Publishing is exciting but challenging -Abraham
In a country, where the mobile telephone, with all its attractions, provides a compelling allure for young people, reading books ranks more than secondary pastime. Yet there are those who are so passionate about books and reading they still invest in what is obviously an endangered business. That is exactly the passion propelling Victoria Praise Abraham, who established Vic-Abraham Media Nigeria Ltd in 2011.
According to her, “Publishing is not a terrain for the lily livered. It is a very interesting, exciting but challenging industry because many Nigerians would prefer to be doing something else than to be reading. Also, the government has not been supportive of the industry, as there is no incentive of any type to support publishers, especially upcoming ones, who are passionate about their craft. You need to be very strong, determined and committed to your passion or trade to remain in the publishing business in Nigeria and in extension in Africa.”
Till date, she has published a total of six books, which she wrote. She plans on releasing three new books before end of month. She hopes to take on other authors from 2020, arguing, “It’s important to give the company time to be properly established, as a global player in the next three years.
“At Vic-Abraham Media Nigeria Ltd, we believe that God is the ultimate creative person and we know that he gives different kinds of creative gifts to men and women. We know that there are many talented and gifted young persons out there who need the needed push and assistance. We will work with such creative persons to birth their dreams and visions and also publish great minds, who have great ideas to contribute to humanity. At Vic-Abraham Media Nigeria Ltd we strive for excellence in all our endeavours so our core values remain originality, excellence and creativity.
“We publish inspirational books at the moment, but will publish any book that we find to have answers to the world’s problems, practical, motivational and original books that will inspire people to take action. We will publish books that will leave a lasting legacy for the authors and contribute to humanity’s growth and development.”
Abraham said publishing fictional books would come sometimes, “Perhaps, in the future, when as a company, we are more established.”
Tough as the publishing terrain is, Abraham said it could a lucrative business if the right inputs are put in place.
According to her, “Publishing business can be lucrative if there was proper distribution channel. Books tend to sell in the big cities alone and because of the literacy level in Nigeria, you find that the market is very small, though present. We have a poor reading culture, as a people though you can still find a few good readers. Also, the emergence of the Internet has made reading even more difficult for the baby boomers, those born about 20 years ago. They tend to stay permanently on their phones downloading videos and songs and have little time to read books. The good thing about the Internet is that many are turning to it to buy books online and e-books.
“So the Internet has its advantages and disadvantages, but the technology is still pretty young in Africa. Overall, publishing can be lucrative if you are determined, prayerful and persistent, because no good thing happens overnight. You must be willing to pay your dues in the industry. God has been kind to me as a woman in publishing because I have enjoyed plenty of goodwill and support from both family and friends. Overall, it has been mostly God’s grace and kindness that have allowed me to last this long in the industry and it is that same grace of God that will continue to help me prosper and to leave a befitting legacy at the end of it all.”
Abraham identified poor leadership that cannot provide electricity, good roads and effective transport system and high cost of Internet data that allows cheap download of e-books, as some of the challenges facing publishers in the country. As she noted, “The challenges in publishing are numerous and they are not peculiar to publishing alone but to the entire Nigerian state. We need visionary leadership in Nigeria that is committed to bringing Nigeria out of its comatose state. We need a leadership that is transformational and progressive so that the dividends of democracy can be enjoyed by a majority of Nigerians. These should include constant supply of power in all the states of the federation.”
The motivational writer argued that Nigeria’s huge population is a bonus for business and said children be should encouraged to be in school, as they form the bulk of customers in the future.
“Schools need to be affordable so that more children can afford quality education,” she canvassed. “This way, the literacy level will increase and more of our youth can read and write and become customers of our industry in the nearest future. The good news is that we have a huge population in Nigeria, which can translate to business for anyserious organisation.”
For anyone coming into publishing new, Abraham has advice for them that could help them kick-start their business. As she put it: “You must be certain that is a calling for you and not just a pastime because the industry can be very challenging if it is not a passionate thing for you. You must take time to understand the industry and, if possible, learn the trade under someone, who is already established so that you can learn some secrets of the industry.
Also, you must be very tenacious, determined and committed to succeeding, no matter what. You should also be very good with new technology because we are in a time, when the Internet is king and, if you do not know how to use the Internet to your advantage, you might be left behind. You should learn to trust in God alone to help you, while seeking mentorship with people, who have succeeded in the industry. Lastly, remain positive, proactive, progressive and persistent.”
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