Digital serial publisher The Pigeonhole is launching its first real-time book featuring weekly dispatches from correspondents in Africa, titled Pigeon Post: Letters from Africa.
Over the course of 10 weeks, correspondents in Nairobi, Lagos, Harare and Cairo will send weekly dispatches about everyday things in their cities: family, fun, the daily commute, education, sexism, ethnic tensions, the arts and corruption, as well as on-the-ground updates on the Nigerian and Egyptian elections. Multimedia extra content will include photo diaries, Q&A videos, guest posts on the tech industry and must-read literature, and a round-up of the best music from around the continent.
The Pigeonhole was co-founded by Anna Jean Hughes and Jacob Cockcroft in October last year to tap into a community of readers who want a shared reading experience based on serialised publication.
Cockcroft said of the new project: “Even though it is 2015, images of war, starving children and wild animals continue to pervade most people’s idea of Africa. The truth is entirely different. African cities are some of the most exciting places in the world. Sit back and see.”
Pigeon Post: Letters from Africa will feature contributions from: Nairobi-based Tom Mboya, a leading civil society figure and governance expert; Nigerian journalist, poet, blogger and satirist, Tolu Ogunlesi; Harare-based writer and journalist, Tawanda Mudzonga; and Tilly Kingston, who is currently attending a language school in Cairo.
The Pigeonhole will publish the book in 10 staves, with one stave published per week at the price of £0.50. The first stave will be published on 19th January.
The Pigeonhole published five books in 2014 and will publish another four from January to March this year. It will then publish between four and six books per season for the rest of the year.
Cockcroft said the pick-up for the app has been “strong, with an initial community of around 2,500 users, largely gained through word of mouth as we test out the technology”. He added: "We will start marketing spend this year, as the product really begins to take shape with an acceleration through the year. On our current growth rates we should have 10,000 users by the summer/autumn, and 50,000 by the end of the first quarter of 2016."
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