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Mel Hopkins

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Everything posted by Mel Hopkins

  1. @Troy et al , recently discovering and uncovering the success of Kennedy Ryan speaks volumes of how important it is for black writers to continue to do their thing - but also participate in PWIs (Predominately White Institutions) in an effort to get the notoriety. It would be nice if we could remain self-contained and eventually get our recognition in "the establishment." But I see, once again we have to work twice as hard to get half as far. Where as people of Angles descent only have to promote to one gatekeeper - those of us of the African diaspora must first promote to the black community and then go out to mainstream. I'm thrilled I found that article but I wonder if she didn't win the RITA award would she have even landed a story on NPR? Think about it. Ryan had a 4-book deal with the Hachette Group and I never heard a peep. Now that she's chosen the self-published route - she wins a coveted award and we get to learn that all along, she's been writing about the black community and the controversial issues we face. In addition, I'm even more excited that a place like AALBC.com exist for me to post Ryan's story. I didn't even post her story on my website - I came here first to share it. I'll share a review here too once I finish reading her award-winning book.
  2. You're welcome! I just learned of her too. The article mentioned she wrote 16 books including a few collections too. http://kennedyryanwrites.com/books
  3. LONG SHOT isn't the odds of an African American winning the coveted 2019 RITA award; it's the winning title of the Romance Novel that landed Kennedy Ryan in the winner's circle. Ryan is the first African American to win the award in the 37-year-history of the Romance Writers of America organization, and she also self-published the romance novel. "Long Shot" takes on the controversial subject of domestic violence in professional sports. The Charlotte, North Carolina resident, told WFAE she didn't expect to win. Ryan says she entered the competition to challenge the organizers' belief that black writers didn't enter their work. She said when they announced her name, Ryan said it felt like there was a collective, "we did it." Ryan began her writing career with the Hachette Group after landing a 4-book deal - but once it was up, she said she turned down subsequent offers to self-publish instead.
  4. @Troy all looks good again! I signed in with my phone and now commenting with ease. Thank You!
  5. Perfect! At least you can sit back and watch if Ethos Capital keeps its word. I agree - no for-profit organization should be able to hold an extension hostage that supposed to be available to the public. And ICANN held a public comment period and most of the people requested to keep the price cap.
  6. I just checked my dot-org sites and my renewal fee is $20.99 ... before ICANN lifted the price cap - it was supposed to be $9.99 ...smh
  7. As of December 4, 2019, safari browser (iPhone) isn't displaying aalbc.com properly through mobile display. The most prominent display problems occur when you click on the forum topic and it triggers distorted images, advertisements covering content, and no comment box.
  8. Exactly! I hope the Genius lawyers bring that up at trial. I google lyrics to click on the genius site out of spite lol Thank you! I didn't realize google also ranks registration length too. I register every year to get the marketing tax write off - the value of it as an asset isn't enough to stretch out over time. But I'll consider registering multiple years now.
  9. @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
  10. News roundup for bloggers - Genius Media Group, Inc, the company behind the annotated lyrics website, is suing Google and Lyric Find for $50 million. The complaint mentions copying lyrics from the site and using it on the results page. Here's a link to the Brooklyn based media company's complaint filed December 03, 2019, in Brooklyn Supreme Court of New York State County of Kings https://iapps.courts.state.ny.us/nyscef/ViewDocument?docIndex=3E0o8kQz4X3cWcbbid67wQ== Several news sites report Internet Society (ISOC)'s Public Interest Registry, a nonprofit, sold the top-level domain dot-org registry. The winning bidder is a private equity firm Ethos Capital. Allegedly, the dot-org registry is Ethos Capital only asset, but their website ethoscapital.com indicates otherwise. In July this year, ICANN, the nonprofit responsible keeping all things equal and equitable in the domain registrar world, also voted to lift the cap on registration fees. According to news reports, there will be no registration fee hikes. Still, your dot-org registration fees could go up and become cost-prohibitive. Sadly, nonprofits mostly use the dot org extension for their organizations' websites. And other online nonprofit news media websites containing a treasure trove of information also use the dot-org extension. Should those websites not be able to pay the domain registration fee - that information might disappear. If you're a dot org registrant, you might want to secure registration for the ten years to keep your domain name. At least it will buy you some time while these things shake out.
  11. 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
  12. Universal Music Enterprise (UMe) is a brand of the global music conglomerate Universal Music.
  13. @TroyI was checking out some SEO words I wanted to include in this content I'm writing. So, I put in my search engine Black Books Direct ...to see what would come up AND guest what was number 1 on my google results page? Yep - it landed me right here. Google giveth and taketh lol
  14. @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.
  15. Yes, that was it @richardmurray ! I mistakenly identified audio with musical but this is what I was referring to when I mentioned you had extensive experience with Kobo. Thank You for the update!
  16. 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.
  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. @richardmurray thank you! I remember when you first mentioned Kobo to me awhile back. It takes me some time to digest all the information I take it - but I rarely forget who shared the information. This is excellent background on Kobo and now I see why Walmart joined them. I did sign up with Kobo using my walmart account. I'll be sure to share how the program works for me too.
  19. @Troy I'm sure you've seen this already - but I just checked my google alerts and saw this https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/81153-aalbc-cuts-buy-links-to-amazon.html "AALBC Cuts Buy Links to Amazon By Calvin Reid | Sep 12, 2019" 😳
  20. I recently updated a short story for digital readers called "Classified" - The political thriller is the first in the series of the small-town reporter Nicole Jettison aka Nicky Jett.  Nicky developed her supernatural gift during the first year in college.  Nicky's prophetic dreams transported her to the netherworld.  Once there, she gained abilities to see and battle shape-shifting drug dealers and a sorcery-wielding obeah priestess. She also recognizes nothing is as it seems.  When Nicky recovers, she hides in a journalism career.  She breaks news stories thanks to her all-seeing third-eye.  Nicky's gift is well-suited for news reporting but awful for her personal life.  Nicky morphs into a full-blown space-cadet once those preternatural abilities gain control. Check out Nicky Jett's riveting back story in the page-turner "Sleeping with a D-Man" available at theleadstorydotorg.


