Troy Posted August 2, 2012 Report Share Posted August 2, 2012 This conversation was started to continue on initiated on Facebook. I'm not keen on giving Facebook all my ideas so I decided to continue the conversation here: Nellicito Writes:Harlem Book Fair isn’t what it used to be…it lost its pizzazz It seems like each year less and less people are coming thru, or aren’t buying as many books unless they see a recognizable face I know the science behind everything that’s goi ng on, but I’ll keep those thoughts and theories to myself and keep observing Not to mention disgruntled newbies who get discouraged because they’re not making at least half of what they put in…I know because they honestly tell me instead of frontin like they’re selling cases...the game is ugly at times…it is what it is My Reaction:@Nellicito Tell me email@example.com I'll listen. The problem is the vast majority of people feel the way you do "I’ll keep those thoughts and theories to myself" as a result we keep making the same mistakes and never improve. It is one thing to just plain hate on someone or something, but it is entirely different to tell the truth and offer constructive criticism. So please email me your observations I'll share them on my discussion board. Peace. Rahiem reacts:Yes, Troy that makes perfect sense. I have only been two years and it seems fine to me. I'm looking to know what are the big differences. I Reply:Rahiem OK I was doing the fair 10 years before you 1st attended, so I understand you simply have nothing to compare it to. Off the top of my head here are a few of my observations: Only 1 (Penguin) of the big 6 publishers were present Despite the best day, weather-wise, that I could remember -- there were fewer people in attendanceThe were fewer general book sellersThere were a higher percentage on non-book vendorsThere were fewer independent publishersSelf published authors, selling a single title, were over representedLess vendors overall I could go on. But as Nellicito implied the Harlem Book Fair, which I'm a huge supporter of, has seen better days. I believe it can get better but it won't if we keep making believe there is nothing wrong with it. Nellicito Unleashes: Grab your Kool-Aid and popcorn The cost of vending at HBF is ridiculously EXPENSIVE for a one day event…there are more authors nowadays than ever before and not enough BUYERS to go around…I saw more people at HBF in 2009 (the first time I attended) in contrast to present day I used to see vending tables with authors by the food and clothing side of the book fair…now every author is situated between Lenox and ACP Blvd It seems like a good number of people who hit up HBF are there to window shop instead of buying books…it’s like they are just passing by to see “what’s going on?” Buses full of readers used to hit up HBF…I don’t see that anymore…I also don’t see a lot of book clubs coming through politicking with authors I don’t think HBF is new author friendly…you need a brand name to get off…there were literally an ant-hill of people surrounding better known authors/writers Can’t be mad at that…it’s part of the game HBF is celebrity driven UNLESS you have a gimmick or a kick ass street team to promote your book if you’re a lesser known author That’s why I tell authors NOT to rely on book fairs to make a lot of money…be prepared to LOSE money, but use that opportunity to network with industry heads It’s human nature to gravitate toward familiarity…new authors need to either step up their hustle game, or prepare to get burned…and I’m not talking about from the sun The lack of BALANCE in the Black publishing world is killing HBF I know people who AVOID HBF because they don’t wanna be bothered with tables filled with Urban/Street Lit…and when you DO have a variety, those authors will suffer be cause readers don’t wanna take chances by reading outside their comfort zone They’re too comfortable with what they already know They’ll TELL you they want something different, but they WON’T SHOW you by supporting the alternative You can’t say I’m lying because there are authors who write Urban/Street Lit use pseudonyms to write in other genres…Gee, I wonder why There’s nothing new in the game that excites people to come out to HBF…there’s no Black version of “50 Shades of Grey” to draw people in (I’m talking phenomenon wise, not actual content) The perception is that the only genre that Black fiction authors know how to write is hood and erotica books…that perception by default make another demographic of readers obsolete and reluctant to show up You can’t blame the recession because Black folks have been in a recession since 1865…Black people SPEND money like it’s water even when we don’t have it I also don’t blame eBooks…you still have a good number of people who want to read paperback/hardcover books I don’t think readers are enthusiastic to buy books from anyone they’re not familiar with…they pick and choose who they wanna buy to avoid the riff raff…nothing wrong with that There are TOO MANY authors and their affiliates at HBF and not enough buyers in contrast to the past…especially when you have too many hustlers slanging on the same block (street analogy) I think HBF should turn into a mini Essence Music Festival by booking a couple of legendary R&B acts to perform on stage to bring more people in There are people living in HARLEM who either don’t know about HBF, or they bother not to go Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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