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About This Club

The mission of #readingblack is to encourage everyone to read quality books written by Black people and to purchase those books from independent booksellers. We strive to develop strategies that will make it easier for book buyers to support our mission.

  1. What's new in this club
  2. Blockchain Technology may cause the next disruption in book-selling and "Put Authors At Center of Publishing Universe". Blockchain, the underpinnings of the bitcoin launched in 2009, "is a decentralized ledger of all transactions across a peer-to-peer network. Using this technology, participants can confirm transactions without a central authority. Potential applications include fund transfers, settling trades, voting and many other uses. " Source: PwC (see the infographic) As we all know, one of the centralized authorities in bookselling is an online retail store, namely Amazon. With blockchain technology, books will contain smart contracts between the author and publisher. Also spelled out in the block, will be subsidiary rights, payment etc, essentially cutting out the middlemen (maybe even bowker's isbn too! But I digress. From Publisher's weekly: So how would blockchain work for books? Basically, a digital book created in the blockchain holds both the text, and also all the terms of a book’s contract—referred to as a “smart contract”—including but not limited to commercial terms of sale (and even resale), author credit and other information. The Alliance of Indepedent Authors (ALLi) has published a white paper on blockchain for books. When a user purchases a blockchain book, the transaction is direct between author and reader—no middleman, like Amazon. The reader gets the text within an app. The text cannot be tampered with or transferred outside of the contract terms coded therein. And the author is paid immediately, with payments divvied up according to the smart contract—for example, the contract might call for 10% of the book's price to go the author’s publisher. And yes, payments are made in cryptocurrency directly to the authors “digital wallet.” By the way, this isn't years away; it is happening now with one of the first books launched in April at the London Book Fair. Also from Publisher's Weekly: Josef Marc, CEO of upstart blockchain publisher Publica, announced that the company had just gone live in the Google Play Store with author Sukhi Jutla’s Escape The Cubicle: Quit The Job You Hate. Without getting too technical, Publica offers the service to authors to crowdfund their publications through ICO (initial coin offerings). So who knows, maybe , @Troy will use a blockchain platform to publish authors and create AALBC tokens too? Decentralization is putting the power back into the hands of the people. For the times they are a-changin'.
  3. Thanks everybody! Don't have anything to add right now because I'm too busy considering how to incorporate all these great strategies into my marketing plans.
  4. Thanks for popping by @CDBurns, please posts some links here from time to time and share the news of your successes -- especially the interviews. Keep up the great work. I may make it to Memphis this summer and will reach out.
  5. I'm popping up again, lol. I recently added the RSS Feed from the network sites to each homepage of the sites. That is the closest thing to a webring I've found. It also diminishes writing posts for more than one site. Authors are all content to remain on Facebook and IG basically screwing themselves out of any potential additional revenue via affiliates and ads. It's so unfortunate. With the sneaker site it has turned into my writing site. My books have never really taken off, but as of late I've been interviewed several times about diversity in footwear because of posts I've written on the site. I've basically become a writer because of blogging, when I was a novelist without any readers. My work is being read more than ever which is the most important statement I could ever make. If writers are creating their own content on a consistent basis, they are going to have travel everywhere and go to every event to build an audience. If they simply woke up each morning and updated their own sites they would improve search and opportunities. Sorry I've been missing, but there have been some incredible things taking shape because of the posts on the site and I've been completely focused on building that momentum. I hope everyone is well!!!!
  6. Here are some of my talking points from the presentation: https://aalbc.com/sbbf/
  7. Sounds like a very, very interesting activity, wish I were there!
  8. My west coast family please consider joining for a workshop on #readingblack. If you care about Black culture, who tells our stories, and who profits from the activity; this workshop is for you: Tomorrow 1:30 p.m. at the Sacramento Black Book Fair.
  9. EVO Universe

    Welcome! Please Introduce Yourself.

    Thank you Damani, really appreciate the compliment!
  10. Damani

    Welcome! Please Introduce Yourself.

