Unpublished writers of indigenous language fiction now have a chance to self-publish their works through a recently launched digital platform.
WritePublishRead (WPR), the brainchild of publisher, Via Afrika, was launched on Friday at this year's SA Book Fair by The Department of Basic Education's Director of Policy Development and Innovation, Kulula Manona.
Why this is important
Less than 1 percent of books in the country's libraries are in indigenous languages, although these are the home languages of 76 percent of the population.
Local publishers have often been criticised for not offering stories that black people can resonate with, in turn contributing to the number of South Africans who do not read.
Therefore, the education department hopes this platform will give black authors "the tools to meet the needs of their own communities". This may subsequently encourage more people to read more material as it will be in their home languages.
How WPR works
- The aspiring author will need to register on the WPR website (viaafrika.com/writepublishread);
- He or she must follow the free online course, WritePublishRead's How to Self-publish for Everyone, or access the text in PDF format;
- The author can then publish the eBook through the Smashwords platform and promote it.
The process is free. Authors will also retain the copyright to their work and can set the price they want their readers to pay.
Further, special assistance will be given to the aspiring authors by experts from ViaAfrika and the African Language Association of Southern Africa.