The landscape of Kenya’s book industry is undergoing a substantial shift, propelled by the rising wave of self-published authors.
For these writers, however, the initial challenge lies in navigating the complicated realm of marketing and gaining recognition in a field dominated by established names.
Eunniah Mbabazi, the author of “BREAKING DOWN,” acknowledges this hurdle, emphasizing the importance of delivering a stellar debut work. “No one is willing to buy your book if they don’t know you,” she says, emphasizing the gamble of convincing readers to invest in an unfamiliar author.
Amid the challenges, the Covid-19 pandemic acted as a catalyst for the growth of a reading culture in Kenya, resulting in an increased demand for books. Seizing the opportunity, Nuria Bookstore, a local online platform, emerged to bridge the gap and support both seasoned and first-time authors.
Abdullahi Bulle, the founder of Nuria Bookstore, expresses a commitment to inclusivity, stating, “We chose not to exclude first-time authors, as we know this could demoralize them.” With over 1,000 authors onboard, the platform prides itself on maintaining high standards in book quality, editing, and content.
As the popularity of Nuria Bookstore soared, the need for innovation became evident. The introduction of Kenya’s first author sales portal in 2019 marked a transformative leap. Authors can register as sellers, upload their books, and receive a unique link for each publication upon approval.
The digitization of the book storage process not only streamlines ordering and delivery but also empowers authors to monitor their sales seamlessly. Odhiambo Kaumha, author of “LET THE OLD MAN SPEAK,” attests to the simplicity of the process, stating, “You can see when you’re out of stock, track your sales, and receive email notifications when a customer purchases your book.”