The Machakos regional bookfair 2016 was hosted at the basketball court of the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on 8-11th June 2016. While it was a great opportunity for publishers to get some sales in, the crowds from Machakos County didn’t seem convinced.
Every year for the last nineteen years, the Kenya Publishers Association has hosted the Nairobi International Book Fair one of the most respected book fairs on the continent. This event is a merchant/traders show where publishers from around the world come and meet readers as well as one another and do deals to work together. This year this fete which promises dozens of exhibitors will be happening from 21st to 25th September 2016 at the Sarit Centre Expo Hall Westland’s Nairobi, Kenya.
The publishers having heard the accusation that they were concentrated on the capital city opted to start doing smaller fairs around the country to get their word out. This year was the town of Machakos which has made a name for itself as a progressive county under the leadership Governor Alfred Mutua.
This year there was a few publishers who were showing off their way at the fair and they included Moran Publishers, Kenya Literature Bureau, Storymoja Publishers, Spear Sharp, Oxford University Press, and Mountain Top Publishers.
Even with the hype that you would expect with Machakos County, this fair was disappointing for exhibitors. The crowds didn’t seem to through for the fair and this had something to do with the lack of promoting the event according to John Kiriamiti the legendary author of one of Kenya’s bestselling books of all time My Life in Crime.
“The turnout wasn’t good,” he said. “There was no promotion of the event.”
Hopefully, the fair at in September will have a much higher turnout for both publishers and audience members.
You can see more sights from the book fair at this Facebook page.