self publishing platforms.
These platforms have met the needs of authors worldwide and has grown to become a $1 billion market. Below are some of the reasons why self publishing has thrived over the years and why you should take part in it.
Benefits of self publishing:
– Free, accessible and user friendly: unlike with the traditional publishing options that demand a fee for services offered, self publishing is mostly free and has been made easy to use. All the writer needs is a device to access the platforms and internet connection to upload their stories. Whether these books are in paperbacks or in digital format, it is now possible for writers to write and publish their stories at their own convenience, with an exposure that covers a wide range of readers.
– Creative control: most times, publishing houses delay the production of books in the traditional options; but with the help when writers self publish, they can write a book and publish it at their own pace. And every book published enjoys a longer shelf life than what the traditional publishing can offer. Everything from the conception of the story idea to it’s publishing stays under the writer’s control.
– Greater royalties/profit: while it is mostly free to register and publish your books with these self publishing platforms, they also split all profits made with you at reasonable prices. You can keep from 35-70% of the money made from sales and it’s not a one time deal but a passive one.
If you’ve stayed with me this far, congratulations! Here are 4 of the best online publishing platforms you can use to simultaneously publish your books and grow your audience.
4 self publishing platforms that are open to Nigerian writers:
Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon KDP)
The Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform is said to control over 80% of the ebook market. Subscribers/authors can either publish using Kindle Unlimited (KU) or KDP Select.
Kindle Unlimited is a publishing option that pays authors on a monthly basis with less definite royalty rates. They are paid based on the number of pages that KU subscribers read.
On the other hand, KDP select is a 90-day program that demands that authors upload their stories exclusively on the store. This means that, for the span of 90 days, authors can only publish/market their books using the platform and nowhere else. The strategy used here is selling these books at discounted rates and/or countdown deals.
For every ebook priced between $2.99-$9.99 in all English-speaking territories, authors receive a 70% royalty rate and for books outside that range, their authors receive a 35% royalty.
The only downside of publishing through Apple Books is that you need an Apple device to begin with. But if you can cross that bridge or go around it (through the help of aggregators), you’ll have access to exposure worth 10% of the ebook marketplace.
Authors can price their books differently for different countries depending on the prices of other books or decide to give discounts or freebies at any time. The most prominent advantage of using this platform is the definite 70% royalties writers get, without conditions.
Publiseer is an African Aggregator. What this means is, it is a platform which plays the role of a middleman between the author and retail stores (i.e Apple Books). Usually, Aggregators charge authors a fee to publish their books for them, but Publiseer is entirely free.
Publishing with Publiseer grants African authors exposure to the platform’s 413 established partner stores around the globe. Since its inception in 2017, the platform has helped over 7,000 African creatives earn over $280,000 in revenue.
If your target audience is the African literary community, this platform is just right for you.
Okadabooks is a self publishing platform made for Africa by Africans. It is one of the most popular platforms in Nigeria with an audience of over 200,000 users. The platform keeps 30% of total sales for each month and pays 70% royalties to writers. However, writers can only withdraw royalties when it’s up to N10,000.
It is wise to remember that as technology helps the world evolve, players from every sector and profession have to join in to be a part of the change. So don’t be left out! There are a lot more options to choose from on the web—this is one of the many advantages of the new media. Your stories deserve to be read, so take the leap and put them out for the world to see.