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The Reverend's Wife by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#13 NY Times Best Seller, Hardcover Fiction May 20, 2012

I started 15 years ago this October.  Over years I’ve watched many writers for most, if not all, of their entire careers.  Their individual stories are all unique and very special to me.   Sharing their work and individual stories is one of the things that makes my job really special.

Like a proud uncle I share in their triumphs and struggles.   In reality, I’m probably more like a rabid  sports fan when it comes to “my” authors.  When they are struggling I work harder to help.  When they achieve success I celebrate as if that success was my own.  In a way their successes are my successes — all of our successes.

I’m invested in the success of Black authors because they tell our stories, they relate our history, from our perspective.   It was not long ago when there were very few Black authors being published.   Today there are more Black authors publishing books than ever before, but challenges remain.  We have fewer platforms to promote and celebrate Black books.  There are fewer book stores, magazines, and websites dedicated to Black books than there were just a few years ago.

There is always a reason for optimism.

Recently I received a few emails from authors informing me that they made “The List”, as The New York Times Best Sellers list  is often called.  Later it dawned on me that most of Black authors on The List are current clients .  Pretty cool, huh?


The Rich And The Rest Of Us: A Poverty Manifesto by Tavis Smiley & Cornel West
#34 NY Times Best Seller – Hardcover Fiction – May 20, 2012

May 20, 2012

#35 – THE REVEREND’S WIFE, by Kimberla Lawson Roby (Grand Central Publishing)


#13 – THE REVEREND’S WIFE, by Kimberla Lawson Roby. (Grand Central Publishing)

Kimberla, is just a class act professionally, personally and as a writer.  Her latest novel debuted at #13 on The List – her highest rank for a book.  Kimberla usually takes out our “Big Book Ad” This is perhaps our best bang for the buck advertisement — a very large book cover (same size as her cover shown above),  that appears on almost every page.  Lawson’s novel was also the #1 best selling book on for March/April 2012


Payback Ain't Enough
#27 NY Times Best Seller – Trade Fiction Paperback – May 13, 2012

#34 – THE RICH AND THE REST OF US, by Tavis Smiley and Cornel West (SmileyBooks)

SmileyBooks is a frequent supporters of  I say supporters because the relationship I have with SmileyBooks is one of mutual support.   Tavis Smiley tapped the brilliant Cheryl Woodruff run SmileyBooks.   Cheryl, is publishing icon in her own right and a socially conscious leader as well.  SmileyBooks is taking advantage of our Video Distribution Network.  A video featuring their book, THE RICH AND THE REST OF US is running throughout’s and a network of other websites.

May 13, 2012

#27 – PAYBACK AIN’T ENOUGH: PAYBACK #3, by Wahida Clark (Cash Money Content)

Wahida Clark, “The Official Queen of Street Lit” has been one of’s best selling authors for years.  She is one of the hardest working authors I know.  Even though she is a NY Times Best Selling author, she does not rest on her laurels.  When she does events (and she does a lot of them) she engages people and hand sells her work.   Clark is taking advantage of’s commissioned Book Review service.  Clark had four books, in the top ten, of all the book sold in 2011.



February 24 2012

Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out: Discover Secrets to a Slimmer, Sexier and Healthier You
#1, Feb 2, 2012


I thought it was worth mentioning a related accomplishment by another client, JJ Smith.    Smith’s book was #1 on Best Selling Books list, and remained in top 10 for a few days .  Yes, you read that right, her book was the top selling book of ALL of Amazon’s books — all genres, all formats!  This is quite an accomplishment.

JJ demonstrates a keen sense of marketing.  As an advertiser she is as sophisticated as any large client I’ve had.  She recognizes advertising is not solely about book sales, but something much broader — branding.   She also understands advertising is an on-going effort, not a 30 day affair.  This is one of the things that distinguishes JJ from most authors — and even the major publishing houses.   Over the years JJ has taken advantage of the Big Book ads, Video Placement, and various banner sizes.  She will swap ads based upon performance and uses well designed ads — really taking advantage of’s offerings.

I wish all of these authors, and all the others I’ve had the pleasure of working with, over the years and continued success.

If you are writer and feel it is too tough to continue just remember, There is always a reason for optimism.


Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.