Abubakar Adam-Ibrahim, winner of the 2016 NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature, on Friday, urged the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for publishers in the country.
Adam-Ibrahim told the Nigerian Pilot in Abuja that though most publishing outfits were owned by private individuals, they still needed government’s encouragement and intervention.
He added that currently in the country, “there are five publishing houses which includes; Cassava Republic, Parrésia, Farafina, Readers Books and Literary Landscape”.
“Publishing is a business and we need more publishing houses because the current five are not enough and they need to be supported.
“It has always been a problem finding publishers for literal works in Africa and Nigeria, because we have shortage of publishing houses, but there has been an improvement recently.
“We use to have three publishing houses in the country, but recently, Encosa and Anwilly are launched which is a welcome development; we expect more.
“` So these are really important interventions in the literary field,’’ he said.
According to him, younger writers or writers whose works have not been published always assume that publishing process is a big mystery and I do admit that it can be confounded for some people.
“If you send out your work to publishers and you do not get a feedback, it is because most of the publishing houses are privately run by individuals who are passionate about literary works.
“Most times, they are short-staffed which makes them to outsource jobs and others.
“So for them to find time and deal with marketing distribution and all these, and access manuscripts that come in hundreds is a bit difficult for them.
“Off course they do not come out and say this is the issue we have, the people who submit these works to them do not know these challenges, so it becomes the case of the blind judging the blind.
“But it is important that people should know this and appreciate the efforts publishers put into producing literary works to be on the book shelf,’’ he said.