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Everything posted by Troy

  1. Here is some of the feedback from the email -- almost all of these messages came from a cell phone. “Love it..." “Yes, you do...and we, from the USA who have to put up with that ignoramus, are glad you do!” “Terrific!!” “I understand what you're doing here but I really wish people would stop perpetuating what the asshole said in making reference to these countries! When they go low, we go high and this does not represent high.” “I received your email this morning and would like to remark that my family has been publishing books from Haiti, another “shithole country.” Please forward some information about aalbc specifically marketing information at your earliest convenience. Thanks in advance.” “Right on Troy with respect”
  2. I just sent a sponsored mailing with the subject line: We Proudly Publish Authors From “Shithole Countries” The published aske dif it would be OK to use the word I said "sure." In fact, I thought the word, in this context, might actually help the mailing. Well I won;t know for a few days one way or the other, but I can tell you two people immediately unsubscribed from the mailing. The list is 14,000 names so this is not at all alrmining or even unusual. Are you or do you think anyone would be or should offended by it's use? Have I damaged my brand?
  3. Brave New World

    .. don;t forget the Brother running around killing everybody. I can no longer joke and say mass murder is just for white men. I was in New York Grand Central terminal last night and saw an magazine on a stand with Oprah on the cover which read Oprah says "yes" to 2020 presidential run. I actually laughed out loud. It just sounded so crazy--even after the election of 45. But the US already very balkanized. Manhattan is a virtual gated community. It already $15 just to drive in NYC and now they are talking about charging another $15 just to drive into midtown! I could go on describing how Manhattan is quickly becoming a bastion of rich white people.
  4. I read an article about this in today's New York Times. I have ALWAYS thought this was an exploitative practice that allowed Ariana to become fantastically wealthy without sharing a penny of it with the writers who made her wealth possible. Writers felt getting a HuffPost byline was payment enough. I thought that was just dumb considering virtually anyone could write for the website. Indeed the numbers of unpaid writers they exploited was staggering! The Huffington Post (or whatever it is called now), was one of the reasons I wrote this article almost 5 years ago, “5 Things Writers Must Do To Survive Online.” Point #5 specifically addressed THP. When writers decide to write for wealthy sites for free it depresses rates for all writers. How can an AALBC.com afford to pay writers when the largest platforms that I compete with gets their content for free? I still pay writers for my reviews, but I pay for far fewer reviews as a result. This is why you don't see a lot of professionally written reviews of Black books on platforms with a decent audience. Worse still, is the fact that the free content was unvetted and often paid for by sponsors! More than one writer I know told me their articles were sponsored and this was not made clear to the reader. This was told to me when I asked why do you give the THP free content. Getting sponsors to pay was how they made up for it. To be clear: some articles on THP were just straight up advertising that was disguised as an article or even journalism! This change is a good one for the Huffington Post. Now that they are taking their content seriously I may start reading their site--which I, up to this point, actively avoided. I view writing for the HuffPost for free no differently that writing for Wikipedia or social media for free... ...at least sharecroppers got food and a place to live.
  5. Yes they are the publishers words, but I'm the one sending the email. Right now the open rates are a bit higher that normal, but again I'll now more early next week. Actually it might make sense to post a link to the actual email that was mailed. I think, in context, it is a strong statement.
  6. Yeah, I had not seriously considered this... I'll report back the the results relative to other campaigns. I plant to resent the same message on Saturday to those who did not open the first message by then. Do you think using the subject We Proudly Publish Authors From “Sh_thole Countries” would make a difference or should I craft something completely different?
  7. If "Truth" Be Told...

