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Wendy Jones

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Wendy Jones last won the day on January 6

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About Wendy Jones

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  1. Wendy Jones

    Getting Your Book Into Public Libraries

    You're welcome, Damani. Also, there are 18,000 libraries in the United States. Libraries BUY your book (not merely taking on consignment as independent bookstores do) and they don't return them (as bookstores will if they haven't sold in a specified amount of time). All the Best, Wendy
  2. Wendy Jones

    Bye, Amazon, HELLO BLOCKCHAIN!

    At the IBPA Publishers' University I sat at a table where a small group was listening to a speaker talk about block chain. We did not get anything like the detailed explanation that I just read in your post, Mel. Whenever someone asked him to explain how it would help us sell books, he just said, "Put it in the Blockchain!" We walked away with the feeling that this was a scam. Now, it's true maybe this person had more enthusiasm than knowledge, but he reeked of con man. The articles that you have posted give a much clearer picture of what Blockchain is and how it can help people sell books directly to readers and cut out the middle person. However, when I saw it was based on bitcoin and digital currency, I once again smelled a scam. I will look for cautionary tales to post about bitcoin. I don't expect anyone to be persuaded because of my skepticism without any evidence to back it up. I also know that everyone reading our posts will do their research before they leap into this. But so many of us writers and publishers are so desperate to get our stories and our books out, it would be heartbreaking if some of us fell into a trap. Yes, I am sure I would have been the last to ride in let alone buy one of those "new-fangled autoMObiles," so you should know that about me. But let's all look carefully before we leap. All the Best, Wendy
  3. From April 5- 7 of this year, as a member, I attended the Independent Book Publishers Association’s Publisher’s University in Austin, Texas. The association has an annual Publisher’s University in different areas of the country each year to educate members on various facets of the independent publishing world. The speakers are all volunteers from the industry. I applied for and was able to obtain a scholarship to cover the tuition. Through my research I had found a hostel in walking distance of the hotel which seemed suitable. The “discount” rate at the Sheraton Hotel at the Capitol was not in my budget. When I asked friends who lived in Austin to confirm or deny the wonderful descriptions of the hostel, they kindly offered their hospitality instead. I will report here on the first of the five workshops I attended, with others to follow separately. 1. Multiculturalism in Publishing Nataly Michelle Wright, Angeleno Ave Publishing; Alyssa E. Wright-Myles, Co-Author, The Audacious Little Princesses These two sisters from California, whose heritage is African American and Indigenous, told this family tale. Another sister, who was a little girl at the time, while taking a bath, began vigorously scrubbing her brown skin. When their indigenous mother asked her what she was doing, she replied, “I’m trying to get the dirt off.” Years later when she had a daughter, of her own, the same scene was repeated. This led the other two sisters to write a book about girls of color taking pride in their heritage. The book, The Audacious Little Princesses, became the debut publication of their newly formed publishing house. They shared the statistics on books by and about people of color (African American, Latinos, Asian/Pacific Islanders/First Nations/ Native Americans) collected by Cooperative Children’s Book Center from 2002 to 2015. This wasn’t part of the work shop, but I found the history of this tracking and think you may find it interesting, too. History In 1985 the Cooperative Children's Book Center began to document the numbers of books we received each year that were written and/or illustrated by African Americans. Then-CCBC Director Ginny Moore Kruse was serving as a member of the Coretta Scott King Award Committee that year, and we were appalled to learn that, of the approximately 2,500 trade books that were published in 1985, only 18 were created by African Americans, and thus eligible for the Coretta Scott King Award. As a statewide book examination center serving Wisconsin, the CCBC receives the majority of new U.S. trade books published for children and teens each year. In the early years of gathering these statistics, we used the CCBC's collections and worked in conjunction with the Coretta Scott King Award Task Force of the American Library Association, to document the number of books by and about African Americans published annually. Starting in 1994 we began also keeping track of the numbers of books by Asian/Pacific and Asian/Pacific American, First/Native Nation and Latino book creators as well. We also began documenting not only the number of books created by people of color and First/Native Nations authors and illustrators, but the number of books about people of color and First/Native Nations, including the many titles that have been created by white authors and/or illustrators. I could not get the chart that showed the results from 2002 - 2016 to show up in a coherent fashion here, so please go to the link at the bottom of the page for that information. 2017 Of the approximately 3,700 books we received at the CCBC in 2017, most from U.S. publishers, here's the breakdown: 340 had significant African or African American content/characters. 100 of these were by Black authors and/or illustrators. (29.41% #OwnVoices) 72 had significant American Indian/First Nations content/characters. 38 of these were by American Indian/First Nations authors and/or illustrators. (52.78% #OwnVoices) 310 had significant Asian/Pacific or Asian/Pacific American content/characters. 122 of these were by authors and/or illustrators of Asian/Pacific heritage. (39.35% #OwnVoices) 216 had significant Latinx content/characters. 