Role of Book Publishing in Cultural Development
Book publishing is different from printing. A lot of people have misconstrued the two to mean the same. Printing is the finishing aspect of book publishing, that is the actual production of the book from the printing machine. However, publishing involves several steps.
It is a process of getting the idea of the book, gathering of materials, the actual writing of the book, submission of the manuscript to the publisher, editing of the project by the editor, proofreading of the manuscript, agreement between the author and the publisher, agreement between the publisher and the editor,costing of the book, printing the the book,packaging of the book, marketing of the book as well as terms of royalty between the publisher and the author.
Book-publishing is said to be largely audience-driven. It is often argued that the writers and the publishers owe the society the social obligation to pass across messages that will benefit the audience.
Closely linked is the cultural environment of the author. This should be seriously considered when disseminating the information in the book. How will my audience react to the theme? Is the message in this book capable of inciting one culture against another? Will the tone of the book cause political tension? Will the message in the book not affect its marketability and acceptability? All these should be considered by the author and the publisher because in the end, it is the audience who will determine how acceptable the book will be.
A good example is the last book written by Prof. Chinua Achebe titled There Was A Country. In the book, Achebe made certain allegations against the Yoruba leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo as regards Nigeria's civil war. Many Yorubas considered this an insult and decided to write rejoinders to the book.
There were several of these rejoinders on the pages of national and international newspapers. Other people also replied those who wrote those rejoinders. Therefore, the marketability of the book had a question mark.
In essence, book publishing should seek to promote cultural development of environment it is addressing. It should feel the pulse of the people before publication of any particular message.
Katib wrote via [email protected]