Category Archives: AALBC.com News

100 Bestselling Authors, New Books, and More: October 2016 eNewsletter

Our Top 100, All-time, Bestselling Authors

top 100 authorsWe are excited to present our regularly updated list of our top 100, all-time, bestselling authors. This list of bestselling authors is compiled from sales data going back to the first book we sold in 1997. How many authors do you recognize? How many have you read? You may learn more about all of these authors and thousands more on AALBC.com.


New Books Coming in November

There are so many terrific new books, and there is simply is not enough space to describe them all in our eNewsletter. Please visit our website for a list of newly published and soon to be released books.


Paul Beatty Wins the Man Booker Prize

Paul BearttyPaul Beatty’s novel The Sellout won the Man Booker Prize on October 25, 2016. Beatty is the first American to win the award.

In 1990, Paul Beatty was crowned the first Grand Poetry Slam Champion of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. One of the prizes for winning that championship title was the book deal which resulted in his first volume of poetry, Big Bank Takes Little Bank. His first novel, The White Boy Shuffle, received a favorable review in The New York Times. Beaty’s award-winning novel The Sellout, Beatty chronicles an urban farmer who tries to spearhead a revitalization of slavery and segregation in a fictional Los Angeles neighborhood.


National Book Awards Finalists Announced

Black National Book Award FinalistsThe National Book Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2016 National Book Awards for fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. The winners will be announced on November 16 at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner, which will be hosted by award-winning writer and comedian Larry Wilmore. AALBC.com will be on hand to cover the event. Check out the 2016 finalists of African descent and all the others going back to 1953.


Book Reviews

Telling It Like It Is: The Remarkable Life Experiences of My Aunt Edna by Carrolyn PichetTelling It Like It Is: The Remarkable Life Experiences of My Aunt Edna by Carrolyn Pichet

“Telling It Like It Is, is equal parts historical biography, personal recollections, family memories, and self-help in the guise of lessons from a well-lived life. It is a love letter to not only a person, Pichet’s beloved Aunt Edna, but also to a long gone time and place—when neighborhoods were tightly knit communities and families looked out for each other. Filled with anecdotes and life lessons, favorite sayings are used as titles throughout the book and serve to highlight the many roles Aunt Edna has taken and played in her life—mother, fierce family defender, and advocate, to name only a few.”—Carol Taylor (more ►)


Legend of the Orange Scepter by M. HaynesLegend of the Orange Scepter by M. Haynes

“Overall, Haynes’ Legend of The Orange Scepter takes us on a classic battle between good and evil. The final battle between the teen Elementals and the evil Queen and her metal minions is well worth the wait and should provide some thrills for the young readers. Impassioned, exciting, and well-conceived, the novel is a marvelous achievement.” —Robert Fleming (more ►)


Recommended Reads

The Prince of Kokomo — Poetry by Laini MatakaThe Prince of Kokomo — Poetry by Laini Mataka

Laini Mataka is wiser, smarter, and stronger than ever. If you’ve read any of her earlier books and thought she might mellow, you’d be wrong. If you loved reading Bein A Strong Black Woman Can Get U Killed!! and wanted more, The Prince of Kokomo is for you. Laini doesn’t just write about Black reality, she tears it apart, piercing the boundless and forgotten moments that shape our reality.

When you read The Prince of Kokomo, be ready to follow Mataka into battle. She is Harriet Tubman restored. Like Harriet, she has no time for those who love the comfort of their prisons or the seductions of their enslavement.


Good2go Publishing – Over 1 Million Books SoldGood2go Publishing – Over 1 Million Books Sold

“Our goal is to provide an opportunity for prospective authors to help them fulfill their dreams of becoming a publish author and turning them into a reality. To date, we have helped over 10 authors become national best sellers including, Silk White, Mychea, Ernest Morris, Reality Way, Asia Hill, Jay Morrison, Jacob Spears, J.L Rose, and Jason Brent. Good2go Publishing has over 20 #1 Amazon bestselling books. In addition, we have three of the bestselling urban fiction series of all time. Tears of a Hustler Pt 1-6 by Silk White, He Loves Me, He Loves You Not Pt 1-5 by Mychea & The Teflon Queen PT 1-6 by Silk White. Our original goal was to reach 1 million sales worldwide, but since we’ve reached that goal the new goal is 10 million. Thanks to everyone for the love and support we really appreciate it.”— Ray Brown, Publisher Good2go Publishing (www.good2gopublishing.com)


Fim Reviews

Maya Angelou: And Still I RiseMaya Angelou: And Still I Rise

“…a single-mom at 17 after being pressured into a sexual encounter with a boy who wanted nothing more to do with her. She subsequently supported herself and her son, Guy Johnson (an AALBC.com Bestselling novelist), by holding an array of odd jobs, including work in the sex trade industry as a stripper, prostitute, and even a madam.

