Tag Archives: Authors

From Surviving to Thriving w/ Beverly Smith

 

People love to spew inspirational phrases about adversity. They love to talk about how it builds character. How it reveals character,and how it enhances success and progress. For some, those phrases are more than just hollow and vapid cliches. It’s the toughest strand in the fabric of their lives.

For author Beverly Smith, her adversity  fueled her  desire  and motivated her to create her own world.     beverly

 

Born and raised in Southeast Washington DC, Smith experienced the gamut of negative circumstances-from homlessness to domestic violence, Smith has endured it , but now she took that negativity  and turned it into success.  Three years ago, she released her debut novel ” He Kept Me”, a powerful and soul gripping story about a young woman’s struggle through the streets of DC.  After releasing her novel, Smith went on to establish “Momma’s Safe Haven”, a foundation that offers a bridge of support to those in need of resources to help improve their lives and two businesses.

Recently, I spoke with Smith about her book, some of her favorite things and what’s next  on the horizon for this dynamic woman.

hekeptme

 

Jannelle: Your book, “He Kept Me” has been out for three years and has received great reviews. For those who aren’t familiar with the book, fill readers in on the theme of the story. Tell them what makes the story “pop”. How does it resonate with your audience? What makes it a great read?

Beverly: The theme of my book is ” My Testimony  straight no chaser!”  What makes it pop is the rawness of the real life situations, representing DC, and landmarks in the city. It resonates with my audience through struggle, This is for  people who have been through the fire. It’s a great read because there is a never a dull moment. It is definitely a page turner that will have you on a emotional roller coaster.

Jannelle: You have a foundation called Momma’s Safe Haven. What kind of projects and programs that your foundation spearhead?

Beverly: At Momma’s Safe Haven, we promote self love, higher education and self employment. We have ‘DC Youth has talent’, which is a program for the youth to display their talents while keeping them engaged. We had our first annual Show in February at  the Benning Park Rec Center.  Currently, we are in the planning process for our 2nd annual showcase. We  also have a program called “Never Give Up”.It is a three hour work shop on wheels. The workshop consist of me sharing my story through my book, encouraging a purge through a writing session, a vision board, letting go of guilt and shame.

 

Jannelle:  Some foundations sell products and take a percentages of the proceeds to support the the foundations or initiatives etc. Are some of your book sales funding “Momma’s Safe Haven”? If not, is it in the cards for the future?

Beverly:Yes! Momma’s Safe Haven  has several sponsors that help fund our events. Some of the proceeds from “He Kept Me”, D&B Handyman Service, and B’s Natural Products just to name a few. I believe it’s very important to maintain a great relationship with those who are heading in the same direction as you.

Jannelle: What inspired you to take on the publishing world?

Beverly:  I was inspired by pain that was eating me alive! I had to get it out. The purging was great and I knew it had to do something with the strength that I had gained from believing in God. I was inspired by wanting to help someone else who has experienced any of the things that I have been through.

Jannelle:  You are a DV survivor and many people always talk about leaving the situation. Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. What steps did you take to escape your situation?

Beverly: Yes I am a DV survivor and yes for me it was easier said than done. My strength to leave came when I gave birth to my second child my 12 grade year at Cardozo High School. I knew in order for me to provide for my children I had to leave the abuse. The first step for me was when I started to love myself more than I loved him and suddenly my fear of what happen if I left turned into what would happen had I stayed.

Jannelle: What advice do you have for women and even men who are victims of Domestic Violence?

Beverly:  My advice to anyone who are victims of DV is to tell a loved one  and talk to someone who you can trust. Leave them  (the abusers) alone They will never be worth your time because love doesn’t hurt! Love nurtures, caress, protect. Self love is key! I have a support group on my website and you can call DV Hotline 1-800-799-7233.

Jannelle: Describe your writing process for “He Kept Me” ? What was your writing schedule like? How did you deal with writer’s block if you had any?

Beverly: I purged when I wrote my book. I was unemployed, attending Ashford University studying on line for my BA in ECE Administration and I was also studying spanish with Rosetta Stone. So my schedule was pretty flexible. I  moved about an hour away from my family so I had plenty of peace and quiet. No i didn’t have to deal writers’ block. I feel writers’ block is just fear. It took me four months to write my book from beginning to end.

