Meet the Insider: Jaclyn Gary

Meet the Insider Series

By Tiah Short


Tell us about your bookstore.  Your name and position.  Where you are located and what genres do you carry?

I’m Jaclyn Gary, the owner of Mahogany Reads Café, which is an Indie Bookstore located in Holly Hill, Florida (just outside of Daytona Beach, Florida). We carry all genres of books, such as, both fiction & non-fiction, urban street lit, romance, erotica, and poetry, to name a few.

What inspired you to launch your bookstore?

My husband Hood Ink wrote a book called Bad Karma, that we self-published. Through that journey I realized that there aren’t many platforms available for self-published authors to get their books out to the masses. Bookstores such Barnes & Noble and BAM have strict guidelines as to books they accept into their store. This gave me the idea of starting a bookstore that is geared towards independent authors/publishers.  With all that’s going on in the world today, I just want our people who are doing right to feel accomplished by having their books in print and in a bookstore.

Can readers purchase books from you online?

Readers can purchase books online at

What authors have you worked with and which one did you enjoy the most?

I’ve worked with Author Bernie Richmond and of course my husband Hood Ink the author. I’ve enjoyed working with them both. Bernie has a bookstore in Miami so she has been kind of a mentor to me throughout this whole process.

What type of books do your customers enjoy most?

Because I just opened my physical store (Saturday 11/5), I’ve only been selling Bad Karma by Hood Ink. The readers seem to like that genre, so I will have plenty of urban street lit in stock.

How do authors and publishers contact to you for book signings and to pitch their books for placement in your stores?

I can be contacted via email at

What has been one of the challenges of running a bookstore?

The challenge that I’ve faced has been trying to get the store open. Due to Hurricane Matthew that affected Florida’s east coast a few weeks ago, it pushed our renovations back a few weeks. But with God and determination we are now open.

If you had any advice for authors and publishers, what would it be?

I would tell them to remain professional and consistent. This is a great platform for all parties involved (the bookstore owner, the author, and the publisher). If you say you’re going to do something be sure that you do it. If something comes up and what you said you would do changes please keep the line of communication open.

If you had any advice for future book sellers, what would it be?

My advice would be to go for it. You only fail if you don’t try. We need more bookstores. We need more places that cater to us. We need a place to go to make ourselves feel proud to be who we are. So, just go for it!!

Please share with us how authors can contact you via email and social media?

I can be contacted via email,


Facebook at, Instagram at and Twitter at



Tiah Short is the Founder of Urban Literary Review and CEO of DC Bookdiva Publications, Find her online at



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