Thursday, October 6, 2011


Cross section of publishers at the maiden edition last year


As part of its13th Lagos Book & Art Festival which holds from the 18th till the 20th of November 2011, Committee For Relevant Art (CORA) hereby announces its plans for the 2nd Publishers’ Forum which will hold on the 17th of November as a part of the 13th Lagos Book & Art Festival.

The Publishers’ Forum provides a concentrated space for key publishers in Nigeria to gain critical insight into their current operations within the context of the challenges facing their industry, brainstorm on their findings and identify key steps that can be taken as individual businesses or as a collective to improve their bottom line. At CORA, we picture ourselves as midwives to the different facets of the creative industries in Nigeria, therefore what we hope to achieve through the publisher’s forum is the blossoming of the nation’s book industry.

For this year’s Publisher’s Forum, we have chosen to focus on the theme: THE BOOK IN THE AGE OF THE MICROCHIP in appreciating the vast potential that digital technologies hold for empowering publishers in developing economies like ours to dramatically scale up their businesses.

Within the four hours marked up for the business forum, we intend the participants to add value to their businesses through the intervention of key facilitators, critical feedback on their processes, input on the most challenging areas they have to deal with and useful networking.

The Publishers forum will be followed from 5pm to 6.30pm by a conversation (open to the public) tagged: “WOOING THE MASS MARKET” where two publishers will share from their current work and their future plans, by discussing a selection from their publishing list. This year, we will have two publishers discuss their efforts at publishing literary journals and what mileage the internet afforded them in their efforts. A digital display of past editions of their journals will be presented. The discussions will be brought to a close with a cocktail.

A most apt way to describe the Publishers' Forum is to call it a 'focus group' or a strategy session with key facilitators as guide. The forum is targeted at principals of publishing houses who seek to grow their market and are willing to engage in creative thinking towards identifying strategies that can make this possible for them whether within a collective or through their individual operations. Our expectation is that cogent strategies would emerge from the session which can be immediately implemented or could be built upon in future.

The Lagos Book & Art Festival is a comprehensive, four day programme of events; readings, conversations around books, art and craft displays, kiddies’ art workshops and reading sessions, book exhibitions, live music and dance. It will run from November 18 to 20 at the ground of Freedom Park, 1 Hospital Road, (Old Broad Street Prison site) Lagos Island.

The Publishers’ Forum will hold from 10am – 6.30pm on the 17th of November at the Goethe Institut, City Hall, Lagos Island, a short walk from Freedom Park.


9am – 10am                           Registration

10am – 11am                         Session 1: Optimizing digital platforms for book editing, design and production.

11am – 12noon                     Session 2: Optimizing digital platforms for book distribution, marketing and sales.

12noon – 12:20pm                Tea Break

12:20pm – 1.20pm                 Session 3: The book in the age of the microchip

1.20pm – 2pm                                    Q&A / interactive session.

2pm – 3pm                             Lunch Break

3pm – 4pm                             Session 3: E-business opportunities for the publishing industry.

4pm – 5pm                             General discussion and wrap up.

5pm – 6.30pm                        WOOING THE MASS MARKET- Discussion between two publishers / cocktail


Session 1: Bamidele Sanusi / Best Technogies

Session 2: Kazeem Muritala / Wayne & Malcolm Inc.

Session 3: Goethe Institut

Session 4: Deji Toye / The LODT

The three facilitators will strive to intervene within the following contexts:
i.               Main issues and challenges
ii.             Opportunities presented by digital technologies
iii.            Suggested strategies to adopt

While taking care to address the following key areas of concern for the industry:
  1. Financing Publishing in Nigeria
  2. New Technology and the publishing industry in Nigeria
  3. The reading culture and impact on the publishing business in Nigeria
  4. Book distribution and IP violation in the publishing industry.

Session 1 and Session 2 will explore available options for optimizing digital technologies for the production and distribution of books, Session 3 will expound further on the previous two sessions while Session 4 will take lessons learnt in the preceeding sessions and attempt to evolve a workable business strategy from them for the participating publishing houses. An interactive session will conclude the forum, allowing for some feedback and evaluation, just before the final conversation between two publishers and cocktail. Please contact the undersigned to register for the Publishers’ Forum or for more information on the 13th Lagos Book & Art Festival.

-Ayodele Arigbabu
For: CORA Art & Cultural Foundation
Email:           phone: 08033000499


 I Vote To Read: The Book and The Voice Of The People.

DATES: November 18-20, 2011

MAIN VENUE: Freedom Park, Broad Street, Lagos

Scheduled Programme of KEY Events

Pre-Festival Events

MONDAY, November 14:

1. Opening of the National Reading Week



Thursday (November 17) 10am-5pm (GOETHE INSTITUT, CITY HALL, LAGOS)
2. Publishers Forum: Theme: Bridging the Digital Divide. A business forum for publishers designed to add value to their business through critical feedback on processes, input on the most challenging areas they have to deal with and useful networking. This year’s Forum will run a set of seminars on harnessing digital applications available today for the publishing industry (Subject to pre-registration. Call or mail for comprehensive programme and to confirm attendance).

THURSDAY (November 17) 5pm-6.30pm

3. Publishers’ Interface With The Public /Pre-festival cocktail(Open event): A roundtable discussion involving some publishers and some ranking writers and journalists, will explore the publishing business from the digital perspective and key projects that the publishers have undertaken or currently have under development within that context. A cocktail will round off the discussions.

