[T/A Hans Zell Publishing Consultants]

Obaakofo Mmu Man - one man does not rule a nation

'Obaakofo Mmu Man' Kente cloth above courtesy of Kwadwo Boahene



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About Hans M. Zell 

Born and educated in Switzerland, Hans Zell held senior management positions with Almqvist & Wiksell in Stockholm and Pergamon Press in Oxford before his career turned to Africa. Following three years in Sierra Leone, he joined Africana Publishing Corporation in New York as its first Editor-in-chief. 

Later he was Director of the University of Ife Press in Nigeria for several years. In 1975 he set up his own publishing company in Oxford, subsequently acquired by K.G. Saur Verlag in Munich, and which thereafter became part of Bowker-Saur, a division of Reed-Elsevier (UK) Ltd., on whose behalf he developed the Hans Zell Publishers imprint in a freelance capacity between 1987-1998. 

Hans Zell was the founder of the quarterly bibliographic and book trade journal The African Book Publishing Record, which started in 1975 and which he edited until 2002. 

On a part-time basis, he was the Senior Consultant to African Books Collective Ltd. – the Oxford-based but African-owned marketing and distribution organization – from 1986 to June 1995. Between 1979 and 1995 he also acted as the Secretary to the Managing Committee of the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa, now well-established as Africa’s premier book prize.

Hans Zell has served as a publishing consultant to various international organizations, NGOs, and a number of donor agencies, and he has written and consulted extensively on publishing and book development in Africa.

In addition to a large number of articles and papers published in journals,* he is the author of A New Reader’s Guide to African Literature (2nd edition, 1984, with Caroline Bundy & Virginia Coulon), African Books in Print/Livres Africains Disponibles (5th edition, 2000),and The African Book World & Press: A Directory/Répertoire du Livre et de la Presse en Afrique (4th edition, 1989). His other books, training manuals, and reference works include Publishing and Book Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Annotated Bibliography (1996, with Cécile Lomer), A Handbook of Good Practice in Journal Publishing (2nd edition, 1998), and Book Marketing and Promotion: A Handbook of Good Practice (2001), published by the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Information (INASP), and distributed by African Books Collective.
His two most recent publications are the new fourth, completely revised and substantially expanded edition of The African Studies Companion: A Guide to Information Sources (2006, print edition and online), and Publishing, Books & Reading in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Critical Bibliography (2008, print edition and online).

Hans Zell has twice been the winner of the Conover-Porter Award, sponsored by the Africana Librarians Council of the [US] African Studies Association, and awarded for “the most outstanding achievement and excellence in Africana bibliography and reference work”. Other reference resources by Hans Zell Publishers authors have been the winners (or joint winners) of this prestigious biennial award on five occasions. 

After living in Oxford for some 25 years, Hans Zell relocated to Scotland in October 2000. He now lives and works in the remote village of Lochcarron, in the Wester Ross area of the Scottish Highlands, where he is continuing the Hans Zell imprint (terminated by Bowker-Saur in 1998) through the publication of a further small range of information resources on Africa, African publishing, and African studies, and which in due course will also include new editions of a number of classic Africana reference works.

*a complete CV is available on request

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More about us and our consultancy services
About Hans M. Zell
Publishing, Books &
Reading in Sub-Saharan 
Africa: A Critical 
Africa: A Guide to
Reference Material
The African Studies Companion: A Guide to Information Sources
Web search for local communities in the Highlands of Scotland: An online self-tutoring guide 
Old Hans Zell
backlist titles
Some recent books and articles by 
Hans M. Zell
Read review extracts 
about Hans Zell

News & Press
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Publish with us
Manuscript proposals
Some Lochcarron & Wester Ross links


[T/A Hans Zell Publishing Consultants]

Glais Bheinn   Lochcarron   
Ross-shire   IV54 8YB Scotland   UK

Telephone: +44-(0)1520-722951   
Email: Web: www.hanszell.co.uk
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