Everything posted by Wendy Jones
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wendy Jones replied to Troy's topic in Black LiteratureTroy, 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.
Wendy Jones replied to Troy's topic in Black LiteratureHello, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Wendy Jones replied to Troy's topic in Black LiteratureThank 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/
Wendy Jones replied to Troy's topic in Black LiteratureThe 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.
Wendy Jones replied to Troy's topic in Black LiteratureCorrection- 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.