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Writer Or Reader: Who Is To Blame?

Despite the various awards won by Nigerians in literature across the world in recent times, most Nigerians don't read literary books, like novels, plays, etc.

Nigerians buy and read books by John Grisham, Deone Kontz, Dan Brown, Shirley etc which sometimes cost more than the Nigerian novel.

Nigerians pay up to N5,000 to buy books by John Maxwell, Allen, Lynch, Kiyosaki, Druker, etc

Nigerians pay between N3,000 and N10,000 to watch comedians reel out the same jokes year after year.

Nigerians pay between N3,000 and N10,000 to watch musicians mime their songs on stage.

Yet Nigerians find it hard to buy a Nigerian novel that costs less than N1,000.00.

Is there something writers are not doing right, or is there something that needs to be done to the Nigerian reader to get more Nigerians to read the Nigerian novel?

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8 answers

i think azuka made the point here but the writers are also to blame. most of them are not moving with the times- the bulk of the of the reading public were not born in the chinua achebe era and currently they identify with existing and western themes more readily.

secondly, nigerians are a people in a hurry. some authors treat writing a book like churning out a nigerian movie- poor editing, poor writing skills, no distinctive style,hoping to just squeeze out a few bucks from us based on nigerian sentiment.

check the nigerian nlng prize for literature- it was a fiasco, no one won the prize.

i', an avid ready, but nigerian novels couldn't grasp my attention. they ramble on and on a lot. a lot of western novels also do that.

only the best actually stand out, ask adichie

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I think we have not effectively positioned literature as something for cool dudes and babes; it is still seen as something for Acada people.

Our books and writers don't yet exude a certain aura of glamour and excitement.

The reading masses (middle class) have not been given enough reasons (enough bait and value) to see Nigerian literature as something of value to patronize, something they need to read to be seen as cool, modern, and in tune with the times.

Comedy, dancing, DJ-ing, acting, singing have reached that height. When will reading?

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This is an interesting discussion as I am about to launch my book in Nigeria. I will tell you of my experience.

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Yes the marketers and promoters have a job to do.

But how can the writers publicize their books when most of them are poor or trying to find their feet?

Don't you think that these books will be available in every nook and crany if there is a high demand for them?

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who really to blame are the promoters and distributors.

i believe hundred of books are written yearly by Nigerian authors. how many of them do we actually hear of?

you can get a second hand foreign authored book literally from street corners but you hardly find any Nigerian book.

if our authors can spend some extra money in publicizing their books and open the distribution channels wider, they will get the recognition they deserve.

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Writing is not yet a profession in Nigeria because of very low patronage. So many Nigerian writers keep day jobs because they can never survive on their writing. So many Nigerians with the flair for writing keep away from writing because there is no money in it. For a Nigerian writer to be known, he has to win an award (esp an international one). That shows that writing is not yet a profession in Nigeria. How can we make it one?

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Not too long ago, Comedy, Singing, Acting, Dancing, DJ'ing etc were unpopular and unpatrionized in Nigeria.

The story has changed. Nigerians patrionize these professions very well now.

How can Nigerians be made to read foreign books and still read the Nigerian book/novel like it is in other countries?

How can the Nigerian literary market boom like these other sectors?

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Preference i think. Well in my case that is.

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