Category Archives: No Chaser

ULR Feature: Meet Author Reggie Wells

reggiewellsReggie Wells is CEO and President of Power Rich Media and No Smiles Allowed Entertainment. He is an author, publisher, screenplay writer and motivational speaker. Since Reggie’s release from prison from serving twenty-one years in the federal system, his company has published its first novel titled “Instinct & Desires”. Reggie is also working on his first novel titled, “A Prince Amongst Men” and a host of movie scripts to be released in 2015.
No Smiles Entertainment’s mission is to use words to highlight real life situation by producing quality novels and screenplays that will enhance literature and awareness, Reggie plans to give back to the community by creating jobs, events and programs that will mend some of the plights in his communities.

Check out his latest book, Instincts Desires (click here to purchase)instinctsdesires

CHARLIE BANKS a Douglas High School basketball super star was acquitted of first-degree murder. Now after years of shadow boxing with the past, Charlie Banks “AKA” Charlie Rock the once Portland, Oregon drug alleged kingpin traded it all in to become a Federal Correctional Officer. After six and a half years, he volunteers to transfer to a newly opened women’s Federal Correctional Institution called F.C.I. PARELL. Officer Banks is a very handsome man who has always attracted women but his weakness is his strong sexual desires that always overpower his instincts.  He will find out first-hand how female inmates are just as aggressive as the male inmates he worked around.  In the mist of  lust, Banks slowly begins to understand that females use what they have to get what they want. The rules and privileges are different. Money is not their want. It is Freedom versus Equal justice.

If Charlie cannot grasp control over his desires, he will end up like the prisoners he guards eight hours a day…

 

Keep in touch w/ him!

Facebook: Author Reggie Wells

Twitter: @ ReggieWells112

rw@nosmilesallowedentertainment.com

 

 

THE GIFT OF WORDS

Written by: Godfather

enemybloodline

A writer writes. Words in the mind of a creative spirit, simply MUST be expressed. Poems, lyrics, letters, novels, notes. We flip and twist; become captured by the sounds and descriptive acrobats of that which flows from our pen.

Umar Quadeer was always talented. From early on, he was spitting lyrics on the stage of name brand acts, and becoming known for his lyrical skills. A man of knowledge and wisdom, while in prison, the guys would often ask, Umar Quadeer, just how it was that he’d ended up there. No matter the options available, or the natural talent we may have, we all choose our paths, even when we don’t consciously make a selection. By NOT tapping into his talent, Umar had let himself down, and left himself to suffer within the troubling travels of his bad decisions.

From Philly, to Sacramento, and now Atlanta, Umar’s life has been a broken journey spotted with imprisonment. In fact, it was while in prison that Umar took the time to write. With 10 manuscripts under his belt, when he paroled, Umar originally tried his hand at self-publishing. However, he was quickly discovered by, Wahida Clark, The Queen of Urban Lit, when he approached her about having some books printed. She saw it. She liked it. She called. And, so the push began, shaping, Umar Quadeer, into one of the next wave of talented urban authors worthy of recognition. And, so, the journey begins.

ENEMY BLOODLINE dropped in June 2014. Now, meet and remember, Umar Quadeer, a man who’ll clearly be around for a while.

umar

 

 

What is ENEMY BLOODLINE about? 

Umar: Enemy Bloodline is about a Mixed Italian and black gangster named Spaz. He inherits a multi-million dollar drug enterprise and tries to carry on tradition. But, pretty women, FBI agents, and jealousy make his goal harder than he could ever dream of.

What makes your writing different than what’s out there?

My creativity and originality separates me from the rest.

Who/what were your inspirations? 

A song I wrote, called ‘5 Niggas in the Cadillac’, influenced me to write a book. The underground classic was a story from beginning to end.

Tell us about your rap history. How long were you in the biz? Who all did you work with? Any other music in your future? 

I hit the streets hard for a few years grinding my music. I did a show with the late Notorious B.I.G., but going back and forth to prison is what took me off that path. I’m working on a single as we speak.

I know you’ve acted as an extra in movies. Tell us about that. Which movies were you in? How long were you acting? Any plans for acting in the future?  

I was in this series called City of Angels. That was fun working besides Gabriel Union, she’s beautiful.

