More Money For Authors

It all started with the frustration of being an author who received a bad review, and having no way to reply to the person who’d left it. That was the moment that, Tanisha Williams, was pushed into her destiny, as she, first, identified the problem, then set out to solve it. And, therein the idea for Chat eBooks was born.

Chat eBooks is a brand new author-friendly platform, which could well give the mammoth Amazon a run for its money. More money for authors, more interaction for readers, with added features created for a much more personal experience. Oh, and, did I mention more money for authors?

Chat eBooks was built based on the concept that authors want to make a living and not be robbed. That, instead of paying a hefty percentage off of each and every book sold, authors would benefit more by simply paying a low annual fee and having their book posted for a full year, with 100% of sells procedes going directly to the author/publisher on the very same day as the purchase, via paypal. This, of course, would do away with the random returns to Amazon, and mean that readers would have to make a choice based on the sneak peak alone. Or, of course, if a reader still feels a bit unsure and they desire the return option, they could simply swich over to Amazon to make that purchase.    chatebook1 copy

Chat eBooks will be an equal playing field, not given to Amazon rules, tricks and loop holes. Of course, authors/publishers could still list their books on Amazon as well, Chat eBooks would simply be an additional platform to utilize with a greater financial benefit to authors/publishers.

Chat eBooks is an awesome idea, but, in order for it to work, the author/publisher community must stand up and show support. We must get the word out to other author/publishers and call on our readers to make use of this site, to make purchases, getting them to understand that, by doing so, more of the earnings will go directly into the hands of the author/publisher they intend to support.

Are you ready to break away from the norm? Has earning a living off of ebook sells been a challenge for you? Are you ready to start making some money? I am super excited about the future of this wonderful venture and, so I definitely had to reach out to find out more. Here’s what I learned, straight from Tanisha Williams herself:

1. What inspired the idea for Chat ebooks?

The idea for Chatebooks was inspired by several factors: (1) My love for self-help motivational books and the desire to “chat” about them with others; (2) Wanting to respond to comments left by individuals who have read my ebook, or connect with readers to answer questions regarding the book’s content; and (3) My desire to receive a higher percentage of my book revenues and to have immediate access to funds once a purchase has been made.

 

2. What all features will the Chat ebooks site include?

The website is currently under development, and I’m still in the process of getting feedback from authors; therefore, the final features are still being determined. However, here are some of the basic features:

 

Authors will enjoy the benefits of: (1) Having complete control over the pricing and distribution of their books;

(2) Keeping 100% of their book revenues; (3) Having immediate access to the money generated from book

sales; (4) Selling more books through social media circle marketing; and (5) Communicating and developing relationships with their readers.

Readers will have the ability to: (1) Purchase e-books in a variety of formats and either download them to a device or read them directly from the website; (2) Connect and interact with e-book authors; (3) Join or start hot topic and/or chapter discussions with authors and fellow readers; (4) Accumulate their own library of purchased books; and (5) Invite family and friends to join their chat groups/discussions.

 

3. What will the annual fee to authors be?

The annual fee has not yet been determined. As with the features, I’m still collecting input from Authors. I can tell you that the fee will be very minimal and feasible for all Authors, including those selling their books for $.99.

 

4. Will there be any membership fees/costs for the reader/buyer?

Membership for readers/buyers is free.

 

5. How has the reaction been to your idea, so far? 6. what positives are you hearing?

I’ve been getting excellent feedback from those who have taken the survey. I’ve received comments such as”Congratulations for thinking outside of the box”, “This could be better than Goodreads”, and “I love this idea and I can’t wait for the site to launch”¼.just to name a few.

 

7. What negatives?

Of course there have been negative comments too, though I try not to dwell on them much. I think anyone trying something new or different receives their fair share of naysayers. The main comment I’ve heard is “I don’t think it’s going to work”. My response: Like any start-up business or aspiring Author, this website is being built on a Dream to accomplish my goals and aspirations¼..an Idea that can help others in their own personal endeavors¼..the Courage to step out of my comfort zone and put my ideas in action¼.and a Prayer that it all works out!

 

8. How long have you been working on Chat eBooks? And when do you expect for it to go live?

I started working on ChatEbooks in May 2014 and I expect to go live in August.

 

9. How can authors help?

Authors can help by completing this short survey about the features on ChatEbooks:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QY76H35. The information gathered will help me in developing the final functions, terms and conditions for the site.

Also, spread the word by sharing the link/posting on their fb page/group!

 

10. Is there anything that readers can do or any input you hope to get from them at this point?

I plan on launching a campaign next month to attract reader participation on launch day. I want to have giveaways like e-books and e-readers.

 

11. Will Chat ebooks have a hyper-link/one click element to take buyers straight from Facebook to Chat

ebooks to make a purchase?

Yes. Authors will be able to post the link on their facebook page allowing readers to click and be directed to ChatEbooks.

 

12. Will there be a link element for twitter or any of the other social networking sites?

Yes. ChatEbooks will have social media integrations so that postings/comments/likes will show up on a reader’s respective website feeds (twitter, facebook, etc.)

 

13. Explain the steps that a reader/buyer will have to take in order to make a purchase?

Readers will browse ebooks from a variety of categories, and they’ll be able to add their book(s) of choice to their shopping cart. Once they are ready for check-out, they will be directed to their PayPal account to make the purchase.

 

14. Many authors complain about the lax return policies on Amazon. Will Chat ebooks accept

returns, and, if so, what will the return process be?

No. ChatEbooks will not have the capability of removing an ebook from someone’s device once they’ve purchased it (as with Amazon’s kindle); therefore, we will not process any returns.

 

15. Book trailers. What are your thoughts on maybe having book trailers right next to the reviews. Offering

potential buyers yet one more resource to consult before making a purchase?

I think it’s an excellent idea. I’d like to get more feedback from other authors to see if this would be beneficial

prior to investing the additional coding fees.

 

16. Features and recommendations. Will Chat eBooks offer any special book

reviews/features/recommendations?

ChatEbooks will have a “feature” section on the site for authors who would like to participate.

 

17. Minimum/base price set by pg count. Will you set minimums (say 5.00 and up for 300 pg.s) or will you

basically leave it wide open like Amazon?

I’m going to allow authors to set their own price. I’ve read great books that range from $.99 to $19.99 so I don’t want to exclude anyone.

 

18. Reviews. Will anybody be able to leave a review or only those who’ve purchased the book on the Chat

eBooks site?

All members of ChatEbooks can leave a review or join chat discussions regardless of where they’ve purchased the book.

 

19. Audio and paperbacks. Will readers be able to purchase these items through the site as well? No. Only e-books will be available for purchase on the site.

 

20. News features/blogs. Will the site offer anything along those lines?

No

 

21. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks for allowing me this platform to inform others about ChatEbooks. I’m looking forward to a successful launch!

