Intensive marketing the only way – authors

By Rosalia David

WITH the lockdown looming longer than expected in some towns and a low reading culture already existing in Namibia, local authors have realised that it takes intensive marketing to get good book sales.

Speaking to a few budding authors on how sales have been doing ever since Covid-19 came into existence, author of ‘Iyaloo’, Lasarus Mvula said that sales had dropped severely.

“People only buy when they see you marketing but with everything going on, people don’t really have time to go to a book shop and grab a book, which I think is weird because it’s the perfect time to read. Before Covid-19 things were fine,” he said.

Despite the drop in book sales, Mvula who launched his first novel last year, said he will continue to promote his book without getting discouraged by anyone or the prevailing circumstances.

Otto Kapuka, author of two books, ‘Everything is war’ and ‘Unleashing and honouring your invisible contract’ corroborated Mvula’s statement saying that it indeed takes a whole lot of marketing for a Namibian author to survive as many do not like the sound of ‘reading a book’.

“I can’t complain much because I am not someone who gives up that easily. I will share my book adverts every day. If someone feels annoyed they can choose to ignore. I believe that someday, someone will see the post and buy. I even walk around carrying my books everywhere I go. Here, if you write a book and expect it to sell by itself … they will end up collecting dust,” he added.

With the drive to get all his books off the shelf, Kapuka said he has gone as far as travelling to different parts of the country personally distributing his books.

Despite launching her book in 2018 called ‘The Process’, author Sesilia Nekwaya, said that she still has books packed in boxes as she has been slacking when it comes to marketing her novel.

“There was a time I was in China and someone else was doing the marketing for me, when I came back, I became a bit lazy, but once I upload a post on my social media pages, people call and I deliver. Namibians will support you when they see what you are selling but, after the launch, the sales were really doing well,” she said.

Nekwaya further encourages her fellow local authors to keep their heads up and continue promoting their work without getting discouraged by the amount of money lost or little profit generated in the process.

“When I launched my book, I realised that we have a lot of authors in Namibia that people hardly know of. It takes a lot of marketing for people to get to know you and the book you have written,” she added.