    EVO Universe! Very IMPRESSIVE! Creating an entire world and then having to describe it to your reader is a huge challenge. To then develop a series requires a keen and active imagination. You have my admiration!! Damani
  11. I use a webrings with my student. It just makes it easier for me to visit all of my student's pages when grading assignments. If any one breaks the ring they lose points. Webrings predated search and allowed visitors to discover websites. Of course the webrings were self regulated; bad players were naturally excluded. One might argue that this process is less efficient than using search to discover a website because webrings can't scale to millions of websites. But I'd argue neither can google because few searchers go past the first couple of pages of search results -- that is assuming Google does not hijack the searcher first with their own service. Where Google really shines is finding content on web page. They are so good at this it is mind boggling.
  12. @Troy, I remember webrings from the early days, but had/have no real concept of how they worked. Stay strong, my Brother, on fighting for control. Very essential for self-determination.
  13. @CDBurns, I'm still migrating pages from HTML to php after almost two years. It will probably take forever LOL! @Damani, If there are any active author webrings I'm not aware of any. I've really been racking my brain trying to find a suitable alternative to a webrings. I've been working with different groups looking at alternative mode of collaboration promotion. Unfortunately, on the web, the locus of power on the web has shifted from many indie sites to a handful a massive corporate site. As a result we are pretty much at their mercy in terms of discoverability. This condition would probably render webring ineffective unless we take back so level of control -- something I spend as much time trying to do as I do selling books. 😞
  14. Are there Webrings for authors? Are they usually receptive to new members? Damani
  15. Thank you,, Wendy! This is valuable information. It is well to remember that LIBRARIES HAVE BUDGETS TO BUY BOOKS!! Damani
  16. Damani

    Welcome! Please Introduce Yourself.

    @Troy, precisely!!! Like that nugget, there are many aspects of our People's history that are relegated to footnotes in scholarly works. Our objectives as authors/activists include bringing to the fore IN THE FICTION GENRE some of the day to day realities of the challenging circumstances our Ancestors had to negotiate and challenge. That restriction on "Free Blacks" is alluded to in CLANDESTINE. Another example: In Chambers County, Ala (where one branch of my wife's family has roots), a Black woman went to court in the pre-Civil War period to challenge a claim that she, a free woman, had petitioned to become a slave. The Alabama legislature had passed a law creating that pretext for nefarious purposes. A white couple forged documents, but did not count on the Sister taking them to court. Surprisingly, the courts sided with her BECAUSE and ONLY BECAUSE some other whites testified as witnesses because, by law, she could not. That situation, too, plays a part in the decision-making of characters in CLANDESTINE. Damani EVO Universe! Very IMPRESSIVE! Creating an entire world and then having to describe it to your reader is a huge challenge. To then develop a series requires a keen and active imagination. You have my admiration!! Damani
  17. Hey @Damani congrats on your progress thus far. I did not know that free Black people, living in VA for more than a year ran the legal risk of becoming enslaved again.
  18. Damani

    Welcome! Please Introduce Yourself.

    ASANTE SANA, @Mel Hopkins My wife and i are pushing hard to finish this phase of the project! Damani
  19. I intend to have the information I gathered about independent publishing ready by next week. For now, I want to share a link from the New York Public Library. Your state may have a similar program. Look on the website and see. The details of the submission process are outlined. I just sent my review copy and information in. As one would expect they want the usual: ISBN No., Publication date, and reviews. Although the guidelines state a desire for diversity, the preferred review publications are Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and the other trade journals that are difficult for even traditional publishers to get into. Foreword, a trade journal which reviews small press and independently published books, is not mentioned as a preferred publication. The decision process takes six months. They do not order books from Amazon or other online vendors. The preference is for Baker & Taylor and Ingram. As stated in an earlier post, these distributors only take books from publishers that have already achieved a certain amount of success. A new publisher or an independently-published author would not be considered. As a balance to their biased information gathering, I included the seven public libraries and the historical society (someone sent An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones to the Wisconsin Historical Society -- I don't know who, but I am grateful) that had already accepted the book. With the torrent of books published each year, many of them poorly written and edited, I understand the need for guidelines. But people are going to have to use a little more imagination if they are not to overlook the fine books that are in the 21st century slush pile. The Diary of Ann Frank was rescued from that slush pile. I was tempted to write a cover letter reminding them that we would not know the work of Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, Amiri Baraka, and Frederick Douglass if only traditionally published writers were selected for the library shelves. But I figured they were inundated with paper and wouldn't want anything they hadn't asked for. I'll let you know what happens in November. So here's the link: https://www.nypl.org/ask-nypl/author-submissions This link needs to be in plain text, which I don't know how to do. Try putting NYPL Submission guidelines for authors and publishers in your search engine. Enjoy the Memorial Day holiday!
  20. Mel Hopkins

