Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by CDBurns

  1. Me too. I feel the Bern... damn I can't believe I just said that, smh.
  2. I agree that Black writers need to create these heroines, but Tyler Perry or whoever the director of importance for Blacks is right now, should do the Parable series which all of these books seem to steal from. Octavia Butler's book has religious undertones, but they would be perfect for this type of adaptation. As far as the POTUS I like President Obama and I respect all POTUS because I'm ex military and I love this country, I just complain a little bit.
  3. And the laws that took away education in prisons... as well as the increase in for profit prisons during the Clinton era.
  4. You know I forgot about Janeway... and Deanna Troy, but she was kind of eye candy as well... Star Trek is the United Nations of the future though. I mean we had a Black Captain and Jordy, Wharf was Black (I didn't see a Klingon) and while the White guy was the savior, with Star Trek the diverse group always held more logic and morality. I still haven't gotten into the reboot since I just don't get to the movies that often, but I loved the Harry Potter series. I didn't read the books for the others so I was not as engaged in the other white woman as hero films. You have to admire the tenacity to make sure women look empowered as we enter the year of Hillary ;-)
  5. Nah, it's not a stretch at all. Think about the last few blockbusters and they all have had a white female heroine. Especially those created from books. Hunger Games Insurgent Harry Potter (Hermione) Twilight and the list goes on when it comes to film and white heroines. Interestingly enough, Star Trek doesn't even have a prominent White female actress. Uhuru is the only woman of prominence in the show. Hell, even in the 60s white women were just THOTs and Jump offs for Captain Kirk, so you're right. Star Trek will never earn as much, lol.
  6. It's such a double edged sword... I can only compare it to my shoe company since my books aren't very popular. I have had my own site forever. When I list my shoes, as well as my books on my site, I give both options for purchase. I've done this with my books also, and the result is always the same people buy where they have their credit card information already saved. I very rarely make a sale through my own site and I have to assume it's the same for everyone out there. It doesn't matter that the same item is cheaper on my site, it simply doesn't sell through my site. It's unfortunate because whether a Black biz sales for a profit or not, odds are they will go out of business because convenience rules. As much as I want to support a bookstore, I also value my time and waiting is something that I'd rather not do, so I take a real effort to visit Black shops in Memphis and write reviews about them in order to help give them a bigger platform. All businesses are built on speed and convenience and I don't know if asking people to take the time to help build a business is even worth it. (It is, but I'm just at a loss for how to make it better.) I do know this, I do a lot of shipping. A person with an account can get a book from NYC to Cali in 3 days. They may take a bit of an L in doing so, but faster shipping is the only way a Black distributor/bookstore will grow. They can't use media mail which takes 1-3 weeks. People just don't like waiting and honestly you can't ask them too. I can't speak for anyone else, but I'd love to be given a consultation on how to increase sales and help a Black distributor/bookstore improve. I know you have tons of articles, but maybe Troy you need to provide an Olivia Pope Fixer type package where you analyze my book biz and tell me how to make it better. I'd pay for that... depending on the price, lol.
  7. The problem isn't starting a publishing company, it's distribution. In order to publish and build up authors, someone has to be willing to sit on thousand of books and then get those books distribution into the mainstream outlets as well as into Ingram so smaller accounts can buy those books. It's really hard to run any company when you sit on inventory, so it's not going to happen. You would need a six figure reserve to just get started. The best we all can do is to support sites like AALBC and to take the time to visit other websites that discuss books, which I can't really think of any right off the top of my head.
  8. What you said at the end. Why are people surprised? If the market is shaped by a certain reader, that is the reader that will be catered too. BUTTTTT I think this is just an article to inspire discussion because people read what they like and what they are interested in. It just so happens that there are more old white women reading.
