Authors and publishers want to do more to fight book piracy

Teddy Waaria author of the launch of the book “son of the Nile” at the MOTO Books and Arts Festival. [David Gichuru,Standard]

Authors and publishers want strong policy measures to be taken in the fight against book piracy to improve the impact of literature in society.

In late April, authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers and library officials noted with concern that the continued use of pirated works was hurting the industry, calling for an immediate end to this vice.

Ending the vice, they said, would go a long way to spurring the growth of the book industry.

“Book writers are slowly moving away from the creative industry because it no longer makes business sense. The blood and tears that went into producing a book no longer bear fruit,” said Dr Beverly Cheserem, an artist who doubles as a Neurosurgeon at the Aga Khan University.

They were speaking at the climax of an inaugural four-day MOTO Books and Arts festival at the Village Market in Nairobi, which ended on April 24.

The festival brought together local and international artists to present their literary works and discuss emerging literary trends in Africa.

Among the books launched at the event was A Son of A Nile, an Inspiring Journey – a bold, eclectic and interesting anthology of Teddy Warria’s prose, examining his genealogy and giving it purpose.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for authors and other literary artists to dissect the trends and impacts of their works on the socio-cultural development of society. African literature must play its rightful role not only as a hero but also as a formidable force in the development of the continent,” says Teddy Warria.

The festival also saw the launch of a community initiative dubbed Adopt-A-Library in Nairobi’s Kibera slums to boost literary levels and reduce poverty in marginalized areas. At the launch, over 18,000 books were distributed to 30 community libraries in marginalized areas.