 

22. How can you be reached?

I can be reached at tw@chatebooks.com

 

 

Wesley “Godfather” Hunter

“GODFATHER” Hunter is an incarcerated author from Los Angeles, Ca. He has  written several books covering a variety of genres, to include self-help/how-to/advisory, autobiography, poetry, urban romance, erotica and street lit. Godfather has even taught urban lit during his many years of incarceration. He makes an added effort to lace his writings with history, social-political consciousness and other such pearls of wisdom while penning  in a style which many have compared to the likes of James Patterson, John Grisham and Michael Connelly.

 

 

 

THE DYNAMIC DUO

Writing is a very important part of my life. When it comes to new authors, I take a very special interest in them. I was interested to find out more about, Shawn Corey, because he works as a team with his wife. I was happy to sit down with the duo and get to know the authors behind the pen.

dynamicduo
Shawn Corey (pen name) is a 31 year old black male who, at the age of 18, caught 15 years back in 2001. His release date isn’t until summer 2015. Basically, he uses writing as a way to keep from sitting by wasting time and opportunity. He doesn’t have much of a literary background, other than the fact that he was born to write and that he loves and lives to do it.

Dorian Stevens a.k.a. “Shante” is a 28 year old female who’d, had a thing for Shawn since they were kids, and so she took a leap of faith and married the man of her dreams. She was an All-American basketball player who, due to injury, stopped playing sports and now coaches instead. She too doesn’t have much of a literary background, other than the fact that She and Shawn used to write short stories to each other, envisioning their life after his release, and talking about the things they’d experienced. From that, this dynamic duo  decided to weave their ideas into books. This is their story:
 
 
Sheri: Where do your ideas come from?

Shawn and Dorian: A lot of times we just think them up using personal experiences of our own or someone else’s. Maybe we’ll come across something we read and take another angle at it. Mostly, though, our stories are close to us, simple life experiences embellished to the point of interest. Things that everyday people can relate to.

Sheri: How do you deal with writer’s block?

Shawn and Dorian: We deal with writer’s block, like we deal with all haters; ignore them! If we get stuck with writing, we move on to the next part of the book mentally, because, and we think this is normal, most of our books are written in our heads first, chapter by chapter, before we put it on paper. Of course, I don’t mean word for word, but the foundation more or less. We’re constantly discussing ideas of what we feel will grab reader’s attention.

Sheri: What are your thoughts on reviews?

Shawn and Dorian: We’re motivated by both good and bad reviews (though we haven’t had a bad review yet). As artists/authors it’s normal for us to be a bit sensitive about our work and we are to a degree. Because our work is a reflection of us, we feel that if you don’t like our work, then you don’t like us. I doubt most people think that way, it’s just our train of thought, we use that to remain motivated.

Sheri: What are your goals for your writing career?

saint

Shawn and Dorian: We want to be ‘That Author/Artist;’ the crème dele crème of the urban fiction game.

Sheri: What are you working on now?

Shawn and Dorian: A suspense thriller entitled “Hello Luv” and it’s kicking our ass. However, with so many urban stories being the same (not knocking anybody) we try to challenge ourselves to stick out a little bit. The finish product will be worth it though, it’s not as fast paced as most urbans, but the ending will justify the means. We are also working on a two-part book entitled “Death Struck Vol.1” and this book is going to be powerful.

Sheri: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your literacy background?
Shawn and Dorian: We are a husband and wife team, who married November 22, 2011.

Sheri: Do you read much? Who are your favorite authors?

Shawn and Dorian: We don’t read as much as we used to, because at one point in time, there were a lot of bad stories out there. The last book we read was Kia Payne’s Paper, Promises, & Punishment 1&2 and they were very good books. Ashley Antoinette & Ja’Quavis Coleman are good, Kia Payne, Sista Soulja; that’s about it.

Sheri: What’s the hardest thing about writing for you?

Shawn and Dorian: Because Shawn is in prison he doesn’t have a laptop, cpu…he literally writes everything, and he says it can be painful, at times, to try and meet our personal deadlines. It’s often a struggle; sending mail back and forth, things being rejected by the prison, post office late on deliveries, etc…We get it done though. We don’t accept excuses, therefore we don’t give any.

The authors can be reached at facebook.com/shantestevens & facebook.com/collie.stevens.7

 

 

 

Sheri Henry-Harrigan started writing at the age of twelve as an outlet for depression. In March 2012 her first project Tales of the Broken Hearted was published. Since then she has penned several titles. She started writing strictly urban fiction. Her most recent work, The Imperfect Love Series is more geared toward the romance genre. As she continues on with her writing career, she plans to move into the crime fiction and thriller genres. Besides writing she is pursing her other passion of becoming a lawyer. Sheri lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Soft As Steel

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. -Norman Vincent Peale

steel

 

As authors,  it is a given that we run the risk of readers not liking our work.  Yet, we have two ways to handle it when it happens and how we choose to handle it determines A) how serious we are about the craft and B) what kind of character we have away from the pages.

On my newsfeed a week ago, I read where an author took issue with a book club after receiving a poor review. This person called the reviewers out of their names, cursing them out and accusing them of favoritism. This person acted out so bad that  people were still talking about the incident days later. Other authors, including myself, chimed in with our thoughts and opinions and the general consensus was: ‘This guy had only one job and his job was to take the hit and use it to make himself a better writer”

I hope I’m not coming off self righteous and didactic when  I write this because I understand what it is like to work tirelessly on a story only to have it bashed. A moment that stuck out for me was when I entered a contest and the judges weren’t impressed. Instead of getting my ass on my shoulders and cursing out the judges and acting a fool to put some balm on my ego, I continued to write and practiced showing the reader what was going on instead of telling. I was determined to get better and put in the work to do so.

I haven’t been writing creatively for a long time, but I immediately learned two things: One, any author worth his or her salt, consistently works on the craft. Two, your skin in this business has to be soft as steel.  You can’t let the negative opinion of readers and fellow authors deter you. If anything, use it as fuel to get better.

Yeah, I know that sometimes  we as artists-be it authors, singers, musicians, actors or  actresses, etc get sensitive about our work, but that gives us no excuse to come at our audiences. For the author, especially black authors, bashing book clubs and arguing with readers is a sure way to commit career suicide.

Lashing out doesn’t only effect the offending author, it also effect others. Why?  When authors lash out at the readers, it makes a few apprehensive  about posting reviews. The majority of us rely on these reviews-good or bad because how else are we supposed to give the reader what they want without them telling us via a fair review?  We will mess around and not only have a few reviews here and there, but we won’t  have readers at all if we continue to carry on as some of us have.

I’m not saying that you can’t feel disappointed about a review or even feel angry, I’m saying that you just have to have tough skin to navigate through this industry if you want staying power in it. There are so many constructive ways to deal with a bad review. Again, you can take that review and learn and grow from it during your next project. You could even use that same bad review to move some units and turn a loss into a gain that way.

