By Mthethwa Thandeka
After graduating, author Siyabonga Jetro Ndwandwe from Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, decided that writing books was his calling. He started writing books so that he can get the message he has always wanted to get across.
He started selling his book online on ereads.co.za because he could not find a publisher and because he knew that the South African market still prefers hardcopy, he decided to go and look for an editor, a designer and proofreaders that would make sure his work was of the standard of his peers who have a publishing house.
What is the main focus when you are writing your books?
The main focus is obviously to get the message across the whole country and possibly reach everyone that I initially intended to target such as schools, universities, book stores, community libraries etc. My vision is to become the bestselling author in South Africa which should happen in the next three years to come.
How many pages did you write on your first attempt?
The book is 25 chapters long so each day I would write about 15 pages.
How many novels have you written ever since you started writing?
I have about seven unreleased novels that are just waiting to be polished and then ready to hit the markets.
How important is it for an author to have a publisher?
It is very important but because of the number of books they receive each day, some good books do not get published or even evaluated. Self-publishing for me works but one needs to be a hard worker, all about action, networking and a hustler.
How has it been since you got in the writing industry, is it any easy?
I would say that the publishing industry is very hard to unlock and crack for emerging writers like myself but with time and perseverance, your stars start aligning which at the end makes all the struggles worth it.
How did you make sure that people knew about your book?
I approached libraries and schools in my area which expanded to other areas as well. I also used social media to make sure that people were aware of the book.
What would you say makes you different from all the other authors out there?
I am an all-round author. I am primarily focused in African languages. I mostly write about social issues that the youth of South Africa is likely to be facing but in the form of fiction.
Do you have a book signing or reading platform that allows your readers to pick your brain about the events or characters in your book?
There is this supplier I am in business with and myself have discussed something of that nature. We are definitely looking forward to that and cannot wait to meet all the readers who can relate to my books.
Who is your favourite author and why?
Bessie Head. This woman shaped the world through her work. They just honoured her with the biggest library in KwaZulu-Natal because she made such a great contribution to African literature
What advice do you have for writers who can’t find publishers?
I would say running after publishers is good but self-publishing teaches a lot in your own personal space because as an individual you not only get to learn how to be a great writer, you learn to network, generate sales for yourself and getting brand contacts is easy. Getting your book published is a matter of luck; you just need to wait for your turn. If your idea is good enough, someone on this planet will invest in it, trust me. Give yourself room for improvement and never run after money, your passion must drive you.
How does one get a copy of your book?
It is available on Google bookit but there is only a few chapters but if you want the complete book, we are able to send it to you directly, you just need to provide us with your full delivery address. We are still awaiting big orders. If you want to check if the book is available in your area, you can visit the website www.mle.co.za. For orders email, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com