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Thinking Outside the Box to Promote Literacy

Shirley Gale

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Literacy on the Go!  If you spot my Armada (you really can't miss it) and you can tell me the day, time, and location where I'm driving, you can be entered to win one of my awesome books for FREE! Just enter your email contact information on my website.  It's that easy! I will contact you when you win.

I'm going to be driving from Texas to Virginia to Washington D. C. starting late June 2016. I am also planning a road trip to Chicago to visit libraries, schools, and community centers in the Fall of 2016. Look for me. I'm coming to talk about literacy and the lack thereof.

How far will I go to promote literacy?  How far will I go to help struggling children?

  • How about all over the United States!

  • How about all over the World Wide Web (WWW.com) 

The big question is:  How far are you willing to go with me? You can start by supporting African-American Children's Authors. We work hard to provide the great literature that so many children need.

Visit my updated website at: www.readtoachieve2.com to see what I've been up to.  Remember the importance of Reading to Achieve with all children! My brand is: Read to Achieve the Magic! (TM). I would love for you to share what I'm up to!



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I just added the photo to the newsletter, which I will email this afternoon.  @Shirley Gale, there is one thing I did notice, that is worth mentioning not just for your consideration but for any other authors who read this conversation.

When deciding which photo to use, I noticed you included the text "Available at Amazon.com."  There was a time when that would be considered sponsorship and a company would have to pay for that kind of exposure--and that time was not very long ago.

One of the things I observed in recent years as that everyone gives the largest corporations free promotion.  I know part of the reason social media is so very popular is that we all aggressively promote those platforms. We plaster their logos on all of our promotional material and refer readers to these platforms often before our own websites.

It is not just Black authors who do this it is most business, from individual enterprises to large corporations, (though I have to believe the larger corporation plugging social media are not doing it for free).  

A buddy of mine recently designed a graphic to promote our Annual Black Pack Party.  He put the logos of three popular social media platforms on our flyer.  I did not ask him to do that, he did it on his own; collectively we have been trained.

Don't get me wrong people should use Amazon, and social media, but lets not let they them get more out of us than we get out of them. As Black folks I think the issue is even more important because this free promotion, based upon my observations, has come at the expressive of our businesses.

I have always suggested that Black authors, if they are going to plug a bookseller for free, plug a Black-owned store too.  In 2016, one can pretty much take it for granted a book will be available via Amazon, explicity saying it only reinforces Amazon.com brand--again at our expense.

I also know authors feel there is still some level of credibility that goes along with saying that their book is available at Amazon,  But today anyone can make their book available via Amazon, there is no longer any cache in saying this, at least not in the way there might be to saying your book is available in a Barnes & Noble brick and mortar bookstore, which despite their size carries relatively few books written by Black authors--especially independently published ones.

I hope for a day when Black-owned businesses can benefit from free promotion too.

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Thanks Sara and Cynique. I am trying so hard to impact our struggling children in the best way that I know how.  Also to Troy. Of course you're right--I knew that I was giving them "free" advertisement when I did it. However, I cannot tell you how many people have asked me if my book(s) are on Amazon. I just wanted to eliminate another step in trying to get my books into the hands of my reading audiences. At some point when my brand is familiar enough, I am going to restructure how I market. Right now I am pitching to a few corporate giants in hopes of having them to do a little advertising and marketing for me. We'll see how that goes.

Please know that in every one of my queries and, in many of my book announcements, etc., I have aalbc.com down as one of my organizational memberships. I do try my best to spread the love for African-American businesses. Just the other day I did an entire post on my LinkedIn page for Mr. Wade Hudson. I really don't even know him. But, as an African-American publisher, I appreciate what he's doing and saying about multiculturalism and diversity. I try so hard to do unto others as I would have them to do to/for me. But we all know that it doesn't always work out that way. All one can do is to keep trying--and for the little guys and gals out there competing, this sometimes means giving props to the giants.

Thanks always for your input and recognition.

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Hello Troy, Thanks for posting my information about Literacy on the Go! I had a man to stop me in the parking lot of one of our libraries yesterday to comment on my literacy touting Armada. He and his wife were very impressed with what I am hoping to achieve.  Also, here is the link for what I posted about Wade Hudson. Please know that I plan on purchasing another spot on this platform for my books. But I want to wait until The Hunt for the Magic Pearl, Second Edition is published. This second edition is really nice! I want both my books to be featured at the same time :) I hope you know how awesome you are!


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