A new book genre for South African books, ‘Diary Chronicles’ – Please support these local books
Two South African publishing entrepreneurs – Setlhodi Paul and Tiisetso Maloma – have coined a new book genre called ‘diary chronicles’ or ‘diary-chron’ in short. They say that most of this type of fictional diary-like stories emerged as daily Facebook posts around 2013 and 2014.
They define books such as Lesego Maake’s ‘Diary of a Side Chick Makhwapheni’ and Mike Maphoto’s ‘Diary of a Zulu Girl’ as one of the pioneering titles of diary chron. Both these books started out as Facebook posts. They have since been published into successful books.
“Diary chron stories and books tell chronicled tales of usually a young adult’s bizarre life. They are fast paced, written in a diary like sense, narrate intense sex scenes, and contain shocking twists and turns. It is commonly the main characters chronicling their misdoings and relationships in the era of social media, blessers, blessees, slay queens/kings, players, and the consumption of alcohol,” describes Tiisetso.
Diary chron stories usually start out as Facebook or blog posts and quickly amass a following in thousands. Lesego Maake’s Facebook page Diary of a Side Chick Makhwapheni has over 75 thousand fans. Mike Maphoto’s Facebook page Diary of a Zulu Girl has over 130 thousand followers.
“On average, a good Facebook diary chron page has a following of above 20 thousand followers,” says Tiisetso.
He further indicates that the other books that he would throw into the diary chron genre – although some did not start out as Facebook or blog posts – are Jackie Phamotse’s best-selling ‘Bare’, Mofenyi Malepe’s ‘283: The bad sex bet’ and Dudu Busani-Dube’s ‘Hlomu The Wife’ series. These books can be either novels or true story chronicles.
All the books mentioned here have sold thousands of copies and some feature on best-selling lists.
Setlhodi states that Maloma Content started publishing ‘diary chron’ books by co-publishing Lesego Maake’s ‘Diary of a Side Chick Makhwapheni.’ Other titles in this genre they will publish include ‘Diary of a Cheating Wife,’ ‘Diary of a Slay Queen’ and ‘Diary of a Social Flirt.’ Setlhodi and Tiisetso say that with great marketing wit on the side of the publishers, diary chron books can be the country’s next consistent best sellers overshadowing even political books, and have a chance of penetrating the international market.
Tiisetso says, “The in thousands following that these diary chron stories have on social media are a mathematical validation that people love them and want to read more of them. Moreover, the books feed people’s inclinations: relatability, drama, sex, and social issues. In most reading countries, fiction sells more than other book categories. I think South Africa isn’t selling much fiction because people aren’t putting out the kind of fiction that appeals to South African’s adjacent majority. Also, coining this genre of diary chron books is a way to promote local books.”
Setlhodi Paul is a writer, an editor and now a publishing entrepreneur. Tiisetso Maloma has been in the business of publishing for a while, he is also an author – ironically of business books, a founder at www.bulabuka.co.za which is a book and e-book publishing consultancy, and is a publisher at Maloma Content.
Press release by www.bulabuka.co.zaTags: book, diary chron, diary chronicles, diarychron, fiction, genre, literary, South Africa