  9. I'm sure it will all workout on the video tip. You can always use Spreecast and they have it set up so that you can live stream and then add a pay button that people can donate. It's the platform that Paul Brunson uses for his Mentor Monday web show. I actually donated to his Spreecast a while back just to see how it worked and it accepted the payment and sent a receipt of payment pretty quickly. It's not a bad set up. I still don't have enough viewers and I know now that I have to create more content to get that following. That's what we are all missing is that extra push to get the things done that we need. This board is an incredible springboard though. It's the exact type of community that can help us all.
  10. I don't mind Chris at all. It's cool. I love how Troy just broke down how Google Ads work. In everything I've written I don't promote Google Ads as a means of advertising for us small guys and Troy just explained in a very simple way why. Although I said it's good, you definitely have to have a very strong grasp on how to write the ad and how to target your audience. It's not easy. It is better than Facebook ads, but you can almost take what Troy wrote and insert Facebook and change the wording a bit and you get the same result when advertising. You're up against a big market and the only real path I see is exactly what you are doing here by being part of a community. Community is the only way for us small people to compete. It's all that we have. My only other solution is using this board to blog, and also using your own website to blog. The more searchable content you have the more people who are likely to visit your site on a daily basis.
  11. Damn!!!!!! I didn't want to hit the like button because this was foul. It happens so much that I'm not surprised, but I've never seen it happen at this cost. I wouldn't buy another book from them. I would consider suing them, but the expenses on that could get pretty big. Your only possible recourse is to pitch it to a class action lawyer and find other parties who have been robbed like this. I just did a video on this, but hearing your story I need to go back and clarify and stress the problem with vanity publishing even more. I'm sorry to hear about this and I hope that moving forward we all can help each other to avoid pitfalls. Here is the video, but I definitely didn't go into enough detail here:
  12. Oh I forgot to say that in order for a teacher to purchase from you you often have to be on the school district's vendor list. Many schools do this independently, but in Memphis I know they are big on driving everything through the vendor's office which is pain. So before you begin to spend any money on fliers, call and see if you have to be a vendor with the school district first. Keep pushing and making it happen. I'm in your corner.
  13. Troy is always on point on these things. I can't add anything to what he just said because he's right on point. It's not just for books, but in sneakers as well. This weekend I did a Flash Sale on my site for a 100.00 dollar shoe. I was selling it through my site for 49.99. The price on Amazon was 99.99. I ran the sale for a few hours and not a single sale through my site. I've known this for a very long time that people simply feel more comfortable buying through Amazon... UNLESS... You've built a rapport with the buyer and they know how much it benefits you to buy directly from you. That requires some serious brand loyalty and it takes year to build that type of relationship. There are some brands that are so powerful that they can gain sales through their own sites, but those brands are very established and have really, really good spokespeople. It's like on Shark Tank when people stand in front of the Sharks and say they are getting sales through their site; I never believe them. It's a very difficult thing to do. As far as getting your books into schools... as a former school teacher, you better work on your cold calls and e-mails. Teachers only respond to what is directly in front of them. But I know from experience that if I can have an author come to my class, and replace some of my lecture time, that is the best thing in the world so I can grade papers or take a break, lol. With that said, I think the way to go is to conquer your region first. Make a very nice flyer with the cost of a class set of books for a teacher and send a sample with a purchase order. If it's something that interest the teacher they will get a class set and incorporate it into their lesson plans. That's your best bet. Target Title 1 schools as they have miscellaneous funds available every year for just this type of thing. That would be my advice. As far as Google, hey go for it. The more you advertise the more eyes that see your work, but there aren't any guaranteed conversions. You have to try every path. No one thing work for everybody. Like me, I have in my budget this year AALBC and Amazon Ads. I've found that is the best thing that I can do for my book biz and sneaker biz. Other than that, the most important thing I can do is add another writer to CBP and continue to build content and get people to visit the site and hope that I can convert some of those visitors who visit. I'm also focusing on the Youtube channel in hopes that the information will convert a buyer or two. That's my angle this year.
  14. Just a side note, you have a beautiful website. Very clear and straightforward. I'm sharing it on my social accounts.
