A Series Of Coincidentally Awesome Events (Another True Story)
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I have heard back from the Managers
responsible and they thank you for your interest
but do not want to take you up on your
The date was March 10, 2014 the time to be exact was 6:28 pm. I remember exactly what I was doing at the moment the email hit my phone. I remembered not because I have the greatest memory but because I was quite dissapointed.
I had been anticipating that email for the past 3 months. It was the email that would see the popular pacesetters classic books come to our little okadabooks.com start-up. An email that would have made over 100 pacesetter book titles available on mobile devices anywhere in the world for the first time ever. I had fantasized about what that would mean, what it would be like but most especially how the 20 or so people that had personally requested for the classics on our platform would feel like. We even had 35 copies ready to be digitized…but nothing…the publisher was not interested. Rejection.
It was not the comforting type rejection…where the rejector tells the rejectee
“great idea! but due to the extreme gravitational pull on the managers spinal cord we can’t make a decision now or ever.”
It was just “NO,” as I starred back at my phones screen half hoping that the message will change…My phone rang…
It was Chuma.
I had met Chuma at the Tunde Leye write right 2 annual writing competition the Sunday before. Coincidentially Chuma sat on the same couch as me, but I had no idea who he was at that time, I just knew he looked familiar. And then I overhead someone mention his full name…Chuma Nwokolo. And that’s when it clicked …
The author of the Ghost Of Sani Abacha. I had never read the book, but it was STRONGLY recommended to me by some people at a book reading event. Instantly my mind switched to business mode … I had to introduce myself my goal was to get Chuma’s books on okadabooks by force by force. I extended my hand and said “evening my name is Okechukwu Ofili…”
We had played phone tag all day the following Monday, March 10. But now my phone was ringing. Still reeling from the pacesetters disappointment … I slowly picked up the phone. He (Chuma) asked me questions about okadabooks, about our business model and I answered. And then I asked about his books and then he answered. We had chatted for a few minutes or so, when he asked “Do you have the pacesetters series on your app?”
“Pacesetters? Of all the questions in the world” I thought silently to myself.
“No, we don’t have them” I responded. I then proceeded to explain how I had been chasing the publishers for the past 3 months and how coincidentally just a few minutes before he called I had received the one line rejection email. There was a quick hesitation silence. And then Chuma said “I know why they said no.”
“Why” I asked almost immediately. “Because they don’t want to go through all the stress of getting individual e-rights from the pacesetter authors.” How the heck did he know all this I pondered right before he calmly said “I know because I am a pacesetter author.”
And not only that a pacesetter author that was excited to give us the rights to publish his book on the okadabooks.com platform! My mood went from sad to ecstatic in the space of a few minutes.
Just from a casual phone call … that occured because I got up to introduce myself and make NOISE about my business. And cause of that call we at okadabooks would be able for the first time ever to have an original pacesetters books available for digital download on mobile devices across Africa. For the first time ever!
I mean it is just one book, from just one author, and we had to re-design the cover…but like they say the longest journey begins with one step. But this journey’s step did not begin with a phone call…that step was me getting up at a crowded social event to meet a potential client and having the confidence to make noise about an idea I was passionate about.
If I kept quiet or just drank the champagne or chased after that hot chick nothing would have happened. March 10, would have been a normal disappointing day. But it was not.
So my push to you is for you to keep making noise about your business cause you never know who would hear about it when you least expect it! And lest I forget, you can download the awesome (I have read it and its good) pacesetters classic DANGEROUS INHERITANCE on your android device for only 97 naira at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.okadabooks
NOTE: Double Credit on okadabooks from April 18th to April 21st! Refill N100 and get N200! Seeing is believing!
Written and Red Book Cover Designed By Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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