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Introducing Author Chris Burns


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Hey Chris, let me know if there are videos for your books that would would like me to add and if you would like me to change the video on the page with your bio.  I'll the other book (where do you find the time).  I'll update the graphic on the slider as well.  I think something like that will be the premium advertisement type on the main webpages of the website

Also I watched most of the videos you made.  I prefer the ones when you describe first then go into what is going to happen. Meeks music is dope.

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The videos are just my way of creating more content. I've finally started getting more comfortable in front of the camera. My routine is so streamlined now that I have time for everything. I just don't have as much money as I want to push things farther.

Brandon was just in New York for the Miles Davis Biopic. He's in the film. I'm glad I linked up with him now. I think he's going to be huge next year although he only has a bit part in the movie. Here is his site: http://www.brandonmeeksmusic.com I actually bought the domain and told him to force him to start running a blog. Things have taken off for him now.

I like the page the way it is and I do have one more thing to add, lol. The record label: http://www.tunecore.com/music/cbpmusic

Right now I only own the rights to a couple of releases, but I'm adding more albums in the near future. I have to find more music worth paying to produce. Here is Darryl Carter's website. I run this site also since he's 76 and doesn't give a damn about the internet, lol: http://www.darrylcartersoul.com He wrote a bunch of classic cuts and I own the catalog. I purchased soul/gospel great Spencer Wiggins' last EP and it's available on all digital platforms.

The way I see it something is going to click for me and my life will get easier. Until then I will keep doing everything I like doing. You've been a big help in shaping a lot of my thoughts though and I appreciate that.

Edited by CDBurns
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Would you do me a favor a write a paragraph, you can simply post it here, describing your music production side, and I'll add it to the end of your profile.

I'm going to use a large slider at the top of the homepage page and every main section of AALBC.com.  Yours will be the first ad in those positions, which means it will be in place many months :)

I besides the web site redesign I have two major challenges

  1. Helping Authors Recognize the Potential AALBC.com Has in Enhancing Their Platform  
    AALBC.com could be the "goodreads" of Black literature.  If they choose to make it that.  Rather authors have been posting content on my Facebook page.  As a result, I've decided I will abandon Facebook with the roll-out of the new website, it is simply cannibalizing traffic.  Besides AALBC.com can provice a better treatment of authors content than Facebook, for free, and without all the downside Facebook brings.  I just posted a video describing how an author can post information about their books on these forums.
  2. Getting Quality Writers  to Write for the Website
    Just today I discovered a book reviewer on Facebook posting a link to Goodread (owned by Amazon) for a review of a new book.  I followed the link to Goodreads (as much as that pained me :mellow: only to discover the person had written many reviews on Goodreads.  Now Amazon is not paying writers to write these reviews, so it always floors me when writers give their content to massive corporations allowing them to profit, while overlooking independents that could really use the content and are willing to pay for it.  I dug deeper and noticed that the buy links at the end of the review had affiliate codes applied.  So someone else was earning revenue off the content from those reviews.
    Even the prospect of being "discovered" on a Goodreads from writing book reviews is unlikely.  Since so many writers are willing to write for corporate websites for free, it is extremely difficult for any writer to be paid for writing book reviews- virtually no one makes a living doing it.
    As a result, I'm also working on a model to pay writers for articles and reviews.  Right now I'm thinking of a payment system that is a function of traffic generated by the article and/or a share of commission from book sales.  At any rate, it is better than what writers are getting from the corporate sites.

Neither of these should really be problems if it was understood that everyone benefits, especially readers, if we all supported entities like AALBC.com with the same gusto we support Goodreads, or Amazon, or Facebook... But honestly this has always been a challenge, so I'm not really daunted by this, but it would really would be nice to have more active support from more authors--it is in their own best interest. 

I still have tons of work ahead of m, but I'm liking how the new site is shaping up.  

Chris, I'm glad that I I've been helpful.  The feeling is mutual.  Imagine a world in which folks cooperated on our level--and we never even met!