  15. Copied the link and I'm sharing it today!
  16. I never insulted anyone. I'm still waiting on the place where I dissed BLACK preachers. I actually begged Sara to show me this and she never showed it to me. I actually went back and reread everything I wrote and after doing so I realized that I made pretty good discussion points and I said about 6 different times that all religions are important because they give people morality and if religion keeps people from doing things then so be it. I can't find anywhere that I attacked Sara or her religion. When I said Preachers pimping their congregations, that was exactly what I meant. When these guys like Creflo and Joel Osteen have multi-million dollar businesses, or even in my local city where there are 5 churches on every block, and homelessness and a high crime rate and the highest infant mortality rate and teenage pregnancy, all in one of the biggest Bible belts in the country, then there is a problem with those preachers. This has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity. I mean I went out of my way to give personal info about my wife and other things to establish that I hold no ill will towards any religion. I assume because I said I meditate Sara decided to say that I am fond of Asian philosophy. What's wrong with that? I also established that I was very fond of the Nation of Gods & Earths founded by Clarence 13X. It didn't matter what I wrote in regard to this, the sister came back and over and over said I said something I never said. When she began cursing out Cynique, all of a sudden the biting wit of a Christian was replaced with the vitrol of something completely different. So when I said Sara has PTSD it was due to the completely different 180 that the tone of her writing took in regard to speaking to an older woman. Now age doesn't create automatic respect, and I have no idea how old Sara is or who she really is, but that whole exchange as "playful" as it appeared, seemed to have some evidence of familiarity. It simply was too easy for a person so new to the boards to shift into. As it stands, the only reason I'm commenting now is because I felt the need to explain myself. Nowhere within this 4 pages did I disrespect anyone. I challenged Nelson. I wasn't disrespectful to him. I simply wanted evidence of the power of his philosophy. Why Sara saw that as an attack. I have no idea. How it turned into a discussion on Christianity, I have no idea. Below I have listed every instance when I said all religions and philosophies are valid. I am doing this so Sara can find where I said something against Christianity: 1. I admire when someone understands and knows their philosophy. I think it's respectable. What isn't respectable is thinking that your way is the right way. There is no one method, there are only options and people have the right to study whatever they choose and to pursue whatever path they want to become enlightened. 2. A person can be ignorant of Set, Jesus, Mohammed, whoever but if they understand compassion for humans they are okay in my book. 3. In NG&E there is a philosophy of each one, teach one. You build by challenging or asking someone to drop science. In Christianity the disciples questioned Jesus, this gave them the ability to spread his word without faltering. In Islam Muhammad even questioned God's revelation and had to be supported by Kadhijah. In Buddhism Siddhartha questioned everything and this is what led to the 4 Noble Truths and Nirvana. Sikhs broke from Hindus. My reason for bringing this up, because I know you are going to say that all of these religions were born of Kemet and are flawed in some way, is because in any delivery of information from the informed to the uninformed examples and explanations must be given as to why a person should choose. Once those reasons and explanations are given, then a person has free will to choose whatever philosophy they want. 4. Every religion has value and all people and persons are important regardless of their beliefs or background. 5. While I taught there I lost kids from every culture to violence. I realized then that there wasn't any one right idea. We had Black kids who went through Sankofa training and Kemetic philosophy (beat and abused by their own). All of these kids cried the same, failed the same, loved the same, hurt the same, succeeded the same. The only difference was some were Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Catholic, African Philosophy, all of them were beautiful and intelligent... (page 2 of this chat) 6. On page 3 Sara joins after Nelson and I have been writing. I make a statement about preachers who pimp their congregation being the same as the Klan and they are. I remember when preachers had jobs just like everyone else in the congregation. They did not rely on the church to provide their living. My Baptist preacher when I was a kid worked just as hard as everyone else and the church was good. That began to change with prosperity preaching... but I digress. In the middle of page three it was Sara who began to attack me and the dialogue became ugly. She was disgusted with me for making an analogy, but had overlooked the multitude of times I made the statements I made above. She completely ignored and built her entire discussion around a lie. I never said anything about Black preachers or anything negative about Christianity. Even after page three I made these statements below. 