How to Start a Bookshop Business in Nigeria



For those that have always dreamt of owning their own bookshop, this article is for you. Starting a bookshop business in Nigeria can be difficult but it’s not impossible. There are many things to consider and hurdles to overcome before starting, so we will discuss them all here!


If you are ready to open your shop then let’s get started with the basics: What exactly is a bookshop? A store which sells books is usually called a bookstore or library; however if the main focus of the store is on selling books instead of just being one part of what they sell, then it would be considered a bookshop.


– The bookshop should be a place where you can read, browse books and purchase them. It’s also an opportunity to get inspiration from other people who have found success in various fields of life through reading. This is the perfect location for readers and writers alike!

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– Choosing what type of bookshops business will depend on your personal preference as well as which one best suits your goals, resources & abilities. You may want to know how much it costs first before choosing though…

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What are my options? – There are two types of shop: Retail shops or wholesale shops. A retail shop would include selling books directly to customers; whereas a wholesale shop would sell their stock at higher prices but only distribute small quantities to retailers.

The following are the process of setting up a bookshop business in Nigeria and they are as follows;

1 Prepare a Business Plan

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– This step is to help you think about your bookshop business goals and decide which type of shop will suit them best.


What do I need? – You will want to make sure that the location, layout and design are as close to what you envisioned as possible before settling on a definite plan. It’s important at this stage not only for yourself but also all future employees too!

After deciding who will be in charge or running your bookshop business (whether it’s just you or if someone else is involved), then there needs to be an agreement between yourselves with regards to: how much time each person can spend working, frequency of meetings etc.;


How do I know my target market? – Once you have decided that then the next step is to work out who your target market will be.

– Businesses like bookshops are for everyone: they don’t just sell books but also stationery, stationary and related items as well – a great place for gifts!

– You can offer reading classes too which would help with literacy levels in the community;

– In Nigeria there’s an interest in African literature so if you decide on this type of bookshop then it might do particularly well here;

How much money should I start off with? – The amount that you spend initially depends on how long term or short term your business plan is. If you are wanting the bookshop to last indefinitely then we recommend starting up with at least $50 000.

  1. Decide on the type of books you want to sell

– There are two main types of bookstores to choose from: the general store and the specialist store. For Nigeria, we recommend a specialist bookstore as there is demand for African literature;

How many books should I order? – The number of books that you buy initially depends on your budget but also how much stock you want in your shelves at any given time. We would suggest ordering anywhere between 100 – 500 depending on which type of bookshop it will be (how long term or short term).

What else do I need? – You will need other items like stationery, stationary, gifts etc so make sure to factor this into your initial investment amount too. It is best if these products complement those found in a typical book store.

  1. Select a location

Location is very important for a bookshop, as it will dictate how much footfall you get.

– If your location is in the city and there are lots of other shops nearby then this could be good because people might come to browse through books too.


– However if it’s on an outskirt where no one lives anymore then obviously that would make things harder for business.

Location doesn’t just refer to distance from public transport but also whether or not it has parking space available, accessibility by car (elevated tolls) etc.

What about internet access? – Your store should have reliable Wi-Fi so customers can look up information at their leisure while browsing your shelves for titles they want to buy; this helps with impulse purchases by customers.

  1. Raise capital

– The bookshop business is not a cheap affair. You need to have enough capital to cover the cost of your books, marketing materials, equipment etc.

– Banks would most likely require you to sign some sort of guarantee before they give you loans for this purpose so be prepared with that in mind too!


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  1. Get Registered

You need to get your business registered with the appropriate government agencies.

– You need to register with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) before you can get a certificate of Incorporation from them.

– The Certificate of Incorporation will tell people that your bookshop is registered and legal in Nigeria, which should make customers more confident about buying things there.


Company registration: CAC – The Corporate Affairs Commission website has an online application for registering a new company or business; this will cost N5000 plus VAT as at June 2018. It usually takes less than 24 hours to process applications if all requirements are met but it could take up to two weeks so be patient!

  1. Buy Books from a Trusted Supplier

You need to get good contacts and reliable suppliers to ensure you can buy books in bulk and at a competitive price.

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  1. Advertise and Market Your Bookshop Business

Marketing is key for a bookshop business to survive and be successful. You need an excellent website, blog posts, and books about your products, posters in strategic locations such as bus stops or university campuses – anywhere people might see them!


*Start by optimizing your site for search engines: find out what keywords potential customers are using when they research new businesses like yours because this will show you how best to attract their attention (e.g., “bookshop”, “books”) then use these words throughout the copy on all pages of the site- within titles and meta descriptions as well as visible text so that it appears in searches.*

*Engage with social media: post pictures of interesting book covers or events at your store*, recommend other authors/stores to your customers they will in turn recommend you to their own customers to.


  1. Have an Online Presence


Go for social media: as bus stops or university campuses – anywhere people might see them! Engage with social media by posting pictures of interesting book covers or events, recommend other authors/stores to your customers and they will in-turn recommend you to their own customers.


Main takeaways from the post are that it is important to optimize your site for search engines which can be done by using keywords in all areas including titles and meta descriptions throughout the copy on a website. It also mentions how engaging with social media is another way businesses can increase exposure and interact with potential buyers through posts such as photos of interesting book covers or events happening at the store.


In conclusion this is all you need to establish a successful bookshop business in Nigeria.

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