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The Death of Urban Fiction


Troy

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I shared the following quote on Facebook and Twitter just now; “While media attention has waned in recent years, the demand for, and publication of, Urban Fiction has not.”

 

The death of Urban Fiction -- Not!

 

The Coldest Winter EverAs we all know, you should not take anything you read on social media at face value. Most of what we read there is designed to drive engagement and sell advertising. Out right lies, hyperbole, and controversy are tools of the trade.

 

In this case, I was exaggerating.  While it is true that the media has moved on from Urban Fiction, years ago, the resulting lack of attention and other factors have indeed driven down demand for these titles.  Books by authors like Terri Woods and Nikki Turner that dominated my list a decade ago, are absent on my 2018 bestsellers list.

 

The book that arguably sparked media attention on the genre, The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah did make our bestsellers list for 2018.  But it is a fantastically popular, and now iconic title -- part of the Black literary canon if you will.

 

But Urban Fiction is the the only genre marginalized by mainstream media. Outside of a handful of authors, unless you are an African or Celebrity.  You are lucky to get any mainstream media coverage. Children's book authors have been getting a lot of attention lately, but here the focus is on "diversity" and not "Black."

 

However, if you are a fan of Urban Fiction don't fret too much; the media's focus attention on Urban Fiction will return once again.  

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  • 2 years later...

The problem is that urban fiction was seen as a hustle instead of an art and craft

 

You had people who wrote in the genre to make a quick buck instead of striving to either elevate the art, or at least sustain creativity

 

Most authors who used to write urban fiction have moved on to other endeavors after realizing writing books wasn't as lucrative as they thought

 

Urban fiction needs to die and resurrect again - ala The Coldest Winter Ever resurrecting urban fiction years after Goines

 

💯

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@Nah'Sun good to read you again 🙂

 

Since I wrote this post more than two years ago, the eagerly anticipated follow up to The Coldest Winter EverLife After Death debuted as an AALBC Bestseller (the book made the New York Times list too). Preorder sales were so strong that the book made our December's bestsellers list, based upon preorders, three months before the book came out!

 

As soon as the book pubbed it just died.  I did not read Life After Death but everyone I spoke to about it (a handful of people -- all Souljah fans) did not like the book.  They said her voice was different.

 

At any rate, I'm not sure I can recommend a "good" urban fiction novel today though K'wan is still publishing books under the genre and I'm sure his Black Tous Setrices is good:

 

 

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