Speaking in a media interview following the publication of his second book, Ogbebor noted that creativity was diminishing on the continent, as creators were unable to reap enough profit from their works to promote new research and release new products.
“I am not an Economist, and I am not going to pretend to be one. Piracy laws has never been effectively implemented in Africa, it makes it difficult for manufacturers, music and movie producers, authors etc. to enjoy the dividends of their creativity – at least, recognition. Being an author is a little bit different though, you may not become a millionaire by writing a book no matter how good the book is, but it becomes worse when the economy causes people to pirate your work.
According to Ogbebor authors are worst hit by the non-existent piracy control structure, as they have no means to detect the scale of piracy of their works, unlike song-writers who can easily hear their songs blaring over loudspeakers on the streets.
“When a particular music is playing in every corner, the artiste will know that there’s something wrong when he hears his song being played everywhere and yet, he’s broke; the same with movie producers. But for a book, you cannot tell how many copies of your book (or pirated copies) that is out there, and there are no machinery put in place to monitor it, even where there are a machinery they are not effectively implemented. It is difficult,” he lamented.
The Author advised would-be authors to focus on writing books for impact rather than profiteering from book-sales, as the later remains largely elusive until a well structured piracy policy is put in place.
“Don’t write a book because you want to become rich, not because your friend wrote a book either. Know and be convinced that you have a message to pass across to people, and let that be your focus. If you have the money to spare go ahead and do it. If you benefit from it monetarily glory to God. If not, you still have your peace. If your goal is to become rich from writing a book, anxiety and stress set in because you have a personal benefit target.
“I have lived most part of my life trying to touch people’s lives, not with money but with good deeds. This book is just one of them. Whatever I realize from it is going towards the publication of more books, so, the publication of more books is therefore my primary focus not the profit, otherwise, if the book does not perform as I expect, I will begin to have anxiety. Right now, if the book does not perform as expected, it may take a while for the next book to be published, but I will still live my normal life. Try to talk to publishers who are willing to listen to you. Some may buy your book right out, he said.
“This book is titled “The Decisions We Make: The Place of God, it does not necessarily have to be a religious book, but the key is how the reader will be impacted to impact others. A lot of people write because they see others writing. Write because you are led, and that there is a message you are led to pass across, and through the medium of writing. Believe in your topic and stay focused. My advice for my African authors will be that if you are convinced, believe you can do it. Not because somebody else did but because you know you can do it. Don’t let it die in your believing but actually take steps to see to its fruition. Match your belief with action,” he advised.
Ogbebor noted that reading culture has dwindled, he says “not only in Africa, it’s all over the world.” He further suggested reviving reading culture by writing books “that can proffer solutions to problems, or books that can lead people in the right direction.”