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Title: Digital Publishing in Ghana: A Focus on Children's Ebooks
Author(s): Ry-Kottoh, Lucy Afeafa
Supervisor(s): Squires, Claire
Rowberry, Simon
Keywords: Digital publishing
Issue Date: 19-Dec-2017
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Adopting a mixed methods approach consisting of interviews, focus group discussions and surveys, this thesis investigates the state of digital publishing in Ghana within the context of Rogers’ diffusion of innovation theory. With a focus on children’s ebooks, it examines publishers’, authors’ and readers’ levels of adoption of ebooks, and their motivations for, perceptions of, and challenges or barriers to, going digital or otherwise. It also assesses the state of digital infrastructure and human resource capacity in Ghana to support the growing ebook sector, and identifies the knowledge and skills deficit in the industry in order to inform the development of courses that will be incorporated into the BA Publishing Studies programme at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). This thesis reveals that the level of adoption of ebook publishing among publishers and authors was relatively low given the interest demonstrated by young readers. The latter were very interested in ebooks and read mainly foreign content because it was freely available and accessible online. Publishers’ and authors’ motivations for publishing ebooks include visibility, the opportunity to reach a much wider audience, and the novelty of publishing digitally to keep abreast of current trends so as to transform the local industry. Some barriers to adoption identified were the cost associated with acquiring infrastructure, the security of online content, inadequate information about ebooks, non-use of ebooks, and infrastructural challenges such as inconsistent electricity supply and poor Internet penetration. The thesis also identified an awareness disconnect between publishers and their local readers: publishers perceive ebooks to be for the international market and, as such, do not focus on promoting them in the local market; thus, local readers are not aware of the existence of ebooks. Expanding on Rogers’ adoption categories, two new categories were created, incidental adopters and perceptual late adopters, to accommodate individuals who do not fall within Rogers’ established adopter categories. To increase the spread of digital publishing and the uptake of ebooks in the Ghanaian book market, the thesis recommends the elimination of the barriers to adoption and, most importantly, advocates training and skills development to reduce the knowledge and skills deficit gap among publishers and authors.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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