    1. richardmurray


      will share in my newsletter and about the everse:)

    2. Mel Hopkins

      Mel Hopkins

      You are so good too me! Thank you so much!!!

    3. richardmurray


      always the village

  21. @Troy Exactly! We continue to tell authors not to let AMAZON use them, so this is the logical next step. I think sharing my book publishing journey and asking questions like this well help all of us. I do know, once I formatted my eBook for mobi (kIndle) I was able to read it in my kindle for pc. So I didn't need to publish through amazon to use its digital reader. It is literally a standalone file on my pc. I created the mobi file and the ePub file two different ways. I uploaded (import) my manuscript (microsoft word docx) to pressbooks.com. I formatted with front matter(copyright page and introduction), chapters and back matter (about the author, about the series). Export the document in .mobi, .epub, and pdf (for digital). There's a pdf format for print but I didn't use that one because its a short story. downloaded those formats to my pc. I opened the mobi file in my kindle for pc and it was perfect. I open the epub file in my microsoft edge browser - and it was perfect! I created a ePub file of my eBook by: first formatting my microsoft word docx - for ePub/Mobi conversion. This time I used lulu.com to convert my microsoft word document. Because I formatted the word doc correctly, the conversion was successful. You can see by checking out the preview <-This is the ePub file. When I launch it - it opens in microsoft edge. Others might have different results. I haven't used Kobo but I know who is an advocate - @richardmurray ! I believe RM's books and music are available on Kobo. EDIT | A little more about Kobo... "In January, Walmart partnered with Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten on online grocery in Japan, as well as the sale of audiobooks, e-books, and e-readers in the U.S. Today, Walmart is capitalizing on that relationship with the launch of a full e-book and audiobook catalog on Walmart.com, alongside its assortment of physical books. The new site, called Walmart eBooks, includes a library of over 6 million titles ranging from NYT best-sellers to indie titles and children’s books. And similar to Amazon’s Audible, Walmart will also now offer a monthly audiobook subscription service. However, Walmart is undercutting Amazon on pricing. While Audible subscriptions start at $14.95 per month for one audiobook, Walmart’s subscription is only $9.99 per month for the same." From TechCrunch - Walmart and Kobo launch Walmart eBooks, an online e-book and audiobook store August 18, 2018
  22. @Troy Correct! On this eBook, I have a standard copyright notice - "all rights reserved." All copies should come from me. Yes, the eBook is created in a EPUB format.
  23. @Troy thank you! Ok 1. A shopper decides to buy a digital book from my woocommerce website store. 2. She completes the purchase. 3. Now can access her purchase (digital book) through the download radio button. 4. When she executes her download she can now save an ePub or .mobi copy on her pc. This now means unlimited distribution. How do I DRM (digital rights manage) my ebooks?
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