Dumebi Ezar Ehigiator lives in Ibadan, works as a teacher at The Vale College and is pursuing a doctorate degree at the Centre for Educational Media Resource Studies (University of Ibadan). She is a member of Zonta International, a leading global organisation of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy.
She is the author of The Spider’s Web, Wrecked, Dirim’s Man and Stories My Mother Told Me (A compilation of African Folktales). She blogs on www.dumebie.com and is currently working on her fifth book. She hosts Teacher Ezar, a podcast that chronicles her journey and
reflections as a teacher.
When she isn’t working, Dumebi volunteers with Just Us Girls (JUGS), a nonprofit organisation that mentors and empowers teenage girls.
First things first, congratulations on ‘The Spider’s Web’ being among the bestsellers on Book Sellers Nigeria. Can You Tell Us A Bit about it?
The Spider’s Web marshalls the power of literature to confront domestic violence, an experience that is still too often neglected or condoned, surrounded by silence and shame. We all have secrets we don’t reveal the first time we cross paths with others. This is Nnenna’s…and Ejiro’s. The Spider’s Web is a reminder that while bad behaviour can be explained, it can never be excused, and that while placing blame is rarely useful, letting go is. The story takes place in the 21st century suburban Africa (Asaba, Nigeria). The horror of domestic violence, to both children and wives, is clearly depicted in the novel. The two main recipients of the violence in the novel are Nnenna and Ejiro. Nnenna is, in the beginning, portrayed as weak and submissive. She endures abuse inflicted on her by her husband, a clergy man, to provide for her parents and to protect her children from his cruelty. Emeka, her husband, values Nnenna
only as a sexual object and a caretaker for his home…
Still touching the case of success, can you highlight how marketing has brought success to your sales of ‘The Spider’s Web’ since its publication?
Before publishing, I had an email list and shared weekly news about my upcoming book and launch. While doing that I looked out for book reviewers and blogger and convinced them to read and review my work. I sold a lot during the launch and then ran a contest.
How did the book launching help the promotion of the book?
The publicity around the launch and my team helped with promoting sales. I had a lot of pre-orders, and people were calling to get invites for the book launch. The press were present for the event and gave good coverage. So there was
already a demand for the book by the time it hit the shelves.
Before publishing, I had an email list
If you were to do it over again, what mistakes will you like to correct in your last book launch?
I think I had a very good launch. It was way better than I expected. We had a full house. The ambience of the venue was excellent, the menu was very good, and I sold over 300 books that day, and we kept to time. If I had to do the launch all over again, I’d dream bigger, and not limit my guests to 300.
Can there be a perfect book launch, what will be your advice about getting a near-perfect launch?
My book launch surpassed what I had dreamed about. That was perfect for me. I was surrounded by family, friends and loved ones – mentors and mentees. It was perfect for me. The key is planning and having a good support system.
Looking at some of things you highlighted above, book launch might require spending a lot of money. How were you able to manage cost?
Remember that a book launch doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy in order to be successful. How much you want to spend is up to you, but keep in mind that a simple, well-thought-out launch can be effective without being too costly. Know what you want, set your budget and stick to it. I wanted a nice evening to celebrate my book with family and friends and mentors, that’s why I hosted an invite-only event and was very strict with who got the invitation cards.
It was hard work planning it, but well worth it. It was an evening of relaxation and merriment. Since launching my first book, I have helped organise launches for authors even with a budget of 100k.
To this end, do you have anything to say to a writer that is about to publish their next book?
How Did You Motivate Attendance?
I specifically and specially invited people, and each person invited was allowed to bring only one guest. Simple.
What Was People’s Remark After The Launch
I had so many wonderful reviews about the launch and the book. Because it was so good, getting support for my second launch was a breeze.
Finally, A General Notes to Writers Keep writing.
Five Funny and Quirky Questions ( F.F.A.Q.Q )
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done because of a book?
Went into Frosties to buy sharwama on a Saturday morning. Saw one of the waiters with a book I’ve been longing to read. Sat there and read the book till they closed by 9 am. I had five shawarmas and six cups of ice-cream. Looking back now, I should have just bought the book from the waiter. Kaiiiiii.
Which of these did you ever take: Baba Dudu, Kuli Kuli or Ofio?
What was your reaction when you first used an elevator?
Exciting ride with my parents.
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
Ancient Romans used urine to whiten their teeth.
Which of these TV Shows did you ever see: Family Ties, I Need To Know or Nkan Be?
Find her on Facebook @DumebiEzar or twitter @Dezaart or Instagram @dumebi_ezar
Or visit her website