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Mel Hopkins

Welcome! Please Introduce Yourself.

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Please let us know who you are. What you'd like to accomplishment.   How we can help you get the most out of this club? Provide your goals, expertise and even your expectations.  Share as much or as little - and add when you feel  comfortable.   

 

Thank you for being part of #readingblack.com movement and we want to make sure the movement serves us all.  

 

As for me, I read as much if not more than I write.


So far, I've written, published two fiction titles and I’m working on a memoir.  The former got me a full-page feature in a major business magazine; the latter is proving to be difficult to format. 

 

On the digital front, I've acquired several domain names currently valued at $10K. From those highly-coveted names, I’ve launched a personal website, a news magazine website that is growing in popularity due to the strategic alliances I’ve built with AALBC.com and PRNewswire. com 

 

I was half of a two-person start-up team who created and developed a popular lifestyle website and a weekly live 2-hour radio talk-show.  With sweat-equity, and free social networks such as Myspace, Facebook, and BlogTalkRadio we built an engaged community for the website. 

 

By 2008, the Facebook page had 100K fans.  We invited the most loyal fans to write for the site.  In 2010, the website had a global ranking with an estimated value of about $35K. If sold, it would have been nearly 100% profit.   

 

The co-founder changed the format and pushed me out.  The website lost 90% of its value after the community dwindled.

 

Since 2002, I've consulted in Media Relations with a focus on building communities and creating strategic alliances. I've accumulated millions of dollars in earned media for myself and clients in publications with a monthly multimillion readership.    

 

Before building a media consulting business, I was responsible for corporate communications of several multimillion-dollar funded high-profile nonprofit organizations.  I took those skills to work for a large customer-facing financial institution where I worked closely with marketing to handled internal communications and special projects for the Community Reinvestment Act department.

 

As News Anchor and Managing Editor, at a CBS network affiliate, led a team of editors, photographers, reporters to produce #1 rated weekend newscast that gained 27% of market share. As AM drivetime news anchor/reporter for iHeart (formerly Clear channel) Radio Station 1170 AM WWVA acquired Associated Press credits for contributing breaking news resulting in an AP Radio Partner Award.  Several national magazines and newspapers have published my features and opinions.    

 

Prior, I worked for trade book publishers, G.P. Putnam's Sons and Penguin USA (before the merger) in Special Sales, and Academic Marketing & Sales from 1987-1992.  

 

Oh, did I mention I spent 8-years flying the friendly skies for a major U.S. commercial airline?

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I shared this on social media, but all the replies were posted on the social media platform themselves.  I'll add this to an upcoming newsletter and make it clearer the responses should be posted here :)

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I am an avid reader. I don't generally join groups. 

 

I will list some of the jobs i have done.

 

Cashier Messenger Tax Collector Tutor Bookkeeper Nude Model Statistician Psychic Bartender  and Security Guard. 

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@Delano  Welcome, my psychic brother!  Thank you for joining this one! 

How do you find books to read?  Or if they find their way to you - how does it happen?  

1 hour ago, Delano said:

Nude Model

@Delano And this one... how long did it take you to stop being self-conscious?  

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@Delano, man you better familiarize yourself with the use of commas. I was like what does a "Psychic Bartender" do -- have your drink ready when you step to the bar?  :)

 

I don't read as much as a bookseller should, but I probably read more than most webmasters, and certainly most people -- but that is not saying very much.

 

 

I have been running AALBC.com for over 20 years now.  The activity is so completely different in 2018 than it was in 1997, it might as well be two completely different jobs.  The only commonality is a love for Black people and desire to ensure our stories are told.  In fact the job would be impossible without it.  While money is definitely a motavator, I don't know anyone who does this type of work solely for money. 

 

Over the years it seems people who work solely for money, whether it is for themselves, or for a corporation usually have no problem exploiting others.

 

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@Mel Hopkins it was probably in my 30's. 

 

Troy its a list without the bullet points. 

 

There are a few ways I find books. I read about Dorothy Parker because of the Prince track.  I read the autobiography of Malcolm X because of the Spike Lee movie. Found a few through The New York Press newspaper. A couple of book clubs. Recommendations from people or celebrities. Anthologies. I would also puvk authors because i felt i should have read them . I was interested in the following topics or genre. 

