Book launch promotes Kenyan authors

Book launch promotes Kenyan authors

(l-r) Jason Kap Kipwok with Longhorn MD Musyoki Muli and Kinyanjui Kombani. Picture by Margaretta wa Gacheru

Book sales were brisk on Tuesday night at Alliance Française during the launch of two Kenyan novels from Longhorn Publishers.
Two of Kenya’s writers Kinyanjui Kombani and Jason Kap Kirwok were at hand to sign their books after the launch at the Wangari Maathai.
Kombani’s 188 pages Den of Iniquities and Kap Kirwok’s 174 pages The Heart is a Reluctant Nomad practically were on demand as fans of the long-time friends and fellow authors sought to get their hands on the authors’ newest works.
Den of Iniquities is set in the slums of Nairobi where crime is rampant and poverty plagues citizens. In contrast, The Heart is a Reluctant Nomad takes Kipwok’s main character from his rural village on the slopes of Mount Te-riet to a global village in the United States and back again.
Nonetheless, both works reveal the authors’ intimate knowledge of local life and the everyday experience of ordinary Kenyans. Both men are storytellers with a knack for detailed description and dialogue.
Moderately priced at Sh400 and Sh350 respectively, the books reflect Longhorn’s policy of keeping prices within an affordable price range.
Pro-active marketing of local books has contributed to enhanced sales.
The most recent example of effective book marketing was a book sale event, the Authors Buffet, held at Sarit Centre, late last year, where no less than 35 published Kenyan writers spent their Saturday interacting with readers, and major sales.
The Authors Buffet was so successful that it evolved into a 12 week creative writing course called the Creative Academy at Daystar University.
Among the special guests at the book launch this week was the health cabinet secretary, James Macharia and Longhorn’s managing director Musyoki Muli, both of whom donated Sh100,000, each, to the authors’ Book Harvest program aimed at filling empty book shelves in Kipwok’s rural secondary school.
Also present was the high court judge Isaac Lenaola and senior staff from Standard Chartered Bank where Kombani is a banker by day, an author by night.
Entertainment at the launch was provided by a musical theatre group called The Willing Nomads.

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