What other books do you have coming out, and when should we look for them? 

Enemy Bloodline part two is coming soon and I have an arsenal of other series coming so stay tuned!

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned about the business end of publishing? 

Stay on your A-game. You have to write like an author and think like a publisher.

Self-publishing. What were your greatest challenges?

There were a lot of challenges, but mainly the overall grind. Marketing, promotion, distribution and the preparation of the manuscript.

What advice would you give to a new author?

Work on your craft. Study before you dive in, and be yourself.

Marketing: Share one tip you’ve learned? 

Social media is the new stage for authors.

Distribution: Any advice there? 

Books don’t sell themselves.

Book signings: Anything in the works?

Yeah. Dec. 13th book signing, at the Cobb Center in Atlanta, Ga.

What’s next for Umar Quadeer?

Books, music, movies and clothes.

Anything else you want to share? 

Yeah. I want to think the higher power for generating energy inside my brain to be talented, and I want to thank, Wahida Clark, for giving me the chance to show the world my talent.

How can you be reached?

I can be reached easy through Instagram’s direct message.  Umar_quadeer_ on facebook and twitter.

 Purchase Enemy Bloodline now!

 

 

WHAT DO YOU CALL HIM?

Written by: Wesley “Godfather” Hunter

What do you call a man who’s misspent over $20,000 to launch his own publishing company? Who’s acquired promotions and entered into chain store deals requiring him to pay for the printing and shipment of 5000 copies of a paperback, only to have those paperbacks returned less than 60 days later, after being told the chain store had closed? A man who then runs into another bunch of dream sellers, which promise to help re-distribute the few copies which could be salvaged from the jumbled junk which had been literally shoved into a box and returned, only to discover that this group too would almost instantly disappear into thin air, without returning a single copy. Leaving shuttered doors and changed numbers in their wake. Yes, what do you call him? What do you call a man who’s been almost signed, but then warned not to do it? A man who’s chased his dreams, but then given up? A man who’s sat in a cage with a pen and a dream, who was a boss in the streets and commanded his change, but then enters the so-called “legit” world to become a victim of thieves, left suffering with the angers and pains which drive a reformed hustler to his knees: the streets calling, the clouds falling. A dream filled with storms and rains. What do you say? What do you call him?

In 1996, Rumont TeKay, was just 18 years old, when he was captured with a kilo of rock cocaine and sentenced to 35 years in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. Rumont was made to serve 12 years on that sentence, and while serving his time, Rumont began to write. A prisoner with a dream and no clue, simply trying to find his way, but as a penpal of a then incarcerated Wahida Clark, he had formed a long term bond which mattered; a bond which even he himself couldn’t know would prove to be so life changing and meaningful.

“BE MINDFUL OF THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, FOR YOU NEVER KNOW WHO’S WATCHING.”

With the ups and downs of the publishing game; with the twists and turns; with the ones at the  top suddenly in flux, and the entire landscape of the industry so drastically changing, I can promise you that everything you thought you knew just 3-5 years ago; all of the so-called top dogs of the industry, tools, costs and trends: Everything and ALL OF IT has changed. So, just imagine being trapped in a cage, with no mentor, no internet, no phone, no plugs, and no clue… The publishing game can be super challenging and made even more so by the physical state of our struggle. That said, Rumont had taken the journey, put it all on the line to escape old ways and carve out a new life, and, in the end, was left holding a shamefully empty bag loaded down with dull hope. But, then, the Urban Lit. Queen called.

In April 2014, after Rumont had all but given up and walked away from his   dream of becoming an author, Wahida Clark picked up the phone and asked him simply, “you ready?” she said that her people had taken a look at Rumont’s novel ‘Venom in My Viens’ and they instantly knew that they had to have it! Rumont had sent Wahida the manuscript almost a year before and had pretty much forgotten about it as he continued on with day-to-day life. Until, one day, he just happened to call his old penpal friend to check on her. The convo eventually turned to him asking if she’d read the manuscript, he then discovered that she had not and, in fact, that she’d been moving around so much that she didn’t even recall having seen it! Yet, the call lead to the hunt, the hunt then lead to the discovery, and the rest, as they say is history! On, August 26, 2014, VENOM IN MY VIENS by Rumont TeKay, officially dropped, and is currently making major waves, as a part of the WCP Team.