Mythology 

Jungian Psychology 

Numbers 

Astrology 

The Occult. 

 

Sone books happened to be in a section when i was looking for something else. 

 

A few people gave me books. Sometimes it ess a friend or someone i didn't know well.

Lastly by accident. 

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On 2/3/2018 at 11:21 PM, Delano said:

I read about Dorothy Parker because of the Prince track.  I read the autobiography of Malcolm X because of the Spike Lee movie. Found a few through The New York Press newspaper

 

@Delano  I find a lot of my books through mainstream and alternative media too!  This is yet another strategy, many authors should put into their marketing - media relations activity for books.

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TRYING IT AGAIN!!  (May have been "user error!!!!!"  LOL

 

Sister Mel, that was quite an introduction!!!  Impressive.

 

This is my first post, so bear with me if I don't quite fit the format here.

By way of introduction:

  • Native New Yorker - African in America
  • Slightly active in Civil Rights - picketing, etc. in high school
  • Attended Howard University and graduated in 1966
  • Married college sweetheart
  • US Air Force and found that Air Power and Black Power do NOT mix
  • "Taught" a Black History class at McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary (Visiting Prof, though!!!)  My 'students' educated me!!  Ever grateful, Ron Ben jar, Leo 10X, Pep and others!!
  • Graduate school at Cornell University (1970-72) - in the aftermath of the armed student takeover of the Student Union bldg
  • Protested murder of Brothers at Attica State Prison
  • Co-led Operation: STOP - the student-faculty divestment organization - to persuade Cornell to sell its Gulf Oil stock; succeeded in doing so.
  • Returned to Howard to work in Student Affairs - 32 years, including 14 years as Dean for Residence Life (student housing)
  • Active with African Liberation Support Committee and Ujamaa Shule and Watoto Shule
  • Former Member of the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party
  • Retired from Howard U in 2004
  • Relocated to the highlands of the Republic of Panama
  • Conducted Family Heritage research and discovered AMAZING info about my maternal great grandmother Mariah Otey Reddick
  • Was inspired to write a historical novel inspired by her life.  My wife Ife, a twice-published fiction writer, is Contributing Author
  • Finishing the first true "First Draft" and now seeking an Editor

Glad to be here and to meet all of you. Sisters and Brothers!!

 

Damani

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@Damani  Wow! As I was reading your introduction, I felt like I was visiting the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.  Welcome!  I'm not being facetious either when I visited the museum I actually took photos of the exhibits of some of the events you mentioned here.   Powerful! Also congratulations on finishing the first draft of your historical fiction novel! 

Aside: Not sure if this is your first attempt at looking for an editor but  just a heads up.  Novels require a different type of editor than non-fiction.  I suspect editors for historical novels are even more detailed because they will help out with authentic language from the period.   So, please don't let just any editor work on your book.  

 

 

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We appreciate that advice and the very kind words, My Sister.

 

We've been seeking first hand referrals from those in literature and the arts for the very reasons you mention.  In our careers, both my wife Ife and I were often acknowledged as  good writers, but my background is in non-fiction and businees writing and my wife's was mostly in business and technical writing.  However, Ife has written two published fiction works, so that is very helpful.  We've had one in-depth discussion with an excellent and experienced Editor, but her schedule and existing commitments may not conform with our desired publication schedule.

 

We have developed an exciting and amazing story and sub-plots based upon true historical events and the results of my Family Heritage research.   We are looking for an Editor, hopefuly one with historical fiction experience, to help put some poetry to our manuscript and some music to our story-telling.

 

I have already emailed Troy Johnson re: Edit 1st at the suggestion of W. Paul Coates, publisher-owner at Black Classic Press.

 

Your mention of authentic dialogue is ON POINT. 
A tip for anyone else who may need it:  There is a website devoted to U.S. slang terms as they emerged in various decades.  This is not the one Iused. but it is similar: https://alphadictionary.com/slang/?term=&beginEra=1800&endEra=1930&clean=true&submitsend=Search

Also, very helpful has been my search for the etymological and time origins of various specific words/terms on dictionary sites.