No mater what you chose to do with that less than favorable review, remember that whatever we create and release to the public is up for criticism and  there’s no getting around it. You can take the criticism, as well the praise, and continue to improve  or you can waste your keystrokes and breath trying to fight a battle you know you cant win when you’re beefing with book clubs and readers and end up being labeled as a “cancer” in the game. Choose wisely!

 

 

 

PHOENIX RISING w/ Cynthia Miller

Do the ladies run this mutha? Go ahead and say it: HELL YEAH! It’s long been said that women are the backbone and well known that behind every great man is an even greater woman. We see it from the Whitehouse (politicians in general), we see it in the home (or the family at large) and it would take an absolute blind damn fool not to see it in the urban book industry, where the average reader is a female and just about every single successful indie pub. Co. is either owned, ran or managed by a woman. And let’s not even talk about the authors/publishers whom are or have been incarcerated, Lord knows, they wouldn’t be or never would’ve been anything without the powerful force of a woman to help channel their energy and move their thoughts. So, is it any wonder, then, that women are also the main force of power on the retail end? How many male bookstore owners do you know? And, of those that you do know, how many hire women to run the ship? But, that’s not really what this is about, because that’s just the norm and Cynthia Miller (now Cynthia Miller-Scott) is not hardly normal.

Former drug addict, ex-con, kidnap victim and stripper…serious titles, huh? Yeah, well, with over 17 arrests, and 23 years of addiction, Cynthia Miller-Scott has worn them all, at one point or another, but none of it, absolutely NONE of it, even    BEGINS to describe this awesome mother of 5. Cynthia Miller-Scott is just a go-getter. She’s a wonder on heels and a hustling giant who literally knows what it means to take nothing and build it into something.         cynthia

Cynthia isn’t one of those who grew up wanting to be an author, or who felt that she’d write a bestseller and live happily ever after. No. Trust me, Mrs. Miller-Scott is much too practical and down to Earth for that. This isn’t the tale of some sweet little ghetto angel who grew up AROUND the madness; it wasn’t her cousin, a boyfriend or her brother and them that she SAW in the mix. This isn’t a woman who went to school and got good grades then lived a basicly normal life in the ghetto AROUND all of the madness. No. Cynthia is one of those rare hood chicks who came off of the porch, out of the yard and got rigit there in the mix with the best of them. She played in the mud and found comfort in the filth, and just when people thought they had her all figured out, she changed. She burst like a flame: went down into the soot and emerged in Arizona like a phoenix. Now, how prophetic is that?

When I first met,  Cynthia, she sent me a copy of her autobiography, ‘IN RARE FORM’, a tale so gritty and so openly raw that I instantly felt connected to this sister. It was like I knew all there was to know and I still had to shake my head. I remember thinking: This chick is bad! Only once before, can I say an autobio truly touched me in that way and that was an autobio written by another West Coast queen called ‘A PIECE OF CAKE’ by Cupcake Brown. Both of these books give a no holds barred, no shields present look into the absolute ugliness of an all out animalistic existance. Both stories are of abuse, neglect, drug addiction and a real live look into what a true struggle to over-come looks like, and both stories are epic pieces, which shall inspire any souls they grace. But, who could’ve known that it would be a little book that would become the igniting charge in the rocket of change catapulting Cynthia to a whole new realm of stability and success?

Don’t get it twisted, IN RARE FORM didn’t reach critical acclaim, or become some sudden run away overnight bestseller. And no one paid Cynthia Miller-Scott a chunk of cash to tell the tale. That’s not what I’m saying here at all. In fact, Cynthia is self-published, and she would be the first to tell you, that she made many bad decisions getting into the bookgame. So, no, this isn’t the rags to riches tale of some little guy picked up by the majors, then paraded before the world as some shining example of what hope can do. No, this isn’t that tale at all. This, like Cynthia Miller-Scott herself, is a tale rooted in real life: the bitter, the raw, the truth. A tale about a broken woman and the little book that could.

You see, IN RARE FORM, though never selling record numbers or achieving critical acclaim, has been a slow but consistant seller and even more so, it has been the magical key which has gone on to help Cynthia to open many doors, including, not the least of which, her very first bookstore/boutique/retail outlet which she has now grown to three! Yes, not only has Cynthia Miller-Scott made something wonderfully spectacular of herself, but, she’s now also the employer of many. A hands-on, hard working woman who still doesn’t mind stepping off of the porch and getting in the mud to get it done.

 

Godfather: How long have you been writing?
Cynthia: I feel I have been writing my entire adulthood. When my children became victims of a horrific crime, I started to write poetry to release my pain. When I would wake them up, I would present them with a poem giving them step by step instructions on how to function throughout the day. I felt they had survived a horrible situation and the last thing I wanted them to do was to
make plans without me.

Godfather: Who/what first inspired you to write?

Cynthia: When I was incarcerated the very last time, a sheriff there hired me to write a poem for her daughter giving birth. The poem had to be special
because during the pregnancy she lost her husband. I nailed it. In return for my services she brought me a book called “Yesterday I cried” by Iyana Vansant. When I first opened the book and read the poem I broke down. Her book touched my heart. I asked the sheriff if I could use the computer to write my story and the rest is history.

Godfather: What books have you written and what were they about?
Cynthia: My first book was, In Rare Form. This is the story of a family that survived a horrific crime, only to be infested by the aftermath it had on the entire family. Yes, it is my story. It is a story inside of survival not about survival.
My second book was, On Rare Occasions. This is a book full of powerful short fiction stories. Some will sound familiar. You see, Godfather, we all have a story that ties like a knot to other humans on this planet.

Godfather: What’s the name of your stores and where are they located?
Cynthia: My store is, Real Women Revealed boutique Store and more.
4801 E. Mac Dowell suite 100, Phoenix AZ 85016
I recently moved out of the first location and put all my efforts into this project with the boutique.

Godfather: I notice that you sell more than just books, talk about that?
Cynthia: Over the past few years since I started writing I noticed all the comments about book stores failing and closing. I just could not accept that. See, sometimes when life changes addresses on you, then you have to change your method of delivery. I had become pretty successful in a marketing and consulting business in Phoenix. The owner of the company was a 31 year old
black man who had walked into the very company he owned four years prior and had become the owner. That was so powerful to me, when he told me his story, that I started talking to him about the book business. When I went to him one day and told him I was going to partner with a smoke shop he told me that was absolutely brilliant. So my first book store was actually a smoke shop. I wasn’t pulling enough from just the books. I needed to catch the community’s eye so I created a line of T-shirts. I made sure my shirts had powerful unique sayings on them, and I shopped around for great prices, so I could offer the lowest price in the community. I built a reputation for having the “$10.00 Tee’s and books”. I started going to businesses as well, and promoting my T-shirts, letting them know I was a local author, and sold my books in a package deal.  Audrey Jenkins, my business partner in the boutique has been in my networking circle for three years. We always supported each other on events that either of us had. I came up with Get up and show up because we always messaged each other “hey girl you can count on me showing up”. I thought about that and developed a program called Get up and Show up. It was the one thing I did on a consistent level, after my release from jail, that put me in the position I am in today. I believed in it so much I had a video made and sent it to schools and prisons everywhere. Audrey & I had a conversation one night about how people are always talking about something but never get up and show up to do it. She and I sat there, over our hot wings and Martinis, and shared our dreams of a boutique, that would not only generate money, but also serve the many homeless, abused and/or former drug addicted  women in recovery in our community. We didn’t just talk about it either. That night, while I was on line, Audrey sent me an email with several store front locations. The next day we went looking. A week later I found a place. Two days later, we had the keys. We simply moved on faith. I knew I needed a platform to sell books and I wanted to do a clothing line. We came up with the name, because Audrey had a web based talk show, that I had been on several times, called Real Women Revealed. I had the get up and show up events, so we combined our dreams, and God carried us the rest of the way.

