As of November 30, OkadaBooks, a leading digital publisher and e-bookstore in Nigeria will be closing down. The founder and CEO, Okechukwu Ofili, has attributed the decision to halt operations to macro-economic considerations.
"We've explored various avenues to keep our virtual bookshelves alive but, unfortunately, the challenges we face are insurmountable," says Ofili.
Okadabooks was launched in 2013, driven by Ofili's difficulties in selling his self-published book in Nigeria. "The problem was not selling the book, the main issue was collecting the money after I had sold the book,” he said. “I would visit the bookstores and they would keep telling me to come back later or that the manager was not around."
"Okadabooks launched the careers of many authors who couldn't withstand the murky waters of traditional publishing and made books accessible to people who consumed content electronically," Jerry Chiemeke, a Nigerian comms specialist posted on X. "They revolutionised digital publishing in Africa." Since the closure was revealed, many individuals in the Nigerian literary sphere, such as Chiemeke, have been sharing tributes.