    Humm your description of yourself puts you into a rare category amongst the rest of us. It is one thing to be a polemicist, but what distinguishes you is that you often bring a insight that is unique. I'm a skeptic at heart too. I also know if you consumer just 1, 2, or three different sources of information you are being lied to. The idea that a majority of Americans get their news from social media is actually quite disturbing if not downright scary, seemingly very few ask what if. I saw talking to someone the other day about something they read on social media. They had very strong opinions about the subject. However, when I probed, I was surprised to learn they never read the source article and was basing their opinion one the title of the "newsbyte" and the subsequent commentary from family and friends. It was obvious they were quite comfortable forming very strong opinions with very limited information. Brilliant people do not do this. Culturally we are becoming less "brilliant." As result @Cynique you stand out.
  8. President Oprah Winfrey!

    @Pioneer1, do you think any of the white people who voted for 45 will vote for Oprah? Everything Oprah's touched does NOT turn to success ever she has had some failures and has had to correct mistakes. She is human. Even with Oprah's vast wealth, even she does not have enough money to launch a Presidential campaign on her own. These things cost $7 Billion. But she is a charismatic celebrity and than, unfortunately, is her biggest selling point. I say unfortunately because that has little to do with running a nation as we can see from 45's presidency. I see Oprah as part of the same rich hollywood ilk that will do almost anything for money including cosigning on the behavior of the Harvey Weinstein's among them. \
  9. Ringing out the old year

    @Pioneer1 here is something for you to consider, for the New Year: I think that you are the only one on this forum who has never changed their stance on an issue. I may be wrong, but I have no recollection of this ever happening. If there is an instance please relate it here or point to a link. If you can not do this, after so many years of participating here, that tells me that you probably think everything you believe is infallible. We all know noone is perfect, but an unwillingness to accept our own imperfections and fallibility will never led to growth. Are you interested in expanding your mind or simply winning arguments?
  10. If "Truth" Be Told...

