White Labels Books
Printed to order, direct to your door
White Labels Books is a print-on-demand, direct-to-consumer digital publisher. Our books do not exist for sale in physical form, but are held as high resolution PDFs on the servers of our printers, alongside 15 million other books. When you order a title from us (via Amazon), it is printed on a large format inkjet press, then packed and shipped directly from the factory to your address. You can order one copy or a million (the latter would be great). We only print what we sell, and so this means less waste and reduced transport and storage costs. This is a big issue for us, as our customers are increasingly concerned about sustainability. Our books do not have glossy outer jackets, and maximum page sizes are restricted. For us, sustainability also means questioning the lavish production values present within traditional book publishing, and instead taking a more ‘skinny’ approach which focuses more on editorial innovation and design.
I AM ONE of eight children born in London to Nigerian immigrants who settled there in 1961. My father, Isola, was a writer, publisher and filmmaker, while my mother, Ade, was a nurse and mid-wife. My grandfather was the tribal king of Owu in Abeokuta, capital of Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria, from 1949 to 1972. He was one of the chief dignitaries who met Queen Elizabeth during her 1956 Commonwealth tour of Nigeria.
My family’s surname, ‘Arogundade’, after which this site is named, dates back to the battlegrounds of ancient Nigeria. It refers to a king, or ‘oba’, who dons his crown in readiness for battle. It originates with the Yoruba — a tribe of over 30 million members, mostly concentrated in the Southwest of the country. There are also many citizens of Yoruba descent spread throughout the US, the UK, the West Indies and Brazil. Yorubas have a reputation for creativity, and professional artists date back over a thousand years.
AFTER LEAVING SCHOOL I trained as an architect at London’s South Bank University. Soon after qualification I branched out into publishing, launching ‘Extract’, a cult style magazine about the lives of non-celebrities. Following this I worked as a freelance graphic designer, journalist and copywriter, winning two advertising industry awards.
A brief stint as a model became the catalyst for my first book, 'Black Beauty' – an illustrated exploration of society's historical perceptions of the black image. The title was honoured by the New York Public Library and became the subject of a three-part BBC documentary. In 2004 I joined a start-up luxury book publisher called Gloria, as creative director. During my tenure I created four super-sized limited editions — ‘Pelé’, ‘Superyacht’, ‘Scarfe On The Wall’ and ‘New York’.
After this I developed a number of television screenplays with Hollywood actor Laurence Fishburne, who then championed my debut novel, ‘The Sexual Language Of Strangers’. In 2016 I launched my own fledgling media company specialising in books and apps. 365 Positivity aggregates health and wellbeing information into a series of self-help apps, while my publishing imprint, White Labels Books, creates print-on-demand, direct-to-consumer fiction and non-fiction. Alongside these pursuits I also work as a voiceover artist and television broadcaster.
About Ben Arogundade