7. I went as far as to explain the breakdown of my basketball team where I had almost every religion there and my team captain,who is now a preacher following in his father's footsteps who married my wife and I because she is Christian, was the team captain. You are on one sis. I mean you are really on one. I go on below to say that all religions have merit, but I said that so many times on these three pages it's redundant. 8. I choose parts of all doctrines I have studied and I incorporate those things into my life. I can call a person God because I admire the studies of the Nation of Gods and Earths founded by Clarence 13X. I admire the Supreme Mathematics and Alphabet. I can say Namaste because I admire the stillness that Buddhism teaches. I can say God Bless you because the Ten Commandments and Jesus is worthy of being studied and understood. I can say Inshallah (God Willing) because Muhammad provides people with a path to God and this makes many people better. Because I can respect all of these ideals and philosophies I am content with the fact that I live my life through logic and meditation and spirituality. If you claim a religion and it makes you a better person and you need it to make you a better person this doesn't make you less or greater than me and vice versa. It just is the way it is. 9. On page 4 I left my last words and exited the discussion. Now, Sara has continuously said after I left that I dissed Christianity. If my name is going to be mentioned, I need proof or I have no reason to dive into this again. I just wanted to make sure I clarified that whatever someone reads here, I did not and do not disrespect religions or philosophies. Never have and I never will. Religion and philosophy brings peace and calm to people who truly practice it. You guys can go back to your banter.
  17. "So if gas is cheap people will buy bigger cars and drive more frequently; why should they care if the planet is rendered uninhabitable for humanity in a couple hundred years? If they sacrificed driving a big car, while no one else changed their behavior, it will not make a difference and they will be at a disadvantage." This quote is so simple that it's genius. I don't think I look at things from the larger perspective. These are the type of quotes that become memes and I think people like to watch dialogue about how doing certain things actually hurts the industry in the long run. I also think your video as a response to my video would be a good way to begin opening eyes to the issue. I was asked a question on how to change the price of the book. I think your info would be better suited for why the price change actually hinders the greater market. I can't speak towards it very well because my opinion is based on my experiences. You are more objective though and I think it would be a good juxtaposition (although I didn't really say why I thought it worked for me).
  18. Man Troy, you have to do more videos discussing your POV on this stuff!
  19. Yeah I've been doing that with the long url, sometimes it shows up as a video for a split second then it reverts back to a link. Go figure. I really do understand the idea that it could possibly hurt the industry, but for a person like me who runs a business and it's just a stream of revenue that I don't even look at, the new readers are well worth it. Consider this, at 3.99/4.99 per digital book from December 1st to December 17th I had zero sales on any of my digital books. On December 18th I adjusted the price of the book to .99 cents. From December 18th to today I've sold 9 books. The Royalties are only 3.15 cents and that includes 1 KENP reader at 19 pages read. I had an agent before and the big contract over ten years ago and no one could agree on which way to move my writing career. I eventually became frustrated with that and fired my agent and just left the books alone. In my case, I've kept writing and a couple of years ago I thought that it would pretty smart to actually make a move. But the online business took off. Now that I have something of a normal routine I've tried a number of things to see book sales increase, but without any of my own action I've hurt the sales. I needed something that I didn't have to monitor. This is why I changed the price of the digital book. So while it does hurt the sales you know like I do that an author on a traditional contract only earned .25 cents on some of their books anyway. I do get it though and I understand your point. With the way Amazon is set up now, you can preview a book and get a feel for it as well as look at reviews, so I don't really see the obstacle to the books. What I will agree with is that with the ability for everyone to print the market is cluttered and that does hurt sales.
