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Troy

Black writers in a ghetto of the publishing industry's making

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Black writers in a ghetto of the publishing industry's making by Bernice McFadden

http://runt.it/bernicemac

My debut novel, "Sugar," was also published by a Penguin imprint. Set in the 1950s South, the story line deals with racism and celebrates the power of friendship and acceptance. The original cover depicted a beautiful black woman standing behind a screen door. "Sugar" was marketed solely to African American readers. This type of marginalization has come to be known among African American writers as "seg-book-gation." This practice is not only demeaning but also financially crippling. When I looked into why works by African American writers were packaged and marketed so differently than those by their white counterparts, I did not have to search far for my answer.

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"Sugar" was marketed solely to African American readers. This type of marginalization has come to be known among African American writers as "seg-book-gation." This practice is not only demeaning but also financially crippling.

(I don't have any sympathy for her.

Being marketed solely to African American readers has not hurt Zane, Iceberg Slim, Sistah Souljah, or many others.

If white folks want your stuff, they will find it, just like they did the writers above and just like they did Jazz, hip hop, Blues and other stuff that was marketed soleley for Blacks.

This is the old, "Blame the Publishing Industry" because nobody is reading my book. I do know you can make a sales phenomenon by just publicity alone.

But, as always, its what's on the page that does it.

She's probably living in a condo, sipping on a latte, thinking about getting a facial. I bleed for the black woman who is trying to figure out how to get food on the table, child care, and getting back home alive.

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Chris I agree with you sans the lack of sympathy. As an aside, Bernice is quite "down" and I'm sure you'd like her as a person.

That said, I know the publisher of her current book Glorious (AALBC.com has published two reviews of this book (http://runt.it/Glorious2) does not spend much on promtion and advertising. They publish excellent books, but that is not good enough in a world where you have competitors also publishing excellent books AND spending money to promote them.

Sure you'll get some traction from favorable reviews, but you still have to promote the favorable reviews.

In our society a half way decent book with bucks for promotion will do much better than a really good novel with $0 spent.

If I listen to the agents I know many great novela -- especially from Black folks are not even being published...

..

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Hello All,

Bookfan: "Anybody read this one?" Ooh, HELL YEAH!! Man, when Sugar came out, we had Bernice McFadden here for an online chat and everything! You haven't read Sugar!? I suggest you pick up a copy! I can show you better than I can tell you.

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I even read it it was a great book: http://aalbc.com/authors/bernicemcfadden.htm. I actually liked the paperback cover better (the larger image). If memory serves I believe Bernice prefered the original cover. Here is the chat transcript: http://thumperscorner.com/chatarchive/sugar_chat.htm (yeah it could be reformated but at least it is still on-line unsure.gif )

sugar.jpgsugar.6.jpg

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I actually liked the paperback cover better (the larger image).

Judging by the review I read, the paperback cover gives a little better hint to Sugar's occupation.

From the chat:

Troy: The Sugar on the cover did not match the one in the story

Ron: lol. I know the feeling but as covers go, I thought this one was pretty nice

Troy: Nice, but incongruent

Ron: Yeah, Sugar didn't sound that attractive

Thumper: Yeah, I'm going to ask her about that.

Thumper: Are you serious, Sugar didn't sound attractive?

Troy: I thought Sugar sounded good myself (smile)

Troy: Sugar: Tall, dark Skinned, sexy, hmmm, hmm hmmmmm

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Bookfan your research, as usual, is sound. I would have never rememebered the conversation. Given what I wrote then I like the paper back cover even more smile.gif

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Bookfan your research, as usual, is sound. I would have never rememebered the conversation. Given what I wrote then I like the paper back cover even more smile.gif

My research consisted of clicking on the link you provided. Thanks!

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