Okada Books, Nigeria’s pioneer digital publishing and bookselling platform, will shut down on November 30, 2023, citing tough macroeconomic circumstances. “We explored varied avenues to maintain our digital bookshelves alive however, sadly, the challenges we face are insurmountable,” mentioned Okechukwu Ofili, the corporate’s CEO, in a press release shared on social media platform X.
Okada Books was launched by Nigerian author Okechukwu Ofili in 2013 “to simplify distributing and promoting books in Nigeria.” For Nigerian writers, getting publishing contracts has at all times been robust and self-publishing can be costly. Okada Books was constructed on making self-publishing straightforward whereas connecting writers to individuals who would pay for his or her work.
With its Android software and on-line platform, authors might share their books immediately with readers and revenue from their work. In response to its web site, Okada Books took a 30% fee on each sale. The typical e book on the platform price between N250 – N500, however pricing may very well be greater relying on the creator’s alternative.
“Okada Books created a market the place none existed, so it’s fairly unhappy to see them shut down. However I’m wanting ahead to what fills this hole,” Ruth Zakari, editor-in-chief at Zikoko, instructed TechCabal.
Okada Books was amongst 12 startups chosen for Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Africa in 2017. The digital writer claimed to deal with a library of over 40,000 unique books and 400,000 registered readers. Now that it’s pulling the plug on its operations, writers who depend on the platform to monetise their works can be pressured to search out alternate options.
The shutdown comes amid a shaky macroeconomic marketplace for African startups. Final week, TechCabal reported that Zazuu, the fintech market for cross-border fee networks in Africa that raised over $2 million from buyers, shut down after failing to boost funding.