Invest in African fiction: Storied launches as first equity crowdfunding campaign in South Africa
“Creating a vibrant ecosystem. Diversity. Representation. Fair representation of the demographic in publishing and bookselling and literature in general the world over is a topic that is very current.” – Jessica Faircliff, South African Booksellers Association
It is vital for South African publishing to be more inclusive and represent the country’s demographics. According to Tom Weldon of Penguin Random House, diversity is a must in publishing, and there is a serious problem if it does not reflect society: “It’s not good for books or culture, or commercially” (The Guardian). Storied addresses this issue as it is specifically geared towards diversity and inclusivity, encouraging and supporting local writers, enabling them to share their creative talent with the world.
In the recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2016, with 50 countries studied, South Africa placed last with the most affected groups being children from deep rural areas and townships and those learning in African languages. According to Bertus Matthee, national director of Read Educational Trust, fiction plays a fundamental role in developing reading skills in children (The Citizen). One has to wonder if the above dismal statistic would be improved if children had access to more African fiction that they resonate with and that stimulates their imagination.
The 2017 Nielsen BookScan figures show that South Africa’s publishing landscape significantly favours non-fiction publishing, which presents an opportunity for Storied to capitalise on this gap. Storied has a first-to-market advantage because it engages with the entire value chain in its publishing decisions and invests in the creative talent and voices that meet a long-ignored market segment and readership.
South Africa has a rich and multifaceted literary past. To evolve our literature, we need to ensure it is authentic and inclusive. We need to nurture creative African storytellers from diverse backgrounds. It all starts with a simple investment.
Visit www.uprise.africa and invest in Storied. Invest in African fiction.
“A conquered people often lose the inclination to tell their stories. We have stories to tell, they are important, and they are liberating in nature.” – Dikgang Moseneke, author and former Chief Justice (Books Live)