Publishing in the digital age: CORA Hosts 5th Publishers’ forum

How do we get more people reading? What are the best ways to deal with booksellers? How do we protect the Nigerian publishing industry? were some of the questions that were raised and answered at the 5th CORA Publisher’s Forum which held on Thursday November 13, 2014 at the Goethe Institut in Lagos.

With the theme, Innovations in Publishing: New Approaches to Sales and Marketing, the Forum was hosted by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, publisher and co-founder, Cassava Republic Press.

Although it started an hour late, the event picked momentum from the first session which dwelt on emerging e-commerce solutions for books in Nigeria with the GTBANK SME Banking Hub and Buyam as platforms for publishers and booksellers.

Speaking to the gathering, Mr. Emeka Mordi of Buyam said, “We have created an ecosystem that allows consumers and booksellers enjoy the benefits of books. As a publisher your focus should mainly be on your business, so we do all the marketing for you. All you need to do is give us books and we put them online.” This session flowed into the next on Publishers and Booksellers: Strengthening Links in the Supply Chain.

The session had Dr. Olusoji Popoola, President, Booksellers Association of Nigeria and Mr. Banji Aladesuyi, Executive Secretary of Nigerian Publishers Association as discussants.

In response to Mr. Banji’s comment that ‘book sellers don’t take a lot of risks,’ Dr. Popoola was quick to outline the functions of booksellers and their indispensability in the book production and supply chain. They both agreed however on the need to have a platform for both booksellers and publishers that would make for better feedback.

The final session on Planning and implementing your sales strategy was taken by Emma Shercliff, Ex. MD., Macmillan English Campus and consultant to the British Council. Speaking to after the event, she said, “I’m delighted to have had the chance to participate in the CORA Publishers’ Forum today and to share some of the sales and marketing tools that we might be able to use in the Nigerian market. I’ve learnt an enormous amount from the discussion myself and thought the digital publishing session in particular prompted a really valuable discussion and raised important issues.”

The Publishers’ Forum was conceived in 2010 to provide a space for publishers in Nigeria to gain critical insight into their current operations within the context of the challenges facing their industry, brainstorm on their findings and identify key steps that can be taken as individual businesses or as a collective to improve their bottom line.

The Publishers’ Forum is part of the events for the Lagos Book and Art Festival which begins on Friday November 14 at Freedom Park, Lagos.

About The Author

Osigweh Lilian Oluchi is a graduate of the University of Lagos where she obtained a B.A (Hons) in English, Masters in Public and International affairs (MPIA). Currently works with 1stnews as a Database Manager / Writer. [email protected]

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