Focus on self-publishing, e-books at Nairobi Book Fair

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The 22nd Nairobi International Book Fair was held a fortnight ago at the new Sarit Convention Centre. This year was the occasion for the awarding of the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature, too.

This occasion occurs after two years under the auspices of the Kenya Publishers Association, which organises the annual book fair event also.

Among others, one of the key winners was Kinyanjui Kombani, who was awarded the Wahome Mutahi Literary Award 2019 for his newest offering, Of Pawns and Players. This is a timely book that puts the wily world of betting in the limelight. This year’s judges included Dr Tom Odhiambo of University of Nairobi and the Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University Prof Paul Wainaina.

The Book Fair celebrated 22 years of annual continuity in style with many exhibitions, presentations, readings and book signing events that added sight and sound to this year’s extravaganza. The theme this year was: "Read. Apply. Freedom".

A key highlight of the event was the space offered to writers and authors who are in the business of self-publishing, a new dynamic in the changing world of publishing in the new age.

In fact, on September 28, a seminar on 'Self-publishing in Kenya today' occurred in the Seminar Hall. It was organised by the Christian Literature Communications-Kenya chapter, an ardent supporter of the nascent self-publishing sector in the book industry.

The seminar featured the internationally distinguished Mark Seabrook, who gave insights to upcoming writers on how to maximise e-book platforms. Another speaker and veteran book marketer, Alois Wanjala, gave the public an overview of bookselling trends in the country and tips on how authors can sell more on e-commerce platforms like www.jumia.co.ke.