    Welcome! Please Introduce Yourself.

    Sorry? No, Thank you for sharing and getting "carried away" !!! This is awesome @Damani Congratulations!
  21. Damani

    Welcome! Please Introduce Yourself.

    @Troy and All, Yes, it is an AMAZING story. Transportation for research has been the biggest expense so far - thousand$. Thankfully, there were three local historians/researchers who had already done tremendous work and they willingly shared the documents and information they had dug up. We are forever grateful Three examples of what they shared with us: photocopies and handwritten transcriptions of my great grandfather's trial record where he challenged the all white jury because it was not "a jury of his peers" - THIS WAS IN 1868!!!![/b] handwritten letter from my great grandmother's "owner" seeking a military escort to take his valuable property (enslaved Africans) from Franklin, TN to Montgomery and far from the reach of Union forces - IN 1862 a handwritten statement, decades later, from a founder of the local KKK Klavern listing the others present at their first meeting in Franklin, TN We are EXCITED!!! CLANDESTINE - The Times and Secret Life of Mariah Otey Reddick tells the story of my great grandmother's family. Family lore has it that she was a SPY when she - as is WELL-DOCUMENTED - worked in the household of President Jeff Davis in Montgomery before the Confederate White House was established in Richmond, VA. Out of concern for their safety, records of Union spies were destroyed after the war, so unfortunately we have no confirmation. However, you might remember that another African/Black woman - Mary Elizabeth Bowser - spied for the Union in the Richmond White House!! http://time.com/4350450/mary-richards-bowser/ I'm sorry, y'all!! I got carried away!!!! Damani
  22. Damani

    Welcome! Please Introduce Yourself.

    Yes, @Troy, it was Edit 1st!!!!! Great job! Damani
  23. Hi @Damani, thanks for taking the time to share the good news. You can always mention AALBC's Edit 1st, when it comes to manuscript editors. Sounds like a fascinating story.
  24. Damani

    Welcome! Please Introduce Yourself.

    Well, Brothers and Sisters, we've made some progress. Troy referred us to an editor who did a wonderful Manuscript Review. THANK YOU VERY MUCH TROY!! @Troy I don't know the protocols, so I won't mention her name, but she gave us positive feedback, some critiques and excellent suggestions for honing our 399 page (much more when double spaced!) manuscript into a book. VERY grateful to her!!! We are - and I hope it is OK to mention it here - now in the last phase of a crowdfunding campaign to help offset some of the pre-publication expenses. Check out our video and more information here: igg.me/at/ClandestineBook The backstory of how and why we came to write our historical novel is here: Clandestine-Life.com We WILL publish this year! Damani
  25. Oh God, I can't even think about the ramifications of the repeal of net neutrality. The cost of running a website can, and likely will, go up. As we will have to start to paying a premium for providing fast access to our websites. This will accelerate the move 0f people to social media as their primary web presences. The repeal of net neutrality poses an existential threat to independent websites, like AALBC.
  26. @Troy Yep. Google has gone commercial and eCommerce - happy. I just noticed that yesterday when I was looking for a aphorism about fishing poles. All I could find on the first couple of pages were places to buy fishing poles. Net Neutrality sunsets in June - so I guess google changed their algorithm to feature the sites that will be accessible. It looks like it will be old-fashioned marketing of websites again - if people know about your website - they will have actively choose to visit it - and hope it will load properly😐
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