Our first post in Libros Café and how else to do it other than a brief introduction of who we were/are and why we are doing what we are doing. We do hope you’ll be a regular in this space and enjoy our company. 🙂
Not so long ago, a frustrated first time author who couldn’t find a publisher or printer that would give him a chance to get his work in a bookstore or even have it printed decided to take matters into his own hands. Shortly after finishing writing his first book, he came to realise writing and doing so professionally is not for the fainthearted, neither is it for an author without the financial resources or connections. This unfortunate predicament was a shared story among his circle of friends who were also writers. Filled up with a drive to change the publishing industry, and needless to say, very little knowledge of the know-how and resources of setting up one; he ventured out and set up the agency.
In 2015, this struggling author set out to start a publishing agency and online bookstore. What is now known as Libros Agency was first thought of as “Fasihi Letu“, which is Swahili and translates to “Our Literature”. Unfortunately the registration process of making it “Fasihi Letu” hit so many snags, he had to cut his losses and move on to plan B. After a number of brainstorm sessions that involved a lot of tea, conversations and research; he settled on Libros, the Latin word for “book”, and on June 2017, our “Book Agency” came to finally be. This was the rebirth/beginning of Libros Agency Kenya Limited, set up to operate as an online bookstore and publishing agency that would give emerging African authors a chance to enjoy and earn a living out of their passion-writing.
The bookstore only had 2 books for an entire seven months. The expectations of having indie authors, first time publishers, newbies and well established writers flooding our emails was becoming a distant dream with every passing day. On top of the unexpected low reception of our presence in the market, we didn’t make any money by end of our first financial year. Zero! lol equally disheartened and frustrated; our first call for manuscript submission in June 2018 (which was quite a success) was phase one of our growth strategy in a series of stages that would hopefully lead to the gradual growth of the bookstore and its publishing catalogue.
We fostered ways of taming our high expectations and disappointments. It’s taken a long time to get to where we are and it’ll probably take even longer to get to where we want to be. Thankfully, we have had the honour of publishing and selling titles of different African authors from different corners of our beautiful continent and we look forward to doing even more. If you are an African writer or know one-published or unpublished; don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Please send your manuscripts for review. We accept any genres, any time.
The team at Libros looks forward to working with all you budding authors.
Till our next post!