Kayode Samuel is a Nigerian whose philosophy and orientation run contrary to convention. The Kaduna-born orphan, long ago, took his destiny in his hand and today, he has a lot to teach Nigerian youths, especially those who are ready to use what they have to effect changes in their lives for the future. In this interview with MICHAEL ORIE, he reveals how lucrative publishing is and how it can be done without tears
Narrating his background and how it has influenced his choice of career, Samuel told The Guardian, “I grew up with boys of my age and we were always out on adventures such as pulling down charms tied to maize stalks, diving down the deepest part of the river, and sometimes bringing up pebbles and others”.
Born in the northern part of the country to a Yoruba father and an Ibibio mother, he attended Government Secondary School, Kafanchan, and later at the Kaduna Polytechnic, where he studied Agricultural Engineering.
“I got my admission from sports scholarship,” he said. “So, my first earnings came from my participation in my school, local council and state’s sporting activities. From there I joined the Nigeria Police Force (Sports Department) to continue active sports. While serving the police, I began to look into other opportunities to make money without interfering with my job.
“I always trained in the morning most of the time and stayed for the rest of the day, doing nothing. So, I decided to make use of the resting periods to write. I had written several manuscripts, which fetched me lots of money before taking to book publishing”.
Considering his background as a teacher for some years before joining the Nigeria Police Force, his foray into the educational sector became very easy. He anchored this on a biblical philosophy of managing other people’s business properly as recipe for managing your own very well.
“I took my teaching job seriously as if it was my school,” he stated. “I learnt more than I should know and also took more responsibility than others, but little did I know I was preparing myself for the industry. The first thing I got myself into was educational book publishing”.
According to Samuel, “I took up my first teaching appointment in Kafanchan in 1996. Though I was offered a job at the then Jama’a Local Council as a Veterinary attendant, I turned it down to pick a teaching job at Headstart Academy, which I learnt now operates in Isolo, Lagos”.
Recounting his experience as an Education Consultant, Kayode stated that the last consulting job he did was for a newly established school, Barbara Cox Schools in Festac Town. “It was a joint partnership with a friend, who actually got the contract. As a consultant of Child Talent Development, I was responsible for all the Human Resources (HR).”
He co-ordinated the school’s activities and maintained its facility as well as the marketing. He was also in charge of the school’s public relations, organising and coordinating staff and actively participating in school promotions, sale of forms, customer care services and school advertisement in the media.
“Though, I was paid less than N100, 000.00 but surprisingly, I made close to N200, 000 from other services and from parents’ good will,” he quipped.
According to him, to be a successful self-publisher without money was one thing he found easy. “You plan to be in it through imaginative visioning. I know I have great writing skills, no doubt and I knew I would surely publish my works. At that time (1998) I was just a year old in Lagos and without a job. So, I saw an advert for marketers of Christian publications. I applied and was taken. The pay package was not impressive, but the urge to write my first book came from there.
“That was where I first learned practically about book publishing. The small book company was situated in Dopemu. That was also where I learnt how to market books. From there, I published my first book, The Magic Sceptre and made some money to fund my wedding. I entered into educational books to meet up the high demand and make a living.”
According to him, when he hadn’t money to continue publishing; he sold some of his manuscripts to some publishers. “I used the money paid to me to publish my other books,” he said.
Also, Samuel once had a reality TV show running on Galaxy TV. But it was short-lived due to unforeseen circumstances.
“The school reality show was a very creative work. We had problem with sponsorship at TV Galaxy. We have repackaged it and it will hit the airwaves again next year,” he said.
Now, he is active in information marketing, which he said, “Information marketing is an age-long product that has been around for years. The problem is that it was not well packaged and publicised.
I got to know about the product in Success Digest Extra; there it was well packaged in such an easy-to-practice format. One of the greatest revelations that got me started was the Gutenberg site where you can download for free books and other information products”.
Relating how Success Digest helped him to achieve business goals, he noted, “I was introduced to the journal in 2003, where I was trained in Christian Journalism. Since then I have been an ardent reader of it. The philosophy of the magazine informed most of my business decisions. The magazine introduced me into the tools of researching before embarking on any business venture. It also taught me how to re-brand/repackage myself and business for success.”
Since challenge is part of life, he explained how to manage them whenever they confronted him. “The challenges in this business are the variety of information at your disposal such that you may end up not knowing what to do. I try to focus only on books, particularly educational books. I have partnered with other firms to hold seminar on making money from publishing and printing.”
From his own experience, the information on products and services he has created is a beacon of a bright future for young publishers that would want to toe this path. So he says, “I have just finished two e-books on how to become an instant publisher and, how to make over N500, 000 from publishing. I made N511, 000 from just writing for publishers and I received e-mails from those who read my articles and have started making money as well.”
Looking into the future, Samuel said, “I see my business as a household name in schools, Lagos State more importantly. We want to operate like international business such as Spiderman and The Iron Man comics. There, they write first, and then transfer it into graphics (comics magazines) and then animation. Our books, comics and animations should be able to bring in millions of naira”.
Quote: “I was introduced to the journal in 2003, where I was trained in Christian Journalism. Since then, I have been an ardent reader of it. The philosophy of the magazine informed most of my business decisions. The magazine introduced me into the tools of researching before embarking on any business venture. It also taught me how to re-brand/repackage myself and business for success.”