The global outlook for the audiobook publishing industry is very good. The industry is on the rise but African voices are absent from this digital publishing space.
The explosion of African writing talent, the advent of new mobile technologies for distribution and the emergence of ‘voice' as an important commerce platform (e.g. audio smart phone intelligent voice assistants), bring the opportunity for Africa to offer digital African audio publishing experiences to a global community. We believe that musical and cultural diversity contributes to the vitality and quality of life throughout the world. Through the dissemination of African audiobooks and audio programming, we seek to strengthen people's engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others.
To kick-start my company, AkooBooks Audio on the global scene, we are launching our exciting Pan-African Symphonic story for children: Suma Went Walking, by Nana Dadson at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019 (FBM) Audio Summit in Germany. The Audio Summit is first one ever to be held at the FBM and I have been asked to represent Ghana's first and only audiobook company. I will be accompanied by Dela Botri, a master of the 'atetenben', a traditional Ghanaian bamboo flute. The FBM exhibition is from the 16-20 October, 2019 and I have 4 msq feet of space. In order to help me fund my trip, we need your help.
About AkooBooks Audio
AkooBooks Audio is Ghana's first and only digital publisher and distributor of African audiobooks.
I have had many opportunities to grow and evolve the business. When The Frankfurt Book Fair contacted me and asked me to participate in their first Audio Summit, I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity for me to not only represent myself and my work but also strive to create a catalogue that would bring new and exciting African voice talent to the world.
So Why The Frankfurt Book Fair?
The Frankfurt Book Fair is the leading book fair for book publishers and authors globally to meet and buy books and rights. It is celebrated for its unique visitor experience, The FBM inspires and delights with a broadly curated and distinctive programme of immersive features that create a platform for 'magic’ to happen.
This year we have a story to tell, and a stand at the FBM will give AkooBooks Audio the opportunity for a unique dialogue with readers, publishers and content owners. This will be the first year that an African audiobook publisher (from Ghana) will use the power of digital distribution to reach more readers and aid in the discoverability of African/Black writers.
About Suma Went Walking
It tells the story of a girl Suma who takes a walk and meets animals who compare themselves to her. She gets tired of all the different things she is and eventually goes home where she is always little Suma. The story is written in English and has been translated to 4 African languages: French and German.
The idea of a pan-African symphonic story was inspired by Prokiev's 'Peter and the Wolf'. I wanted to make a composition that would bring the magic and excitement of African musical instruments to children and provide an exciting new way to engage them with the performance of African music in schools. The duration is approximately 30 minutes.
The music was composed by Dela Botri and performed by a stellar ensemble of Ghanaian musicians: ensemble of flutes (Atentenben and Odurogyra), Fontomfrom Drum, Shekere, Prempensua & Gome Drum, Seperewa, the Kalimba ('Thumb Piano'), Talking Drum and the Gonje played by the German violinist Thomas "Kwame" Woernle.
See http://www.akoobooks.com/suma-went-walking / for more information and to listen to a sample.
How Will We Draw Attention To Our Stand?
AkooBooks Audio from Ghana will introduce listeners to Ghanaian music and oral traditions from one of the largest ethnic tribes in the southern region of Ghana.
(i) We will give visitors exciting opportunities to listen to African stories in our 'Listening Station' equipped with headphones and smart speakers.
(ii) Ghanaian master musician Dela Botri, the composer for the Suma Went Walking audiobook, master of the Atentenben flute, xylophon, kora and firikiwa (key instruments featured in the stories) will be present at the stand and hold daily music demo sessions and practical lessons to children (and adults) on how to play the Atentenben flute which is a beautiful instrument.
(ii) We will hold daily 'African Story Time' targeted at children.
Achieving My Goal
Achieving this goal is not done on the cheap. We are a small startup and need to cover costs for a) The Exhibitors Booth costs , b) Travel for Dela Botri c) Professional set up/tear down etc. With your help, I can recover the costs needed to fund this dream and bring more lovely African audiobooks to the world.