73 of these were by Latinx authors and/or illustrators. (33.8% #OwnVoices) A female character in a picture book was highly likely to be wearing pink and/or a bow, even if she is a hippopotamus, an ostrich, or a dinosaur. A child with a disability appeared in only 21 picture books, and only 2 of those were main characters. Most others appeared in background illustrations. We will continue to evaluate the data for the 2017 publishing year in the coming weeks and will post additional information on this blog. At the same time, we are expanding our diversity analysis in 2018 to include a deep dive into all of the books we receive: picture books, fiction, and nonfiction. In 2016 we began what we are calling a "deep dive" into picture books, and we continued that work with the 2017 publishing year (excluding books that are classified as nonfiction). The deep dive analysis also looks at other dimensions of representation, including gender, religion, (dis)ability, and LGBTQ. The results have made for some stunning--and unsettling--comparisons. For example, an early-November analysis of the 698 picture books we'd received so far in 2017 from U.S. publishers revealed: A character in a picture book was 4 times more likely to be a dinosaur than an American Indian child. A character in a picture book was 2 times more likely to be a rabbit than an Asian/Pacific or Asian/Pacific American child. Here’s the link to the CCBC for a more in -depth discussion and that chart I mentioned above: https://ccblogc.blogspot.com/2018/02/ccbc-2017-multicultural-statistics.html This workshop was well attended. The workshop leaders pointed out that it is important not only for African American, Asian, Latino, and Indigenous children to see themselves reflected in books, but also for European-American children who will grow up to work with colleagues, managers, and business owners who are people of color. I hope this has been helpful. All the Best, Wendy
  4. I intend to have the information I gathered about independent publishing ready by next week. For now, I want to share a link from the New York Public Library. Your state may have a similar program. Look on the website and see. The details of the submission process are outlined. I just sent my review copy and information in. As one would expect they want the usual: ISBN No., Publication date, and reviews. Although the guidelines state a desire for diversity, the preferred review publications are Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and the other trade journals that are difficult for even traditional publishers to get into. Foreword, a trade journal which reviews small press and independently published books, is not mentioned as a preferred publication. The decision process takes six months. They do not order books from Amazon or other online vendors. The preference is for Baker & Taylor and Ingram. As stated in an earlier post, these distributors only take books from publishers that have already achieved a certain amount of success. A new publisher or an independently-published author would not be considered. As a balance to their biased information gathering, I included the seven public libraries and the historical society (someone sent An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones to the Wisconsin Historical Society -- I don't know who, but I am grateful) that had already accepted the book. With the torrent of books published each year, many of them poorly written and edited, I understand the need for guidelines. But people are going to have to use a little more imagination if they are not to overlook the fine books that are in the 21st century slush pile. The Diary of Ann Frank was rescued from that slush pile. I was tempted to write a cover letter reminding them that we would not know the work of Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, Amiri Baraka, and Frederick Douglass if only traditionally published writers were selected for the library shelves. But I figured they were inundated with paper and wouldn't want anything they hadn't asked for. I'll let you know what happens in November. So here's the link: https://www.nypl.org/ask-nypl/author-submissions This link needs to be in plain text, which I don't know how to do. Try putting NYPL Submission guidelines for authors and publishers in your search engine. Enjoy the Memorial Day holiday!
  5. Here is a link with specific ways to unhook yourself from Amazon's tentacles. Remember, besides all the damage "A" has done to the book business, the company also allows the NRA to broadcast its wares. https://lifehacker.com/how-to-stop-giving-amazon-your-money-1823468097 Please let me know how this works for you. I was never hooked in, so I don't have to unhook, but I am on Goodreads, which is owned by Amazon.
  6. Most public librarians will tell you they get their books from Baker & Taylor or Ingram, the book distributors. That is what my librarian told me. A publisher has to meet the criteria to be accepted by these distributors. If you haven't published at least five books, you aren't eligible to even be considered. Here's how I was able to get my book into seven New Jersey public libraries (two libraries took two copies) and one New York City public library--so far. Only two NJ libraries declined the offer, but I have another way of approaching them. I will let you know if it works. I gave a reading for my home library and sold books to audience members as well as donated one to the library. After that, a sponsor took galleys to several NJ libraries. Their evaluation committees read the book and decided to accept a copy for their respective libraries. In this case, the sponsor paid me full price for the books and donated them to the libraries, but I think they would have bought the books outright. Since my home library belongs to a consortium which includes several of the libraries where my book was accepted, I was able to check the catalog to see that the book was taken out quite often. A few months later, a NY public library that neither I nor the sponsor had contacted called to order a copy of the book. This library paid the usual discount (40%) for the book. Although the circulation person did not know how she knew of the book, she said she had been given a printout. My guess is that one of the NJ libraries sent information to this NYC library.
  7. Wendy Jones