    Deep article. As you know I have always decried the ineffectiveness on the NFL boycott, largely because we did not really sacrifice anything -- we refused to boycott, and the NFL and media controlled the narrative. The protest and Colin were easily dispatched. Random House will profit from a related book deal and I'll generate some commissions but football will go on and the brutality against Black people will continue... MY GOD! Have 4,000 people been shot in Chicago!?! I just looked it up and I see the number was actually 4,349 resulting in 771 murders! That is an astounding stat. In contrast, NY City with more than 3 times the population of Chitown had 231 murders in 2016 (the number will be well under 200 for 2017). I'm sure, but did not check, that murders in both cities were disproportionately Black on Black. In 2016, less than 260 Black people were killed by police -- nationwide -- Chicago's citizenry beat that before the summer was over. Of course some of the Brothers killed by police were unarmed and the shootings were unjustified. At any rate, I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that "...oppression left us unprepared for freedom." The word "Freedom," used 18 times in Shelby Steele's article, is key. We largely don't exercise freedom in the Black community. This is no different than what Carter G.Woodson wrote almost 90 years ago; "if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit." I had not really thought about the protest in the content of freemdon before. Thanks for sharing the article (next time post an excerpt and link to the full article). _____________ BTW Jason, @Cynique is Brilliant nonetheless. In an alternative universe where wisdom and experience were revered more than youth and celebrity, people like Cynique would be more widely known.
  11. The author modified the original critique: The author left the late 90's comment, which I still feel is objectively false, but the sentiment is subject to opinion... She modified the statement of how I sell books, I guess because that was demonstrably false. Her her reply came in I was processing an order for David Covin's, upcoming book Raisins in Milk, a book that I will mail myself.
  12. The following quote was from the article, “How Google may be jeopardizing African-American literature websites”; which was published yesterday on the The Outline website: Ouch! The author of the article, wrote what I thought was an important article on a subject that has gotten virtually no coverage outside of what I have written, so despite the scathing critique, that I've shared above, I'm glad the article was written. However, the paragraph, quoted above, was over the top. The site does not look like it was developed in the late 1990's indeed none of the technologies the site deployed were available in the 1990. Now I'd accept the site looks like something from late 2000's which is why I'm engaged in a website upgrade. The site is sprawing and has well over 15,000 pages, but that is stated as if it is a disadvantage and opposed to being an good thing. With the exception of the sites homepages (homepage, and other main section pages), the typical page on the site is not busy-- certainly not as busy as many other content websites. I plan to residesign all of the main pages because they are busy, but the vast majority of pages on the site are fine, in my opinion, and I will not me change their design as part of this upgrade. I actually pride myself on the internal linking of web pages. I think it is a benefit of the site, and how the web is designed to work. I will not cut out internal linking of pages--that is a strange comment to make especially when using the word "zillions." It is just hyperbolic. I agree the menu is has more links that it should and I already know how I'm going to address that issue and it will also simplify how the site is organized to visitors. I do sell books directly (drop shipped by Ingram) and also though Amazon, B&N, and other affiliate programs — AALBC.com is not just an Amazon affiliate site. I also send readers to the author’s website or to the publishes website. All of the buy links for Black Classic Press and Just Us Book send readers to the publishers websites. How I sell books depends upon the book. I’m actually growing the direct to author/publisher websites to combat Amazon’s dominance. Finally, the majority of book descriptions are the same ones most booksellers use; they are provided by the publisher. If the writer looked or was familiar with how book sites typically work she'd know this. B&N, Amazon, Google, and I often use the same book descriptions. If any keyword stuffing is done, it is done by the publisher, in the copy they provide to booksellers. But keyword stuffing on the publisher’s part seems unlikely. I have never engaged in in keyword stuffing (the practice of using specific word in copy, more than you would normally to rank better in search). I did ask to author to provide me with an example of this to better understand how she came with this idea. Other than book descriptions, Kam's articles are the only "syndicated" content that AALBC has ever used, and I actually had to stop using Kam's articles because of Google penalties (I know one publisher of Kam's content who deleted almost 2,000 of Kam's articles. i refused to remove content that I have paid for and that was published legitimately -- I don't care what Google says). ALL the rest of AALBC.com content, articles, lists, reviews, etc is unique. So while I do not say that Kam's film reviews are syndicated, they are such a small portion of AALBC.com, to use this as a critique for the site overall is extreme. At the end of the day, Google is indeed using it's dominance in search to redirect traffic from book websites to their own book store and content they have copied from Wikipedia, Goodreads and other websites. This has prevented many website from succeeding, hobbled the efforts of the sites that remain (including AALBC.com), and have essentially prevented any new one from launching -- which is the point of the article. The issue is much larger than AALBC.com or any individual site, so despite the factually inaccurate smackdown of AALBC.com the fundamental issues raised in the article needs to be addressed and are worthy of broader attention, something I think the article will help accomplish. I thanked the author of the article, Adrianne Jeffries, for bringing additional attention to this issue. Of course I pointed out the issues I had with her critique of the site .
  13. President Oprah Winfrey!

    If white women would not vote for Hillary, why does anyone think any of them would vote for Oprah? You know white men are not going to vote for a Black woman -- not even one who is a Billionaire. Sure Oprah would certainly command a large percentage of the Black vote, but this is not enough to win an election -- even f the only option is 45 who despite his baggage can claim low unemployment and record stock market highs. Even if 45 is impeached Oprah does not stand a chance against any white male candidate with his head screwed on.
  14. Actually Troy.....

    I think any concept can be explained. It just some concepts may take more time as a foundation of more basic knowledge may need to be laid. A sign of intelligence is the ease at which one can explain a seemingly complex concept in a way anyone can understand.
  15. Ringing out the old year

    Pioneer you hold up white people as a moral example. A casual look at history will show white people killing each other at an alarming rate. 600K+ killed in the war between the states. Millions killed in WWI, WWII, then there is our course Hitler, The crusades, and even the pate of massive shootings Vegas, Columbine, etc. And don't get me started on white folks and their genocide of the indigenous people in the American's, Australia, and the treatment of Black people--come on man! Surely you are going to use some random white guy, given their collective history of rape, pillage, and plunder across planet Earth, to make your point Again our willingness to debate and even argue, is more of a sign of unity than disunity.
  16. Actually Troy.....

