African booksellers make room for authors from the continent

No matter what you think of social media, it offers unprecedented exposure, which can propel some to fame and others to obscurity. One of the unexpected winners in this space has been African authors, whose works have been celebrated by influential ‘bookstagrammers’, whose nods have broadened readership across the continent and far beyond. For the publicity of their literature, many African authors are unable to access the type of major advertising/marketing pipeline available to Western authors upon publication: appearances on late night shows and podcasts, covers magazines, reviews in major publications, bestseller lists, national tours. , listicles etc. In the wake of the pandemic, this situation has further worsened. The few literary festivals taking place on the mainland have had to move online due to travel restrictions and for security reasons. A few Bookstagrammers are already starting to take advantage of new platforms like Tiktok, as well as using Instagram’s new features like optimized reels for wider reach. The #BookTokAfrica hashtag currently has over 16,000 views.


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