Tag Archives: Social Media

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


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

Social Media Conversation with Two Successful Webmasters

Here Ron Kavanaugh, founder of Mosaicbooks.com and I, founder of AALBC.com, speak with Darryl J. Jenkins (my cousin) about our respective websites and how we stay current in a rapidly changing environment.

While social media is a big part of staying current, the real strategy for success is to stay on top of all of the changes taking place online and in your respective businesses.

I’ve been building websites since 1995. My first website was created to promote a sideline business I had selling custom built personal computers. Two years later, in 1997, I begin working on what would become AALBC.com.

In 2008, almost 3 years to the day, AALBC.com became my sole source of income. When I begin AALBC.com I never allowed myself to dream about it becoming my livelihood; today I can’t image it being any other way.

The first thing that made AALBC.com possible was the affiliate program. An affiliate program allows you to sell products on your website in return for commissions. The first affiliate program I signed up for was BarnesandNoble.com’s program. I earned my first dollar, for selling a book, in 1997 (I’m disappointed in myself that I do not recall the name of the title of that book).

Since then, I’ve signed up for dozens of affiliate programs, like Go Daddy for providing Domain Name Registration Services or affiliate networks like Commission Junction, with allow you to sign up for and manage many different affiliate programs.

Over the years many other services became available which not only made AALBC.com easier to run, but a viable business. Some of those tools include (in no particular order):

  • Google’s Adsense – Adsense provides you with banner advertisements that you can place you your website. You are paid based upon the number of times the banners are clicked or viewed.
    Adsense is my most consistent form of income. It took a couple of years to get to this point. While there are tons of books purporting to help you become rich with google; the surest way I’ve found to generate income with Adsense is to create good content — ideally something that people search for, but does not have a tremendous number of other websites with competing content.
    While you are at Google you may as well also sign up for; (1) Google Analytics which provides a tremendous amount of data about your website and works directly with Adsense; and (2) Youtube which allows you to easily provide video context on your website (the video below is an example).
  • PayPal – Allows me to accept credit card and other forms of payment online. I’ve been using PayPal for almost a decade — you even earn interest on the money in your account.
  • Madmimi – Since there is no email program that allows me to email more than a few hundred people at one time. I pay Madmini to manage my eNewsletter’s mailing list. I recently switched from the more popular Constant Contact because Madmini offered a better price for a similar level of service. As social media becomes more feature rich, I will continue to evaluate whether I will continue paying for this type of service.
  • WordPress – I’ve already blogged at great length about why I think WordPress is perhaps the best way for a non-technical people to create a website. The Blog portion of AALBC.com was developed from WordPress software.
  • Renegade Internet – This company provides the software that displays AALBC.com ads. The ability to manage ads is one thing that distinguishes AALBC.com from all of it competition. We really can’t sell advertising to sophisticated advertisers without the ability to report of impression, click through rates, etc.
  • Amazon.com – I use Amazon to sell virtually all of our books. I’ve tried fulfilling my own online book orders. But given the amount of labor, risk, overhead and price competition, I just made sense to become an Amazon affiliate and allow them to process my book orders.
    Amazon also offer programmers the ability to access Amazon’s product feed to create a customized website as with AALBC.com Book Search. Non-programmers can create an entire bookstore with a single line of code! Check out our bestsellers list for an example.
  • Invision Power Services – I’ve maintained a discussion board on AALBC.com since it was launched. I learn about new books, authors and get into so pretty heated discussion on a variety of topics. I actually enjoy my discussion boards a great deal. Over the years participation has waned, perhaps in favor of more popular ways of connecting with other on-line like Facebook and Twitter. I will however continue to maintain discussion boards because I have yet to see any social media platform provide the ability for many people exchange ideas at length, in depth, over a long period of time (perhaps it is a dying art).
  • AddThis – Addthis is a Bookmarking & Sharing Service. If you visit AALBC.com you’ll see a series of buttons at the top of every AALBC.com page that allow you to share it with a variety of social networks. AddThis also provides reports on the pages that have been shared.
  • Wildfire – This company provides a variety of tools. Most recently I used them top manage my Best Book Trailer of the Year contest. The contest was posted on my website, and Facebook and allowed me to do some pretty sophisticated things with minimal technical expertise required

Well that is just some of the things I’ve used to keep AALBC.com a viable business while keeping it fun and interesting for me.

Of course there are many ways to anything on-line. These are the things that have worked for me. Some of what I mentioned is fee based but most of it is not.

If you’ve run into any difficulties with the services or companies I’ve mentioned please share them in the comments section.

If you have a service you’ve found particularly useful for your website I encourage you to share it below as well.

Needless to say I’m a big user of Social Media. I’d encourage you to watch the video below to learn more about what I have to say on social media and visit AALBC.com’s new social media website: http://socialmedia101.biz

Social Media Conversation with Two Successful Webmasters