CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS OF BOOK PUBLISHING IN BENUE STATE: AN ASSESSMENT OF ABOKI PUBLISHER
Nigeria shares with other developing countries a variety of problems in providing adequate numbers of high-quality books. Unqualified author-publishers, poor production, inadequate distribution, and lack of capital are all evident. A discussion of the advantages of having a well-developed indigenous publishing industry follows, along with recommendations for establishing and promoting such an industry. The research seeks to assess the challenges and prospect of book publishing in Nigerian, to highlight the points needed to improve them in the feature, and the research will be assessing this study with a reference to Aboki publishing press Makurdi, Benue state Nigeria. A survey approach was used in this study and a total number of 48 respondents was used to gather information and ran the analysis, a statistical method of data analysis was used using the SPSS data package, the printing press in Nigeria is still lacking much more as seen in the study and adequate recommendation was made toward the improvement of the printing and book publishing section in Nigeria
The role of books in the development of any society can hardly be over-stressed. Since the time when man started writing, books have come to be accepted as an indispensable foundation upon which any sound educational development is built. Unfortunately not all societies take the issue of availability of books in their schools seriously. Nigeria is one such country. She lacks books in its education system and this has had a very negative impact both on the quality and quantity of education being given to its citizens. The way book problem have been tackled so far in this country has given one the fear that if nothing drastic is done to arrest the situation, Nigeria may enter the 21st century as a society without books.
In this paper, we shall discuss the problems of the Nigerian book industry and their effect on the Nigerian educational development. The recommendations also serve as lessons for the 21st century, so that we may not enter the 22st century as a bookless society.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The very first printing press in Nigeria was established in Calabar in 1846 by Rev. Hope Waddell of the Presbyterian church of Scotland Mission. The press was used to print Bible lessons and later arithmetical books for schools. (Ajibade 2003)
In 1854 another missionary based in Abeokuta, Rev Henry Townsend of the Church Missionary Society (CMS), established a press. Five years later, (1859) he used it to print the very first newspaper in Nigeria ―Iwe Irohin. From that effort grew what we know today as the CMS Press, which has published thousands of books in Nigeria.
Book publishing in Nigeria is one of the oldest businesses in the history of the nation. Before the 1914 amalgamation of the diverse peoples on the geographical entity named Nigeria, publishing had been in existence some 68 years earlier.
Much later, Henry Townsend of the Church of Missionary Society (CMS) established another press in Abeokua, the present Ogun state capital, to print the first newspaper in Nigeria which was known as ‘Iwe Iroyin,’ (a dialect newspaper) precisely in 1859, five years after the establishment of the first press in Calabar. CMS Press, which has published thousands of books in Nigeria, is a product of that seed planted by Henry Townsend.
From that time, publishing started growing in Nigeria with different objectives for the business. Sometimes, these objectives define the genre of books some publishers publish while others, like DEGS LTD, undertake general publishing without bias.
Considering the long history of publishing in Nigeria, one would expect that today, the business should be competing favourably with international standards. Quite frankly, being in a business for 165 years is enough to have made the business a key revenue generation for government at all levels besides the economic empowerment Nigerians are expected to derive from similar opportunities provided by private operators and stakeholders in the business. Sadly, this is not so in Nigeria for many reasons.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problems of the book industry in Nigeria Benue state are quite numerous. These range from inadequate raw materials, low capacity utilization of the established paper mills, shortage of locally authored books (especially for the tertiary levels of our education system) to piracy and distribution network. While it is not possible to exhaustively discuss every problem of the book industry within the confines of a single paper.
Book publishing has been defined and discussed by various authors. Granis (1967), defined it ―making public-to send forth among the people-the words and pictures the creative minds have produced, that editors have worked over, that printers have reproduced. He further explained it as ―a formidable succession of activities no one of which can by itself, be called publishing. It is only when a manuscript has been transformed into a book and then distributed to its intended market place, that the process of publishing is complete. Lee (1979) defined publishing using its characteristics. According to him, there are three crucial components of book publishing. They are: book editing, book design, and book production. The publishing company is not yet known nationwide and there books not known too, which is a problem to them.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this research work is to assess the challenges and prospects of book publishing in our nation which a reference to Aboki publisher Makurdi, Benue State.
Other objectives are as follows
1.To evaluate the challenges and the prospect of book publishing in Nigeria
2.To find out the effect of book publishing to the social, educational, moral, ethics standard of citizens in Nigeria
3.Suggest other possible way in which the problems of publishing could be resolved
4.Highlight the impacts of book publishing to the economy and development of youths.
5.To ascertain the main challenges and problem encounter in book publishing
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In other to complete this research work which the researcher have embarked on, and using a survey method and questionnaire to accomplish this work, the research framed out some research question that will be administered for the respondents. Which are:
1.How do you source for the information which you use for your publication?
2.What is the average number of books you read in a month and the duration at which you read one
3.Has there been any form or cases of piracy in your publication either from you or other party?
4.What is the cost of production, is it high or low compared with the selling prize in the market place?
5.To what extent do the citizens buy your books and publications?
6.What do you think of the book publications of Aboki publishing press and the nation (Nigeria) at large
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Every organization is concerned with the best possible way of improving performance to guarantee sustainable growth that will lead to the achievement of organizational goals. Therefore, the knowledge that would be obtained from this research will assist management of books publishing to appreciate, the importance and relevance of publication, and the public perception of their publication and work will be known to achieve overall efficiency and effectiveness in their operations.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work covers book publishing press using the Aboki publishing Press Makurdi, Benue State as a point of reference extending to the nation at large.
And this research work is on the challenges and prospects of book publishing and its evolution.
1.7 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
In writing the study the writer was constrained by a number of factors prominent among includes
Under this limitation the researcher could not due to financial handicap attain the desired scope and dept. expected. Another problems encountered by the researcher is high cost of material which militated against the project work occupied with high cost of transportation which presented the researcher from visiting other branches of the industry to gather much need data.
The constraints: Although time should not be considered as a constraint cognizance must be given to the fact that academic work which was also undertaken by the researcher by which lectures and office duties could be seen to have limited time. This could be seen to have limited the research to in-depth study.
Under this limitation strong attempt were made to interview or reach the top officials failed because of protocol in handling officials engage and procedures in realizing the required data or official’s secrets of the company.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TEAMS
Publishing: Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature, music, or information — the activity of making information available to the general public. In some cases, authors may be their own publishers, meaning: originators and developers of content also provide media to deliver and display the content for the same. Also, the word publisher can refer to the individual who leads a publishing company or an imprint or to a person who owns/heads a magazine.
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