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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. Also discovered this Book Festival: https://aalbc.com/events/event-detail.php?st=England#Brighton+Book+Festival
  3. Thanks Maurice! https://aalbc.com/bookstores/store.php?store_name=Afrori+Books
  4. A fairly recently opened bookshop in Brighton,East Sussex. Visited the once. https://afroribooks.co.uk/
  5. Right now, a human ghost writer would be better. But this may not be true for very long... Shoot it may not be true today, but we don't have access to the versions with that capability. I have ChapGPT generate the first draft of author bios now. Welcome to the forums @Monica
  6. A pretty good question was raised here for discussion. I don't have a publisher, and I plan to start writing a fiction book. I don't have enough experience writing books, because I only read them before that. Therefore, I think that a ghostwriter would be helpful to me. I do not trust artificial intelligence and am convinced that only a professional writer can present the main ideas and plot in the best way. I even found one service https://penfellow.com/fiction-ghostwriting/ and plan to use it to write or edit my book. Therefore, to answer the question, I will say that I will choose fiction ghostwriting instead of Artificial Intelligence software.
  7. @Troy, The article refers to Ms. Dillon like she was an afterthought smh. I hope you will follow up on your post here and Interview her! Seriously, that would be “so dope!”
  8. Wow, this is incredible news @Mel Hopkins -- thanks for sharing! I have not read the article yet but will get to it. I believe this may make Sanyu the most senior Black person in Publishing! This reminds me of a conversation from 5 years about when I posted an article, published 10 years before that conversation, sharing the people behind Black books: We talked about how publishing was dominated by white people. Sanyu's promotion is a step in the right direction This is a change that Random House did not have to make. I was not previously familiar with "All Ways Black," but I'm not active on Instagram... Though I did start Tiktoking (is that a verb?) a few minutes ago
  9. Sanyu Dillon, Black Executive CMO Alliance Founding Member, will head up Random House Publishing. According to the New York Times, the publishing company's former chief marketing officer will now lead Random House, the Dial Press, and One World imprints. One World is described as having a multicultural focus. And its editor-in-chief, Chris Jackson, has worked with literary luminaries such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, the civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson and emcee Jay Z. From Forbes, "Dillon is also extremely passionate about driving inclusiveness in publishing, which is why she launched, "All Ways Black" a community and platform that celebrates Black literature. The Instagram account is curated by Cree Myles. Note: NYT link is a gift article. No paywall.
  10. Independent Authors and Small Publishers I found " The Other Madisons " by Bettye Kearse through the duck duck go search engine. I was looking for an African/Black authoritative voice on the meaning of Griot/Griottes, which led me to the author's website. Ms. Kearse gives a detailed definition and a book recommendation. Although the domain name and the author's name are the same, I rarely stumble upon personal websites with such strong SEO that land on the search engine's first page. So, if your SEO game is strong, forget what I said about publishing a website for each title. If you have a website promoting your book -be sure to fill it with helpful information, and it will help you bring attention to your book(s), and you'll sell books too.
  11. I was unaware of the Griot's efforts regarding WritingBlack. But it was a great compliment to ReadingBlack. The WritingBlack.com domain name is going for $2K+
  12. When I suggested "WritingBlack" I thought it would be a great companion to ReadingBlack. There are quite a few of us that read and write too. Now, TheGrio has a podcast with the same name. So unless @Troy created an affiliate, The Grio's Writing Black is a separate entity.
  13. Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Amerie pens a children's literature book, “You Will Do Great Things," illustrated by Raissa Figueroa, under the imprint, Roaring Brooks Press, published by Macmillan Books. Publication expected date 03/282023. ISBN: 9781250817020 Hardcover price; $18.99 The Host and founder of Amerie' Book Club on YouTube gives a sneak peek. #readwithamerie #ameriesbookclub
  14. @Troy was a panelist on the Wall Street Journal May 18, 2022 event "The Future of Publishing. He gave an excellent presentation, and representation for #readingblack.com. So much of what the panel said resonates with what we tackle here on Readingblack.com. It also resonates within the independent and traditional black publishing world. One part that struck me as tone-deaf was the panel's talk of more mergers in traditional Big 5 publishing due to its valuable "back list." So you probably know, I cheered when Troy pointed to the richness of our "black book backlist that is selling handily, 20 years or more after its debut. The "BLACK LIST" seems like an opportunity for some authors to republish their out-of-print books. I recently bought an out-of-print book published on September 11, 2001. Sympathy for the Devil is timeless, and its subject matter is still relevant. Troy mentioned Discoverability was a pain point for publishers, authors, and readers. Well, I first heard about this book on Twitter in 2021. The thread I followed came from another black author "Victor LaValle ("The Devil in Silver.") The Topic: "Worse day for a book release." The Discoverability of this title didn't come from a pitch but rather from an exciting topic. Since this panel discussion is beyond a paywall, I'll share some notable points raised during the panel. As Troy mentioned, Discoverability is the first challenge in the publishing world. Frontlist books (new releases) have a hard time gaining attention. The less time and money you have to promote your book, the worse your chances for discovery. Book packaging/platform. Readers consume books in different ways, including accessibility (braille, audio, digital, paper, etc.) Most publishers start with digital, but It is important to know your audience before spending money on packaging/platform. Word of mouth /trusted voices promotion. For example, it's difficult for some books to get mainstream reviews or be short-listed for awards. Shortage of hand-selling booksellers who can get the right book into the right hands. If your book gets shelf space - it will stay put if the bookseller doesn't know how or who needs a recommendation. The moderator wanted a solution for getting Black-authored books into the booksphere. Troy's suggestion of a hybrid approach to bookselling, "take advantage of the data but infuse that with a personal touch," will help readers discover new books. The bottom line: The future of publishing depends on Building awareness and making the book available to those who need to read it.