“THE SEEDS WE PLANT, BEAR THE FRUITS OF OUR PATH.”

In the beginning, I asked you what you’d call a man like Rumont TeKay. Well, I’ll tell you what I call him: I call him a man with a vision, a man on the move. I call him a serious author/business man who’s taken the risks and paid his dues. I call him reborn, rebirthed, replenished, refilled and ready to take the game by storm!

I promise you, Rumont TeKay, is NOT just another fly-by-night author out to make a bit of extra lunch money on the side, this brother is the honest to goodness built-to-last truth! I assure you, this is a guy who’ll be around for a while, and I’m truly honored to have met him. I definitely see what Lady Wahida saw, and so, now, I share him with you.

venom
Venom In My Veinz. Hell of a title. Tell us about your book, what’s it
about? Why the title?

RT: It’s about a young kid (Bromise Balducci) growing up in the streets of Chicago, fatherless, and worships the ground that his biological grandfather (Brisco Balducci) walks on. It just so happens that Brisco is the Head of one of the two most powerful mobs within the underworld, so Bromise was born in to it. And the story also has a profound love saga inter-woven into the plot, as Chasidy mirrored Bromise’s very image, although they clearly had their differences. And the two make one dynamic team. The title Venom In My Veinz is when pain meets with fury.

I know you’ve spent a lot of money in trying to go it alone. You ran into some struggles. Learned some lessons. Knowing now what you do, would you have done it different?

RT: I have no regrets. Sometimes you have to pay financially to learn from your mistakes. Rather you pay knowingly up front, or get swindled from behind, experience is always the best teacher. However, I will say that the biggest change or difference this go around is that I removed my publisher’s hat and focused only on being a writer.

What advice would you give someone who’s actively building their own company?

RT: Make sure your company is legally registered. Do your due diligence and connect with reputable peers in the business. Start the same way you want to finish. In other words, branding is everything and you start at the onset. Don’t cut corners in the production of your works. And take advantage of every marketing avenue known, be creative, a trailblazer, and create your own lane.

Self-publishing vs. Publishing what advice do you give?

RT: Well, that depends on what the person is trying to achieve and in what order they look to achieve it. It also depends on what the current options are. If you are an aspiring author who has a manuscript that you really believe in, my advice would be to look around at publishing houses, see who’s doing what and where your work would be a good fit, and then submit. Now after doing this a few times, only to receive back rejection letters,then it’s time to think about self-publishing. And never stop networking.

What’s the most challenging part of this business?

RT: Time management.

What marketing tips would you give?

RT: Look at what other successful people in the business are doing. And don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. That’s what separates the men from the boys, the ability to recognize an opportunity and pounce on it like never before.

What distribution tips would you give?

RT: Major distribution is an absolute must if you truly want your voice to be heard by the masses. My tip is to get signed.

How many books have you written? What are the titles?

RT: Venom In My Veinz is the only title that I’m promoting at this time.

Who is Rumont TeKay?

RT: A child of God. A father. A friend. Goofy at times. A realist and an all around cool dude.

 

rumont
What makes your writing different?

RT: I write from the soul through my perspective.

Sitting in a cage with a pen and a dream, what/who inspired you to
write?

RT: While doing time, a very talented author caught my attention with his novels. He wasn’t the first to do it, but his books were the first to resonate with me. His name is Victor L. Martin. After I read his first book, the flame within me was lit. I quickly dove into his second book, finished it and reached out to him with praises and works of my own. He reached back with support and words of encouragement. That was all the motivation I needed. I immediately put my pen to work! Thereafter, we remained in contact and years later, we are now label mates. God is good! Big Shout out to, Victor! Hold ya head, you don’t have much longer!

What advice would you give a new author?

RT: Keep writing. Hone your craft. Work hard at being the best at what you do and the literary world won’t be able to deny you. There’s a place for you, all you have to do is get in where you fit in.

What’s your thoughts about eBooks?

RT: I like paperbacks better.

Speak to the readers: why should they take a chance on Rumont TeKay?

