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Terrific New Books and Children's Book Illustrators You'll Love - 4/28/2020


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For the first time, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson opens up about his amazing comeback—from tragic personal loss to thriving businessman and cable’s highest-paid executive—in this unique self-help guide, Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, his first since his blockbuster New York Times bestseller The 50th Law.


For children’s picture books, art sells the book. When an adult is in a store browsing for books to be read to a child. The art is what initially gets the shopper’s attention. Once they pick up a book and flip through the pages the art is as important as the text in getting the customer to buy the book.

Children, too young to read, are moved by the art too. Great artwork communicates in ways mere words cannot. I recall quite vividly the first time seeing the book, A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. As a little boy, I recalled being excited when seeing Keats’ book for the first time – a little boy, about my age, in an urban setting who looked like me! Art is powerful. The importance of seeing yourself reflected in the artwork of picture books cannot be understated. Learn who five of my favorite children book illustrators are at Black Art in America (BAIA)  ▶


We maintain a list of recently published and soon to be published books we think you’ll enjoy  Here are a few.


The Business of Lovers by Eric Jerome Dickey

All is fair in love and lust in AALBC and New York Times bestselling author Eric Jerome Dickey’s tale of two brothers, four women, and the business of desire.

Unlike their younger brother, André, whose star as a comedian is rising, neither Dwayne nor Brick Duquesne is having luck with his career—and they’re unluckier still in love. Former child star Dwayne has just been fired from his latest acting role and barely has enough money to get by after paying child support to his spiteful former lover, while Brick struggles to return to his uninspiring white-collar job after suffering the dual blows of a health emergency and a nasty breakup with the woman he still loves.


Women of Color in Tech: A Blueprint for Inspiring and Mentoring the Next Generation of Technology Innovators by Susanne Tedrick

”I wrote this book for women of color who may have the spark and curiosity in pursuing a path in tech, but perhaps, may need some guidance and clarity on what a tech career could look like beyond the ones we traditionally associate with the industry. I also wanted to provide actionable and practical steps that they can take now to build their careers, even if that path changes in the future. Finally, I wanted to talk openly on specific issues that may be a challenge for them - bias, imposter syndrome, mental health and lack of strong support systems among a few - and strategies to help navigate them through.”


What a Woman's Gotta Do by Evelyn Coleman

This classic, in 1998, was one of AALBC’s first bestselling books. Republished, in January of 2020 (Simon & Schuster), for a generation of new readers, this suspenseful novel is about Patricia Conley who is trying to find out why her man did her wrong and who did him in, this woman isn’t waiting to exhale—she’s waiting to fight back!

Patricia considers herself to be a brother’s worst nightmare. A lifetime of hurt has made her fierce. A lifetime of victories has made her proud. And a whole lot of hope keeps her going. Now Patricia’s most daring stab at happiness has come up bad: The man she was supposed to marry, Kenneth Lawson, has stood her up. Last seen holding hands with another woman. Still reeling from Kenneth’s disappearance, Patricia is stunned by a series of macabre discoveries. Her car is found bathed in blood. A woman is found dead. And another too-good-to-be-true brother is offering his services. Suddenly the tough-talking Atlanta journalist doesn’t know who to trust… Read Our Review ▶


wow, no thank you.: essays by Samantha Irby

A new rip-roaring essay collection from the smart, edgy, hilarious, unabashedly raunchy, and bestselling Samantha Irby.

Irby is forty, and increasingly uncomfortable in her own skin despite what Inspirational Instagram Infographics have promised her. She has left her job as a receptionist at a veterinary clinic, has published successful books and has been friendzoned by Hollywood, left Chicago, and moved into a house with a garden that requires repairs and know-how with her wife in a Blue town in the middle of a Red state where she now hosts book clubs and makes mason jar salads. This is the bourgeois life of a Hallmark Channel dream. She goes on bad dates with new friends, spends weeks in Los Angeles taking meetings with “tv executives slash amateur astrologers” while being a “cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person,” “with neck pain and no cartilage in [her] knees,” who still hides past due bills under her pillow. The essays in this collection draw on the raw, hilarious particulars of Irby’s new life. Wow, No Thank You is Irby at her most unflinching, riotous, and relatable.


Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker by A’Lelia Bundles

Now a Netflix series starring Octavia Spencer, Self Made tells the story of Madam C.J. Walker, the legendary entrepreneur and philanthropist

This book was originally published by A’Lelia Bundles (Walker’s great-great-granddaughter) as On Her Own Ground. The book provides a much more accurate depiction of the daughter of formerly enslaved parents, Sarah Breedlove—who would become known as Madam C. J. Walker. Orphaned at seven, married at fourteen, and widowed at twenty. She spent the better part of the next two decades laboring as a washerwoman for $1.50 a week. Then—with the discovery of a revolutionary hair care formula for black women—everything changed. By her death in 1919, Walker managed to overcome astonishing odds: building a storied beauty empire from the ground up, amassing wealth unprecedented among black women, and devoting her life to philanthropy and social activism. Along the way, she formed friendships with great early-twentieth-century political figures such as Ida B. Wells, Mary McLeod Bethune, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Booker T. Washington.


Upcoming Conversation 5 Tips to Improve Your Online Book Sales

We are planning another bookseller video conference in the next few weeks (date TBA). The focus will be in strategies to improve online book sales. This conversation is for anyone interested in selling books on the web. We already have some ideas on what will be discussed, but if you have any specific questions email me and let me know what you'd like us to cover. Book buyers, this conversation may interest you too!


Dear Reader,

The feedback from your emails has not only been helpful they have been motivating and inspiring. Please keep your suggestions, comments, and critiques coming. It is always a good time to tell me what I'm doing well and how I can improve.

As always, consider supporting this newsletter by volunteering to pay for your subscription. If you have already paid for an annual subscription, thank you on behalf of AALBC and the writers whose work you are helping to celebrate.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Peace and Love,
Troy Johnson
Founder & Webmaster, AALBC.com


This Newsletter is Sponsored by Amistad

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★ AALBC.com eNewsletter – April 28, 2020 - Issue #290

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