Jannelle: What do you find the most rewarding? Your book or your foundation? Are they equally rewarding? Or are they rewarding in different ways?

Beverly: They are both equally rewarding in different ways. My book is so personal and it draws others who has been hurt. My organization focuses on the healing process from the pain.

Jannelle: I have a few either or questions for you as well.

Jannelle: Paperback or Ebook?

Beverly: Paperback.

Jannelle: Online or Stores?

Beverly: Stores.

Jannelle: Early Bird or Night Owl?

Beverly: Early Bird

Jannelle: Country or City?

Beverly:  City.

Jannelle: Mall or Boutique?

Beverly: Mall.

Jannelle: Dress Up or Dress Down?

Beverly: Dress Up.

Jannelle: Money or Fame?

Beverly: Money.

Jannelle: What is next for you? Please give us some links to where we can learn more about you and your projects.

Beverly: I  have a short film titled  “Still I Rise”.  It’s  a ten minute movie inspired by Dr. Maya Angelou’s  poem. I entered it into a contest and won!! We finished filming my movie in July and it will premiere in the Fall! Stay tuned!

You can pick up “He Kept Me” on Amazon now and don’t forget to leave reviews.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0073GWD86/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

Check out Beverly’s  ” Momma’s Save Haven” as well

http://www.mommassafehaven2014.com/

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 http://www.dcbookdiva.com

uppitypromo

 

 

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

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.

 

 

 

You Get What You Pay For

Amazon be like:

“We provide readers with books at yard sale price and constantly develop and refine our technologies all in the name of changing how we read.  Oh and by the way, we are deep in our investment of new authors to the point where we developed and promoted new formats just for them.  These formats have been great for the industry  because it has unearthed new talent and made reading ‘cool’ again.”

That’s the main course meal, but does anyone see the dessert that’s been baked, glazed and steeped in the finest bullshit that millions dollars could buy?  The kind of bullshit that’s revealed when a monopoly rises?

Bon Appetit!money-flying-bills-air

Some authors and publishing houses tried to warn us years ago that Amazon would turn on the industry as well as the customers but we, for the most part, plugged up our ears and rationalized what they were doing with ‘Oh shit this book is just .99 cents lemme one click this,  or ‘What a sweet hustle: I put my book on here for .99 cent a pop and my reader base will eat my stuff up like it’s last thing in the cabinet. Amazon been great for ME! I don’t know nor do I care about the other authors.”

It was all good until Amazon decided to strong arm Hachette.  They began to take down preorder buttons for favorites such as James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks and J.K. Rowling and raising the price of their titles. Amazon also increased the shipping times for Hachette books. All of this mess is about the pricing of e-books.  The word is Amazon’s share of e-book sales is more than 60 percent.  They sell their popular titles at $9.99 a clip. They walk away with  over $6 per book sold, while the rest is divvied up between publisher author and an agent. Since Amazon’s stocks fell, they decided to take it out on some publishers because they could. They’re a monopoly and now they could do whatever the hell they want to.

I’ve always thought that the publisher set the prices on Amazon, but I was wrong. I’m pretty sure that the publishers knew that no one in their right mind would pay $10 for an e-book when they’ve been getting them for a dollar or free on demand.  Amazon proponents in the industry, deep down had to know that Amazon was boosting the prices to only help themselves at the publishers’ and authors’ expense.  However they were blinded by the possibilities of reaching new readers that they ended up getting played.

As far as the readers are concerned, they’ve been played to as far as I’m concerned. Here they are, downloading books for little to nothing and reading, not knowing that doing so gassed Amazon’s head up to the point where they marked up the prices of e-books. “What were the customers gonna do? Go to Barnes and Noble.com and buy the same book  for way more than what we offer at $9?”  was and is the thought here.

The fact of the matter is nothing will change here until the publishers and authors ban together in a class action lawsuit and even set up their own distribution channels. Otherwise, they will continue to pay Amazon to punk them under the guise of  promoting industry growth.