RT: In Truth, my pen recipe contains the ASG formula: Action! Scandal! Grit! Venom In My Veinz will cause sexual arousal to the tenth power, provoke intellect, and take you on a ride you won’t soon forget. Simply put: this book will make your jaw drop.

I know it’s a little early in the progress, but talk about your vision
to marry hip hop music and Hollywood personalities: what, if any,
help/support/talent are you seeking?

RT:  I have a big Book Release Party Celebration scheduled in downtown Chicago on November 15, 2014. And we are looking to do it even bigger the following month in Atlanta. And I’m not stopping there. The plan is to create a movement which will enhance the literary industry as a whole, and bring back the camaraderie. I’m in the process of talking with celebrities who have shown interest in partnering up. So stay tuned for sure.

What’s next for Rumont TeKay?

RT: Expect to see the sequel to Venom In My Veinz, in the near future, and other projects are on the horizon as well. I’ve decided to stick around for a while.

I see you’ve been nominated for Outstanding Author in Urban Literature 2015. Tell us about that. How were you selected? How will the winner be decided?

RT: Yes, and I’m humbled, honored, grateful and every other feeling along those lines. AMB Ovation Awards allows the readers to vote for their favorite authors, and by God’s will I was chosen. I was elated and shocked to say the least, mainly because I wasn’t even aware that the contest was taking place. So I didn’t even get a chance to promote it. The winner will be announced on December2014. I’m up against four powerhouses, so justbeing nominated is a win for me.

Anything else you want to say or share?

RT:  Through it all there’s one thing I’ve learned… and that is, hope never dies just as long as one breathes life into it. Starting small is the beginning of it all, so never-mind your age. You’re never too old to learn, nor too young to teach. Just never lose hope in yourself, no matter the price.

Where can your book be found?

RT: Aside from the usual Amazon, Barns-N-Noble, etc., it could be found wherever books are sold nationwide. Venom In My Veinz is also available in Audio as well.

How can you be reached?
https://www.facebook.com/rumontTK
https://twitter.com/RumontTeKay
http://instagram.com/rumontvenom

 

Purchase the book now!

 

THE SEARCH FOR PURPOSE

 

Most people are out to share a vision while making money. What is it that inspires Rich Marcello? I’m mostly interested in truth, and in particular how truth relates to emotional intimacy.

 

Rich: At some level, what we are all after the most is to be truly seen, yet many of us create obstacles that keep us from getting what we want most. All three of my novels are at the core about truly and deeply loving, and the things that get in the way of that happening.

Why just walk away from what others only dream of? Any regrets?

 

Rich: No regrets. I had a great career in high technology and I’m very thankful for my time there.  I just reached a point in my life where I realized I needed to change careers and write for the rest of life.  It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Love. It’s been the common theme of your first 3 books. Does it puzzle you? Interest you? Are you on a hunt for it? Why write about it?

Rich:  About four years ago, I go an idea to write three books about different kinds of love.  The first, The Color of Home, was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and is about romantic love.  The second, The Big Wide Calm, was published in July of 2014, and is about platonic love.  The third, The Beauty of the Fall, will be published in 2016, and is about love in the larger community.  I believe truly and deeply loving in any or all of these ways is what we as humans desire the most, so I wanted to take a shot at writing about it.  I’m really happy with my progress so far, though there have many times along the way where I’ve been puzzled in one way or another.  I wouldn’t say I’m on the hunt, but like most, I’m certainly open to more love in my life.

As a fellow poet, I know that poets are a lover of prose. We collect sayings and hear rhythms in just about all that we do. Do you find this to be true for you as well?

 

Rich: Yes. Actually, I’m a poet and songwriter in addition to writing novels, so like you I do collect words and hear rhythms. Sometimes I spend hours working on a sentence or a paragraph just to make sure it works. Sometimes I include lyrics or poems in my novels when they make sense.
How would you describe your works? What sets your writings apart?

Rich: I try to write stories that engage on many levels – emotionally, intellectually, philosophically, with voice, with plot. My hope is that the reader will enter into a relationship with the characters in one way or another. When all those layers are working, I believe it really sets my work apart.
What/who are your greatest inspirations?

