Image Source I had the privilege of meeting Ikhide R. Ikheloa some weeks back. He is more popularly called “Pa Ikhide” by friend and foe.

Is it time for authors/writers to ditch paperback for mobile?

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I had the privilege of meeting Ikhide R. Ikheloa some weeks back. He is more popularly called “Pa Ikhide” by friend and foe. Our time together was brief, but it was engaging and very much time well spent. Pa Ikhide is a gadget freak, perhaps inflicted with a worse strain of the virus than myself. He had a chain of gadgets on him – and they weren’t all that he owned.

We talked about mobile, writing, speaking, and family, among others. Much of our talking revolved around writing and mobile though. Pa Ikhide is a voracious reader, I hear. He is highly regarded in the field of literature (we actually met at the Ake Arts & Book Festival). He was of the opinion that Nigerian writers have been barking up the wrong tree in recent times. With a major complaint being heard these days being that people do not read, Pa Ikhide was of the view that writers need to start publishing on mobile instead of pushing paperback. He has a very strong point. It isn’t business as usual any more, and the great, conquering mobile has invaded even literature.

As far as I can see, the vast majority of savvy (and most literate) people are on mobile – smartphones and tablets. Perhaps if our writers would put their books up on mobile instead, we would witness a greater interest in their works? This could also solve the problem of logistics. Sometimes, getting a published work into circulation is the greatest obstacle, considering the poor distribution network on ground in Nigeria.

Perhaps it isn’t quite time to ditch paperbacks altogether, but a mobile-first approach to publishing sounds like a splendid idea to me.


  1. It is a splendid idea, I have about 40 books on my phone presently and most of them are books I would have never had access to if they weren’t available digitally, books I’ve always wanted to read but couldn’t find on paper.
    Basically they’ll do themselves a world good going digital 1st.

  2. Physical books are sure losing their importance. Coincidentally, I am about giving out all my novels and a few motivational books. The reason is because I have those books in ebook format.

    I currently have I’ve five hundred ebooks on a Tablet, and access to more than can be read in 500 livestime .

    With the possibility of carrying numerous books about on your tablet or smartphone, why bother with physical books? .

    Issues of storage space for books, cockroaches and rats earing up books, the effect of age, etc, etc are eliminated.

    Your library is in your hands.

    I think ebook is the future, and the future is right here. Publishers who embrace the electronic medium won’t need Publishers, would bypass the problem of conventional logistics, can sell their work across borders to a wider range of people, faster, etc…

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