Yet somehow, Maya would overcome her humble roots and checkered early career to become an African-American icon and a very respected writer in her own right. That miraculous recovery is the subject of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, a reverential retrospective offering an intimate look at the life of the late poet, author, actress, director, and civil rights activist.” —Kam Williams (more ►)


The Birth of a NationThe Birth of a Nation

“…judging The Birth of a Nation strictly on the merits, it undeniably deserved its previous status as a prime Oscar contender.” —Kam Williams (more ►)

Read our interview with Nate Parker, the film’s star, writer, and director (he addresses the rape allegations).

Learn about “Nat Turner’s Mental and Military Motivations” in an article by Ezrah Aharone. Also, read a scathing review of the film written by Professor Leslie M. Alexander who called the film an “Epic Fail.”


13th — Documentary Discusses Contemporary Slavery in America13th — Documentary Discusses Contemporary Slavery in America

The title of Ava DuVernay’s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.”

The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis.


124 Book Festivals & Fairs Book Lovers will Enjoy

RT Booklovers Convention – May 2-7 2017 – Atlanta, GA AALBC.com’s Events Calendar will track all of the important book festivals in North America (Canada, the United States, and the Caribbean). We currently have 124 terrific events, covering the next 12 months, and are actively expanding our calendar.

Editor’s Picks:

RT Booklovers Convention – May 2-7 2017 – Atlanta, GA
A senior publishing industry professional highly recommends this event. It is well run and a lot of fun. The organizers RT Book Reviews (formerly Romantic Times Magazine) describes the RT Booklovers Convention as a “…book industry event where you can mix business with pleasure. Attend more than 200 workshops as well as numerous parties and reader events that will keep you informed, and in touch, while having fun.”

New York Comic Con – October 5-8, 2017 – New York, NY
Author tip: “…if you’re a speculative fiction author (horror, fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, sci-fi, etc.) you should definitely go”—Cerece Rennie Murphy

Mosaic Literary Conference – November 19, 2016 – Bronx, NY Mosaic Literary Conference – November 19, 2016 – Bronx, NY
This year’s conference will focus on the influence James Baldwin’s prescient writings continue to have on American culture. The conference will feature film, lesson plans, panels, and workshops.

The Mosaic Literary Conference is a grassroots event and a great opportunity for the community, educators, students, program administrators, and parents to learn ways to integrate books and reading into the lives of teenagers. MLC offers a mix of informative programs and creative workshops to engage young minds, strengthen literacy, and develop education strategies. Register here.


Increased Interest in the Survival of Independent Bookstores

Troy Johnson supporting BookstoresBlack-Owned Bookstores Soldier-On in the Fight to Survive and Thrive
by Tony Williams, Caribbean Book Blog (October 20, 2016)

Black-owned indie bookstores look forward to the next chapter
by Kelsey McKinney, Fusion (October 20, 2016)

A Glimmer of Hope for Black-Owned Bookstores
by Judith Rosen, Publisher Weekly (Feb 19, 2016)

For more information check out our list of bookstores in the United States that specialize in Black literature, and our list of websites dedicated to authors of African descent.


Put Your Book on AALBC.com for the Entire Fall

Put Your Book on AALBC.com for the Entire FallYour book will appear on the AALBC.com Homepage and our Book’s Main Page for the entire fall (until midnight December 21st). Buy it now, because there are only a couple of positions left. Current advertisers will also qualify for a discount on the Winter Special (the busiest season for AALBC.com).

If you buy a Large Book Cover Advertisement or an Author Profile we’ll give you the Book on the Homepage advertisement for free as an added bonus!

AALBC.com is the oldest, largest, and most frequently visited website dedicated to books written by or about people of African descent. There is no other website that reaches readers of Black literature more effectively.


