If you are a writer whose book is
neither a set-book in high school or learning aid, then you have a long way to
load your ATM card.
My censure goes to our local
publishers who seem to dwell much on curriculum books at the expense of
These publishers have been taking months and years to respond to submitted manuscripts and apparently ignoring unparalleled writers. Last year’s BUTE Award winners Anthony Mugo, whose book, Never Say Never is a score -board for this.
You can envisage the twinge a writer who has spend twitchy days and sleepless nights goes through in two or three years waiting to see his manuscript in print only to have it rejected at the end, and only after instantaneous follow-up.
A country that does not allow room for fresh ideas is actually
bound to fail and the strength of our literature efforts will actually diminish
if our publishers ignore new minds.
And for those writers lucky to be published, the royalty offers
they get from these publishers is just below their knees, which is very dispiriting.
The marketing of our literally works too has not been embracing
unlike in the music industry which is doing well, something the publishers
These producers work hard on the songs nurturing fresh artists
like Daddy Owen, Nameless among others get both local and international
recognition, albeit how short-lived their songs rock.
Walk into any cyber-cafe and you won’t be stunned to find the
patrons glued to You Tube as if they are not aware of new books on the market.
While it takes years to get a feed-back from our local publishers,
in the US, it takes as short as four working days to know whether your book is
publishable or not.
This could have been the reason as to why local writers like Peter
Kimani of Before The Rooster Crook are considering to have their efforts done overseas.
Apparently, our future children may not find placate in our local
works as most of them, as young as fourteen, are reading the US thrillers at
the expense of our own Major Mwangi’s Three Days On the Cross.
Besides that, foreign publishers offer healthier royalties and
marketing and keeping their ‘tradition’ well, something that our locals have
The mushrooming of political memoires like Hon Raila Odinga’s The Flames Of Freedom, Miguna Miguna’s Peeling Back The Mask, among others, should be a wake-up call to revitalize our literally efforts.
With storming technology, these publishers risk losing
opportunities to on-line publishing lest they move in haste to salvage their