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Booksellers berate sales of customised books

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By Motolani AbdulGafar

Booksellers in Ejigbo have continued to lament  low sales, claiming that private schools are causing their predicament.

According to them, the habitual sale of customized books and stationeries to students by private schools is the major factor contributing to their low sales.

In separate interviews with ECHONEWS, booksellers in Ejigbo complained that they have not made good sales seven weeks after schools resumed..

Owner of Needs Bookshop, Mr. Obidike Chukwudi, disclosed that private school owners prefer patronising authors who do not distribute their publications for sale in bookshops for fear of piracy.

He also noted that private schools have cultivated the habit of using customised exercise books rather than allowing their students to buy from bookshops.

He stated: “The state government usually purchases books directly from authors who, for fear of market competition and piracy, restrict the circulation of their publications while private school owners get theirs from available open market. This has been a setback for us over the years.

“Presently, the costs of books we have now are higher due to the hike in the cost of purchasing them because bookshop business is capital intensive but it is a setback for us because few customers that patronize us are already complaining of the high price of our books.

“Most of the books you see on our shelves are not produced in Nigeria because of the capital required for production. Many authors prefer producing their books outside Nigeria to save cost for the amount spent on electricity, papers, ink and others is higher here in Nigeria. We believe that the government can help to reduce the cost of production.”

Also speaking, the owner of Cosmos and Co. Bookshop explained that bookshop owners in Ejigbo do not have an organised body to oversee their affairs in a coordinated manner.

“I believe that if we have a registered body, something like Booksellers Association of Nigeria (BAN), Ejigbo branch that would cooperatively relate with Lagos State Association of Bookshops and Stationers in Nigeria (LASBAN), we would have long reached out to people higher than us that would help regulate our business.”

He condemned the private schools for not patronising bookshops, appealing to them not to restrict students from buying books and stationeries outside school.