Troy Johnson working on websiteDear Reader,

On the evening of October 3, 1997, after the kids were put to bed, I fired up my 28.8KB modem and dialed up my ISP to connect to the World Wide Web. My custom built Pentium-powered PC was optimized for speed and sported a new 14″ CRT monitor capable of displaying 256 colors. I was ready to launch AALBC.com.

Over the years the site has grown by leaps and bounds, especially over the last year, as I’ve been fully engaged working on the website’s 4th major overhaul.

But in the final analysis Troy, AALBC.com thrives, due to your support. If you value our content, here are four things you can do to support AALBC.com;

1. Do not use an ad blocker to block AALBC.com’s ads.
Advertisements are AALBC.com’s primary source of revenue. Our ads, which are usually books, are nonintrusive and provide important content for the website.

2. Share our content.
Word of mouth, letters, blogs, social media, smoke signals, and carrier pigeon are all acceptable. Spread the word by any means necessary.

3. Buy Your Books Through AALBC.com.
We sell books any way they can be sold; through our publisher partners (like Black Classic Press and Just Us Books); as an affiliate of all the major online booksellers (B&N and Amazon); and even through other indie booksellers like MahoganyBooks. The commissions we earn support, not just AALBC.com, but the entire Black Book Ecosystem. If you use Amazon, bookmark this link http://aalbc.it/supportaalbc to buy any book and generate commissions for AALBC.com.

4. Support AALBC.com with a paid subscription to our newsletter.
Subscribe to our eNewsletter today.

Thanks for reading and supporting Black Literature.

Peace & Love,
signed by Troy Johnson
Troy Johnson,
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com


You may receive messages like this directly in your email box by subscribing. It may also be read on your Kindle ebook reader, or any device by downloading a PDF version. Enjoy all of our previous eNewsletters and consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

AALBC.com eNewsletter – October 27, 2016 – Issue #238

 

Top 50 Authors, Bestselling Books, and More

50 Favorite African-American Authors of the 20th Century

Top 50 African American Authors

1,826 readers cast votes, back in 2001, for their favorite African-American authors. Here we share the 50 authors who received the most votes. Is your favorite author among them?

Bestselling Books May/June 2016

Bestselling Books May/June 2016

Our bestselling books for May and June of 2016 is a mix of books by both major and independent publishers. Recently published and classic titles are represented as well, making for an interesting list.


The 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Awards Winning Books

The 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Awards Winning Books

The 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Awards Winning BooksThe 2016 Phillis Wheatley Book Award winners were announced, during the Harlem Book Fair, on Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 5 p.m. The winning titles are all excellent, but the finalist are definitely worth checking out too. AALBC.com published very favorable reviews of; Bibsy, by Brenda Ross; and The Summer of my Fifteenth Year, by Geri Spencer Hunter; which were finalists for Wheatley Awards.


New Books Coming in August

New Books Coming in August

Jacqueline Woodson, Jesmyn Ward, Teju Cole, Rep. John Lewis, Greg Tate, the names alone should inspire excitement. Visit AALBC.com to learn about excellent books published in the last two months, and to discover great reads coming out soon.


The Results of a Decade on Social Media

The Results of a Decade on Social MediaMuch of what I think about social media runs counter to conventional wisdom, but I appreciate my perspective is rather unique: I have over 20 years of experience building websites and actively publishing original content to the web. I teach web design at the college level and have used all of the major social media platforms for about as long as they have been around.

In this article I share detailed results of AALBC.com’s use of social media over the last 10 years, from BlackPlanet to Facebook and everything in between. Hopefully my experience will help you; “Use social media; don’t let it use you.”


Tiphanie Yanique, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and Glory Edim

Tiphanie Yanique, Glory Edim, and Nicole Dennis-Benn,

Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of Here Comes The Sun; Glory Edim, founder of #wellreadblackgirl; and Tiphanie Yanique, author of Land of Love and Drowning; shout out their favorite bookstores and read from their novels.  These videos were recorded on July 27, 2016 at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, in New York City.


Oprah’s Book Club 2016 Selection

The Underground Railroad by Colson WhiteheadHere is the latest book club pick from Oprah; The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

“Every now and then a book comes along that reaches the marrow of your bones, settles in, and stays forever. This is one. It’s a tour de force, and I don’t say that lightly.” —Oprah Winfrey

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom (Doubleday, August 2).

Also let us know what you think about the phenomenon of Oprah’s Picks.