 

We definitely want to avoid anachronisms in language, science, etc.  An example of the latter:  The "germ theory" of disease was not broadly accepted at the time of the Cholera Epidemic of 1850, so the precautions taken by our characters would need to reflect that.

 

Again, thanks for your appreciative words and encouragement.  As you know - as a published author - writing a book is a daunting task.  Historical fiction, as you point out, puts another layer on top of an already challenging task.

 

Damani

 

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Good Morning to all! 

Thank you for accepting me into this group. Unfortunately, my bio is not really interesting at all. I love to read books written by black authors. A few of my favorites are Zora Neale Hurston, Terry McMillan, Walter Mosley, Kimberly Lawson Roby , E Lynn Harris (only naming a few). Reading is my vice and my therapy. I was a widow at 46 and starting over after losing my spouse, mom and dad in the past 10 yrs. Reading is my peace. I work in transportation full time and I am working on starting my own online shop soon. Just glad to be here.

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@Damani, that really was some introduction.  Would you believe I had dinner with Paul just last night.  He really is a great man.  I'm glad he connected us and that you have connected here.  I have responded to your email

 

@Christy, I thoroughly convinced that everyone has an interesting bio.  Now the individual, may not recognize this because they lived it.  I'm so sorry to hear about you losing your spouse so young, but this is one of the reasons your story woud be interesting to others.  We all must deal with loss, how you deal with it would be both interesting and helpful to others.  Thanks for joining us!

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@Christy, welcome and thank you for joining! My condolences on losing your loved ones.  <3 


What are you selling in your online shop? 

Also how did you first become exposed to all those authors?  Do you purchase from the author's websites, bookstores, online retailers book club, etc.? 

In addition to writing and publishing, we're also working to make it easier for readers to gain access to books by black authors.  Any suggestions you have will be greatly appreciated? 

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Hello,

 

My name is Kipjo K. Ewers, I am the author, creator, and founder of the EVO Universe, a site dedicated to creating original, strong, and diverse characters in the realm of science fiction, superhero, fantasy, supernatural, and action adventure.

 

The EVO Universe motto is "EVOLVE OR DIE."

  • I wrote my first novel titled The First in 2014.
  • I followed up with my second novel titled EVO Uprising (Book two of the First Series) in 2015.
  • I wrote and published a spin-off novel series titled the Eye of Ra in 2016. That same year EVO Universe turned from a brand into an actual publishing company, and presented at New York Comic-Con for the first time that year as well in the small press section.
  • I wrote and published my first supernatural romance novel titled Fred & Mary in the summer of 2017. That same year the EVO Universe also presented at Book Con and New York Comic-Con once again in the small press section.
  • This year 2018 I just released my third novel titled Genesis (Book three of the First Series). I am currently writing two novels that I hope to have ready by the end of this year, one is my first fantasy novel, and the second is book two in my Eye of Ra series titled War of Mortal Gods.

 

I also plan to participate in more conventions to get the word out about the EVO Universe, and make my third return to New York Comic Con 2018. My mission is to create powerful storylines and characters that our people can gravitate to and get behind that does not have a Marvel or DC logo on it.

 

Don't get me wrong, I've been a fan of both since I was a kid, and Black Panther was a monumental achievement in diversity and representation shattering levels and kicking down doors. But at the end of the day the character was created and written by Stan Lee.

 

I want to prove that I can write characters for us that are better than Stan Lee.

 

So please feel free to check out my website and work, judge for yourselves, and if you like it, let your family and friends know about me.

 

Thank you for reading.

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Welcome to the movement @EVO Universe!  Are your books in bookstores?  If so, which stores, and how did you, as an independent author, make this happen (this question is open to anyone).

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@Troy Thank you. Currently my work is on Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes. Tantor Audio contacted me personally and extended me contracts to turn my novels into audiobooks. Although the revenue is pretty good in these channels, and gets me exposure worldwide, getting them into local bookstores in my main goal. One of the things that I realized is that although my work has been out for almost five years and my fan base is growing, VERY LITTLE people in the minority community knows about me.

 

Something I intend to remedy by going to smaller conventions.

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Good info, EVO!!

 

Have you sold books to libraries?

 

They have budgets to buy books and, I understand, they buy ebooks, too.

 

Damani

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