Godfather: What made you open a bookstore?
Cynthia: The desire to have a platform for others as well as myself. It is my goal, to have a lucrative business, where people can not only dress their bodies
but also dress their minds.

Godfather: How is the book business in Az?
Cynthia: The book business is what I make it. My books in the store don’t jump off the shelf. I pick them up and place them in the hands of readers. I do
events centered around various subjects. I sell Cynthia. The books are part
of the package.

Godfather: With ebooks going for pennies on the dollar, how are readers responding to the average $15.00 price of a paperback?
Cynthia: I have absolutely no problem with my paper backs. As a matter of fact my paperback out sells my ebooks any day of the week.

Godfather: Do you plan to expand or open any other locations?
Cynthia: Wesley, not only do I plan to open another location, we are working onbuilding a chain of stores. Stay tuned. My dreams are goals that I will reach.

Godfather: What’s your take on the pulse of book distribution on the West Coast?
Cynthia: I don’t have an opinion on that. I feel there is power in numbers whether it is one or one hundred. As I said before it is all in the delivery. If we
can deliver together we will all win together.

Godfather: Are a lot of your customers also Facebook friends or no?
Cynthia: No. I do not find my readers on Facebook. I commend anyone who does. My method of operation is different. I sell Cynthia in my daily hand to hand method, and then I send them to my Facebook page for more of me. I rarely advertise my books via Facebook. I advertise life, positivity, inspiration and courage. If you receive those messages, from my social media sites, thenyou will also look for my books.

Godfather: Are authors helping to promote, doing book signings, supplying you with enough books, etc? How would you say author support has been?
Cynthia: Outstanding. I reached out and authors provided.

Godfather: What are your biggest challenges?
Cynthia: Time is my biggest challenge. I am constantly working on new ventures and ways to reach my goals. So I often find that 24 hours just is not enough.

Godfather: Has anyone in the industry stepped up to help guide you or lend support?
Cynthia: Yes, very much so. Jm Benjamin stepped up and offered me a ton of support. James Scott, who at the time was not my husband, offered me so much support I married him. Smile. Wesley Hunter has given me more support than I can even grasp viewing his location. Treasure Blue helped me with a blue print for taking control of my books.

Godfather: Are you currently working on any other projects? What’s next in the clip for Cynthia Miller-Scott?
Cynthia: I am currently stepping up my writing game. I am in the middle of a few projects. I have a book entitled “The Willing. Profile of a female serial killer” and I am also working on a very powerful project with Jm Benjamin. And, I just wrapped up a project for Big L a music distributor in Atlanta. Plus, my partner, Audrey Jenkins, and I are in the kitchen of the minds right now stirring up another goal. We plan on making our store a household name.

Godfather: What’s your advice to new authors?
Cythia: Get up and show up for your life. If books are your life treat it that way.

Godfather: What would be your advice to anyone looking to get into the retail side of the book business?
Cynthia: Stay prayed up. Stay focused. Find something to bring them in the door. Then plant your books in their hand. Books don’t talk to people unless you give them a voice.

Godfather: How can people go about getting their books on your shelves?
Cynthia: I am so easy to work with. Go to my site: http://www.getupandshowup.com. Inbox me on Facebook. You see, I am an author first, so I know the challenges. I pay up front for all my books.

Godfather: How can you be reached?
Cyntha: Facebook Cynthia Miller-Scott
Twitter: Inrareform Join my Facebook page: Real Women Revealed Boutique Store and more

Godfather: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Cynthia: If you ever need a reason to get up and show up, or you just need a little
inspiration look up my utube video. Get up & show up by Cynthia Miller

Purchase the book at,
http://www.inrareformbook.com/purchasebook.html

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

There should be an author’s proverb which says: ‘Don’t talk over the heads of the people you are trying to reach’. Too often, we as writers can get enchanted with our own skills. We love the whole idea of language, and so we are constantly trying to find new ways to utilize the words we learn. This is especially true of prisoners, who tend to study the whole dictionary, and then extend unto the outer realms of society’s perch, that which time and circumstance hath helped us to become duly enlightened by. In the dire hopes, that our newly birthed discovery might, in some way, enrich those torn and tattered souls dwelling within the abyss of a humdrum adverse existence, unawares… *record scratch* STOP!   knowyouraudience2

Think of it this way: when you go look for a job, you tend to express yourself a lot different than you would at cousin Bay-Bay’s spot. The same for mingling with a college crowd, as oppose to chopping it with your folks at the club, etc. It’s not that we must ‘dumb-down’ our language, but simply that we don’t want our message/lesson to be lost on the very souls we intend to reach. What good is steak to a man with no teeth? It’s cursing you out in German, while wearing a smile on my face.

Bottom line: I won’t ever impress you, if you can’t even understand what I’ve said, right? It’ almost like standing in a doctor’s office or a courtroom, when, after all is said and shared, you’re still standing there like: ‘HUH? Ok, somebody tell me what just happened’. [he said you’re dying and you gon’ be in jail til you dead.] Lol. Exactly. Don’t get me wrong, I, for one, love kicking that intellectual text book stuff, but I ain’t tryna read it in no urban novel, feel me?

So, what kind of book are you writing?

Are you reaching the audience you intend?

 

 

Wesley “Godfather” Hunter

“GODFATHER” Hunter is an incarcerated author from Los Angeles, Ca. He has  written several books covering a variety of genres, to include self-help/how-to/advisory, autobiography, poetry, urban romance, erotica and street lit. Godfather has even taught urban lit during his many years of incarceration. He makes an added effort to lace his writings with history, social-political consciousness and other such pearls of wisdom while penning  in a style which many have compared to the likes of James Patterson, John Grisham and Michhael Connelly.

 

 

Business Picks Up in Amazon/Publisher Feud

Hatchette will be the least of Amazon’s worries in the near future. If I were them, I would just try to wrap the spat up.

Why?

