Nigeria’s pioneer digital publishing and bookselling platform, Okada Books, announced a shutdown on November 30, 2023, citing rough macroeconomic conditions as the reason for the action.
“We explored various avenues to keep our virtual bookshelves alive but, unfortunately, the challenges we face are insurmountable,” the company’s CEO, Okechukwu Ofili, said in a statement shared on social media platform X.
Okada Books was founded in 2013 by Nigerian author Okechukwu Ofili with the goal of “simplifying distributing and selling books in Nigeria.”
Since it has always been difficult for Nigerian writers to secure publishing deals and self-publishing is costly, Okada Books aimed to facilitate self-publishing while connecting writers with readers who would pay for their work.
Through its Android application and online platform, authors could share their books directly with readers and make money from their work; on the platform, books typically cost between N250 and N500, though authors could set a higher price. With a digital library of over 40,000 original books and 400,000 registered readers, writers and readers who rely on the platform to monetise their works would be forced to find alternatives.
The African tech scene has been witnessing shutdowns caused by precarious macroeconomics. Days ago, Zazuu, an African fintech marketplace for cross-border payment networks that raised over $2 million from investors, shut down last week it is discontinuing operations.