Poet, Kevin Young to Serve as New Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

Poet, Kevin YoungOn August 1st, the New York Public Library announced, “Kevin Young will be joining NYPL as Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He will begin his tenure at the Library in the late fall. Kevin succeeds Khalil Gibran Muhammad, who led the Schomburg with great distinction for the last five years.”

Visitors to AALBC.com will recognize Kevin Young as an accomplished Poet, who was a finalist for a 2003 National Book Award


Events Coming in August

Leimert Park Village Book Fair

▪ The 32nd Annual Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair, Aug 5 to 6, Denver, CO
▪ National Conference of African American Librarians, Aug 9 to 13, Atlanta, GA
▪ Blogger Week 2016 UnConference Aug 20 to 21, Washington, DC
▪ Leimert Park Village Book Fair Aug 20, 2016, Los Angeles, CA


Meet Troy Johnson Founder and President of AALBC.com

Meet AALBC.com Founder and Webmaster, Troy JohnsonI had the pleasure of being part of Virgo Girl Media’s Meet 50 Bloggers Tour

“Although Troy runs a digital website you can constantly find him out and about within the crowd. My first encounter with Troy was at one of his literary networking mixers in Harlem and from that day forth, I swear I have seen Troy at 90% of the literary events I have attended. I’m sure you’ve all heard the saying “It not what you know, it is who you know”; well Troy is one of those people to know.”

Check out Virgo Girl Media’s interview with me and share it with others.


Authors Get Your Website Up and Running Fast!Authors Get Your Website Up and Running Fast!

Do you have an out of date website and can’t find your webmaster? Is your Facebook page your “official” website? Would you like a website, but don’t know where to begin? If any of the above is true, you need AALBC.com’s Enhanced Author Profile.

Even if you are satisfied with your web site, you will still benefit from the increased exposure an Enhanced Author Profile provides. We are often update our pages before and an author’s main site and out rank them in search. Authors with an existing profile (over 2,460 of you) can upgrade at a discounted rate.

This service is not just for authors. Many publishers, agents, publicists, book cover designers, editors, and other industry professions are discovered on AALBC.com. You’ll attract more visitors, than you would on your own because you be associated with, AALBC.com, the most popular website dedicated to Black books!


Edit 1st – Manuscript Editing Services

Edit 1st Manuscript Editing ServicesWe Provide a Full Range of Editing Services
“Edit 1st’s services are first rate! I found them to be extremely helpful and easy to work with. They offer professional, in-depth insight and comments. Are easily accessible for questions and feedback, and their work is comprehensive in scope taking in the totality of your work, with respect to grammar, plot and voice. I completely recommend them to anyone looking to make a good story great!”—David Lamb, award-winning playwright and author


Participate in an AALBC.com Focus Group

Dear Reader,

AALBC.com Celebrating 18 yearsAre you interested in helping AALBC.com improve? Would you like to share your ideas with us? There will be two sessions during the month of August. In New York City and central Florida. If you are interested in participating let me know which days of the week and times works best for you. Food will be provided and books will be given away. Email me at troy@aalbc.com

As always, thanks for reading!
Peace & Love,

Troy Johnson,
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com


You may receive messages like this directly in your email-box by subscribing. It may also be read on your Kindle ebook reader, or any device by downloading a PDF version. Enjoy all of our previous eNewsletters and consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

AALBC.com eNewsletter – August 3, 2016 – Issue #236

Celebrating the Best in Black Literature (May 31, 2016 Newsletter)

Subscribe to AALBC.com’s eNewsletter

Books to be Published in JuneBooks to be published in June

Summer will heat up with some great new titles. Walter Mosley is back with his latest installment in the Easy Rawlins series, Charcoal Joe. Can you believe it has been 25 years since the first book in the series, Devil In A Blue Dress, was published?

We are also excited by the first novel, The Reactive, from Masande Ntshanga who is the winner of the 2013 PEN International New Voices Award, as well as a Finalist for the 2015 Caine Prize for African Writing.

Bobby Brown, with help from acclaimed author Nick Chiles, reveals intimate details of his marriage to Whitney Houston, speaks about losing his daughter Bobbi Kristina, and shares insights into his amazing career in his new memoir,Every Little Step: My Story.

Also look out for new books from other AALBC.com Bestselling authors including Kimberla Lawson Roby (A Sinful Calling) and Timothy George (The Dagger). To discover these and other great soon to be released books, visit our Books Coming Soon section.


