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Literary Circle

An Interview with Nur-d-din Busari, CEO, AMAB Books

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An Interview with Nur-d-din Busari, CEO, AMAB Books


Welcome to the #SyncityNGPublisherseries the show that brings you interviews with the literary giants in our midst. We kickstarted the show with the delectable Azafi Omoluabi-Ogosi, CEO of Parresia Publishers. You can read her interview here.

Today on the show, we have Mr. Nur-d-din Temitayo Busari. He is the Chief Executive Officer of AMAB Books & Publishing. He has a degree in English from the University of Ibadan.

He worked in various high level capacities at the Office of the Governor of Niger State between 2008 and 2015. These included documentation, strategic manpower development, protocol, executive secretariat and programme planning.

He has attended various trainings and conferences on literary arts development, E-learning/ICT4D, governance and development in the country and other notable countries across Africa, Europe and America.

He is currently undergoing a degree-inclined research in African Literature in the Digital Age.

AMAB Books & Publishing started with book selling operations in 2014, where online customers are cordially handled on pays-after- delivery basis. The publishing arm was registered in 2015. So far, they have published 4 poetry collections, three novels, four children books and three academic books. Some of these are part of the three international copyright arrangements.

 

Wow! So impressive. Nice to have you here, sir.

Let’s begin: How has the terrain been since you started publishing?

Publishing terrain in Nigeria is challenging, daunting as well as encouraging. Encouraging because there are very many creatives and literary artists out there to work with. They have good manuscript and they also have good entrepreneurial spirits

Challenging because you have a lot of issues to contend with. Publishing is a form of business and business terrain in Nigeria is full of unimaginable potholes.

 

You started publishing a few years ago but there has been little published compared to massive works out there. Why is this so?

We started the publishing arm of our business in the year 2015 and we have published around 12 books. This is because as much as you want satisfy your interest, you also want to ensure good content and excellent quality output. Both take time; with editing and production.

 

The small chops offering is going round. Make sure you grab a plate.
Image credit: Fit Naija

 

@SerenadeMe mentioned funding as one of the major obstacles to publishing new voices. Do you agree?

Yes. I agree in totality. Our publishing landscape is full of writers that are struggling to get money to publish their manuscripts and publishers that are struggling to fund traditional publishing in order to stay in business. Daunting!

 

Let’s talk about you and the “King of the North” title. Do you favor publishing writers of a particular tribe?

I do not think that title fits us. We are no King here! But in terms of tilting, we try no to favour a particular tribe and I think we have succeeded in this. Our first very book is a traditional work of poetry collection by a poet from the South West. Since then we only published two authors from the North.

 

So you do not favor the Northern literatti in particular?

No we don’t. But we may have flair to have some concentration in the North in the nearest future. There are very many stories to tell here, very many opportunities to explore. I can say we have published authors more from the South East.

 

There is an opinion that states “print is dying. E-book is the new print”. Do you think that one day, @AMABBooks will be out of business?

That opinion is actually dying. Physical book cannot be put of circulation for a long time. Ebook has its own purposes and it cannot outshelf physical book. I think our being in the business is not threatened by ebooks.

 

Is publishing a lucrative business?

(All liars will go to hell😂😂😂😂)

If the idea of lucrative is to talk about huge profit making, I think the answer is yes. But not for contemporary Nigerian publishers. If a publisher can sell 10,000 copies of a title, that’s money! But that is not happening yet. But it will!

 

Nurdin says there is money in publishing o. Aba boys going to open a publishing house like 🏃🏃🏃🏃

Our day-to-day activities are based on books. And publishing transcends production of books. Abà folks might end up with printing and not publishing. Editing, packaging, ideas generation, graphics work, illustrations, printing, marketing is all part of the publishing process.

 

How do you source for what to publish? A lot of writers are looking for publishers to take works off their hands.

We do not want to create hope or tie manuscripts down, so we don’t do call for submission. At times we spot good work and go for it. At times good work spots us and we work in a relationship.

 

Tell us about your bookstore. @Parresiabooks has @PAGE_Book_C and you have a bookstore as well. Tell us about that. 

Our bookstore is AMAB Books, physically located in Minna, Niger State. We have active online presence and we ship nationwide. Probably the first online store that will operate on pay after delivery basis. We don’t know them and we ship to them and they pay.

 

Pay after delivery? Haaaaaaaaaaaaa! Is that a wise decision?😱😱😱😱😱

We were very sceptical at the initial stage but I insisted. One, I believe those that read have integrity and I haven’t been proven wrong since four years ago. Two, I don’t want to handle the headache of delivery failures. If you haven’t paid, you will be less angry with me.

 

Alright, it’s that time when we will be taking in questions from our audience. Let’s roll:

@scribblinggirl: @AMABBooks, was your sole reason for going into the business of publishing cos there are awesome Nigerian works to be put out there and you want to contribute to that?

Why publishing business?

I studied English, African literature. So I love stories; its intrinsic dynamism and the joy good books give in the hands of readers. It is an agelong culture and I just want to be a strategic part of that culture in this generation.

 

@promise_jane: What if after one’s publication, the content isn’t appreciated by readers, what should be done? Because this is one factor that limit sales.

Publishers are in the business to conduct survey and oversee opinions. They will in turn guide the writer on what will sell the book. Publishers also take risk. But the sale of a book is in its manner of marketing as well as quality of its contents and output.

 

Alright then! This session has been impactful and as always we have gleaned something. Previous guests on the show have been Hadiza El-Rufai, Nebeolisa Okwudili among others.

We want to thank our guest in a special way. For more questions and book purchase, don’t hesitate to slide into their DM @AMABBooks

We thank you very sincerely for the opportunity.

 

Special thanks to all who joined the show tonight! We appreciate you sooooo much. Infact, we love you sef. Do bring along a friend when you are coming next time.

Stay safe. 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!

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