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This eNewsletter is numbered 197, but I've published well over 200. I only have them archived going back to February of 2001. I guess it never occurred to me to save them. I guess I never thought I'd be creating them for so long... http://aalbc.it/newsdec12 Let me know what you think good or bad -- seriously. I've been doing this thing for almost 15 years and there are things I can still learn. At the top of my wish list is an editor, I could also use more fiction book reviews too. There no fiction book reviews in this issue that may have never happened. Book review writing It is a dying art, but so desperately needed. So many reviews I read are simply promotional copy written to benefit the author -- or haters doing the opposite. I see you can get some positive "verified" Amazon reviews written for 5 Bucks over at Fiverr. Indeed reviewers especially for a film will review a movie more favorably than it deserves in order not to lose access to future films or to the principals involved. Would you believe we have lost access to an individual for slamming a film. Reviewing is a corrupt, petty business. Without independent entities with the willingness to tell the truth and ask hard questions we are all being lied to. That is one thing I miss about Thumper he never pulled any punches you could disagree with him but if he did not like your book, that fact would be plain as day -- the same was true if he liked it -- authors and readers appreciated his honesty, nothing political just his honest opinion. I've begun to solicit subscribers to pay a modest $7.99 annual fee to receive the enewsletter. Thank you Cynique and any other lurkers here who may have paid for their subscriptions. The money will help pay book reviewers and the overhead to produce the eNewsletter. I started to drop a few thousand subscribers names from my mailing list to save some money. The bigger your mailing list the more it costs to maintain with these 3rd party services. I ran some queries to identify people who had not opened an eNewsletter in over a year and figured I'd drop them and save some money. But I ran into a couple of snags because unless people down load the images in my eNewsletter, which is optional in programs like MS Outlook, I can't tell if they actually opened the email. The email contains an very small image which tells my system the email has been opened, so if they only read the text or can only accept text, I can't tell if the opened the email. I got too many email from people who said they read the enewsletter when I'd flagged them for deletion. It looks like I'm not going to save any money dropping subscribers - I can't risk dropping people who actually read the eNewsletter. I got an email from someone who wrote they would pay for a subscription if I did not cover Urban Fiction. This is not an uncommon sentiment. I wanted to say go "F" yourself, but I tried to show how I cover all types of authors. I knew I was wasting my time as people like that are really not interested in really understanding a different perspective... I get emails all the time from authors asking if I can review their book or cover them in an eNewsletter. None of these author have paid to subscribe to the eNewsletter. Of course this is not a requirement... I'm just saying. Jayne Cortez, passed a few days ago. More people should have been aware of her work. Frank Yerby, who I included in this month's eNewsletter is perhaps the highest grossing African American author who ever lived, but I don't think anyone knows who he is. Shoot a lot of people don't know who Alice Walker is... Today everyone knows Spike Lee does not like Django, but know one knows the title of Spike's last movie. Maybe if Tarantino would trash Lee's next movie publicly some buzz would be generated. Over the years, it seems to me that Black people know less and less about their culture as time goes on. This is just based upon what attracts people's attention as viewed from the narrow lens of my eNewsletter and website activity. i had no intention of writing all of this. I was just going to post a notice that I'd pubbed a eNewsletter. I guess i needed to vent , before going out an drinking too much for my own good tonight. Happy New Year Everyone!