AALBC.com Bestselling Books

The publishing company founded by authors ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray, Brown Girls Books, dominated our bestsellers list this period, claiming the top three fiction positions. Our #1 fiction bestseller, The Ex Chronicles is an anthology where 20 writers share relationship stories. At #2 we have The Perfect Find by Tia Williams and completing the trifecta is Dirt by Teffanie Thompson.

Congratulations to Brown Girls Books and all of the bestselling authors. Check out our full list bestselling titles for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and children’s literature.


Beyond Phillis Wheatley — Important Firsts In Black Literature

Phillis Wheatley Most readers know Phillis Wheatley was the first published African-American female poet. Did you also know that George Moses Horton (ca. 1797-1883), was the only man to publish volumes of poetry while in bondage and the first African American to publish any book in the South? Were your familiar with Solomon Plaatje who was born October 9, 1876, and was the author of Mhudi which was published in 1930; making it the first novel by a black South Africa?

Jupiter Hammon, who was born on October 17, 1711, was perhaps the first Black person to be published, in 1761 before the United States was even formed.


The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain

Langston Hughes“One of the most promising of the young Negro poets said to me once, “I want to be a poet—not a Negro poet,” meaning, I believe, “I want to write like a white poet;” meaning subconsciously, “I would like to be a white poet;” meaning behind that, “I would like to be white.” And I was sorry the young man said that, for no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself. And I doubted then that, with his desire to run away spiritually from his race, this boy would ever be a great poet. But this is the mountain standing in the way of any true Negro art in America—this urge within the race toward whiteness, the desire to pour racial individuality into the mold of American standardization, and to be as little Negro and as much American as possible.“—Langston Hughes, Originally published in The Nation magazine, June 23, 1926

This ninety-year-old article could be been written yesterday; read it in its entirety.


The 2016 Black Pack Party: A Wonderful Celebration!A collage of the 2016 Black Pack party in Chicago

The 2016 Black Pack Party was a really wonderful celebration. Read my thoughts about the event. If you were able to join us in Chicago, please share your thoughts and photos in the article’s comments section.


Events Coming in June

BAM Anniversary

Summer is the busiest period for book festivals. In June the Go On Girl! Book Club will host their 25th Annual Awards Weekend. The international literary festival Calabash will kick off in Jamaica; Chris Abani, Paul Beatty, Teju Cole, Nicole Dennis-Benn, jessica Care moore, Marlon James and many other authors will be featured. The Sacramento Black Book Fair will celebrate their third year. And that is just the first week!

Also consider checking out the, AAMBC Literary Awards and the combined celebration honoring the 50th Anniversary of the Black Arts Movement and the 20th Anniversary of Cave Canem (pictured above). Learn more about these events and all the others coming in June and the rest of the year.


A Great Deal to Promote Your Books on AALBC.com

Promote Your Books with Large Book Cover Advertisement and Horizontal Ad BannersOur Large Book Cover Advertisement and Horizontal Ad Banners appear on virtually every one of the several thousand AALBC.com web pages. Plus, each author whose book is promoted with this very prominent placement also receives a free Author Profile. If you already have an Author Profile, we’ll extend your campaign by two weeks.

With this deal, your AALBC.com Author Profile will give you a permanent, high profile web presence, which is great if your only presence is social media. Plus the highly visible placement of your advertisement will expose your book to over 100,000 avid readers of African American Literature. Learn more about this terrific deal.

Also consider Sponsoring our Monthly Newsletter. This is a great way to reach readers of Black literature. All of our mailings are permanently archived on our website.


Dear Reader,

AALBC.com celebrates 18 years!Authors and publishers, here is a great way to support AALBC.com without spending a dime: Use our affiliate code when sending readers to Amazon to purchase your book.

The vast majority of the time when links to Amazon are shared with me, no affiliate code is a used. This means money is being left on the table. Why forego that revenue?

Here is the format for the link:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1617737984/ref=nosim?tag=aalbccom-20
Simply replace you book’s ISBN10 or ASIN with the boldface number in the URL above. It is that easy!

As always, thanks for reading!

Peace & Love,
Troy Johnson


You may receive messages like this directly in your email-box by subscribing. It may also be read on your Kindle ebook reader, or any device by downloading a PDF version.  Enjoy our previous eNewsletters and consider sponsoring our eNewsletter or a dedicated mailing.

AALBC.com eNewsletter – May 31, 2016 – Issue #234