Our major competitors are the authors themselves — CEO, OkadaBooks.com

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[Interview]–The chief executive officer (C.E.O) of OkadaBooks.com, Mr. Okechukwu Ofili has revealed that the major competitors of the online bookstore are the authors themselves.

He made this revelation in an interview granted Disrupt-Africa.

According to him, authors that share their works free of charge online are the major competitors  of the startup.

“We have authors that have been giving away their content on the internet for free, and when we tell them that there is a way for them to make money from their writings they struggle to grasp the context,” said Ofili.

“This makes them one of our greatest competitors as they neutralise our efforts to get authors paid.

“But we are working slowly to change the perception amongst authors. If we can get them to see their value we would be able to get more of them to tell their stories on the platform.” He added.

He further revealed that Okadabooks was launched in 2013 out of Ofili’s frustrations in selling his own 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, I would visit the bookstores and they would keep telling me to come back later or that the manager was not around.” he said.

“I initially started out by putting my own books on BlackBerry and selling it. But then I started thinking about how I could help other authors sell their books, because they too faced the same issues as I did and a lot of them had given up and stopped writing their stories,” said Ofili.

“With Okadabooks more and more authors are telling their stories and publishing their books, from comics to romance, because of the simplicity and transparency we have been able to create.”

According to Ofili, more than 120,000 users are currently registered on the platform, and have downloaded almost one million e-books thus far.

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