Rich: I tend to mostly write from dreams.  I’m a big believer that best writing happens early in the morning when, in a way, I’ve just come from one kind of dream time ( sleep) to another ( writing).  Most of my inspiration comes from that dreamlike place.  In terms of people, I like John Lennon  and Milan Kundera a lot for different reasons. Lennon because he was such an idealist, and Kundera because he was a master at melding storytelling and philosophy together in a way that really worked.

Do you plan to write more books? Will they also address matters of the heart?

 

Rich: I plan to write for the rest of my life.  I probably have a good ten books in me, though all of the topics aren’t clear yet.  After these three books, I’m not sure if I will return to love in the future.

When you write, I’m sure you have a vision in mind, who is your intended audience?

 

Rich: Anyone is deeply interested in truth, in emotional intimacy, in what it means to go deep to the bottom of things.

What do you hope people will take away, after reading a Rich Marcello novel?

 

Rich:  I think if one of my novels invokes an emotional reaction in a reader, any really, then that’s a great take away.  I had author, a Pen Faulkner winner, tell me he loved The Big Wide Calm because Paige Plant, the heroine, was such an emotionally deep character.  I had a blogger tell me she hated the same book because she hated Paige.  I value both pieces of feedback because they invoked emotional reactions, albeit much different ones.
What advice would you give a new/aspiring author?

Rich: Write the first pass of any scene very fast and don’t over think it. Then rewrite the scene over and over until it’s sensual enough to transport the reader into the fictional dream you’re trying to create.

When does book three, ‘The Beauty of The Fall’, come out?

RICH: 2016.
Is there anything else you wish to share?

RICH: That’s for taking the time to speak with me and for asking such great questions.
Where can your books be found?

RICH: They’re available all over the world. Amazon. Barnes and Noble. iTunes.  Probably the best place to start is on my website www.richmarcello.com.  You can also check me out on twitter @marcellor and on Goodreads.
How can you be reached?

RICH: My website is the best way to reach me.  http://www.richmarcello.com

Check out his new book The Big Wide Calm!

thebigwilde

Paige is a rock star. The world just doesn’t know it yet. She’s got the charisma, the drive, and, of course, the mega-musical skills. All she needs is to make her debut album, one that will change the world, inspire revolutions—and make her galactically famous along the way.

When John Bustin, a former semi-famous singer/songwriter offers to record Paige’s album for free, it feels like destiny, like the next step on her way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Guitar in hand, Paige sets off to John’s recording compound, ready to unfold her future.

But the ever-elusive John, with his mysterious history, and Paige, a big dreamer but naïve about her footing in life, clash as much as they coalesce. Before they can change the world through Paige’s music, the improbable duo must learn to work together.

A coming of age story and retrospective, The Big Wide Calm focuses on human nature and the complexities of love through the eyes of young and old on the journey of creating the perfect album.

STR8 OUTTA OAKLAND

Written by Wesley “Godfather” Hunter

 

I met this man in the darkest of circumstances, yet, I assure you, even then, the light of Stone Ramsey shined brightly, as you can not dim that which comes from within. Intelligent, charismatic, and keen of thought, are all words which only BEGIN to describe this brother. Author/publisher/director/manager/producer, etc. With roots stemming from the rap industry, even after 16 years of incarceration, this brother is a blossoming powerhouse of ingenuity on the move, and trust me when I tell you that if you think he can’t do it, he will definitely prove you wrong.
stoneramsey
When I first met Stone, we were just two inmates on a prison tier. He was in the back of the tier, I was in the front. He was from Oakland, I was from L.A. We had nothing in common, but the fact that we were both trapped in a cage in segregation. Dingy lighting, stale air, trapped and controlled like a beast. Someone told me that Stone wrote books, but I’d heard it all before, and truly wasn’t that impressed. After all, I was a published author myself, so why would I be? As time went on, he heard about me, and suddenly a bond was formed.

Stone and I were two men from opposing worlds, but quickly found a commonality. After all, men respect men, steel sharpens steel, and minds detect minds. Almost instantly, Stone and I connected and began to exchange positive energy and thoughts. Our bond growing beyond a cage. Our sharing of wisdoms and resources, far beyond a bag of chips or a shot of coffee. Odd as it may seem to some, over time I would go on to count this man amongst my super-limited list of friends, and can tell you, he is one of only two dudes I continue to keep in touch with, after having met on a prison yard. But, enough about me. This is about Stone.

