A look at “Changing Kenya’s Literary Landscape” a paper by Alexander Nderitu who I met when I went to visit ailing author Marjorie Oludhe-Macgoye.
When I joined that delegation to see the ailing Marjorie Oludhe-Macgoye two Fridays ago I joined writers in fervent discussions about getting one’s work out. My strength at the discussions was the media angle seeing as I have been in the business for a while now. My concern was that writers aren’t taking time to know how media works us taking ensuring their message.
As discussions were going on fast and thick a guy I had never seen before called Alexander Nderitu started giving his opinion on new technologies and how to use them to get your word out there as a writer. He spoke about Print On Demand (POD) a technology that allows a book to be printed when it is ordered by a reader meaning that there are no stocks to deal with.
After the visit I had a chat with the guy The Star describes as an “Kenyan novelist, scriptwriter and self proclaimed Internet guru” and it was enlightening. He told me about a book he had authored to help writers which I quickly downloaded from his official website. All I had to pay for it was my email address which isn’t a bad deal considering that he would probably not have been trying to sell me Viagra and Cialis which we all need once in a while. I never got to read the document at that point for some reason (OK sex drugs and rock and roll – that’s my story and I am sticking with it).
So last night as I watched Croatia do bad things to the Republic of Ireland at the Euro 2012 that is currently happening in Ukraine and Poland I powered up my laptop to have a look at what I could do on my computer. While looking around my desktop and saw this PDF called “Changing Kenya’s literary landscape” written by Nderitu that had kept saying I will read. I figured, Hey I am not doing anything so let me have a look at this…
What I found was amazing. Seriously. This guy has sat down and simplified the life of every one considering making a living from writing in Kenya. Even maybe on the planet. It tells you about the publishing industry locally and internationally its downsides and the future and its opportunities. Publishing is dissected and now authors need not think only of publishers but can rethink using author services and self publishing itself. There is even a little section motivating you to keep writing even if you get rejection slips.
Unlike other tomes talking about the problems it gives solutions for the aspiring author including how to leverage using other media like music, TV, cinema and more in an easy to understand manner. No purple prose here. Mostly. The only downside is the numerous plugs for the authors works which I suppose is only fair seeing as this valuable document only cost of one email.
The thrust of this paper is that the future is e-books; they are selling more than the paper books we love to not read and squish as we sleep on them on our pillows. The author seems to know what he is talking about using numerous examples including his own as one of Africa’s first E-book authors. The only downside to his enthusiastic advice is little evidence of how successful he has been in his own publishing endeavours. Apart from having been published and translated internationally as well as having books on Amazon, Lulu.com and other programs available to you he doesn’t talk a whole lot about the money he has made from his involvement in E-books or even the wondrous cities he has visited. It would have been really nice if he had said; since I put my book on Amazon I already have 100,000 downloads. At 10 US cents per download I am well on my way to finishing my second palatial home in Nyari…
I may be nit picking here but this is a valuable document for those who want to try a new way of getting their word out there. My best advice for you is to download this droll look and get to know what’s up. You won’t regret it of you want to get into the business of writing.