While there are millions of skilled creatives in Nigeria, many of them remain unknown due to lack of resources and funds to get published. For some that struggle to publish their works, promoting and getting words out about it becomes a challenge, so they remain like every other person who’s yet to even get creative.
Chidi and Chika Nwaogu are attending to this challenge through Publiseer, a startup that focuses on helping Writers and Artistes publish their works for free.
Having cofounded two successful and globally recognised startups in the past, the twin brothers are set to take on the publishing industry.
In this insightful interview, they reveal more about Publiseer’s offering, their entrepreneurial journey and more.
Tell us a little about yourselves
We are identical twin brothers, computer programmers, physicists, and Internet entrepreneurs. As Internet entrepreneurs, we have created and sold two Internet startups since 2010.
As computer programmers, we have been featured on several major Nigerian newspapers for our pioneering efforts in ICT. In 2012, we were recognized as IT leaders in West Africa. Publiseer is our third Internet startup.
Tell us about Publiseer and the solutions you’re offering
Publiseer is a digital publishing platform for independent Nigerian authors and artists. It’s a free, extensive and easy to use platform
Publiseer helps young and budding Nigerian authors and artists get their book and music published on Amazon, Apple store, Google Play store, and over 400 online stores, for no charge. Our mission is to promote the beautiful Nigerian culture through spoken words (music) and written words (books).
What inspired the idea for a free publishing platform?
Over the past years, we have come across several brilliant minds. Many are struggling writers and others are upcoming musicians. Despite the contrast in their fields, they all shared one thing in common; the chance to be everywhere.
Most of these talented individuals are not financially stable enough to pay for the attention they seek, and eventually, their dreams and passion are drained away. Noticing this, we were inspired to offer a solution to this growing population. Publiseer was the result.
What process does it take for authors and artistes to get their works published?
An author or an artist sends us their work through email or via our website, and we decide within five working days whether we want to be publish it or not. Typically, we publish less than 50 percent of the works we receive. The only reason we will reject a submission is in an event when the work submitted is lower than our standard.
When we accept to publish a work, we contact the author or artiste usually via email, notifying them of our decision. However, we do not contact those whose work we reject. If an author or artist doesn’t receive a response from us within five working days, it simply means we won’t be publishing their work. When we accept to publish a work, we work overtime to ensure that we give the author or artiste the best publishing experience possible.
On the average, how long does it take to get published?
Usually, it takes two weeks from our response.
So far, how has the response been from Nigerians?
The response has been favorable. We are happy to be finally solving a problem that has existed for a long time.
What are the challenges you’ve faced since you began Publiseer, and how did you overcome them?
We have faced misconceptions. Misconceptions that we promote the works we publish. Misconceptions that we type handwritten manuscripts sent to us. Misconceptions that we help artists to record their songs. We find ourselves constantly clarifying these.
With authors and artistes getting published at no cost, how do you make money with Platform?
We share in the revenue when a unit of a work sells. We also offer paid services like giving an author or artist the chance to boycott the long queue of submissions straight to the front and get their work published immediately for a fee.
What are the future plans for Publiseer?
We plan on running massive ad campaigns to reach even more authors and artists that are in need of our service.
Tell us the story behind your foray into entrepreneurship
While growing up, we realized that we didn’t really blend with classmates at school. This was because we often thought of abstract things that a normal mind couldn’t adequately comprehend. Each time, we tried to share our thoughts with friends at school, they always seem not to understand a word of what we talked about.
This was about the same time we began programming. We were 13 years. We extrapolated that if we couldn’t blend with classmates, maybe we won’t be able to blend with colleagues at a workplace. That’s how we began to nurture the dream of being entrepreneurs.
From LAGbook to Publiseer, you both have been in the entrepreneurship journey for quite a while. How has the experience been has been?
Entrepreneurship has taught us a lot of things. It’s been loads of lessons all the way. We’ve learned from our successes and our failures. We’ve learned what to do and what not to do. It’s been an awesome experience.
From building a social network that hit a million registered members within three years to publishing over 60 books and musical albums within a month. It’s been a quite a journey.
What has been your most exciting moment?
Selling a company we started has been our most exciting moments. From selling LAGbook to a Canadian company and selling PRAYHoUSe to an American non-profit organization, it’s been bliss.
What inspires you?
We draw our inspiration from our failures. Failure is success only if you learn from it, and insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. So, when we fail, we learn from our mistakes, and try again, but this time, more intelligently.
Share a word of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs in Nigeria?
There is no such thing as “I tried”. Keep trying until you achieve your goal.