Author Stone Ramsey, is an Oakland native and the renowned producer of ‘International Blunt Funk’ which is the Bay Area’s version of ‘The Chronic’. Having dropped in 1997, it is a compilation album of all of the hot hiphop artists of its time, including Richie Rich, Keak Da Sneak (of 3x’s Crazy), JT The Bigga Figga, Swoop G (Of Murder Was The Case soundtrack fame), etc. After having been released, in Sept. 2013, Stone Ramsey, has been heavy in the studio, and pushing hard at dropping International Blunt Funk, Vol.2, which is now set to be released in Feb. 2015, and will include such Bay Area notables as Mistah Fab, Philthy Rich, Keak Da Sneak, Too Short, DB Da General, Lorenzo Lamar, etc. Stone has also just released his debut novel, under his own Ramsey Publishing Group. ‘Yadadamean Bay Bizness’ is a joint effort, featuring rap artist Keak Da Sneak, with a foreward by Big Tray Deee (of Da Eastsidaz). Having read the book twice, I can promise you that this is a hot, true-to-life tale of urban love, thug passion, and music industry enlightenment.
baybusiness
An active member of United Distribution, a youth outreach counselor, non-profit organization project coordinator, author, publisher, manager, promoter, music producer, husband, father, son and man on the move. Hell, just call him Boss! And, do know, that I am only giving you the basics. This man knows EVERYONE, and is right there at the beating heart of it all. Yeah, and he’s only just getting started!

A good dude, who’s always spoken with a content and positive spirit. I tell you, when you’ve known a man at his worst, and witnessed him in his darkest hour, it brings nothing but pure joy to witness him emerge into the light of his destiny. And I know he wishes, for me the same. A man I proudly call a trusted friend, here now, is Stone Ramsey:

 

 

 

 

 

Bookstore Spotlight: Frugal Bookstore

Urban bookstores are undergoing challenging times. They need authors to place books on their shelves and to come in to do book signings. They need readers to drop in and support (instead of always running off to the big box or chain stores). These are OUR people, selling OUR books. Which helps us to make a living, telling OUR stories, OUR way. And we need to do OUR part to support them. So Dc Bookdiva Publications and StraightChaser.com has decided to do just that. We will now be bringing you a weekly profile of the independent bookstores/vendors across America. We’re doing our part, so, please do yours and contact these  locations for book signings, or simply call them up and order a book. Oh, and don’t forget to always ask about the latest DCB titles. At DC Bookdiva Publications and StraightChaser.com we are always seeking new ways to serve the literary community we love, so hit us up, if you own a bookstore/retail outlet, if you know of a store/outlet/vendor you’d like for us to spotlight, or if you’ve simply got an idea or two. We always love to hear from you, and so would your local vendor. So call them up, to let them know you’ve read their spotlight and tell them you appreciate that they are there. LET’S ALL DO OUR PART!
frugal
Today’s BOOKSTORE SPOTLIGHT is on:

1. How long has your bookstore/outlet been in business?

We’ve been open since 2008.

2. Do you carry just urban books, or do you carry other genres as well?

We carry all genres including urban books, children’s, crime & mystery, cookbooks, African-American Studies, New York Times bestseller’s and the list goes on.

3. What other items do you carry besides books?

We also carry greetings cards, calendars, journals, art by local authors and planners.

4. Have you ever written a book? What brought you to the retail market?

Neither one of us has written a book, but it has always been a dream of ours to have a bookstore in our community.

5. What are the challenges for book vendors today?

The challenges have been getting people to support a Black-owned bookstore as opposed to buying on Amazon.

6. How has eBooks affected your business?

Ebooks have affected us a lot, because people like the affordability and convenience of downloading an ebook, rather than have a physical copy in their hand.
7. Author support: What actions do you need from authors, to help grow your business?

Authors should promote the bookstores which support them by carrying their titles. Shout them out on social media as much as possible, to help bring in more business.

8. Publisher support: What actions do you need from Publishers, to help grow your business?

The same as above, provide promotional material for advertisement. Encourage authors to visit and conduct book signings.

9. What are your buying/purchasing arrangements and how often do you pay out?

It varies with each publisher and author. Contact us for more detailed information.

