The famed windy south peninsula suburb of Fish Hoek was literally the perfect place to host the annual BlownAwayByBooks Festival, held in conjunction with the recent National Library Week.
The festival saw more more than 30 authors appearing at events in the public libraries of Masiphumelele, Kommetjie, Fish Hoek and Ocean View over a period of four days.
In a panel discussion entitled ‘Both Sides of the Coin’, which dealt with publishing in South Africa, and where news on upcoming developments were shared, social media was touted as an enabler with regard to reaching audiences they are unable to with the traditional distribution channels.
Ros Haden of Fundza, a Cape-based publisher targeting school-going black children, shared their success story of making use of Mxit and also publishing content on its mobi site. On average they reach 30 000 learners a month on their interactive platform.
Christine Qunta, publisher at Seriti sa Sechaba, an independent publishing house, spoke about how she and her team at Seriti are also exploring alternative strategies with regards to reaching audiences often overlooked by the mainstream distributors.
“We are proud to be the publishers of the Sindiwe Magona’s latest book, Chasing the tails of my father’s cattle,” she added. Qunta said there are also two books, published by the company, that will be out in the next few months.
The finale of the festival was held at the same venue where a panel, chaired by Mike Nicol, teased out the publishing process.
Image: Fundza – The FundDza Literacy Trust