The Challenges Of Indigenous Publishing (A Case Study Of Spring Field Publisher, Owerri)

Project and Seminar Material for Library and Information Science

The Challenges Of Indigenous Publishing (A Case Study Of Spring Field Publisher, Owerri)


This project was based on the challenges of indigenous publishing using spring field and Assumpta press publisher Owerri as the case study. Descriptive research method was used in this study with questionnaire as instrument for data collection.

The population of the study is of thirty six (36) which consists of all the staff in the publisher. Also the data collected were analyzed using frequency count and percentages. The findings of this study revealed that a lot of challenges are facing indigenous publishing which include lack of trained personnel, inadequate manpower, lack of funding, poor power supply, lack of distribution channel e.t.c.

Recommendations of the study include the following, effort should be made in the publishing house to provide well trained staff that can operate machine, acquire modern machines etc.

The study hopes that the recommendation would make our indigenous publishing to overcome their challenges.

Table Of Content

Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • List of tables
  • Table of Contents

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Historical background of study
  • 1.2 The statement of the problems
  • 1.3 Objectives of the study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Scope of study
  • 1.6 Significance of the study
  • 1.7 References

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Concept of publishing
  • 2.3 Book Publishing in Nigeria
  • 2.4 Historical antecedents of publishing
  • 2.5 Reference

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 Populations of study
  • 3.3 Instrument for data collection.
  • 3.4 Method of data analysis.

Chapter Four

4.0 Results and Discussion

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix 1
  • Appendix 11

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

The term publishing has been defined by many people in different definitions that comes from different sources.

The oxford advanced learners dictionary 6th edition defined publishing as “the profession or business of preparing and printing of books, magazines, CD-ROMS etc. and selling or making them available to the public.

Publishing is also referred to the processes involved in making public the words and pictures that creative minds have produced, the editors worked over and printers produced it. It involves the selection and designing of materials, editing and arrangement for the production and distribution then bearing the financial risk or responsibility for the whole operations.

The new encyclopedia Britannica (1974), defines publishing as the activities that involves selection, preparation and marketing of printed matters, by this definition, there are varieties of activities that takes place between the author with the manuscript and the reader of the book.

Publishing is the act of producing copies of master image by ink and paper or through pressure; it is also the act of reproduction of an image by the planning and selecting, cutting, designing and producing, then the marketing of printed materials.

Traditionally, the term refers to the distribution of printed works such as books, newspapers with the advert of digital information systems and the internet, the scope of publishing has so expanded to include electronic resources such as electronic versions of books and periodicals.

Publishing can equally be seen as selection, reproduction and circulation of printed materials. A well known reputable author (Victor O. Alozie) also said that publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information that is the activities of making information available for public view.

Publishing includes the stage of development acquisition, copy editing graphic design, production and printing and then marketing to the right people to make publishing complete.

Okwilagwe (2001) summed publishing up as the planning, selecting, cutting designing, producing and marketing of all printed materials.

Looking at Indigenous Publishing

It could be defined as any publishing that is carried out by a joint Nigerian expatriate house where the Nigerian full participation is at least 5% (five percent) in terms of capital investment. This is to say that indigenous publishing is an entirely Nigerian house that is into publishing.

Historically, what is known as indigenous publishing can be traced in 1950’s. In Nigeria with the publication and production of small cheap cram books that lacks authorities and scholarship.

1.1 Historical Background Of The Study

Spring field publishers Owerri is located at Area A plot p/q Housing opposite the federal High Court New Owerri Imo State.

The publisher is one of the biggest in the eastern heartland. It is one of the modern printing houses in the state.

It was founded by Mr. Odeey E. God’s Light in 1996 and was known as a registered or cooperated house in 2001.

The name spring field was taken from a family name in abroad and if you look around you will find other spring field which was also taken from the family name; Spring field publisher is the only one in Nigeria.

It started as a two brother of one family; they have a branch office at Port-Harcourt, Rivers state. They also have two fully automatic screen printing machines two A3 lesser colour printers flat mug and cap presses and with 16 staff dedicated to providing excellent customer services.

It enhances general printing works such as journals, Almanacs, book production etc. the publisher has different sections to ensure proper and effectives of division of labour, the sections ranges from estimating department to the computer, lithographic, machine department and finally the binding or finishing department, all these sections has its own duties in the general productivity of the firm and is geared towards maximizing of profit and continual growth as the day goes by.

Historical Background Of Assumpta Press

Assumpta press as a publishing company is being located at custom road, in an isolated area along Onitsha road, after control of Owerri road Imo state. The company is yellowish in colour and has a very big compound convenience enough to accommodate the staff.

The name Assumpta press is a printing press that deals with the production of books, newspapers, magazine and other book materials.

In 1906 the printing journalist stated in Germany, printing has its way in Nigeria in the year 1948 at Ibadan. Assumpta press officially started in 1954 at Owerri, Imo state of Nigeria. The press has existed many years before the independent of Nigeria in 1960.