FRIDAY (November 18), 9am-1pm (FREEDOM PARK)

4. (9 am, Hall 2) My Encounter with the Book (Kiddies’ Segment– Chima Ibeneche (Petroleum Engineer and Managing Director, NLNG)-a motivational talk to kids, kicks open the kiddies’ segment of the festival.

5. (11am-1pm, Hall 1) The Festival Colloquium(I): Theme: Documenting The Governance Challenges: Africa In The Eyes Of The Other-IReadings, Reviews, and discussions around (a)A Swamp Full Of Dollars- Michael Peel (b). Dinner With Mugabe-Heidi Holland; (c)A Continent For The Taking- Howard French,

Friday, (November 18), 1pm-3pm(FREEDOM PARK)
5A. (1pm-3pm, Hall 1)The Festival Colloquium (II) Arrested Development: “Why Can’t ‘They’ Get It Right?: Africa In The Eyes Of The Other: Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (a)The State Of Africa-Martin Meredith(b)Nigeria: Dancing On The Brink-John Campbell, (c) It’s Our Turn To Eat- Michaela Wrong

Friday, (November 18), 3pm-5pm(FREEDOM PARK)
6. How Familiar Is This Town? The City As A Key Character In the Fictional Narratives Of The Continent.
Readings, Reviews, and discussions around (1)Good Morning Comrades(Luanda, Angola)-, by Ondjaki, (2)The Yacoubian Building(Cairo, Egypt) by Alaa Al Aswany
(3) The Secret Lives Of Baba Segi’s Wives(Ibadan, Nigeria), (4)Tropical Fish (Entebbe, Uganda)-Doreen Baigana; (5) Under The Brown Rusted Roofs(Ibadan, Nigeria)


SATURDAY, (November 19), 10am-1pm(FREEDOM PARK)

7. (11am-1pm)My Encounter with the Book (Kiddies’ Segment– Austin Avuru (Petroleum Geologist and Author/Managing Director, Seplat Petroleum)-a motivational talk to kids ….
(12noon to 1.30pm)
8. (12noon to 1.30pm)Town Talk1: Theme: Books as tools of The Knowledge Economy: Can a book make you rich? A top notch panel of discussants review the role of books in the Knowledge Economy, using three books as take off points: Hot, Flat And Crowded- Tom Friedman, The Tipping Point-Malcolm Gladwell, The Ascent Of Money-Niall Ferguson

8B.(1.30pm to 3pm)Town Talk2: Theme: The Book As Key To The Knowledge Economy: A conversation around Tom Friedman’s The World Is Flatand Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers.

Saturday, (November 19),
9. (3pm-4pm, Hall 1) Challenging The Present: African Authors And The Global Discourse On Governance: Readings, Reviews and Discussions around: Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working And What Can Be Done About It, By Dambissa Moyo, When Citizens Revolt: Nigerian Elites, Big Oil and The Ogoni Struggle For Self Determination By Ike Okonta.
Musical Interlude/Live Performance(FREEDOM PARK)

Saturday, (November 19), 4pm-6pm
10. Mapping The Future: Four young authors and publishers under 35, discuss the changing landscape of the publishing industry and express, in detail, their dreams/plans in contributing to the revamp. Inserted in this conversation is a 25 minute presentation by Toni Kan with a working title: What happened to The Pace Setter Series- and when will the new Nigerian thriller come?

Saturday, (November 19), 6pm-10pm(FREEDOM PARK)

11. Festival Birthday Party
Combined birthday party for: Fatai Rolling Dollar@ 85, Chukwuemeka Ike @80, Benson Idonije@ 75, Taiwo Ajai-Lycett@ 70, Ebun Clark @ 70; Charly Boy @ 60; Richard Mofe-Damijo @50; Yeni Kuti @50; Joke Silva @50; Femi Akintunde-Johnson @ 50; Tunde Babawale @ 50; Sola Olorunyomi @ 50; Remi Raji @ 50


SUNDAY, November 20, 12noon(FREEDOM PARK)
12. Arthouse Forum: Art Of The Biography:Reviews and discussions of Femi Osofisan’s J. P. Clark: A Voyage, Adewale Pearce’s A Peculiar Tragedy: J. P. Clark and the beginning of modern Nigerian literature and Dele Olojede/Onukaba Adinoyi Ojo’s Born To Run: a biography of Dele Giwa.

Sunday, November 20, 2pm(FREEDOM PARK)
13. Stampede- The Nigerian Abroad: Fictional Accounts Of The Immigrant ExperienceA panel discussion on the The Phoenix By Chika Unigwe, Some Kind Of Black, By Diran Adebayo, 26A By Dianne Evans, A Squatter’s Tale, By Ike Oguine, Her Majesty’s Visit, By Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo, Icarius Girl –By Helen Oyeyemi, Lawless, by Sefi Atta, The Thing Around Your Neck, By Chimamanda Adichie

14. Sunday, November 20, 6pm (FREEDOM PARK)

14-Festival Play: Waiting Room by Wole Oguntokun: To Commemorate A Fresh Start Of Our Democracy

Jahman Anikulapo
Programme Chair

Media Sponsors: Vanguard Media Limited, The Guardian Newspapers.
Supported by the National Theatre, Century Energy Services, Z-Mirage, Freedom Park, NLNG, Renegade Theatre and Centre For Black &African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Goethe Institute etc.

For Sponsorship please call Samuel 08036554119; or mail:;