We have similar life goals.  Perhaps that is why we clicked.  You have an advantage in that you have a few disparate revenue streams, I'm pretty much all in with the book website.  I have branched into education and while I find that rewarding, it does not scale or have the revenue potential of a website.


Edited by Troy
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I'm doing another video tomorrow and needed a topic. I think I will talk about reciprocity and explain how AALBC is Social media for authors on that. What you just wrote about cooperating is what I say everyday. If people only listened we'd be okay, but it's hard to open up ears to the truth without a celebrity co-sign or endorsement. 

Here is a post on CBP Music: http://www.cbpublish.com/cbp-music-learning-to-help-independent-artists/

You can pull something from that. 

As far as getting the message out there, all we can do is keep plugging away at it because I just don't think our path will be an easy one. It will be a matter of consistency. If you post that video to your blog, I will press this to my blog and share it. Whether it gets clicked through or just "liked" will be a different story. But that KENP article we commented on my site is constantly bringing traffic to my site so you are right about how building our platforms is much better. I just wish people would understand what they do to themselves by writing all of that info on Facebook. I have a chapter in my new book (see the chapter breakdown in this video: http://www.cbpublish.com/what-im-doing-right-now-episode-14-stop-frontin-youtube/) You can't help but know which chapter I'm going to go off on.

On another note I just got a letter to submit my book to the NAACP Image Awards... should I even spend any time on that?

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Man Chris you got me ranting today :-)

Helping people understand that we can do more to help ourselves than Facebook can will do, can not be done with reason.  There has to be an emotional component, and nothing I can think of is a powerful as what facebook can do for one emotionally.

Authors who post frequently on Facebook, there are many, generally post personal stuff and it gets a lot of likes and comments.   If an author can get 1,000 likes for saying it is their anniversary, you can't pull them away from that, it is a terrific ego stroke--even if an very small percentage of that activity translates into traffic to a place where readers will buy their books.

But many authors are in the business for notoriety, so this is perfectly aligned with what they are looking for. The authors I'm likely to attract are the writers who want people to read what they have written, and don't want to be bother engaging will the masses on a social networking website,  

Don't get me started on the NAACP.  Last year I was willing to fly out and cover their event--on my own dime.  They declined to give me a press pass!  Keep in mind I have no interested in celebrity award shows.  I just wanted to cover the books--which gets no coverage.

Every year I post articles and cover the award winning books.  I get ZERO acknowledgment, thanks, recognition, not even a retweet, not even an "Atta Boy!"  For my efforts. I can deal with this I'm not doing this for recognition, I'm doing to recognize the authors and share information about the books.  But it is frustrating, hence this rant.

Last year, desperate to cover the event in a more meaningful way than simply listing the books, I asked a couple of the authors that I knew to write about their experiences.  The NAACP would even help share those articles by Gwen Richardson, and Dwayne Smith (who won his category).  

This stands in stark contrast to the ALA, I have always covered the Coretta Scott King Awards, and various libraries link to the list, reference the website, and I even keynoted a dinner at the BCALA this summer.  I just finished listing (on the new site) all of the CSK winning books going back to 1970. I have covers for every book, video, description information about all the authors and illustrators -- no one has this type of information on all of these books, not Google, not Amazon, not even the ALA.  But I know this will be a resource that they reference, sending me valuable traffic and giving AALBC.com a level of legitamacy.

I plan to do the same for the NAACP winning titles, but I know, going in, that I will get no help from them, but again not matter how I might personally feel about the image awards, other than the African American Literary Award Show, they are the only entity celebrating, a large number of popular Black authors.  So I'm support them even though is is not reciprocated.

Chris you mentioned that if I have the support of 100 authors, I would be killing it, if I had the support of a few Black of our Black institutions that would be just as helpful.

Should you submit you book, that is not a question I should answer for you :-)  I assume there i still a fee for submission (how much is it).  You have to cover your expense to and from LA.  Though I understand based upon what Gwen told me, that you are treated well once you are there.  You get to rub elbows with celebs (if that is you thing) and being nominated is always a credential that you can use.  Depending upon your finances it might be worth a chance on getting a nomination.

