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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.

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  2. Thanks Mel you are right in that the money I make contributes to Black writers not just in the form of book sales but for reviews, editing, and other assignments. I'm going to have to out source the book order processing I simply can't do the work. I think I have a compensation model that will be worth it to someone looking to earn a little extra money and get some free books.
  3. @Wendy Jones me too! I'm so proud of us and @Troy for this "writer's write to be read and profit too" movement!!! :D
  4. Thanks @Wendy Jones I was talking to a publisher and they told me "A" would order books send them back before the payment terms (that A defined) expired only to reorder the same books just to avoid paying for the books by extending the terms. The publisher loses money on each book they sell through A. They were forced to increase the price of the book. In the meantime, given the lack of competition the publisher is selling far fewer copies. Everyone, including the publisher, author, reader, and bookseller are worse off. The only one benefiting in this scenario is "A." The real problem is that readers don't appreciate how they are less well off. In an world with "A;" books are more expensive than they would be otherwise (save the most most popular titles), and readers are exposed to fewer titles because of a lack of competition.
  5. If you haven’t heard about A’s latest dastardly deeds, here are two of the most recent: A (no need to keep repeating the name, the initial will do) was not ordering the number of books from various independent bookstores and publishers that they had placed large orders with previously. To have this happen just before the holiday season was a disaster. This is not in the update, but I recently heard from an independent bookstore owner that orders were now larger than they had ever been. I didn’t say anything, but I have a feeling the returns are going to be larger than they’ve ever been, too. Here’s the link to the response from the Independent Book Publishers Association: https://www.ibpa-online.org/news/news.asp?id=478273 As many of you know, writers’ rights to their work are bundled, like pickup sticks held together with a rubber band. For instance, you can sell the rights to the e-book, the rights to the audio book, the rights to the hardcover, and the rights to the soft cover. All these rights are sold separately, one pickup stick at a time. In the case I’m going to describe, writers sold the rights to the audio book version of a particular book. However, now A has decided to create an Audible Captions Program. What’s that? Instead of just listening to the text, the listener can also read the text on the screen. The sentences are broken up into a few words at a time. Then they disappear. A trumpets this as a way to help remedial reading students gain fluency in reading. Besides the disappearing text, the other problem is an “acceptable” error rate of 6%. On a page of three hundred words, there will be 18 “acceptable” typographical errors or otherwise mangled words. A intended to do this with all the books it had control over, not just those in the public domain (the writer is dead and the estate no longer owns the copyright). In other words, A was going to make a version of the book for which the writer had not been paid and had not given permission for the work to be produced (destroyed) in this way. Since September, A has been in court fighting a lawsuit waged by the writers and publishers whose work it had intended to steal. For now, A has agreed to roll out this program only for books in the public domain and the books it publishes. Look at the hypertext to see what happened to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Here is the link to the article from the Independent Book Publishers Association: https://www.ibpa-online.org/news/news.asp?id=467194 I am so pleased that so many of us at AALBC.COM are working together to break free from A’s chains. Troy, thank you for making this possible. I wish you continued success with your online bookstore.
  6. Hey! I haven't even seen this thanks for sharing it @Mel Hopkins
  7. Serving Writers and Readers: African-American Literary Organizations by Diane Patrick Features our own @Troy and AALBC.Com leading the pack of several organizations that help books by and for African Americans thrive. The Publisher Weekly's article lists African American Literary and Culture Society, Cave Canem, The Center for Black Literature, Harlem Writers Guild, and Hurston Wright Foundation. For more of what each organizations offers writers and readers visit Publisher's Weekly November 22, 2019
  8. Universal Music Enterprise (UMe) is a brand of the global music conglomerate Universal Music.
  9. This was handy. I was unaware of Sisters so when I hopefully visit NYC next year, I'll visit this shop as well as Revolution books and Schomburg.
  10. Here is a link to an article where I describe my 10 favorite Black-owned, brick-and-mortar bookstores.
  11. I'm unaware of UME. Not over here, I think. Love the info booklets in CDs but you can't beat buying a lovely bit of vinyl, especially 2nd hand but in good nick.
  12. @Maurice UMe is releasing a lot of its catalog in vinyl ... I won't say I'll never buy vinyl again - but they are sure making it hard to ignore.
  13. The only High St bookshop in the UK is now just Waterstones. I don't shop there as I think that they are pretty expensive. I occasionally like browsing in there as I like to see what's new. Maybe I just like to be surrounded by books. Book shops of the past that are now gone include Books etc, Claude Gill and Ottakers. So that just leaves Waterstones. Of course we can buy online but we don't have much choice there. The same goes for music. Just HMV are left. Virgin and Our Price no longer exist.. But there are some cracking record shops around though most of these tend to specialise in particular genres. As for e- books. No thankyou. Yes, they are handy and you can store scores and scores of books on them but they're not for me. Actually, though I no longer purchase any reading material from Amazon I still have a music wish list on there. Perhaps I should consider not buying from them full stop. The last albums I bought were on EBay anyway.
