Award-winning journalist Zubeida Jaffer is launching her own publishing company called Number 10 Publishers on 24 March 2021.
She has taken back all three her best-selling titles from established publishing houses and has created her own publishing imprint. “I have wanted to do this for a long time and the Pandemic forced me to move faster” she said
She has registered this company with her daughter Ruschka Jaffer who is a high-school teacher in Gauteng. “We were so acutely aware last year that life was short. Ruschka pointed out to me that if I were to drop dead, she would not know where to start to access my body of work,” she said.
Number 10 Publishers are issuing her three titles Our Generation; Love in the Time of Treason; and Beauty of the Heart (The Life and Times of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke) in print, electronic and audio versions. The books are available at select bookstores in all major centres as well as online at www.zubeidajaffer.co.za . The audiobooks will be available later in the year.
Ms Jaffer says that the three books together provide an interesting insight into South Africa’s national story stretching from 1871 through to 2001. She will be introducing the books to the South African public in trio because she believes that it will hugely benefit the next generation to be exposed to the range of experience captured in the intensely personal stories.
The second component of the company will be to explore ways in which to codify 40 years of journalism experience in a form that could be of benefit to others instead of gathering dust in her study. As a teacher, her daughter Ruschka has provided invaluable insights into possible ways in which to share her story-telling expertise. This will be more fully articulated in 2022.
Ms Jaffer says that she has for a long time been very concerned that writers are not central to the publishing industry and Number 10 Publishers will seek to develop a model that favours the writer. “The time has come that we as storytellers have to claim our centrality in the business model, “ she said. “We stand outside the process and have had to make do with the crumbs pushed our way.”
Number 10 Publishers will allow her to own her work and benefit from her work. “And this knowledge I hope to share with others over time,” she said.
Ms Jaffer also commented that “When change first came, we had little or no understanding of publishing. Today there is a flurry of activity coming from young people and those who have left the established companies. I believe the impulse for something new will come from them.”
She hopes to help push this effort forward and to support the development of the creative industries. She says, “We need to focus on the intellectual and creative industries as a substantial driver of economic growth.”