Interview | How I Left Farafina To Start Parresia Pubishers – Azafi Omoluabi-Ogosi
In the beginning, we brought you the #SyncityNGLiteraryLordsandLadies a twitterview dedicated to showcasing the finest literary creatives in our community. Previous guests on the show include Efe Paul Azino, Hadiza El-Rufai, Pa Ikhide, Yejide Kilanko, Romeo Oriogun and others.
Now, we introduce to you the #SyncityNGPublisherseries where we will be bringing you interviews with the finest publishers in our society.
Our first guest on the #SyncityNGPublisherseries is the CEO of Parresia, a publishing company established to publish and promote books of first time Nigerian and African authors.
Before the establishment of Parrésia, she worked as an Editor for Kachifo Limited publishers of Farafina Magazine.
She loves to read and dedicates her self to the promotion of Literature and is married with 3 children.
Ladies and gentlemen, make some noise for Azafi Omoluabi-Ogosi!
Welcome to the show @SerenadeMe
Thank you for having me.
Let’s begin. Why do publishers publish just a few books out of the thousands of manuscripts sent in annually?
Well it boils down to finances. We live in an unfriendly economy. Although we’d love to publish a lot of the excellent stories we discover, we honestly can’t.
Basically, it’s a money situation? Writers don’t get published because of the financial power of the publisher?
Yes basically. On the average, we could get five fantastic manuscripts, we do the maths to have all five published, we sigh, then begin to whittle down. Publishing boils down to our funds and not some major sponsor or investment.
What kind of stories stand a higher chance of being published by @Parresiabooks?
The sort of stories that first of makes me wonder from what planet the writer has come from. There is no template nor expectation. A lot of the time, the manuscript speaks for itself.
Ojoro! We need direct answers.
Would an LGBT/poverty porn theme get published faster than others?
I can’t be too certain. That’s dwelling on a theme. And we don’t look out for themes, it’s strictly the story. So if there was this mind blowing manuscript about an LGBT couple and it was so gripping it crept into dreamscape, yes.
We have small chops for everyone. Please sit quietly. Don’t rush o. The waiter is bringing it. One pack per person.
Image source: Google
(@DheeGenius Can I have two packs, please? I’m not going to be able to get home early to cook dinner after the show. Where I stay is very far.
@Nosa_collins Can I have a pack in the back seat. So that I can keep calm for coming late?)
What should Nigerian writers do to get published ASAP?
Write memorable stories quickly and don’t think of a formula while you’re at it. Just write.
We have a collection of short stories in the sci-fi genre were working on. Like I mentioned before, it’s not the genre, it’s the manuscript. At least in most cases.
How did Farafina feel when you went from being their editor to their competition? *side eye*
I/we. I’m not the only one who’s a @farafinabooks alumni. But it feels super cool to have been impacted on in such a huge way, the knowledge was applied.
And that competition bit @farafinabooks is the big brother we humbly follow.
Chai! See humility. We have a couple of questions from @ellanigeriana @DheeGenius @Nosa_collins Let’s take them.
@ellanigeriana: Biko, my question is, for certain writers like us (people who just write plenty and have issues with cohesion), but have undeniable talent, how does the publishing house help?
I ask this because more often than not we get discouraged by the fact that despite our talent and wealth of beautiful stories, most publishers want names that are already established on the literary scene.
This has been answered. Again first priority for @Parresiabooks new voices. First time authors. Established authors we get, icing on the cake. But we’ll always seek out new authors.
@DheeGenius: I’ll like to ask if there’s a specific word count limit you expect from first time authors. Some publishers set theirs 100k words. Secondly, what’s the maximum word count you accept when considering to publish a manuscript?
Hmmm! We haven’t set a word count limit. But to 100,000 words and more.
@Nosa_collins: Yes a question here at the back seat: What are your thoughts about self-published writers?
We have an imprint @Parresiabooks for authors who wish to self publish. A self published author has more financial control over their earnings. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Whoo! Great show so far!
@SerenadeMe has duly informed us that you should not cry if you are not published. Money no dey.
#Fact. But if some kind organisation. NGO or even Gofment sends money our way, we’ll publish more.
For some who do unconventional non-fiction storytelling e. g. #AdventuresofaDanfoCelebrity is there any hope of getting published?
If they’d love to self publish yes. Although we’re exploring an unconventional, and truly exceptional manuscript at the moment but we’ll just…
Out of curiosity, what does it take to publish a book? Cost implications? If writers want to pay, how much should they bring?
It varies. You put together the editing costs, cover design, the layout, the printing and then the delivery. At the end of the day, the bigger the book, the more expensive it is to produce.
@SerenadeMe says the bigger the book, the bigger the cost of production. O ye writers, go and make money first.
Tell us about the exploits of @Parresiabooks and @PAGE_Book_C .
Eish! What will I say. We try we intend to keep at it. We’ve stumbled along the way, but we’ve picked up again, we love books that’s the main drive. Our exploits are in the books we produce.
Do share with us these books and how we can get some of what you have published. Then brief info about @PAGE_Book_C
@PAGE_Book_C is the bookstore of @Parresiabooks. The love of books eh! When the bookstore was birthed, the idea was if we don’t publish it, we’ll at least sell it. The perfect excuse to own more books. So please visit pagebookstore.com we have all Parrésia titles and more.
Wow! Sadly, we must call it a night. Special thanks to our guest @SerenadeMe for honoring our invitation!
2 hours of Twitter. A lifetime has just slipped away. Lol. Thank you @SynCityNG that was engaging.
We will follow you to Facebook or IG. Some of us need publishing “epp”.
Oh gosh. Welcome. Let’s help ourselves.
Time is fast eh! Thanks once again for honoring our invitation, Azafi!
Thank you for having me.
Thank you to the #Synnation! What a night! Till we come your way next week Monday! Same time! Same place! Peace and Love!
This interview originally happened on Twitter. Follow the #SyncityNGLLL to be a part of the conversation every Monday evening on our page. And don’t forget to tag your friends!