Formally, the company was at the parish premises at Owerri control, along Onitsha road. It started her operation formally at Assumpta cathedral premises under the chairmanship of Rev. Vincent U. as the managing director of the Assumpta press, presently Bishop A.D.B Obinna as the director of the Assumpta press. The press is at two departments. The company from on set has positioned herself as the best among the presses in the eastern part of Nigeria. The uniqueness of the company is of the first proprietor who originated from roman as the manager of the company.

Indigenous Publishing

The 1978 Nigeria’s enterprises promotion decree provided that at least 60% equity of participation in books publishing must be by Nigerian Nationals with effect from that year book publishing in Nigeria became indigenous making it unnecessary to distinguished between indigenous and foreign publishing in the country.

The foreign publishing companies (Oxford University Press, Longman, Macmillan, Heimann, Evans) which dominated and still dominates the publishing scene in Nigeria reduced foreign equity participation to 40% or less and some took new names e.g. University Press Plc in place of Oxford University Press.

Book publishing in Nigeria is essentially a private sector affair because of the absence of pre-determined qualifications or conditions to be met; book publishing is one of the most unregulated industries in Nigeria, i.e. to say no rules / regulations. The federal military government made an unsuccessful attempt in 1970’s to set up a government publishing company.

Some government agencies, state ministries of education and professional associations have played an active part in developing primary and secondary school text books, but they have generally done so in collaboration with book publishing houses, there were occasions when the government assumed an authority to appoint new “publisher” to mass produce for education purpose books not previously published by such publishers.

1.2 The Statement Of The Problems

Firstly, looking at the challenges of indigenous publishing Faye (1998) stated that the fact that though progress has been made indigenous publishing in Africa, he did not fail to add that there are some difficulties or problems which is termed the challenges they still encountered.

  1. The low level of investment by existing publishers in their own business.
  2. The death of the required commercial infrastructure to support the industry.
  3. The collapse of basic social services such as electricity supply.
  4. Reliable postal services.

These make the cost of carrying out business to be prohibitive, discouraging and leading to the easy option of sacrificial quality for cost.

From my observation there are also some factors which have been affecting the indigenous publishers. It has been the bone of contention in this research right from the beginning, they include

  1. Low patronage from users of indigenous publishing.
  2. Failing value of naira.
  3. Importation constraint and inadequate funding
  4. High cost of printing machine.
  5. Government neglect of the industry which trends to be a significant reason for the growth of its development. All these factors have been the greatest problems that make our indigenous publishers to be stagnant.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

  1. To produce information that will enlighten the citizen on the importance of printing to the society.
  2. To ascertain the nature of book publishing activities by indigenous publisher in the state.
  3. To find out the constraints of publishing in the state.
  4. To leverage that power of knowledge expertise and publishing to find or create the right content solution to engage audience.
Aims Of The Study
  1. To disseminate information through book publishing.
  2. To fight against illiteracy in the society through book publishing.

1.4 Research Question

  1. What is the nature of book publishing activities by indigenous publisher in the state?
  2. What are the constraints to publishing in the state?
  3. How can book publishing be promoted in the state?

1.5 Scope Of The Study

It should be noted that this research study covered only the problem or constraints faced by indigenous publishers.

Due to time and financial constraints the study was limited to one particular publisher which is spring field publisher which has made the research work more easy for the researcher.

1.6 Significance Of The Study

Publishing enables the society to have knowledge concerning the history of the country and things that have gone into extinct. To give or provide a standard knowledge of things to enable the upcoming generations to have a glimpse of what happened in an ancient times.

Well, it is all about entertainment and dissemination of literature or information that is the making of information available for public view.

Chapter Five

5.0 Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation


This is the last chapter of the research work, which consists of the summary, conclusion and some recommendations made by the researchers.

5.1 Summary

The essence of this is to find out the challenges of indigenous publishing which Springfield publisher under review has a general editor.

The research also reveals that spring field publisher used wood-free glossy paper in printing of their works.
Furthermore, there is a great competition between the publisher and printing publisher in the state and they do not solicit for material to be published rather agents authors etc. come with their material to be published.

5.2 Conclusion

In conclusion, it can be drawn that the challenged facing our indigenous publishers has not been effectively and adequately managed or looked into, as a result the financial support from the organization is not encouraging.
The parent body or other organization should try as much as possible to give their support to tackle the challenges faced by indigenous publishers; also the publishers should strongly solicit for financial support and find a way to improve the growth of indigenous publishing.

5.3 Recommendations

It is possible to establish Nigerian publishers Association (NPA) which is a body that is responsible in coordinating end organizing publishing efforts, so that there will be a total control over the practice and the education of publishers.

There should be encouragement of indigenous authorship to produce textbook and professional literature of high academic materials; local authors have to be encouraged.

Education on publishing should be emphasized as a course, it should be offered in all schools to meet the growing needs of publishing industry. There should be adequate finance and budgetary allocation should be given to the media houses because publishing houses need adequate funding to carry out its work effectively, and staff meeting with the management should be regular to discuss important issues facing the company.

The publishing house should try to provide their staff with adequate training because it will help them to know what publishing is all about, they should be exposed to effective and result oriented programs like the practical and more theoretical aspect of publishing.

All these will get them more acquainted and expose with the operations of machines in the publisher.

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