    I figured I'd give it a try since speaking in my language failed. You know I've learned a couple of things over the years here. I don't mean just facts and ideas, but about communicating with people. I gave a talk last week about Facebook, Amazon, and Google, rather than bombarding the audience with facts and figures I decided to tell more of my story to connect with people on a more human (emotional level). Afterward the organizer told me what she really liked about my talk was that it was informative but I also made it "personal." Communicating in a language people understand is a worthy goal. Thanks everyone.
  17. Hi Shennice, using AALBC.com to increase exposure for your book is easy. Checkout our FAQ: https://aalbc.com/faq.htm for more information. #8 will answer your question.
  18. Actually Troy.....

    Actually I don't; at least not usually.
  19. Actually Troy.....

    Hey Del it's not really clear what you're asking? Are you suggesting that my previous claims to understand pioneers point of view is no longer valid? If so I would disagree. I still believe I know exactly where Pioneer is coming from. I just believe is factually incorrect and I disagree with them on that basis.
  20. Actually Troy.....

    Yes Pioneer the conversation is beyond nonsensical. I made the mistake of trying to speak in terms I thought you'd understand but I see that did not work. You only see people in terms of your antiquated understanding of race (and gender) and the stereotypical baggage that goes along with it.
  21. To Care or not to Care

    @Pioneer1 so what. Self made Black women are a dime a dozen. Black women overcoming obstacles is par for the course. This is not why Oprah would be elected she would be elected for the same reason 45 was elected, she is a celebrity. 45 has all the other qualities you've ascribed to Oprah. Orpah did not give us Obama. More than 90% of Black people, including myself, supported Obama from jump street. Please, I'm sick of celebrities. Just because one is on TV all the time does not make them qualified to be president. At least Obama sat in the senate for a few minutes -- Let Oprah do that first then maybe I'd consider it. ------- Del i made need to visit.
  22. A Different POV

    My God that is terrible. I have even more respect for Hamer. @Cynique, that article explains why I don;t subject myself to those awards shows. Ignore them. You know I find myself trying to ignore a lot of the media lately. I recently got rid of my Cable TV, so this should become a lot easier now and I'll even save some money!
  23. Actually Troy.....

    Del rape was part of the culture. The question really is; would I rather get raped and stay in the big house or work the fields AND get raped?
  24. Oprah has a new selection coming out February 6th. Booksellers are not allowed to sell, loan, or display the book before the pub date. Right now they won't even say what the title of the book is or who the author is. All I have is the ISBN13: 9781616208776. If I knew the author was Black I might consider adding it to my database. Google say the publisher is Workman Publishing; which technically one could derive from the ISBN. I can't believe this is that serious. It is just a book... On another front Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House hit the selves earlier than expected. I had no intention of adding the book to the site, but my aunt wanted to buy it from me, so I told her not to worry about it I'd send to her as a courtesy. So I go to the distributor's website and the book is on back order (i.e. I can place an order now, but God knows when they will ship ity). On top of that my discount is 40% so the book will cost me $18 which does not include the cost of shipping the book to my aunt. So I check Amazon, Amazon has plenty. They'll get it to my aunt for 50% off in less than 24 hours! I'm sure Amazon strong armed (negotiated) a higher discount, but still they are surely selling the book ast a loss how of a discount can they be getting they'd need to get 70%-705% at least to break even if they are going to to sell the retail the book for 50% off. While checking my hyperlink I see the price is now 40% off. It was 50% this morning. Even at 40% I may as well order by inventory from Amazon and use them as my distributor... If they would ship book without their log on the box I would consider it. But I'm boycotting Amazon, so auntie will have to wait ;-)