    The Wrong Woman To Flirt With

    I guess my last post on this disappeared into cyberspace. But I will repeat a few salient points. Which of these African Americans who have contributed or are contributing mightily to African American culture--known to be either gay or bisexual--do you, Pioneer 1, wish had not been born? James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, Langston Hughes, Lorraine Hansberry, and Alice Walker. Also, how are our gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning sisters and brothers not part of our community? All of whom, by the way, are reading what you are saying. Just as you were sensitive to the death of my brotherfriend, please be sensitive to our fellow community members. What you are doing is very similar to what white racists were doing throughout the 19th and 20th Century discussing the "Negro Problem." Our fellow human beings are not abstractions. They are our sisters and brothers.
  8. Wendy Jones

    The Wrong Woman To Flirt With

    Pioneer1 I don't know where to begin, but I am only going to deal with some aspects of your argument, because I know that your mindset is so different from mine that there is no way we can do anything but agree to disagree. I see people as individuals and don't lump them into rigid groups. As a lifelong outsider, I am most interested in people who are different from me. Yes, there is usually some intersection of commonality, but I learn most from people who look at life through a different lens. As such, I tend to have friends who are also outsiders in some way. They have always been much more intriguing to me than people who spout some version of the party line. I have a hard time breathing freely around them. First, I want to say thank you for that humane paragraph about the death of my brotherfriend. You looked at him as an individual, not as an abstraction or part of a group that you have stereotyped. I'll begin at the end. I am truly disturbed by the Great Yam's policies which are gutting our social safety net and destroying what is left of the planet. But no, I am not "disturbed or repulsed" by people--whose Creator made them who they are--being who they are. I will not quote bible and verse to you because I am a spiritual person, not a religious one. But prostitutes were included in the group of people that Jesus gathered around him. "Love thy neighbor" includes the neighbor who is gay or transvestite. You do give white people a lot of credit and black people very little. Is it not possible for black men and women to decide on their own what they will and will not "condemn"? How do you condemn a person for being who s/he is anyway? It is somewhat amusing that you see the pool of heterosexual black women, assuming that you are restricting yourself to black women--and I am not saying you should--I believe that people are free to love whomever they love--as all being available to you. Black Lesbians are not the only black women who would not be available to you. Some would not see you as their type. Some don't speak your language or languages, if you are multilingual. And on and on. At any rate, unless you are looking for a harem, you are only looking for one woman. I am sure that the pool is not so depleted by the less than 10% of black women who are gay--I know that in most cultures 10% of the people are gay, but don't know the breakdown by gender or race--that would stop you from finding a life partner, if that's what you want. As far as the birth rate goes, being gay does not stop you from having children if you want them. Gays can have children either through adoption, with the help of a surrogate, or the children they had when they thought you were heterosexual. I know gay people who have children and grandchildren. Two black gay men I know, one of whom is another brotherfriend, adopted two little boys whose mother, a single parent, died. She was a relative of one of the partners. They raised those two boys--both heterosexuals, by the way--and now they are grandparents since one of the young men has a son. Not all heterosexual black women want