10. Any last words to readers, authors or publishers? Any special events or announcements?

Help support black-owned bookstores by encouraging readers to patronize these establishments, because they are diminshing.

Frugal Book Store
“Changing Minds One Book At A Time”
Inside the Washington Park Mall
306 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Boston, MA 02119
617-541-1722
facebook.com/frugal.bookstore
twitter.com/FrugalBookstore

Ratchet INK 2: Beefs and Crab Barrel Politics

In publishing, just as in any entertainment based industry, I believe in these two things:  One, there’s enough of success and money to be had for anyone who is willing to work hard and grind for it. Two, your work will speak for itself, regardless of whatever the competition does.

With that said, it seems to me that some literary feuds go beyond general competition into something very childish and viscous.  You see the posts: an Author blast his or her gripes with a publisher over money. Authors taking shots at each other out of pure jealousy and envy. You also see the comments of avid readers saying how petty the latest round of beef is and later, you see these same readers post how they stopped buying books from authors and publishers because of how bad some of them act online.

 

ghetto2

 

Just in the past three months, I have observed an author lashing out at a book club that gave his book a poor review, another author airing out issues with a publisher , and  some authors trying to dictate how a reader spends his or her money.

So let me get this straight: A reader doesn’t have the right to read another author’s work and buy another author’s work because you think it’s a betrayal of your product? To me,this kind of thinking is rooted in insecurity. Nothing more and nothing less.   If you as an author know the kind of hard work that you put into your product and into building your audience, there’s no need  for shaming and intimidation tactics. If you write amazing stories, they will come. If you write amazing stories on a consistent basis,they will stay. Yes, they will read other people’s work from time to time, but  I promise that you will still be in their library.

As far as author/publisher feuds are concerned, it’s very easy to forget that books are a business and with businesses, Rule #4080 (shout out to A Tribe Called Quest) sometimes applies. Whether it applies or not, fulfilling a contract should be a simple, painless process.

There shouldn’t be a beef with someone playing out their contract and moving on.  It’s a problem when the publisher takes business personal and begin berating said author for moving on and doing everything in their power to blackball and intimidate him or her for moving on. To me, author/ publisher feuds that are  being played out in public has to be the most shameful and tacky feud of them all. They are the tackiest because the burden of perception is on the publisher. Authors, would you like to sign with a janky publisher, who blast their business matters on Facebook? Readers, would you want to buy books from a publishing company that is always in the middle of the mess that they start?   If I were a betting woman, those answers are a resounding “NO”.

When I think about the feuds and shadiness of the industry, I think about the root of the problem.   Here’s my theory: In the world of African-American publishing, we are operating off of a sense of lack. We believe that it isn’t enough of room for everyone in the game.  It really seems that way when readers throw crumbs of their money to us when they buy our titles for $.99 to $2.99.  We think there’s just crumbs for us and we are all doing whatever it takes to get our lion’s share of the crumbs.

Another theory is most of these authors aren’t used to much and when they get something, they hold on to it with everything in them. They cling to it like static to clothes in a dryer without softener. For some, it’s their first taste of legal money or their first taste of some kind of acclaim. So they do whatever they can to keep it, even if it means applying some of the same tactics learned on the streets to solidify their position in the game.   Regardless of the theories and causes, the beefs and the shady dealings are unnecessary and beneath us. I believe that there is enough of talent in the industry to create great work, and create it consistently. There is no lack in opportunity. It’s there for you to seize it and embrace it. It’s impossible to do that if you attend every argument you’re invited to.

Authors: What do you think is the source of the feuds and what could be done to get the focus back on the books?

Readers: How has the feuds displayed on Facebook and twitter influenced who and what you read?

 

 

About the author

Jannelle is the author of “Wild Cards” “Thirst”, “Thirst II”, and “Love’s Hangover” and is a fresh voice in African-American fiction, spending time on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list for two of her four titles. She’s also a freelance journalist. Her DC Bookdiva Debut, “Uppity” will be released in November, and is available for pre-order now at www.dcbookdiva.com

 

uppitypromo

 

Website: http://www.jannelle.net
Twitter: @jannelle12
Instagram: writerdiva
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jannelle1