Catch up with digital publishing trends—GBPA President tells members

Retained President of the Ghana Book Publishers Association (GBPA), Mr. Elliot Agyare, has called on members of the association to catch with current trends in the publishing industry so they will not lag behind.

According to him, the format for books is changing from the paper-based format to digitised versions – such as e-books, audio-books and even an enhanced e-book.

Speaking in an interview with the B&FT during the handing-over ceremony for newly-elected and some re-elected executive members of the association held in Accra, Mr. Agyare said: “We must move as an industry, we must begin to talk about a media company; it means books that embed the media, whereby a child can open a book digitally or he/she can open a video clip wherein a science lab pops up and they will experiment and learn what is happening”.

He added: “It is important that publishers in the developing world to be aware of the current trend and as a result begin to format their books, otherwise we will be left behind in the way that publishing is going”.

Mr. Agyare said it is good for members to embrace and engage with the current trends of book publishing to avoid losing out on the  ‘big market’, adding: “You will have to be aware and trending in all formats.

“What if there is no paper, what will you do as a publisher; or in a situation where you critically must send books across the borders, what do you do?”

Mr. Agyare hinted that digital books are more interactive with their video and audio features, which makes them more attractive to readers.

The GBPA president appealed for government to support the publishing industry with an enabling environment that will support their business to thrive.

“What we are looking for is an environment that will help us do our best to emerge and compete with foreign books; match up with the standard it should be; reduce drastically the import of foreign books; and also meet demand locally”.

Executive Director of the Ghana Books Development Council (GBDC), Mrs. Ernesticia Lartey-Asiunura, lamented that the industry is not as vibrant as it should be and there is more needing to be done to improve the sector.

She said the industry must be reshaped to enable publishers print more books for schools and readers, while authors must make some earnings or make a living on their workpieces.

She encouraged writers to work hard to bring out more write-ups for schools and readers, locally and on the international market.

She recommended the GBPA for introducing dynamics and a revival in the Ghana International Book Fair.