There are a number of challenges facing Emirati young writers when it comes to publishing their books, including high costs of publishing and distributing locally as well as the lack of interaction and engagement with veteran writers and literary critics, mainly due to poor promotional activities from publishers’ side. Other factors such as long delays in obtaining approvals from several governmental bodies as well as unenthusiastic publishers contribute to disillusionment of young writers.
The Role of Publishing House
The founder of Medad Publishing House, Hassan Al Zaabi, begs to differ. He says that the publisher is always the vital link between the writer and the reader and it is responsible for publishing the book. According to Al Zaabi Medad Publishing House always keep an eye out on Emirati writers and emerging pens as well. 85% of books launched by Medad are works of Emirati writers especially young authors.
Emirati writer Adel Abdullah Hamid pointed out a number of challenges facing young or emerging writers, chief among them, long and difficult approval process which involves a number of local authorities. He suggests launching a unified local and publication approval platform that brings together all stakeholders. Adel also is wary of high cost of printing and distributing of literary works. Some publishing houses also impose their own set of distribution fees on writers. While at the same time other publishers take care of all the costs and also provide opportunity for writers to display their works at local and international level.
The young writer, Amal Ismail says the challenges facing the novice writers are different in nature compared to veteran authors. Usually, beginners search for publishers who believe in them and are willing to take risk by publishing their works and introducing them to readers. However not many publishers are willing to take up the challenge and young authors have to pick up the tap themselves, which is unfortunate.
Young writer, Hamdan Muhammad says that many local publishing houses have been launching youth literary works for free in recent years, but recently they are imposing fees for printing, publishing and distribution that vary between 5000 to 6000 thousand dirhams for a work of 40 thousand words.
Regarding his experience with the world of publishing, he says that he had no prior knowledge of printing, publishing and marketing process of books by publishing houses, so he contacted the Ministry of Culture and Youth, which looked after the printing and publication of his first work, a clear sign of ministry’s commitment to support young talents.