children, can have children, or would make good parents. So the birth rate is not threatened by people being gay. As for fighting about this. I don't see anybody fighting about this except the people doing the condemning. It is not anything I see worth fighting about. Read the 19th century racists' moral justifications for slavery, read the 21st century racists' moral justifications for their bigotry. Just replace black people with homosexual and your argument is no different. As for staying neutral about black male and female gays, transvestites, bisexuals and those who are questioning, that would be a betrayal of my brotherfriend. He would stand up for me and I will proudly stand up for him. If they come for you in the morning...they will come for me in the afternoon. I feel protective of all outsiders because I am one myself. As I said, we will have to agree to disagree. But I am glad we are doing it civilly.
  9. Wendy Jones

    The Wrong Woman To Flirt With

    I don't understand heterosexual males or females who are so upset about males or females who are gay. What difference does it make to you who someone loves? Also, how does a black person not see that condemnation of gays involves the same dynamic patterns as racism? It never made sense to me. My brotherfriend, Alan, is gone now, but I miss him every day. He would have been another male in our son's life-- joining my life partner, my life partner's brother, and another gay brotherfriend--who was a sterling example of a kind, loving, intelligent African American man. Alan, a gay black man, was a director/actor/writer who was in my life for a few brief years. He encouraged me to collaborate with him on writing a play based on Ida B. Wells's autobiography. We had both read it as part of a black book club, focusing on reading books about African American History, that we had co-founded. Alan had given me comments on an early draft and was about to start writing his revisions when he contracted AIDS. He was in the first group of people to get mowed down by this disease in the '80s. He died on Christmas day at the age of 36. I stopped working on the play as I grieved his death, but I received the message that I must get back to work and finish the play. Twenty-three drafts later, I did that and dedicated the play to him. "In Pursuit of Justice: A One-Woman Play about Ida B. Wells," ultimately won four AUDELCO awards. My life was enriched by knowing Alan and having him as a friend.
  10. Troy, it was a little too fast (for me, anyway) for the number of books. Just as I was focusing on a book, the next one was up. While the viewer is listening to the brief excerpt, you can linger on the book cover and it won't seem too long.
  11. Hello, Troy December Selections - 5 books The music and the set are fine. What needs improvement is the presentation of the books. 1. Put the camera on the book and hold it there so the reader can focus on the cover, title, and author. 2. Have at least two people talking about the book. One to give a brief introduction and another voice to read a brief excerpt. The viewer needs to get a "taste" of the book. 3. At the end, give each book a close up for about 5 seconds. The Tea- presenting six books (maybe bring it down to 5 to give more time for each book 1. Wonderful energy and personalities of the book club members. It's good that there are different voices here. The moderator is excellent. The set was unobtrusive. 2. Same as above. Close up of the book for the entire time. The presenters should not be the focus, the book should be. 3. Same as above. A brief introduction, then a brief excerpt. For the yoga book, a picture of a pose on camera while reading the brief excerpt. 4. During the vote, show the books again this time in a group. 5 . Come back to the presenters for the vote. Close on a close up of the book at the end. I'll post this as a comment on their site, too.
  12. Hello, Troy

     

    This sounds exciting, creative, and viable, but I always do  research and sleep overnight on decisions. I'll get back to you tomorrow. I also might have some questions for you.

