Third Year Anniversary of the Blog

It’s three years already?” 

Tempus fugit is a Latin phrase, usually translated into English as “time flies”. And yes its been three years already. Time indeed flies when you are having fun.

I stumbled on my second anniversary blog post, exactly a year ago, and I knew there was no way I wouldn’t be putting up a blog post to celebrate this important milestone.

First, I must give thanks and glory to God for making the seeds sown over the many months to yield harvest in good time. 

At the time I uploaded the first blog post- My interview story on November 2019, after we had missed the initial launch date by 5days, I had no clue what laid ahead on this journey.

I was convinced at the time that it was the next and right thing to do. I wanted to learn quickly in that space and to grow while churning out as many literary works as I could.

After self-publishing my first book – Prisoner of Fate in November 2021,  on all platforms including Amazon and other online and digital platforms, I was buoyed by the warm reception and encouraged to reach out for the next book almost immediately.

My two-in-one novella (Waste of Sin & Blood in the Water), had been completed by January 2022 and so I re-started the publishing process all over again. This time with a clear direction and purpose since I was going through the same editing and publishing processes I had employed for my first book.

If you ask me whether the books were commercially viable, I would say absolutely YES. I developed a marketing tactic for the virtual launch for both books and engaged launchers from within my social and professional circles, allowing for exclusive purchase and delivery of tons of books even before they hit the bookstores.

I also reached out to more bookstores than I did at the time I published Prisoner of Fate. It was easy since I already had a book that could easily be referenced. In fact I doubled the number of bookstores and reached out to others in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.

Marketing of my books were a combination of online and social media activation, TV feature, radio book reviews, mainstream newspaper interviews and book reading events.

I went further away from the shore to organize three successful book reading events on the Lagos mainland and the island. At all the sessions, over a quarter of all the books printed were sold.

We (My team and I) partnered with reputable bookstores to gain traction, leveraging their online presence and getting the books some deserved visibility. I had engaged an assistant who visited all the book stores once every month to confirm the visibility and positioning of the books on the shelves. She would spend time in each bookstore selling to customers as they walked in, directly accounting for a good number of  books sold.

She did an amazing job.

I replaced two social media managers during that time too. They were pretty good handlers, but left me in the lurch somewhere in between for reasons I still can’t fathom.

I settled on my current social media handler and she has done amazing work with the accounts. She has grown followership in leaps and bounds. The growth is totally organic and tedious. But consistency was the key value on display.

We spent a good sum of money on engaging influencers to review the two books online around the world and in Nigeria.

We spent even more on ads on facebook and instagram to grow following. This worked to some extent.

Within weeks, I had started my own instagram book review account to provide services and earn a token reviewing other writers works. Iron sharpeneth iron.

Interesting you’d say!

This year, I went a notch further venturing to the TV screens and traditional mass media like the newspapers.

The punch newspaper covered an author’s interview in May before I hopped on book review programmes at two TV stations- TVC and Rave TV.

I am grateful for the support I received from Benji of Classic FM, as he hosted a very insightful and critical review of Waste of Sin and Blood in the water, on his radio show, Book review with Benji.

I tried hard to get on the popular Channels book review programme without success. This is something I am hoping to get a strong in-route into as soon as I can connect the relationship dots.

I was also hosted on online book review groups with lots of positive vibes and giddy excitement.

One of the highlights of these period was an art and literary festival for which I was a guest of my publisher, where the first few scenes of my second book, Waste of Sin, was dramatized in a surprise move that blew me away.

I am still unable to describe the way I felt as I watched the plot unfold as familiar names and scenes from the story were brought to life effortlessly.

I am unrelenting as my next book, my memoir (untitled at this time), is currently at the final editing and proof reading stage, set for publishing in the first quarter of next year.

My fourth book will follow almost in quick succession, before the end of 2023. My fourth book will be a collection of short stories which have been published on the blog post in the months of September to November  2022.

This book already has a tentative title –Dreams from Yesterday. 

I am well on course to write and publish 10 books before 50. I honestly do not know how this would pan out, but I intend to keep at it until something gives.

On this journey, I have been privileged to meet Lola Shoneyin, the famous author of The secret lives of Baba Segi’s wives and to make acquaintance with the publisher of Masobe books, Othuke Ominiaboh to mention a few.

This year, conversations around making my first two books into movie also picked up tempo. A group of my very good Indian friends showed amazing support and willingness to provide resources to rewrite some of the scripts for an Indo-Naija movie.

I also can’t get over the thrill.

Sometimes it feels almost unreal. Almost.

I met with the popular and successful Nollywood producer, Zeb Ejiro on this project. This is work in progress. So be on the look-out.

I am not sure I can capture all the great things that has happened thus far, but I can assure you, I am just as shocked as you are. I am enjoying the thrill, but I am convinced there is more in this space to do.

I think I must close by thanking my family for standing by me and allowing me the space and time to write. Literally no one can breath anywhere around me when I am looking for words to color my stories. It has to be still and absolutely quiet. They have endured and basked in the recognition all the way. This is to say thank you.

And to my teeming fans, I am not sure I know how many you are 9you are a fan if you are caught reading this post…lol), I love you and say a heartfelt thank you for being patient with the suspense and the thrill my stories elicit.

I am now very clear, that the genre of the stories I enjoy writing are best described as Dark Thriller.

So, if you are wondering why my stories end the way they do, look no further.

I am looking to mentoring other young writers and to provide my platform for their work in the coming months. If you see less of my writings on the blog, please do not be alarmed. I am probably cooking something big and need others to take the initiative.

Cheers.

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