I've been at this PC since 6:30 this morning.  I'm going to the gym for the first time in months.  I miss being in shape ;-)

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I'm not sure. I'm typically good at copy but I don't know what to write. That's been my problem forever is trying to figure out what to pitch and sell to readers. On that question you asked me on Facebook, I would have to guess that 50 people clicked through on that link? It would be good to know. I think DT Trice is awesome and an incredible writer, btw.

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Yeah, Trice is one of those mutually supportive authors, we need more of.  On top of writing good books; behind a very pleasant, and attractive exterior, is a serious business woman.

Here are the results of her posting on Facebook.  The quick answer to the question of how many clicks to the website resulted from Trice's posting on Facebook, 41 hours ago, is 24, as shown on the chart below.


Considering her post had 162 likes and 5 shares (2 were mine), this is far better than any ad I've placed--not just because it did not cost me anything extra, but because the engagement rate was far higher.  

Organic engagement always performs better than paid engagement.

I'm attributing all of these click to Trice's post, because during this period I was not aware of anyone else posting on Facebook but the same page on my site, so I could be off.  But if I am, I doubt the impact is significant.

There were 30 authors on my last bestsellers list, those that share the list, generally tend to perform better in sales, on my site.  Of course I appreciate Trice's support so I also more willing to help her when I can.  These are the types of relationships that fuel our businesses and helping readers discover better books.

During the 41 hour period, Facebook was just over 2% of my over all traffic.  Of course Trice link was not the only source of referrals, from Facebook, during this period, but it was the largest one.

Looking at the chart on the right you can see that during the 41 hour period all social media made up 3% of my source of traffic, and referrals from other sites was double that. This is why I will increase engagement of other site rather than social.  

Looking at the chart on the left you can see that Facebook referrals make up most of my social media referrals--facebook always has.  What is most striking is how poorly Google Plus and Pinterest performs for my site.  I'm not surprised by Goodreads, because I don't engage there at all.


I'll probably blog about this in more detail.

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I thought since she was a more popular author the CTR would be higher. 50 was a good estimate. 24 is not bad at all especially if this was a situation that was a matter of sharing by actual people. Then again I've always said that organic growth is more sustainable. When people share out of genuine interest it makes a world of difference. I have a wealth of these type of posts and seeing your numbers reminds me of why I cut off tumblr and I'm only using one platform instead of trying to be everywhere. I think a combination of interacting on websites that build a network and then using share buttons for other platforms is enough as long as the interaction is consistent.

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Chris also consider the quality of the engagement of the facebook users.  Looking at the chart; the mobile users spent bit more than 1/2 a minute on the site.  However the desktop users where on the site for a full two minutes longer (on average), and looked at more pages.  

Now the current site bestsellers list is not optimized for mobile, the new site's bestseller list is optimized for mobile displays, so engagement from mobile users may improve when I cut over to the new website.

Also let me check on books book sales as a result of the facebook engagement....as far as I can tell there were no direct sales as a result of the engagement (I only checked Amazon and not the other channels)

But sales are trickier, they are not always immediate, and people often obtain books off-line, after discovering them online.  Even without a sale, that I can directly attribute to the referrals from Facebook, there is still value in branding the website, Trice's book, and the books of other authors on the pages viewed by the visitors from Facebook or whereevr they originate.


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This is what I've said about users who come from Facebook, they always return right back to Facebook within seconds. So even your CTR is deceptive if you aren't measuring it the way you are. Is there anything you want me to do with my page right now? I saw the book review link at the bottom of the page. I have a few black book, book reviews that are ready to go. Social media is wicked, wicked tool. Right now if you aren't there, you miss interaction with people, but spending time there doesn't help you profit anything. I'm already seeing the benefits of launching my Youtube station and I barely have any visitors. My job next is to get those videos on some biz websites and other places. Not just Social Media. Like you said, the time is better invested in building up individual websites. The problem is reciprocity.