Because Simon and Schuster and News Corp has next when they come up for renegotiation. If  Amazon is already blocking pre-orders of books from names such as J.K. Rowling, Nicolas Parks and James Patterson, you know they will block Veronica Roth, Stephen King and any and everyone on the HarperCollins and Simon and Schuster rosters.

The way I see it may be a bit trite  and cliche but I promise you, if these publishers set it up the right way, they will win: Its always strength in numbers.th-1

 

Clearly, Simon and  Schuster and News Corp have been sitting in the cut, observing the Amazon/Hatchette spat. Make no mistakes about it. So with that said, I think that publishers should collaborate  and strong arm Amazon. They better, because what Amazon is going for is a larger percent of the retail price. If that happens, that could mean lower fees for authors. So what was once 25 percent of the publisher’s take on sales could be wittled down to 15 to less than 10 percent. Amazon on the other hand, will continue to win because by getting a bigger chunk of the retail price, the mega retailer can discount more while retaining the profit.

If I were these publishers, I would create my own ebook biz and not sell ANYTHING to Amazon. By doing this, publishers and authors can sell directly to the consumers. Look at all of the music artists starting their own “labels”. Thanks to itunes and even Napster before them, the only value that a record label has now is management and marketing.  It’s the same thing going on in publishing right now. There is no need for the middle man.

Another thing that the publishers can do is revise their relationship with Apple. Before the Justice Department popped Apple and publisher for collusion,  Apple took a 30 percent cut of each e-book sold through iTunes and their ibookstores.  Another option is to collab with them again and maybe appeal the Justice departments’ decision. The way I see it is Amazon is trying to make the publishers be in collusion with them. The difference is Apple was at least trying to hide their greed.

The bottom line is the outcome of this feud will change the landscape of literature as we know it. Its worth it for the publishers to come together and plan.round-two-amazon-vs-publishers-1

So what do you think the next move should be and Why? I would love to read your opinions on here or you can hit me up on my facebook (www.facebook.com/ jannelle1) or tweet me @jannelle12 directly or you can sound off in the comments section here on Straight No Chaser

Finding Your Calling w/Rapper Que

“When I’m in my artistic zone, I can’t hear or see anything except what I’m trying to put on the paper. It’s like I go in a trance!”

-Aaliyah Anderson, from the forthcoming young adult novel “The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson”

A couple of months back, I uploaded the most popular article I’ve written so far entitled Three Reasons Why Most Of Our Youth Don’t Have a Chance At Success. It caused a very healthy discussion but folks were still pointing fingers at young people, still acting as if we’re all dysfunctional. Why is it so hard to accept that there is some positivity coming from the millennial generation? Why do we keep harping on the ratchetness, self-hate and negativity that we’re constantly fed? We will right this ship!

When I wrote my first novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson, I made a vow to be the voice of my generation. I made a promise to myself to prove to the world that you can put major support and backing behind positive content to young adults. And with 29,000 reads and counting on Wattpad, a publishing deal with DC Bookdiva Publications and a staff writing position for three websites and a magazine (Sista’s Keeper), my goals are being achieved! But I’m still not satisfied…….

Another vow I made to myself was that I’d do everything in my power to make The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson the new 398054_455727021160344_2096821740_n coming-of-age novel that everyone has in their collection. I want my  novel to be put in the same category as Sister Soulja’s The Coldest  Winter Ever and Omar Tyree’s Flyy Girl. It has all the potential in  the world too. But, when it comes to success, I’m rather impatient. I  want the message of The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson to take over  the world right now! But how am I going to do that if the young people in  my hometown of Macon, GA barely recognize what I’m doing? Yeah,  that’s a huge problem…….

For the longest time, I kept hearing about this rapper named Que. He  had a large group of female followers at almost every middle and high  school in Macon. He was headlining local shows and opening for  nationally renowned music artists like Diggy Simmons, Jacob Latimore and the OMG Girls and he hadn’t even graduated high school yet. I was amazed!

I started listening to his music and realized that he actually had a message. He was going out of his way to promote positivity and having a good time. And he was getting major recognition and love for it. As a BMB (Business Minded Brother) I tend to look at things in a deep and analytical sense. I stopped looking at the artist Que and started looking at Que, the budding musical brand. This brother is doing some revolutionary things man! I’m not lying at all!

All entrepreneurs can take a lesson from this young man. I know I have! After scheming on it for months, I finally got a chance to chop it up with Que about his rise to musical prominence.

 

Randall: From my research on your background, you’ve been performing since you were a child. How have you been able to turn your passion for music into a career?

Que: I turned my music into a career by putting much of my time and energy into it, I always dreamed about being a music artist, and felt like I was blessed with a God given talent, so I took it in consideration and built a career.

 

Randall: You boast about being a versatile, clean artist. How have you been able to keep things positive?

Que: I kept things positive by doing music that’s clean and that does not influence drugs, violence and poverty. Also, I avoid using profanity and write about subjects that can affect a person in a positive way,

 

Randall: Ever since you’ve started performing in Macon, you’ve taken the city by storm! Rapper T.I. said in an interview on BET’s 106 & Park last year that it’s extremely important for an artist to get their city, state and/or region behind him. How were you able to do this so effectively?

Que: I stayed humble and respectful to my peers around my community, I also participated in charitable organizations around the city like Feed The Homeless visiting the children’s hospital to give gifts to the patients and really showing the citizens of Macon how appreciative I am of their support.

 

Randall: How important has surrounding yourself with the positive people been to your success as an artist and a young man?

QueMy positive surroundings encourage me to do the right things, and make sure I don’t stain my image or the brand I’m building. My fans, family, and friends are all positive people and that motivates me to keep pushing such a great movement.

 

Randall: The Business Dictionary defines “branding” as “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.” From what I see, you’ve been incredibly successful in this regard.

Que: Yes my brand has extended internationally. Fans from Africa and Germany to Canada and other parts of the U.S have become strong supporters of my image.

 

Randall: How does it feel to open up for established acts such as Diggy Simmons, The OMG Girlz and Tank?

Que: It felt great to open for Diggy Simmons and the OMG girls! Diggy is actually one of my role models in the industry so just to walk the same stage as him was amazing. The OMG girls and Tank are also very talented. It was an honor meeting10414468_711302028929987_6146787554088474143_n all of them and having the opportunity to perform with them.

 

Randall: How important is faith to your success?

Que: Faith plays a big role in my success because I have to believe in myself. I believe that I can succeed in everything I put my mind to. If you don’t believe yourself no one else will.

 

Randall: There’s a myth that the younger generation, especially young people in the black community, are misguided and counterproductive. On a daily basis I’m trying to fight and show the world that we’re a force to be reckoned with. With all the great things you’re doing now, what do you have to say to our critics?

Que: There are still young educated black youths out here in the world. Not all young black people are misguided, and there are many of us that are doing something productive with our lives. I just wish we could unite and support each one another so we could stop giving these critics something to talk about.

 

Randall: What upcoming projects do you have on the horizon?