  20. I've just been posting the link instead of taking the time to embed. If people want to click through that's cool. I agree about the shortcomings of doing a .99 cent book. For me, it's increased my revenue because I wasn't selling many books at the higher price point. While 35 cents isn't much, books are not my livelihood. I'm looking at the .99 cent pricepoint as a gateway drug. I think people who buy the ebook may want to purchase the paperback at a later date to highlight and check out. With Amazon Affiliate once you reach 6 items sold for the month your amount goes up to 6% that includes KDP books also. I guess I'm a bit of different scenario because my books are all advertisements on my site so I'm getting both the small kickback from the Affiliate link and the 35 cent which is totaling up to .39-41 cent per book. I was at 3.99 per digital book I was getting about a 2.00 bucks, but the sales were very slow. I guess I have to be honest though and say, I place more time into the sneaker store obviously and that is what hinders the growth on the writing side. I think overall as you said, it doesn't adversely affect Black books as sales are down across the board... but I've sold 10 books since I dropped the price a week ago. It's not a risk for someone to grab a .99 cent book, but I also sold 4 paperbacks this month. It was a pretty good month on the book side since that is all income I am not working to earn.
  21. I agree 100 percent Troy. I tried to tell someone this on Facebook, but they decided it was worth it to drive traffic to the video and increase engagement. I think if your goal is to just have the video seen and shared then it makes sense to use Facebook because they autostart the video and they give preference to content generated on Facebook. BUT you don't earn anything. I did a video recently where I responded to this dude who asked if it was worth using Youtube and I said yes because if I earn 60 cents on a video that's money that I couldn't have made any where else. On the fake shoes... yep that was through Amazon. I've seen it all on Amazon and I've had so many random things happen that nothing surprises me anymore. I had a lawyer return a pair of shoes worn. I used to refund without even opening the boxes, but that return taught me my lesson. You can't trust anyone when it comes to you money in eCommerce. I am going to donate the fakes, but man it was irritating as hell for that to happen. I have some serious stories to tell about this sneaker game though... maybe I'll put in a book one day. Oh, the fake shoe return... Imagine if I used Amazon FBA! The package would have come back and an Amazon person may not have known the difference and then they would have sold the shoe again which would have led to the loss of my online shop due to fraud. It's a cold world in the online arena.
  22. That's two in a row for Spike when it comes to his films about and for Black America. He is getting big money for movies like Inside Man a few years back, but with the Kickstarter film failing, and now this film by Amazon failing it seems to me that Spike will keep his real talents for the NBA 2K video game series which pays very well and for films backed by deeper pockets (not saying Amazon is not a deep pocket) but I guess I mean more mainstream stuff.
  23. That is true. The moment a star or celebrity posts something the likes and information ring up. Now, I don't know how true it is that these guys can't see it and won't respond because some of the busiest people on Facebook, celebrity wise, will respond to almost all of their comments. I've seen this happen several times a week with business people and some music artists. With that said, I think these dudes can see this stuff. The only people that won't are folks that are like ridiculous megastars. Either way I thought it would be good to tag you and share it with that page since you were one of the first people on the web to talk about the book store in any form. 100 people is a very big number. It doesn't seem like it, but it's hard to get 100 people to interact without some form of celebrity or controversy.
  24. Troy, I actually just blocked Sara, because as I said it became really apparent something wasn't right. So I stopped responding and moved on. I think Nelson also saw that making sense of the tone was going to be difficult. I'm not thin skinned at all, but when it seems that there is a different agenda, I move on. Now, I did create a different thread and I kept posting, but I honestly believe that if new people saw where this moved to, they would not post here and honestly they might not come back. It is definitely a destructive writing style that hurts the board more than helps. No one likes to censor, but if it was my page when the dialogue became twisted I would have deleted the person and block the IP address, but that's me. While I tend to have a sharp tone and edge to my words, once someone says, "hey Chris, you need to apologize," I do and then I speak to the person in a way that is not as sharp witted. Anyway, those are my thoughts and you can go back to when I exited the dialogue. I mean I went overboard and listed achievements which I never do on a public forum, but that was to get Nelson to verify and give proof of a philosophy working. He eventually explained that he was working on a digital platform and we started to gain a better understanding. But the other stuff... nah bruh.
  • Create New...