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Man, if you have book reviews send them!  I literally working in the book review template.  Basically, if you have written a review on the website, a link to it will pop up on your author's profile page. I've only migrated three reviews, as test cases, but here is one written by Robert Fleming.  The review links back  to roberts page, his books, his reviews and more.  

So any reviews I publish of your will just create more links back to your page, further elevating your work not to mention increasing the exposure your the book you've reviewed.  

Robert Fleming has been in the game for decades. In an alternative, more sane universe, he would be well known. 

Regarding Facebook the desktop users (all 7 of them) did engage the site to my satisfaction.  But the charm there is that all I had to do was create the content, I did not have to worry about engage on Facebook myself.  

I will probably add social sharing button to the authors profiles, for this reason. But I'm still considering removing social sharing button from the site altogether.  

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Talk about an accomplished author/person in Robert Fleming! He's the kind of guy that you probably just want to sit in a jazz club with and talk music all day. I think you have to keep the social sharing buttons on the site, because they do create temporary spikes. The traffic that comes from it is not consistent, but one person may stay and browse. Adding the social buttons will enable those temporary browsers to share which is what everyone has become used to doing in this new internet world of social media.

As far as reviews on Black books here is a link to a few of them:




Not a black book, but in the realm: http://www.cbpublish.com/honky-another-quirky-book-review/




You can take them all. I have a lot of film reviews as well.  When it comes to content I've been loading up for years. I've just been waiting on the world to catch up with me.







Not Black but in the realm: http://www.cbpublish.com/rabbit-hole-a-review/




Oh and I still think that the creation of user accounts for your writers would really simplify your job... (Am I saying something you already know? Probably, lol). This is why I've pretty much stuck with Wordpress as my CMS. I can add users and they can log in and write at anytime the choose. I only have one writer, but even he has started doing film reviews. I would hate to have to migrate all of your content and I think that's what you are doing, so I hope you will have user accounts for your writers.

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Yes, I'm working on a way for writers to contribute content to the website, directly but it has to be done a in structured way and curated.  I'm also thinking of a way to pay writers for their writing that is both transparent and a function of the articles impact on the website's profitability.  

I'm thinking about paying writers based upon the number of times an article is viewed, perhaps $5 to $10 for every thousand views?  So if a writer decides to share an article on social media, and it goes "viral" they will share in the financial rewards--even if that happens a year from now.

Sometimes things just take a minute to gain traction.  For example, I wrote an article, "Are Negro Girls Getting Prettier?" back in March and it is one of the most popular pages on the site--this month.  I have not had to the time to sort out why, but this is not unusual. 

The other thing about content is that uniqueness counts.  The publishing of syndicated articles a model many online newspapers follows, does not work as well on the web.  Search results would simply send readers to the source of the article of the site that was indexed first, so generally large corporate sites benefit and small sites are crowded out.

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I don't know about paying writers... It's hard enough to build a consistent user base, but add on to that paying writers and you drain what few funds a business can obtain. I'm stating here clearly that the only time pay should be considered is in the event of a very big article (viral) article. If the author understands pings, and backlinks they will see the benefit in creating content here and on their own sites. Also everyone wants to charge the small business, but they are more than willing to write for bigger, richer sites without requesting any money.

In regard to uniqueness you're right. One of the most visited articles on CBP was the http://www.cbpublish.com/business-of-lipstick-and-cockroaches/ post I did on Shark Tank and the Lip Bar. That article was up for a few months and then all of a sudden I had visits from all over the net. It was great! Did it turn into repeat visits? No, but it did create a spike. With enough of those type of articles a site can grow pretty fast.

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Yep, spikes are great, especially if you can keep them rolling in.  There are hundreds of millions of english readers, with internet access, on this planet.  If one percent of them visited this site, each year, and never, ever returned, the site again would be doing great.  The web is a big place man. 


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