Que: I have a single called Dance Floor that I am about to push. Meanwhile, I’m getting prepared for more concerts for this month and July. I also have a couple of meetings coming up with some major labels about distribution.

 

Randall: Where can we find you?

Que: You can find me on:

Facebook.com/Que95

Twitter.com/Queofficial

Instagram.com/QueWorld

YouTube.com/Mquis95

 

My official website is the

TheRealQue.com

 

 

Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Do you have somebody you want me to interview? Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Twitter: @AuthorRandallB

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

 

Check out a preview of my forthcoming Young Adult novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad!

http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson

 

 

 

 

TRUE TO FORM

Meeting Al-Saadiq Banks was a true enlightenment and inspiration. I called him up and, I swear, it was almost like I was talking to my own twin: a man who understood the struggle, in finding a way to straddle the invisible line between intellect and aggressive egotistical street expectations; between respectability and savagery. A man whom, much like myself, shall answer the call and lead the charge, in a boardroom or a back alley and give you all you ask for, without question. For he is the type to go the extra mile and put in the extra work, always giving more than expected, because, in everything he does, he has a point to prove, in that he yearns to succeed beyond all doubts and/or expectations.

 

 I could just go on and on about this man. I mean, I was really just that impressed, and, I promise you, I am, by far, not just  some celebrity-author jocking fan. If you don’t EARN my respect, it is not so freely given. However, when one does, I’ll yell from the mountain top to give it. Al-Saadiq Banks, earned my respect to the fullest.
alsaadiqsmokin
Being as well read, as I like to think I am, I am sorta surprised that I wasn’t up on Al-Saadiq. This man is a real weapon of the urban lit. field. An honor roll student all through school who never even thought about living within the chaotic realms of the streets. Al-Saadiq didn’t grow up wanting to be the next D-Boy or hood star, and never even imagined it so. No, as a youngster, Al-Saadiq chased but one thing: an education. And, in fact, it was his chase of an education which ultimately lead him to the streets.

 

Encouraged by his, up to then mostly absent, dad to do so, Al-Saadiq, enrolled in college, to study electrical engineering, with the understanding that his dad would cover the costs and, in fact, his dad did cover those costs, for the first year. The second year, his dad backed out of the arrangement entirely, at which point, Al-Saadiq, turned to an old friend who’d become a successful D-Boy. Impressively, the friend picked up the burden and covered all of Al-Saadiq’s second year costs for school. But, by the third year, it turned all bad and Al-Saadiq had to get out and do for himself. Calling on his old street buddies to put him in the game, Al-Saadiq eventually turned to the streets, to hustle the money he needed for school. That’s when the beast emerged.

 

 Always wanting to do his best, and make a shining impression while doing so. Just as in school where run of-the-mill average was never good enough, Al-Saadiq remained true to form and took to claim his place as an honor roll student of the game and, dropping out of school, he eventually spent 17 years in the streets doing just that. Shot twice ( once in 1994 and again in 1996)  Al-Saadiq, luckily, never fell prey to the penal system so, in some ways, you could say he made it. For, when Al-Saadiq’s girl got pregnant things began to change.

 

 With the advent of the coming child, of course, Al-Saadiq vowed to be there to do his best and he knew that meant leaving the streets. So he slowed his roll and sat at home and, then, he began to write about the addictive street life which he still longed for. Within 3 months he’d written his first semi-autobio affectionately called “NO EXIT” and ironically NO EXIT would actually go on to become the exit he was searching for. The year was 2002.

 

Always a boss, Al-Saadiq turned to the then popular do-it-yourself print on demand (POD) version of self-publishing. Going with a company called iUniverse, Al-Saadiq would eventually spend upwards of $20,000.00 to print up 2000 books and, with the market being what it was at the time, the books began to move just like the dope he’d once sold. Until, finally, he’d netted the attention of a once-popular independent distributor who’d put the word in the stores and in the streets to find him. And, the rest, as they say, is history. Al-Saadiq is now 9 hot full-length novels in the game and still going strong, as owner and CEO of TRUE 2 LIFE PRODUCTIONS.

 

But, Ok, that’s enough from me, go ahead and meet the man Al-Saadiq.
Al-Saadiq all 3 books
Godfather:  Nine titles in the game. Go ahead and name them for us.

 

Al Saadiq: No, Exit, Block Party 1, Sincerely Yours, Caught em Slippin, Block Party 2, Block Party 3, Strapped, Back 2 Business(BP4), Young Gunz, in that order.

 

Godfather: Facebook seems to be the goto spot for marketing these days, do you do a lot of marketing on Facebook?

 

Al Saadiq:  I utilize all the social media networks but maybe not to the degree that I should. I’m getting better with it.

 

Godfather:  Do you use any other social media sites for marketing?  If so, which ones and which do you find to be most effective?

 

Al Saadiq: I’m heavy on twitter and I post sporadically on Instagram. I find Facebook to be the most effective when it comes to building a base and having your readers right at your fingertips. But overall I believe Instagram is where it’s at if you know the hashtags to use to bring you into other people’s networks and expose yourself to new arenas.

 

Godfather: What other marketing tools do you use?

 

Al Saadiq: In business I learn something new everyday and I try out new tactics everyday. With no formal training in marketing, I just have to try my hand and see what works. Sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss.

 

Godfather: You’ve been at the game as, an independent, for a long time. To what do you attribute your success?

 

Al Saadiq: Hard work, persistence and pure stubbornness.

 


Godfather: 
What are the biggest mistakes most new authors make? 
Al Saadiq:  I believe the biggest mistakes new authors make is coming in the game competing with the veterans instead of learning all they can learn from the authors who have been in the game before them. I’ve seen many new authors come in with the arrogance and not even get past their first book. Humility is key. It’s all about the delivery. There are some veterans who won’t give advice no matter what but you have a lot who will. If you come in the game with the “I’m the best” or “I’m the only official dude writing” mentality, most of us will sit back and watch you crash. That’s just the way it goes.

 

Godfather:  I know you published your first book through an on-line print on demand company named iUniverse. How did that work for you and would you recommend a new author go through a similar company today?

 

 

Al Saadiq:  In no way do I recommend the online publishing houses.  I see them all as a rip off.  The price they charge you to print your books makes it impossible for you to even compete in the market place. Booksellers don’t even respect books that come from those companies because they know that those companies will take any book from anybody just as longas the author can pay their fees.  Also with the price you pay them, you can use the same money to self publish. I stand on INDEPENDENCE.

 

Godfather: Distribution is almost like the holy grail to success, because even the best product in the world won’t succeed without placement and exposure. So, what kind of advice would you give a new author on acquiring distribution?

 

Al Saadiq:  With the market being as tight as it is, the shelf life of a book is probably about a week. Your book is new and in demand today and by the end of the week it’s considered old. You have to keep the life pumping in your book and understand that a book is never old as long as there are people out there who never read it. In order to obtain distribution you should first create the demand for you book wherein distributors hear about you long before you even contact them.  Distributors carry
your book, not promote it. The last thing they will do is tie their money up buying your book when other titles that have a bigger hype behind them are out there for the buying. To you, your book is your life but to them it’s all in the flip.

