By Mama A. Touray
Yahya Sillah, author and proprietor of Suba Publishing Company has disclosed that he will participate in a three-day book fair and conference due in London and will display at least one hundred and forty copies of books of seven different titles at the London Book Fair.
The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for story creators, the hub of the publishing world, and the industry’s essential spring chapter.
From the publishers and dealmakers to the copyright pros, the commissioners, and the global licensers, including those involved in rights negotiation.
In an interview with this medium, Mr. Sillah who is to represent the Gambia at the three-day book fair and conference in London said: “I will be exhibiting at least fourteen different titles and each title will at least have ten copies which will be one hundred and forty copies.”
The Jarra Sutukung-born writer said it could be recalled that in 2019 when he decided to establish the Suba Kunda Publishing Company, he made a promise to Gambians that his publishing company will empower Gambian writers to ensure that Gambian books become available in international markets.
“Since 2019 till today, so far we have managed to publish seven titles by six different authors, and it is my company that took charge of the publication and that was one of the promises we made, the books we published for the past five years were written by Rohey Fofana, Amadou Sowe, Dr. Sarr, Ismaila Bah, Essa Bah, Jainaba Danso and Nana Grey Johnson,” he disclosed.
The Gambian writer added that after the publication of the books written by these seven authors and his book, the next stage is to promote and exhibit books at the London book fair.
Mr. Sillah also described the London Book Fair as the most popular book fair in the world and that the United Kingdom is one of the countries where you don’t pay VAT on books.
In addition to these seven titles, Yahya Sillah has also in the past nine years written seven books and one Arabic book entitled: “Danjoo, A Miracle Child, Africa and Irregular Migration, Marriage, and Society, How To Build The Gambia, The Power of Positive Imagination, Why Do Good People Suffer, How To Become A Millionaire,” and these books are expected to be exhibited at the London fair.
He further explained that his reason for attending this book fair is
that this idea was his first-time experience at London Book Fair back in 2018, when he went to the book fair and exhibited his books but in those days he was exhibiting as an independent publisher, noting that he realized that the majority of the people who went to the book fair were people who have publishing companies and this is where he came with the idea to establish a publishing company in The Gambia, a company that will publish his books and other books authored by other Gambian writers.
Sillah stated that he is expecting book translators, and a contract to turn his books into film saying that when you write a book you need to turn it into a film for you to make money.
He is also expecting a writing contract, expecting people who will want to buy the copyright from him to republish some of his books in other countries and also book distributors, as the London Book Fair is set to give writers a massive platform to access different books distributors in many parts of the world.
After the book fair, Mr. Sillah said, he will attend a three-day conference in the UK to be held from the 12th to the 14th of May 2023, adding that the conference is called Chamblee Africa Together, a conference held every year and this year will be the 10th anniversary and he will be one of the panelists.
According to him, at the conference panelists are expected to discuss four matters and will talk about the opportunities in Africa for business, leadership qualities needed in the continent, and how to build future leaders.
He added that they will also talk about how Africa ventures into science and technology to ensure the continent becomes innovators and how creative can we become as Africa enjoy consuming but doesn’t produce.
“It is a proud moment not only for me as a proprietor but for the Gambia because if you look at the international market, Europe, Asia, and America, you will see books authored by Nigerians, Ghanaians, South Africans amongst other countries but you hardly see books authored by Gambians at international markets, so hopefully this book fair will be the change maker to the trend.”