  15. Historical Black colleges have the ability to have a press if they have the money so... The following is an article about that process from one who has experience. Remember to click, read more to see it https://aalbc.com/tc/profile/6477-richardmurray/?status=1879&type=status
  16. Here's a group I found via aarp - Silverfox Squad LLC - I think the founding member designs shoes - He's verified on instagram has about a half-million followers. Who knew? lol io
  17. Sure, I am definitely and influencer, but not on social media -- at least not directly. The term "influencer" is not applied to indie platforms -- especially the black-owned ones. The social media algorithm simply does not favor older Black men you aren't talking about nonsense. IMHO. Can you think of a so called influencer who is a Black, cis-gender, male in my age range on TikTok, for example? Is he buck dancing (metaphorically speaking). Again I will give it a shot... Thanks for the information on Frank London Brown. His book, Trumbull Park is still in print. I just added a place holder for him on the site: https://aalbc.com/authors/author.php?author_name=Frank+London+Brown You can learn more abut Builders + Backers here: https://www.buildersandbackers.com/press-posts/tulsa-cohort-2022 it is a really helpful program.
  18. I'm not familiar with the Builder + Backers program. If you could, would you share an overview? Also, I don't know why this escapes me (maybe I'm too close)- but YOU ARE AN INFLUENCER with the oldest black books promotion website on the internet. AALBC continuously drives black book sales and promotes authors through email marketing, promotional marketing, bookselling programs, and social movement. TikTok is designed for low information consumers. The TikTok audience wants their info in easy-to-understand, digestible "byte"-size increments so they can share it with others. My daughters always force me to participate in the music and dance challenges, which I love. I've noticed the same with other parents our age -even celebrity gen-Xers and X-boomers. So, from the cultural perspective, TikTok has been able to bridge the generation gap. Users even engage others in the literary movement and have brought a lot of backlist books to bestselling status. So, here's a thought. BookTok (43 billion views as of today)- "BlackLit" could be the theme (the blacklit hashtag isn't popular) featuring social movement black literary fiction. For example, my daughter's beau's grandfather wrote Trumbull Park in 1959. Recently inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, Trumbull Park is about the first black family moving into a whites-only public housing project. I've noticed in the aalbc newsletter you reach back to spotlight the literary history makers. So there might be a way to get your #Sankofa (2.3 million TikTok views) on, to use that editorial angle as a point of entry to tell and promote aalbc's story on TikTok.
  19. @Troy Off-Topic: My club notifications isn't working. I get notifications from the forum topics but not club notifications. I do have it set to receive notifications when someone comments, starts a topic or replies to my topics - but I'm not getting anything. I hope club members are getting notice of activities from Readingblack.com
  20. I'm part of a program called Builder + Backers and am hoping to do an experience in which I can test the effectiveness of TikTok for AALBC, but I need a website refresh which I hope yo complete in another 4 weeks. As far as the lack of ads on TikTok, if they are like any other social media platform, they will be coming -- trust me. The other thing I find problematic with social is that so much of what we see is advertising. Now I don't have a problem with advertising, but it is often undisclosed and gives prominence to those with the most money. This usually ends up in marginalizing Black content not cosigned by white folks.
  21. Troy, you are killing it! AWS has AI (am*z*n comprehend) to help with reading comprehension
  22. I get all my TikTok notifications from my daughters, who share stories with me. Since I don't spend much time on TikTok, I followed up on the CEO's claim of about 40 billion views for the hashtag BookTok. Following that lead, I searched for black BookTok and found Kendra.Reads via the CBS news story. I followed her because she promotes black books and follows up on recommendations where popular series contain black characters. I didn't see one ad while watching any TikTok video. Starting an account and getting an audience would be too time-consuming for me. The way to benefit from the hashtag BookTok is through its popular influencers promoting books.
  23. @Mel Hopkins Are you seeing may folks in our age on TikTok? Did you discover Kendra Reads before you saw the CBS News article? It seems odd that TikTok, a video sharing platform, is still displaying user videos as mirror images. All the text in the video being reversed is unnecessary and irritating. (Am I coming across grumpy this a.m.? )
  24. I can absolutely see this happening. Perhaps we will also use AI to read the books for us too
  25. I saw TikTok CEO Shouzi Chew on Bloomberg this morning and the interviewer, David Rubenstein, asked Chew, how someone Rubenstein's age could benefit from TikTok. Chew answered BookTok, generates 40 billion views (BILLION WITH A B ) for the booktok hashtag. There is also Black BookTok I found one influencers "Kendra.Reads" https://www.tiktok.com/@kendra.reads?lang=en with more than 100k followers who was featured on CBS news https://www.cbsnews.com/news/kendra-keeter-gray-tiktok-creator-black-characters/. I'm on tiktok. So far I just watch. Is anyone promoting here promoting their books, bookstore or publishing company on tiktok? Post your profile name so we can follow.

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