Publiseer making publishing free for artists and authors

Publiseer is a free book and music publishing platform for Nigerian authors and artists founded in 2017 by twin brothers Chidi and Chika Nwaogu. The company was recently shortlisted for the Apps Africa Awards 2018. To date, Publiseer is home to over a hundred independent writers and musicians, whose content they distribute via Amazon, Amazon Music, Apple iTunes, Google Play Music, Pandora, Spotify, Deezer and YouTube. The twins have previously built and sold two internet companies and are shooting for the skies with Publiseer.

TechMoran spoke to Publiseer CEO Chidi Nwaogu about the company’s progress so far and its plans moving forward.

Tell us about yourselves; your team, your educational and professional backgrounds
I’m Chidi Nwaogu, a computer programmer and serial Internet entrepreneur. I studied Physics at the University of Lagos, but I taught myself how to code. My twin brother, Chika Nwaogu, is also a computer programmer, and together, we have founded, grown and sold two startup companies. We have over a decade of experience in Internet entrepreneurship.

How would you best describe Publiseer briefly, what does it do?
Publiseer is a digital publishing platform that helps independent African writers and musicians from low-income communities distribute, protect and monetize their digital contents across hundreds of digital platforms worldwide, at no charge, with just a single click.

What market gap did you spot that motivated you to start this company?
Many young and budding authors and musical artists in Africa live on a dollar per day, just as in any third world nation, and thus can’t afford to publish their creative works by paying for the publishing process. These breathtaking works remain undiscovered for years, and the talents of these exceptionally talented authors and artists are put to waste because they don’t have the money to pay for publishing. Publiseer was created to publish these beautiful works for free, generating revenue for these writers and musicians, and for Publiseer as well.

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Who is your target market?
Our target customers are African writers and musicians from low-income families or communities, or with low-income jobs, while our target market is Africa, and the book publishing and music industry in Africa is very large. In Nigeria alone, the music industry is worth $47 million (2015). This figure is expected to reach $86 million in 2020. The music revenue in South Africa is expected to be $178 million in 2020. Kenya’s music revenue is expected to grow from $19 million (2016) to $29 million in 2020. In South Africa, digital music streaming revenue is forecast to rise from $5.3 million in 2015 to $31.5 million in 2020. In South Africa alone, turnover from locally published e-books was $209,300 in 2015.

How does your company make money?
Since our service is free of charge how do we make money? When a unit of any work (book or song) is sold, Publiseer shares in the revenue. Also, for musical artists and authors intending to fast-track their publishing — instead of waiting for 2 weeks — Publiseer charges a sum. We recently rolled out the ‘Premium Distribution’ package that lets authors and artists distribute their works with us for an upfront fee, and in return, they get to keep all the revenue generated from sales.

Who would you say is your major competition in this space at the moment?
Our major competitors include BookBaby and CDBaby, both sister companies. Our competitive advantage is that while other digital publishers publish books and music by charging authors and artists an extortionate publishing fee, we provide a more quality and personal digital publishing experience for free.

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What is your vision for the company in the next 5 years? What is your plan for expansion? Any new products coming soon?
Our vision for Publiseer in the next 5 years is to become the largest and number one go-to utility for digital publishing in Africa, and beyond. At the moment, we have expanded from Nigeria into Ghana and Kenya. Soon, we’ll be expanding into South Africa. We hope to expand into all the African English-speaking countries in the next year. We are also working hard to introduce ‘Publiseer for Filmmakers’, which will help African filmmakers distribute, protect and monetize their short and feature films across hundreds of VOD platforms worldwide, including NetFlix and Hulu TV.

At the moment, how do you measure your own success? What are your metrics?
We measure our success on the number of satisfied customers.

What advice would you give to upcoming entrepreneurs?
There is no such thing as ‘I tried’. Keep trying until you get it right. Keep working until you get your desired result. Nobody will care about how many times you fall after you succeed.

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