Senegal’s Carvi Writer helps writers self-publish their content

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Senegalese startup Carvi Writer is helping writers obtain independence by helping them self-publish their content and earn money via an online platform.

Chief executive officer (CEO) Alimatou Diagne initially launched Carvi Writer in 2014, and began working full-time on the platform last year.

The startup allows authors to self-publish their writings and to benefit from the transformation of these works into films, series and documentaries.

“Today, self-publishing is taken with tweezers,” Diagne told Disrupt Africa. “Young authors find it hard to be recognised. Moreover, publication conditions are rather restrictive. Thus it becomes difficult to achieve financial independence through writings.”

Carvi Writer looks to combat this by publishing content online, and sharing revenues with the writers. There is also the opportunity for books to be transformed into alternative forms of content, offering further chances to achieve financial independence.

“As far as competition is concerned, book publishers exist across the continent and the world, but there aren’t any that combine writing and audiovisual production,” Diagne said.

“We have a revenue sharing model with writers. It offers writers a more interesting percentage.”

The self-funded Carvi Writer is looking for funding to expand its network, but already has around 14,000 readers.

“Today, in Africa and in Senegal, there are more and more young writers publishing on social networks,” Diagne said.

“In Africa, in the field of book publishing, everything has to be done. Indeed, more than 90 per cent of the books sold in French-speaking Africa are imported. The book market is booming.”

She said Carvi Writer currently operates mostly in Senegal, Mali and Ivory Coast, and aims to expand beyond Africa to European and American markets. The company makes money through book sales, audiovisual production, advertising, and services such as digital printing and proofreading.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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