 

Godfather:  What are some of the current challenges in the industry? What do you find to be the most difficult element to succeeding as an independent author/publisher?

 

 

Al Saadiq: Distribution is and has always been the biggest issue of our genre. Then the distributors we do have in this genre, a great deal of the ones of our color can’t separate business from personal. We also have the crab in the barrel mindset all over this genre. It’s very cliquish and if you’re not apart of THE CLIQUE, there’s a chance that you will be overshadowed. I find the politics of this business to be the biggest obstacle. First of all as an independent, which they call self-published, they frown their noses down at you. But if you sign that same book over to the major publishing houses you’re now looked upon with more prestige. As an independent some of the biggest platforms like Walmart and Target are most times not even available to us which makes the playing field uneven.

 

Godfather: Unlike it was in the early years, there’s a flood of new talent in the industry these days. What advice would you give an author on standing out
amongst the crowd?

 

Al Saadiq: With the increase of books in this genre my advice is to put out quality projects and you will stand out among the many who are NOT. Don’t look at this as a hustle to make quick bucks. Look at it as a business and from the longevity aspect of it all.

 

Godfather: Have you ever or do you ever plan to publish other authors under your label, True 2 Life Publications?

 

Al Saadiq: I’ve never published anyone and I really don’t have plans of publishing anyone. First and foremost I’m busy focusing on my career and I’m not where I would like to be. If I published another author they would get slighted because I’m focusing on me and that wouldn’t be fair. Second reason I don’t publish authors is because most of the stories that I would publish come from prisoners, the raw and uncut stories. I have a problem paying BOSSES a royalty. If on the street in their boss stature, I know they would publish their own work but because of the compromising situation they’re in they pretty much have no choice.  I have a problem with that and would feel like I’m taking advantage of them because of their situation.  I will tell you what I’ve told many others who have tried to get signed by me, I won’t publish you but I will walk you through it so you can publish yourself.

 

Godfather: Price competition: What’s your take on the .99 ebook craze?

 

Al Saadiq: I’m not for or against the .99 ebook craze but for me it’s almost like a disrespect to the craft. I sit down for 6-9 months to complete a novel and after all that time I can only make a few pennies off it? It’s not worth it. But for the guys who don’t put time into their craft and produce books in a week, it may make perfect sense to them. It goes back to the question of doing business or hustling?  But really I could never frown my nose at how one eats. Get your money.  If it works for you God bless.  It just doesn’t work for me. I come from the paperback era, 15 bucks a book. Times change and everything runs it’s course, so I get it. At the end of the day, only quality will stand the test of the time so whether you sell your book at .99 or 14.99 the only way it will be around for ten years is if it’s of quality.

 

Godfather: What’s your take on the future of the urban book industry as a whole?

 

Al Saadiq: I see the future of urban books destructing just as it has over the years but at an even more rapid pace. The goal is to again create quality projects that will build you a base and when the urban fiction market self destructs, you will have a base that doesn’t see you as an urban fiction writer, but they see you as a WRITER, bottom line, point
blank, period.

 

Godfather:  Any other advice you want to give or comments you want to share?

 

Al Saadiq: The only advice I really have is what I’ve been yelling the whole interview, QUALITY PROJECTS. That will separate you from the masses.

 

Godfather:Where can your books be found?

 

Al Saadiq:  true2lifeproductions.com, amazon.com and most of the independent bookstores.

 

Godfather: How can you be a reached?

 

Al Saadiq:  @alsaadiqbanks instagram
@alsaadiq twitter
alsaadiqbanks@aol.comal-saadiq banks on Facebook.

Rebuilding The Family w/Author Chanel Savage

When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family.

Jim Butcher

For decades, we’ve been experiencing a major breakdown of the black family unit. As time has worn on, our situation has gotten worse. Where I’m from, seeing a child that lives in a two parent household is an anomaly. For some, it’s amazing if the mother and father even like each other!

There are several social ramifications to this savage break-up of one of the strongest institutions in our rich history. The epidemic of babies having babies has gotten more widespread. Every teenager knows at least one girl that is currently pregnant or has birthed a baby. Meanwhile, the prison industrial complex has successfully found a way to make black men the new slaves. With an overwhelming amount of black men dead or in jail, the emasculation of the black man has picked up full force. The dominant Black familysociety doesn’t even see us as useful, seeing the fact that our young men get gunned down every day without the batting of an eyelash.

There needs to be a definite change in the tide, family. The narcissistic mindset of our modern day society desperately needs to be lost! As a community, we’re all we’ve got.  We have the power to rebuild our families. We just need to know we have this power!

In the literary space, there have been numerous authors that have created projects inspired by dysfunctional families. Many of them are considered classics and are even studied in educational institutions around America. Author Chanel Savage has decided to put her own spin on things with her new novel Savage Sisters. The novel is based around the central message of family unity and the strength of women. Recently, I got a chance to briefly sit down with her and talk about her novel, the plight of the black family and solutions to this issue.

 

Randall: Your novel Savage Sisters is about the importance of a strong family unit during troubling times. How did this story come about and what was your inspiration behind writing it?

Chanel Savage: I’ve been writing on and off for years.  I would read, see, or hear something and come up with an idea, and start writing.  Then I noticed I had ideas, and started stories I had never finished.  When I started Savage Sisters I said to myself I am going to finish this story. 

I wanted to write about more than one character because I felt that it would keep the book interesting. I wanted my characters to have all different personalities but share a common bond.  I thought a sister hood surrounded by the struggles of their parents, and inheriting a mean streak from their father was perfect. 

The inspiration behind Savage Sisters is the power of women. Although we struggle we still manage get through our 20140308_224029530_iOS situations, sometimes by any means necessary. I think women are so powerful in so many  ways.  But men are indeed stronger. Some take advantage of women and mistreat them. 

  I wanted my characters to take control of their situations, and not feel sorry for themselves.   Shayla, Shanice, Shante, and Shakira Savage all wanted to be loved by the men that they  love.  These men took advantage of them, and mistreated them.  This kind of mistreatment  happens every day in all communities.  The Savage Sisters handled their situation the only  way knew how, by being savages.

 

Randall: Was there a realistic motivation behind the novel?

Chanel Savage: Yes, there was a realistic motivation behind the story.  All of these situations I have either experienced, know someone who has experienced it, or saw it on the news. 

 

Randall: In the black community, there’s been a horrible break down of the family unit. What’s your take on this?

Chanel Savage: My take on the breakdown of the family we aren’t stepping up in our roles. I believe that some black women are not stepping up to the plate and being mothers.  Most black men are in jail or six feet under. The women are so important because we have to raise our children even when the father is not around.  I hate to see our black women not motivated to do better for themselves and their children. 