     

    Now to answer your questions about my Author's Page. Yes, delete all stores from the drop down menu and keep my website as the place to buy the book.

     

    But please keep "borrow from the library."  An Extraordinary Life: Josephine E. Jones is available in several New Jersey libraries and Roosevelt Library in New York. You can get the book through inter-library loan or the consortium if the library in question is a member.

     

    There are some corrections about my Author Page that are best dealt with via email.  That's it for now.

     

    1. Troy

      Troy

      OK I'm going to need to change the site's code to do that.  Not  big deal, but it make take a day or two for me to get to it.

    2. Wendy Jones

      Wendy Jones

      Troy, taking a day or two is not a problem. Thank you in advance.

       

      Now to the matter at hand. I could not follow all of your discussion about needing a large bookseller and using Ingram as a distributor--but I gather you'd be moving large numbers of books and this would be the most efficient way to do it.

       

      I have a question and some suggestions.

       

      Is the correct domain name "www.readblackbooks.com" ?

       

      I sell my books through the website and in person.

      If someone sent a reader to the website and s/he bought a book, I would have no problem paying a $1 commission.

       

      I don't want to sell through independent bookstores of any color because they want the books on consignment, some are asking for a 55% discount, and they want the Depression era (yes, we're in a second Depression, but even in prosperous times they have kept the policy) return policy. It's not financially viable.

       

      If I sell one book one the website, I have enough money to pay to have one book printed. I would have to sell five books in a bookstore (with the 40% discount) to have  enough money to print one book. It's not financially viable. 

       

      The only exceptions I would make to this policy would be the bookstore at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture branch of the New York Public Library and the bookstore at the National African American History Museum in Washington, D.C. 

       

      They are such rich repositories of African American History, that I couldn't pass up the chance to be in these bookstores.

       

      Here are a few hand selling ideas I think would work:

       

      A book party like the Tupperware Party model with the organizer taking a percentage of sales. A brief reading would give potential readers a sense of the book.

       

      Going in person or via Skype to book clubs to give a reading. Within a week the club would let you know if they were going to purchase books for the club.

       

      A book swap in which readers presented their favorite books to each other and "swapped" with each other.

       

      I'll pass on others as I think of them.

       

  13. Thank you, Troy, for embedding the program. I haven't taught myself how to do that yet. I don't have time to discuss this tonight, but here is a related topic. Manjoo mentioned robotics. The Robots are Coming ! The Robots are Coming! The Robots are Here. This doesn't have to be bad news if we plan ahead, use our imaginations, and put the common good above profits for the few. Here is a link to the latest article, If we spread the profits around, smart robots can work for ALL of us, from The Hightower Lowdown, the newsletter written by Jim Hightower: https://hightowerlowdown.org/article/robots-ubi/
  14. The tone here is more like a schoolroom brawl than a reasoned discussion. I agree with Mel, no point in wasting your time with people who are so glad to be in the club, that they can't see the exploitation. Here is a related interview which broadcast on Oct. 26, 2017, on Terry Gross's Fresh Air entitled How 5 Tech Giants have Become More LIke Governments than Like Tech Companies. Farhad Manjoo, the tech columnist for the New York Times, is writing a book about this. He is someone who was very gung ho on all of them when they first started. Now he is wary of all of them. Here's the link: http://www.wnyc.org/shows/freshair/episodes/2 I have heard rumblings from other people about different aspects of all these companies that have them ready to do something besides just complaining. But I do think it makes sense to focus on one aspect of one company.
  15. Correction- No Article Found about Amazon Enslavement of British workers in the US I have not been able to find an article to back up this statement, so I retract it. It may have been another predatory monopoly, but even if true, it is not relevant to this discussion.
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