(Left: Obe Keno, Right: Ms Obiageli)
I, Obe Keno, am so glad to welcome YOU to Episode 13 of the YOUNG AND BOOKED SERIES.
Here with me today, is our guest. Meet Ms Obiageli Onugha, a Book Publicist/influencer to whom “Reading is like traveling with no visa, airport hassle, and of course the occasional annoying seatmate. Just you, book in hand, and endless possibilities.” (As a book lover I really relate to that!).
She is going to answer a few insightful questions about herself, her journey and perspective as a book influencer/Publicist in Nigeria for us, and I know you’ll enjoy it so please grab some popcorn/a friend if you can, stay tuned and ENJOY!.
Keno: (smiling brightly) Welcome to the YOUNG AND BOOKED Series Ms Obiageli , thank you for having this interview.
Ms Obiageli: (smiles) Thank you Keno, for having me as a guest on this amazing series, I love what you’re doing on this blog!.
*pssst….Hey YOU reading this, thank you for joining us in promoting the Nigerian Book Industry!.
Keno: (smiles) Alright, to kick things off Ms Obiageli , I’ll start by spilling the first question we have for you today….. How did you get started with book influencing, what led to it?.
Ms Obiageli: I originally started it as a hobby. It was during the lockdown and I had just lost my job. To be honest, I was depressed and extremely stressed. My friends always joke around and say that you can tell when I’m stressed by the number of books I read/consume. I was reading a lot and a friend advised me to start reviewing books online just as a way to let off some steam. So that was how I started. It’s a bit pretentious to say that books saved me from depression but I can say that they definitely helped a bit. Book influencing is a lot different from regular influencing because you have to do the groundwork yourself. You have to email the publishing houses yourself, and you are often not even paid. The free book is considered your payment. At the time, I didn’t mind because giving a free book to a book lover is like waving a crack in front of an addict….
Keno: (nods) Wow…. that’s an interesting start. Appreciate your honesty. Question 2, What does a typical day in your week as a Book Influencer look like?.
Ms Obiageli: (smiles) I work remotely so that is kind of a blessing and a curse because once I get stressed with work best believe, I look for a book to stick my nose in, and before you know it my hours are gone. I create most of my content at home and during the weekend which is the best time to batch create content. This is the best-case scenario. I am a Nigerian living in Buhari’s Nigeria so I am constantly battling terrible electric supply, loud generator noises, high diesel prices, and the likes. I don’t even want to go into the creative brain drain that you have to battle as a creative in this country. It’s exhausting
Keno: (smiles and nods) That is SO relatable!. Which brings me to Question 3, What advice would you give to a Book Influencer/Publicist who’s just starting out?.
Ms Obiageli: (smiles) Just be yourself!. Don’t focus on what anyone else is doing. I know you have heard it so many times, it sounds like a cliche but just be yourself. If you feel like you want to do your book reviews in pidgin, JUST DO IT, because there would always be an audience out there that needs someone like you, your own unique community and they are waiting for you to just do it!. Gosh, I sound like a Nike commercial!
Keno: (laughs) Great advice, Ms Obiageli. Question 4, What are your favorite tools for creating bookish content for social media?.
Ms Obiageli: I use Capcut for my videos and sometimes Canva. I also love lightroom, it’s a Godsent!. I use it to edit my photos. Plus my Phone, how can I forget my phone?.
Keno: (smiles) Okay!. Question 5, What is the most annoying assumption you’ve faced from others as a book lover?.
Ms Obiageli: One assumption that kills me is when people say, “Oh, you love reading only fiction that means that you are not a serious reader”. I’m like excuse you?!. Do you know how much knowledge I have stored up in my head?. Then you ask them what books they read and they say 47 laws of Power or some manipulative piece of junk! Please read fiction and learn about different cultures and places. More importantly, read fiction and learn empathy!.
Keno: (laughs) It’s the “47 laws of power for me”!. But really, any fiction lover can attest to the fact that you really learn a lot from Fiction books. Question 6, What is most rewarding for you about book influencing?.
Ms Obiageli: (smiles) Getting Books, Books, Books!. Of course! However, another thing I love is when I make a book recommendation and I get feedback from my audience that they loved the book and they shared the same views and thoughts about the book as me. Even, when they have opposing views, it’s just so fun to share and listen to views and opinions from strangers.
Keno: (nods) That’s lovely. Question 7, How do you measure success as a book influencer?.
Ms Obiageli: I really don’t think about that. I’m here for the fun and vibes and if that resonates with you grab a book and follow me. As I said in the beginning, I started this to relieve my stress and as a coping mechanism. I don’t want to burden myself with thinking about “oh am I doing enough, how many likes or shares did I get”. Nope, none of that. If I get you to pick up a book, my work is done.
Keno: (smiles & nods) I love that!. Question 8, What is your absolute favorite thing about reading books in general?.
Ms Obiageli: Reading is by far my sweetest escape. It opens my mind and takes me to alternate worlds with diverse cultures and characters with a plethora of personalities. It’s like traveling with no visa, airport hassle, and of course the occasional annoying seatmate. Just you, book in hand, and endless possibilities.
Keno: (smiles) That’s beautiful (can so relate to that!). Question 9, What are your top 3 goals as a Book Influencer?.
Ms Obiageli: (smiles) My top 3 goals as a Book Influencer are:
1-Honesty – My reviews are always 100% honest. If I didn’t enjoy a book, I am going to state that clearly with hard facts about why it wasn’t my thing. However, I try to do so respectfully because I have a lot of respect for the art of writing. It’s not easy to write.
2-Promoting African Books.
3-Teaching people that reading is actually fun and exciting.
Keno: (nods) Great goals!. Question 10, What genre of books do you enjoy reading/publicizing?.
Ms Obiageli: It’s African and Asian literature all day every day!.
Keno: (smiles) Cheers to that!…..It was really delightful having you with us, Ms Obiageli . Thank you for this interview and for being our guest on the YOUNG AND BOOKED Series.
Ms Obiageli: It was a pleasure to do this with you. Thanks for having me. Dear Readers, I would LOVE to connect with you on Instagram.
Keno: Also, this is your invitation to join our Instagram community @taleofthebook if you aren’t already with us!.
Did you like something? Did you learn something from reading this interview?. We’d love to hear it…Leave a comment below or SHARE with others (please ensure you do one of those)!. Sending you love as you do!♥️💐
Thank you for reading YOUNG AND BOOKED Series 1: Episode 13. You are an AMAZING human!. See you on the next Episode!.
*If this is your first time visiting this blog, please read more about the YOUNG AND BOOKED SERIES here…..
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