  14. That is what I have to figure out before I can sell eBooks -- even if it means few authors will take advantage of the option and fewer readers will purchase these types of ebooks. There many authors, usually the selfhelp type, who seem to do well selling their own ebooks. I'll look into what technology the are using nowadays.
  15. Hahaha! Get it together, @Troy ! But quiet as kept, I always go back and edit my comments for the same reason! 😄 Agreed! But you can see how enticing it must be. Amazon always provides the Easy Button. So, we independent authors/self-publishers must include an “Easy Button” in our sales repertoire. Now what would that “Easy Button” look like - is the question we need to answer and act on.
  16. @Mel Hopkins you decoded my text correctly 🙂 (I can't help but think of Cynique when my typos are exposed she was a stickler on that). Your comment on free is actually really important -- nothing is "free." Indeed we provide so much value to social media, Amazon, and Google they should really pay us for using their platforms -- I'm completely serious. Amazon was still paying me to send readers to their site. I just did not think it was enough, so I stopped. All the "free" services Amazon provides can become fee based or removed at anytime. Which is what they tend to do once they have as they Again, easily creating a eBook that you can only sell on a single vendor's platform is only considered a benefit if that platform holds a monopoly position. Easily creating an ebook for a platform noone uses is no benefit. So I'm afraid giving authors an easy way to create ebook that can't be sold on Amazon is not an alternative....
  17. @Troy Did you mean "work with ePub"... that's how I read it. So, I hope you did. And the truth in that statement makes the amazon deal bittersweet. And here's why. Again Amazon.com /Jeff Bezos really understands his market. He helps writers help him become even more wealthy - - Now, the following indictment may not be true of all writers but it must be true of most of us self-published writers or we wouldn't even bother with Amazon. Case-in-point. The last time I was in my KDP account was about two years ago when I decided to unpublish my stories on Amazon. So, today, I sign into my KDP account (long story - but I decided to remove my digital assets from most outside vendor digital platforms) and I delete two of the manuscripts I forgot about. And since there was no option to delete the other two, I thought, at least I could remove the files so CreateSpace couldn't print my book. (Not saying that they would, but "lead us not into temptation.") Anyway, as I was about to delete the file - I noticed KDP offers a free book formatting file. I emphasize "free" because most things free in commerce - come with a hidden cost. But I digress. Once you download this "free" formatting guide to your PC it promises to do the heavy lifting to design a beautiful book. See Images and the link https://kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/GYVL2CASGU9ACFVU Now, this format only works for .mobi . So, you have a beautifully formatted mobi file for an eBook that only works on Kindle readers. So once again, if you're writer with limited tech skills this is a godsend. All you have to do is upload your manuscript, manipulate the template and now you have a mobi file ready for publishing and distribution. All this to say, we writers/independent publishers must make it as easy for our readers to get our books; as Jeff makes it easy for us to publish them.
  18. If there was real competition in the American eBook market Amazon would have to wor8d with ePub as well it own format.
  19. @Troy No, the Kindle handles Amazon's ebook format, Mobi. Kobo uses the open format Epub. Epub is not Kobo's epub is for anyone to use, Kobo reads epub and pdf's. Kindle read Mobi and pdf. That is what i meant about amazon. They knew being first to have an ereader, they had a chance to use their own ebook format exclusively. Epub was made and is used mostly throughout the industry. But in the usa, the market of amazon pulls toward mobi while outside the usa it is epub.
  20. Yep I spoke to Calvin at PW a day or two after I published the Blog post. A indie publisher in Brooklyn, Melville House, also covered the piece. You should check out their article, as well as the articles they link to in their coverage. They wrote about Amazon converting their Audible audio into ebooks -- in defiance of publishers wishes! Amazon just doesn't give a f*uk, they are so gangsta! While Amazon is not providing the entire text to read at once (it is apparently being providing as the audiobook is read), this is a technically which essentially give the consumer an ebook when the buy the audiobook. As you know Amazon also owns Audible.
  21. As a bookseller, I'm only going to consider open ebook and audiobook book formats to sell in this website. I focus primarily on physical books, as I have not designed the site to accommodated the site to accommodate multiple formats of the same book. It is not something I plan to do in the short term. So, if a book is only available in ebook format, I'm only selling and open version. @richardmurray does the Kindle handle Kobo ebooks? I actually have two kindle ebook readers and have not used wither in years. I also have a Nook and I guess this products is obsolete for all practical purposes... I'll probably resuscitate these devices as I begin my research.
  22. cool @Mel Hopkins if you are on writing life, let me know. I have placed books on overdrive, placed books overseas. you have to comprehend, kobo lists books based on the language in different geographies. Tell me what you think of my Nyotenda :) it is a screenplay, but that is a whole other multilog:)

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