6 million adult fiction & non-fiction books were published and sold in South Africa in 2016;
84% of these were non-fiction sales
South African fiction sold: 414,865 books.
344,461 Afrikaans novels and only 69,787 English novels
The English language fiction market makes up 16% of the total market for adult books
The average South African novelist writing in English will only sell 600–1000 copies of a novel in its lifetime.
Storied recognizes the need for innovative solutions to overcome the industry’s inherent problems
South African fiction publishers are faced with these problems
British and American literary influences were entrenched during the apartheid years, at the expense of black writing and writers. Post-1994, the literary sector was significantly skewed along racial lines, and in fiction publishing this remains unchanged. The material on offer is often not relevant across cultures and generations for most South Africans, meaning they are neither thinking about local fiction nor buying it.
South African book stores are spaces that remain inaccessible to many South Africans, making the bookstores, and the fiction they carry, not only inaccessible physically, but too far removed from the everyday realities of the average South African.
Marketing and sales
The dominance of international fiction and writers at the expense of local writers hinders the sales and marketing of local titles, leaving local writers with a small market for their work. Publishers market international fiction more because it makes up the bulk of their fiction sales. This bias towards international fiction has been to the detriment of local fiction.