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Troy

A Selfie of Hickson of Ghettoheat and Troy

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Yeah I went for a couple of hours talking the the vendors on the street.  I did not go last year (the st year I missed it).  It is sad there is not a lot of energy from the local Black book community for this event.  Then again there is not a lot of support from mainstream publishing which is centered walking distance away.  Of course it did not start that way.. 

It would be interesting to have a serious conversation about this event.  What do you think?  Is it worth the effort? Is it airing dirty laundry?  Could it be constructive?

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HI TROY, SORRY FOR THE LATE REPLY, BUT I'M JUST SEEING THIS & ALSO NOW REALIZE THAT I WASN'T LOGGED IN ABOVE WHEN REPLYING BACK. YES, I HAVEN'T PARTICIPATED IN THE HARLEM BOOK FAIR SINCE 2011, FOR REASONS KNOWN TO THE OWNER...YET, I'VE ENJOYED PARTICIPATING IN THE EVENTS FROM THE FIRST TIME I DID IN 2004 TO 2011, & I WISH THEM ALL THE BEST GOING FORWARD. WILL I PARTICIPATE AGAIN IN THE NEAR FUTURE? THAT ALL DEPENDS ON THE DIRECTION OF THE HARLEM BOOK FAIR, & MUCH NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS OF THE EVENT, AS PERSONALLY, I FEEL SO MUCH MORE IS NEEDED TO BE DONE IN REGARDS TO ADVERTISING, MARKETING, & PROMOTION OF THE EVENT, AS WELL AS THE VENDING COSTS.... HEAVY TRAFFIC IS VERY VITAL AT SUCH AN EVENT. AUTHORS, ESPECIALLY NEW ONES, DON'T COME FROM GREAT DISTANCE NATIONWIDE TO RUB SHOULDERS & SWAP BOOKS WITH OTHER WRITERS, THE GOAL IS TO MAKE HUGE SALES WITH A LARGE AUDIENCE OF PAYING CUSTOMERS, THERE TO PATRONIZE, NOT JUST NETWORK (IN MY PINION, TROY...).... I DEFINITELY DON'T PARTICIPATE TO JUST NETWORK: I CAN DO THAT ALL DAY LONG ONLINE IF NEEDED...I PARTICIPATE TO SELL GHETTOHEAT BOOKS, THE INTENDED GOAL, CORRECT, SELLING BOOKS?  

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No problem Hickson, this is not Twitter, there is no expectation of an immediate response :-)

Of course the goal is to sell books at a book fair.  As a bookseller myself, I used to sell books at the event, but abandoned the effort after the nature of the vending changed.  

Today were very few publishers and bookstores on the street this year.  The majority of those selling books are individuals selling their own books.  As a result there are simply fewer titles available for sale, and attendees complain there are simply "no books."  Went I sold books I would have more titles at my one table than 20 vendors, selling just their book, would have today.  

Last year the first year since, the fair's inception that I had absolutely nothing to do with it, I didn't even attend.  This is a shame, given the proximately to where I live, my enthusiasm for and role in the world of Black books.  

This year, again, I was not involved with the fair (though they did reach out), but I decided, that afternoon to walk the street and speak to every single vendor--i.e. network.  

In a couple of hours I was able to make it to most of the vendor tables and spoke with each of them.  I collected 46 email addresses.  I emailed all of the folks a couple weeks later, and we will see how that goes over the longer term.  

It seems much of the Black literati that supported the Harlem Book Fair, supports the Brooklyn Book Festival.  I've attended the Brooklyn Book Festival, and it is extremely well done, but honestly I just don't have the enthusiasm for the Brooklyn Book Festival, that I once had for the Harlem Book Fair.  

But that is really comparing apples to oranges.  The Harlem Book Fair was a celebration of Black culture while the Brooklyn Book festival, a terrific event, is simply not the same thing.  It is like comparing the old Capital Bookfest to the National Book Festival.

The best thing going in New York City for the world of Black books in the National Black Writers Conference, which is coming up in April. 

 

Edited by Troy

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