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Brisk business for novelists under lockdown

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BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA

WHILE COVID-19 might have crippled most activities and the arts industry is no exception, some local writers have turned to the digital space to publish their books.

The novelists are marketing their novels on social media platforms and selling them to potential customers using mobile money platforms such as EcoCash and e-banking.

Some of the writers, who spoke to NewsDay Life & Style yesterday said they were giving hope to the people through writings, adding that the demand for their works was high during this lockdown.

Tatenda Zvenyika (26), who focuses on love and forgiveness themes, said publishing stories on social media was both a hobby and a source of income.

“We are in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and most people are not going to work, hence the demand for novels is high. As people are locked up in their homes with nothing to do, issues of domestic violence tend to rise so we provide entertainment for them,” he said.

“Due to the increased demand, as authors we are producing increased volumes of novels so that we keep readers excited and this has enabled us to reach a wider audience from across the borders.”

Zvenyika, who has published more than 25 novels online, said through his writings, he was both entertaining and educating people on social issues.

Another author Nyasha Zimuya  said publishing online had opened more markets for their work which they could not have achieved through traditional publishing.

Local publisher Munashe Soka of the Have Publishing Company said online writers were attracting a huge following on social media platforms and were playing a positive role in influencing people on COVID-19 issues.

“Online publishing also minimises the risk of transmission of COVID-19 as there will be no handling of hard copy books. Online publishing should be taken seriously as a way to keep people informed, or provide entertainment to ease anxiety about the pandemic,” he said.

“Some writers has over 500 000 followers on social media, which is a big number if they are to influence public opinion.”

 Follow Miriam on Twitter @ FloMangwaya

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