Digital book and music publishing are growing very fast globally.
With different music and book publishing companies developing their online platforms, taking advantage of technology to tap into the digital publishing industry, things can only get better.
While there are free online publishers in Nigeria to help any creative self publish a book, get ISBN and make it available for purchase, there are still other challenges that need to be addressed.
Today, in the Techpally interview series, we meet with the Co-CEO of Publiseer digital media, talking about their impacts on a digital book and music publishing.
You’re welcome on board today, can you briefly introduce yourself and your company?
I’m Chidi Nwaogu, a self-taught software developer, public speaker, volunteer mentor, serial tech entrepreneur, and startup advisor.
Publiseer is a digital media and online publishing platform in Nigeria that helps creative writers, musicians, and filmmakers to get their works published online and sold.
Publiseer promotes African creatives and does this by distributing their published music and ebooks to more than 400 well-established partner stores across the globe, and monetize their creative works.
Great!, How can authors and artists get their works submitted for publishing?
Here is how Publiseer works in 4 quick steps.
An author or artist sends their work via a submission form through our website.
We’ll now review the submission. Thereby, accepting or declining a submission.
If we accept, we would contact the author or artist who sent the work to us, notifying them of our decision.
Then, we proceed to provide what we term “the best publishing experience possible” which usually involves product fine-tuning at no charge.
We do not contact authors/artists whose work we reject.
However, our rule of thumb is that, if an applicant (the person who sent the work) does not hear back from us within 5 working days, then it typically means we are not accepting the work.
What are the channels you can publish to, also discuss the free services you render for both authors and artists after submitting their work?
We publish to several stores and some of the bookstores we distribute to are Barnes and Noble, Apple iBooks, Google Play Books, Amazon, Kobo, Scribd, OverDrive, Playster, etc.
Moreso, we distribute to music streaming and download platforms such as Google Play Music, Claromusica, Amazon Music, Deezer, Shazam, Spotify, Tidal, Apple iTunes, etc.
For our video-on-demand partner stores, we are already distributing to Hoopla, Vudu, Steam, NetFlix, Vimeo On Demand, TubiTV, Shudder and still counting.
The free services we render to our creatives are a professional and beautiful cover, a unique identification number, worldwide distribution, content fine-tuning to meet the industry standard, and compressed file conversion for easy distribution without loss of quality.
There’s a common saying that there’s no free lunch in Freetown, what are your premium services or are they all free?
We receive several submissions every day and our creatives who don’t want to wait till it gets to their turn for their work to be reviewed and published (which is typically two weeks) can pay in order to get their work published immediately.
Fast-track publishing helps our authors and artists boycott the long queue straight to the front, and get their contents published in no time. This is perfect for those who want to meet a release deadline.
We also draft and globally distribute dedicated press releases for our creatives, just for their work. This service comes with a fee.
Their press release will be published on premium news outlets like Yahoo! News, making them own the media and look good on search engines.
We design realistic mockups for the works of our creatives that they could use while marketing their works on social media.
We also create a beautiful presentation video for their works that they could publish on Youtube.
This service comes with a small fee. We also design beautifully-crafted one-page websites for their work for an additional cost.
Even though digital publication is now more popular than print, do you offer any services to authors and artists producing their works in hard copies?
Unfortunately, we do not engage in print publishing or physical distribution at the moment. At Publiseer, we are bringing publishing, design, and technology together in one place.
We work at Publiseer because we believe that digital publishing is the future. We know that technology can transform the world of publishing.
What’s the reading culture like amongst Nigerian youths?
The reading culture amongst young Nigerians is increasingly growing and exponentially building, especially with the introduction of ebooks and audiobooks.
However, we sell most of our ebooks and audiobooks to readers outside Africa.
How do you and your clients make money from their publications?
We publish the works of our creatives to several established platforms that people use in searching for new digital content on a daily basis.
When a unit of our content sells on any of the platforms we distribute to, Publiseer and the creative shares in the revenue generated.
Publiseer takes 25% of the profit made from sales in every content we distribute. This is our primary means of revenue for the company.
Most large traditional book publishers, record labels and film production houses who want to sell their creative works online can do that with us by distributing it for a recurring upfront distribution fee.
Whenever a unit of their work is sold, they get to keep 100% of the revenue generated from sales.
Another means of the revenue stream for us is the fast-track distribution fee we receive from creatives seeking to speed up the review and distribution process.
Typically, it takes two weeks to distribute digital content across all 400 digital stores, and this may be too long waiting time for some, especially those who have a deadline or a release date to meet.
In this case, they pay a fast-track distribution fee to distribute such content within two to three working days, instead of waiting for two weeks.
For a fee to the creatives, we design realistic mockups for marketing on social media, craft and issue press releases for distribution on premium media outlets like Yahoo! News, create music lyric videos, and book and movie trailers that can be published on YouTube, and design a one-page website for the creative.
All these can be purchased collectively or independently.
We would like you to mention some of your business partnerships and awards if there’s any?
We have partnered with Nigerian commercial banks, GTBank, Italian ebook aggregator, StreetLib, and music company, CakeTunes.
We’ve joined international organizations like the International Publishing Distribution Association and the International Publishers Association.
We’ve won awards like the Bizz Business Excellence Award 2019, the Young Leaders Award 2019, and the Africa 35.35 Award 2019.
This is commendable. When can you say you start making big waves in digital media?
In the next five years, I believe we will begin to make massive waves in the digital media sector, not only in digital publishing.
We are not just a digital publishing company as our services cut across e-publishing, digital music, and video-on-demand and we’re growing each of these verticals.
We project that in 2022, our current average yearly revenue of $100,000 will grow by 20x to $2 million, capturing 0.1% of the $2billion digital media market in Africa.
What’s still your biggest challenge and what are your plans to overcome it?
Piracy has been one of our challenges! When we notice a different merchant selling an ebook, audiobook, song, music video, or film in our catalog, we contact our author, artist or filmmaker to verify if they are aware of this, and if they aren’t aware, we take legal actions against such merchant.
The reason why we contact our Creatives first is that we don’t take away their publishing rights upon publishing their contents worldwide, which means they’re free to republish their works elsewhere without our permission.
Another challenge we experience is in the line of copyright infringement: Sometimes, some creatives plagiarize works of others and upload it for publishing as theirs.
To mitigate this, we always verify the originality of any work we publish. We have several tools we use for this, thanks to the great folks on the Ally team of Google working closely with us to achieve this.
These tools have helped us ensure that the works we publish are free of plagiarism and are 100% original.
What’s the next big thing to expect from Publiseer and where do you see the company in the next five years?
It has been wonderful speaking with you, What role do you expect the Nigerian government to play in improving the reading culture of Nigerians, there’s a big shift from what we experience now and scores of years back?
The Nigerian government can improve the reading culture of Nigerians through the education system.
Schools should give students choice in what they read.
If students are allowed to self-select and follow their own interests, reading follows naturally with most kids.
While you should encourage students to read within their recommended reading range, it’s best to not limit them to specific book levels.
Giving students freedom in what they read is key. Also, another way to improve reading culture is to build libraries in schools.
Whether we’re talking about the school library or classroom libraries, having plenty of books around means kids are that much more likely to pick one up.
Though classroom libraries are difficult to fund, they are the first place kids often look to when they need a book.
How would your potential clients get to you?
Artists and authors can visit our website to publish their content, and can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
It’s a wonderful moment having you, Mr. Chidi Nwaogu, Co-CEO of Publiseer.