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Troy

Three Challenges Facing The Black Book World

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We have three main challenges facing the Black book world;

1 - The Economy
2 - Corporate Control of the Web
3 - Waning Literacy

To help combat these trends we've spent most of the Summer creating free utilities on the Huria Search web site. All of this information and content can be added to any website with just a few lines of code. The idea is to help elevate and promote independent websites.

At the end of the day, fewer places selling Black books means few books will be sold. Fewer books being sold will result in fewer books being produced, published and ultimately read.

Individual authors, even in a social media world, can’t take up the slack.

These tools can help. If you are an author, or anyone with a website, consider adding one or more of these databases to your website and spread the word. It is certainly not a solution to the three things pointed out above, but it is a start, a step in the right direction. A step that is desperately needed.

Bookstores Database
http://huria.org/bookstores/index.php?state=Null
Database 100+ Black owned booksellers

The Book Look
http://huria.org/able/the-book-look.html
Video Book Program which can be added to your site

The Power List
http://www.huria.org/powerlist
The only National Bestsellers List of books read by African Americans

Book Sites
http://huria.org/booksites/index.php
Database of the top Black book websites sorted by Alexa ranking

Newspapers
http://www.huria.org/newspapers/
Database of 100+ Black owned newspapers

Magazines
http://www.huria.org/able/independent-black-magazines.html
A list of 50+ Black owned magazines (a sharable database coming soon)

Huria Search
http://www.huria.org/able/public-search.html
With Huria Search you can quickly search 50+ Black owned magazines, 100+ Black owned newspapers, 100+ Black owned booksellers (including all of the sites above) Plus there are no advertisements!

The Top Black Websites
Here is a preliminary list: http://aalbc.it/10bestblacksites

Of course this problem is bigger than what happens on-line. What we see happening online is merely a reflection of what is happening in the “real world”. Eventually a solution will have to come from the real world. Again this is just a step…

Peace,
Troy Johnson

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Today I learned a struggling indie bookstore in Brooklyn will close atthe end of the month: True South Bookstore  Coincidentally I also leaned that the last Black owned indie bookstore in the entire state of Alabama (Expansion Books in Huntsville) closed back in April.

 

One former book store owner says the mom & pop bookstore model is no longer viable.  Perhaps she is right. 

 

We are witnessing a dramatic demographic shift which is lead by schools and corportions (the same thing really), and facilitiated by our government.

 

Today I also discovered a web site called http://blacksread.com/ they just registered their domain in August of 2013, but it is encouraging to see a new site launch in this space. 

 

I also see that they installed my bookstore database on their own: http://blacksread.com/resources/black-owned-bookstores/ they are already off to a good start! ;-)

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You forgot to add a 4th.....

CONTENT

A lot of the content of Black authors today is just straight up "booty"...literally.

The vast majority of Black authors and their subjects can be divided into 2 categories:

1. Political authors who write about racism and/or the legacy of slavery
2. Fiction writers who write novels about erotica in it's varous forms

That's it.....


Where is the Black sci-fi?
Where are the Black books on psychology?
Where are the Black medical or do-it-yourself home repair books?

There's not enough creative and diverse thinking among Black authors.
We can't use the lame excuse that Black people "just aren't into" those other subjects because plenty of Black people read science and even sci-fi material from White authors.  I see them in the bookstore doing it and I do it myself.

I'd love to read some good Black sci-fi.

When you only stick to 2 subjects to write about, ofcourse you're going to run into challenges because you're going to run out of material to write about.

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Pioneer there is plenty of Black Sci-fi it just is not covered very well.  I will be mentioning one new anthology in next eNewsletter. 

 

We have fewer websites, bookstores, magazines around to cover these books and what remains are mostly interested in covering the book you described and of course the celebrity titles.

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