Public assistance is only supposed to be temporary. Some women stay on it most of their lives. Children are motivated by what they see.  It’s very few children that have a basketball or football talent that will magically elevate them out of the hood. There are also very few black children motivated to go to college.  

As women we have to choose the right man to have children by.  The man we choose has to be someone a child can look up to.  As a women we must creating a household with rules and regulations that are properly put in place.  Some women take mothering as a joke! Displaying that behavior, they are effectively creating another dysfunctional family.

 

Randall: We all love debating over the symptoms and problems surrounding this family issue but I’m in the business of fixing and finding long term solutions to our problems. How can we turn the tide?

Chanel Savage: First of all, no one on this earth is perfect. We all struggle.  Struggling is not about just not having money.  I love all four of my kids.  I think as parents the struggle comes with raising your children.  Most kids just want to be loved and acknowledged. 

I think as parents, or as a single parent, you have to make every day in their life count.  You have to set boundaries.  You have to teach them respect of self, and others.  You have to motivate your kids to be the best they can be.  You have be their number one supporter. You have to show them that family in everything. You have to be their parent.  Everything they do comes from you. The children are our future. It’s so true because we all were once children.

 

Randall: In your opinion, is there a place in the current black literary market for fiction that has an overt message and tackles real world issues?

Chanel Savage: I feel that there is a big place in the literary market for stories that confront real world issues.  Most people who read urban fiction walk out the door and they witness what we write about every day. Our readers love stories that they can relate to. I think everyone wants reality with some added drama rather it be on T.V. or in a book. 

 

To learn more about Chanel Savage, visit www.purpleinkpublishing.com

 

Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Twitter: @AuthorRandallB

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

 

Check out a preview of my forthcoming Young Adult novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad!

http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson

How Amazon Took Control Of The Book Industry

Amazon has well passed any expectations of its ability to change distribution and marketing.

 Eric Schmidt

Amazon has been in the world news lately for its public dispute with big name publisher Hatchette, the home of authors such as James Patterson and J.K. Rowling. The business war between the two companies has grown into more than a simple disagreement over E-Book prices. No, this is also a sign that Amazon has become a super power in the world of literature. They’re using their massive leverage to put pressure on Hatchette to give in to their demands while also showing other authors and publishers that they’re now in control.

If this public battle has James Patterson, the number one best-selling author in the world today, flustered enough to address Amazon on a platform as wide and prestigious as the BookExpo America, you know black independent publishers are steadily watching these events unfold. If they’re strong arming one of the top five publishing companies, how are they going to treat the small black publishing presses in the future? From the looks of it, I doubt E-Book prices are changing any time soon…….

While many journalists have vividly and accurately given incite on this issue, many have missed the mark in explaining to the inquiring public how Amazon became so powerful. They’re taking a page out of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller’s playbook and becoming a modern day monopoly right before our eyes! As an up-and-coming entrepreneur myself, it’s amazing to see this unfold. But, as an author, I’m on the fence as well as for what this means for the future of my novels.

So, after careful research, allow for me to tell you the two ways Amazon took control of the book industry. African-American entrepreneurs and business owners, please take note. We can learn something from Amazon’s business model. Authors and publishers, corporate or independent, let’s brainstorm on a way to create our own leverage and smuggle power away from Amazon. Do we need to get the government involved like how they did with Rockefeller? Can we get the government involved?

 

1)   Amazon Made Getting Books Convenient

“To me, speed is really about convenience.”

-Marissa Mayer

With the creation of Kindle, Amazon made getting full-length novels quick and easy. And let’s not forget they made it cheap. Some Kindle books go for .99 in the online store. With the click of a button, it’s delivered to your iPad or Kindle Cloud Reader. While this is the most cited example, let’s not forget that Amazon also made getting print books quick and cheap as well.

In the store, you have the option of getting a new or used copy of a print book. A used copy is normally a considerably smaller price than the price of a brand new book. If it’s Monday and you decide that you want to save time and get it quickly, you can pay
some extra money and get your desired novel or textbook on the first flight to your mail box. Usually, you’ll get it a day later. UPS and Fedex have a problem with coming on time sometimes though. But, Amazon has something in store for that hassle in the near The-Kindle-3-reader-007future……

Bottom line, you want your business to be known for great customer service. One part of customer service is delivering a quality product on time. Folks now days are lazy. If they have the power to get something cheap without moving an inch, they’ll go for it over going to a physical brick-and-mortar store. A company that doesn’t understand that will go into extinction. Amazon will probably take you out too!

 

 

 

2)   Amazon Controls  Distribution

The greatest secret of success (in business) is to find a need and fill it.

– Robert Schuller

In my personal opinion, distribution is the most important part of business. Distribution deals directly with how you’re getting the product out to the customer. The internet has made interacting with potential customers and distributing products ridiculously easy. Because of this, Amazon became one of the number one internet hubs for distributing products.

Amazon is flexing its power over Hatchette by making it incredibly difficult to get a book that’s been published by them. Their new releases “conveniently” don’t have a pre-order button. Amazon is making moves to show Hatchette that they better fall in line or reap the outcome of their actions. And the outcome is major money lost because of the fact that they’re losing that covenant online and E-Book money.

Wal-Mart and Amazon are seemingly teaming up to break down book store chains such as Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million. Many cities don’t even have a bookstore any more. In my city of Macon, GA, there’s only one traditional bookstore. The only other place you can get a new release from your favorite author is by going to your local Wal-Mart (mainly the one nearest to Best BuyAmazon Robots  for my folks from Macon) or visiting Amazon.

Amazon is watching and enjoying traditional bookstores slowly die.  Meanwhile,  they’re working on ways to completely control  distribution. How are they doing  this? Well, by venturing into robotics.  Yup, Google and Amazon are making  the Terminator franchise creators look like prophets!

Amazon is looking to create robots to drop the products in their  inventory right  on your doorstep. Are UPS and FedEx on the way out? I  won’t say that  definitively. But, if their robotics projects go as planned,  it’ll give Amazon more  power and assertion over the book world. We  may even see traditional book  distributors go out of business!

Remember: Distribution is incredibly important. Amazon is showing us this right before our eyes. If you don’t have your own mini online store set-up, it’s a good chance that you’re losing out big money to Amazon. I was incredibly excited to see that New York Times best-selling author Wahida Clark is venturing into book distribution. She actually announced the news when I interviewed her a few weeks ago.

This is something we all need to venture into in the near future. Personally, I don’t like other people determining my fate or telling me what to do with my own product. Maybe that’s my millennial mindset creeping out. Or maybe it’s good business sense. I’m just saying! I hope Hatchett wins this dispute for all the authors and publishers in this industry. I’m going to be following this story like I’m watching the NBA Finals!

 

Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Twitter: @AuthorRandallB

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

 

Check out a preview of my forthcoming Young Adult novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad!

http://www.wattpad.com/story/6314747-the-diary-of-aaliyah-anderson