THE STREETLIB AFRICA PROJECT

Our mission: to enable any author or publisher, anywhere in the world, to have their work available, to any reader and listener anywhere in the world.

An impossible dream in the pre-digital books era. But digital means yesterday’s dreams can become tomorrow’s reality. 

Here’s what StreetLib is doing in Africa to make that reality happen. 

A vast continent of 1.2 billion people, with richly diverse languages and cultures, the Africa book market is at once one of the most challenging and one of the most exciting opportunities for the publishing industry.

RAISING AWARENESS

StreetLib began our Africa mission by seeking to raise awareness of those challenges, and to demonstrate the opportunities in African publishing thanks to digital.

By leveraging our global publishing industry journal The New Publishing Standard we have sought to focus attention on the continent’s potential, to push aside the negative stereotypes (“Africans don’t read”), and the widespread misconceptions (“the internet hasn’t reached Africa yet”), and sought to show the true potential of the African publishing industry in the modern age.

Spare a moment to check out this video slideshow. The numbers are stunning! 

Of course, words are easy. So we’re backing our words with actions. Here’s what StreetLib is doing to support the development of the African publishing industry.

SUPPORTING AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS

We now have a dedicated digital publishing portal for every country in Africa. 

It’s never been done before, and we’re still rolling out full language support, but right now, for every African country, there is now a digital portal where authors and publishers can go and upload books, comics, graphic novels (and soon audiobooks and podcasts) that can be sold or given away across Africa and around the world. 

StreetLib offer unrivalled global digital distribution to retailers, digital libraries, and subscription services worldwide.

  • There are no upfront fees.
  • We provide easy-to-use tools to format your works, if needed.
  • We supply free ISBNs if needed. 
  • For bigger publishers with large catalogues, we have batch upload facilities.
  • For all authors and publishers we offer monthly royalty payments and detailed analytics.
  • We are expanding our print distribution options and will soon offer audiobook and podcast distribution. 

SUPPORTING AFRICA’S READERS AND LISTENERS 

In addition to offering the best digital distribution through our global partners, we also provide a truly global ebook (and soon audiobook and podcast) store, accessible anywhere in the world where there is a digital connection.  

We are in the process of rolling out pan-African currency support and payment methods. 

SUPPORTING AFRICA’S LOCAL LANGUAGES

Indigenous African and global languages are something StreetLib is proud to support. Through our digital publishing portals authors and publisher can upload content in any language, and while we can’t guarantee all the partners in our distribution chain will support every language, our own StreetLib Store will

We are proud to have partnered with the India-based indigenous languages publisher Storyweaver to offer more than 12,000 children’s books in over 150 languages, free of charge to anyone anywhere in the world who wishes to read them.

Storyweaver’s African languages include (but are not limited to) Afrikaans, Amharic, Asante Twi, Ateso, Chinyanja, Ewe, Fante, Hausa, Igbo, IsiXhosa, IsiZulu, Kikuyu, Kirundi, Kiswahili, Kumam, Luganda, Lumasaaba, Lusoga, Rukiga, Setswana and Yoruba.

When our audiobook arm goes live later this year Streetlib will be the only Pan-African audiobook store on the planet to support audio in all Africa’s indigenous languages. 

SUPPORTING AFRICA’S LIBRARIES

Delivering published content to digital libraries around the world has been a mainstay of our operation since we launched in 2006.

As digital libraries proliferate across Africa we are looking to partner with any and all African libraries to:

  • deliver free and paid content to library catalogues
  • offer our author and publisher portals through libraries to help local authors get published
  • generate revenue for libraries through our affiliate programme
  • offer web-based support (for example sponsored landing pages) to community projects libraries are working with 

SUPPORTING AFRICA’S EDUCATION SECTOR AND LITERACY PROJECTS

Kenya, South Africa and Tunisia are among many African countries where digital is transforming the educational sector.

At StreetLib we are committed to partnering with education authorities, schools, publishers, literacy projects and corporate operations (telcos, for example) to ensure the smooth flow of content from where it is available to where it is needed. 

SUPPORTING AFRICA’S PUBLISHING & WRITING ORGANISATIONS, AND BOOK FAIRS & FESTIVALS 

Having a digital footprint, and especially a landing page and web address, is pretty much essential in the modern day. 

At StreetLib we understand that building a website for a national publishers association or other trade body, or for a writers group or a book fair or festival, can be a daunting and sometimes expensive task.

Facebook pages are great, but they don’t always let us show the information we need to get across. For those that do not have the resources to create their own, StreetLib is offering to create a simple landing page website for any African publishing-orientated body that needs one. 

SUPPORTING AFRICA’S ENVIRONMENTAL, ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT 

The African publishing industry, already worth an estimated $1 billion, could grow 5-fold by 2025 if the digital opportunity is embraced alongside (not replacing) the traditional print sector.

Publishing creates employment, entertains, informs, educates and helps breaks down social barriers, increasing understanding and cohesion between nations, and digital can deliver these benefits without damaging the environment. 

To find out more about any of these StreetLib services to the African publishing industry, contact support@streetlib.com.

For queries about the African and global book markets, contact info@thenewpublishingstandard.com 

StreetLib. Your global gateway distributor for the 2020s.

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