Post Number: 21
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Monday, August 09, 2004 - 03:24 am: ||
Amid Lament, Sisterspace Evicted
U Street Store Closes After 5-Year Battle
By Debbi Wilgoren
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 4, 2004; Page B01
Sisterspace and Books, the black-owned bookstore that tried to create
an oasis of African American culture in the fast-gentrifying U Street
corridor, was evicted yesterday after years of legal battles over
property maintenance and skyrocketing rent.
Dozens of supporters rushed to the storefront at 1515 U St. NW after
receiving emergency cell phone calls from proprietors Faye Williams
and Cassandra Burton.
But they could do little more than stand on the sidewalk in the sticky
heat, exchanging hugs and laments over the death of the bookstore and
the changes they see unfolding throughout the city.
"It's like a kick in the face. It's a frontal attack on the African
American community," said Tricia Kinch, a resident of Columbia Heights
who volunteered at the bookstore.
"Somebody wants this building, and they don't care that the community
Since an eviction order was issued in May, Williams and Burton have
sought -- and received -- support from city politicians, African
American religious leaders and D.C. residents, urging them to help
preserve the bookstore and its community-oriented programming that
ranges from adult literacy classes and book signings to activities for
children and teenagers.
City officials pledged monetary support, and a community fundraiser
was held Saturday at U Street's historic Lincoln Theatre.
Williams and Burton said they had been contacted by someone willing to
lend them $875,000 to buy the building, and they were working on
getting a contract. Their hope was to make a formal offer to buy the
building for $2.4 million, financed in part with a loan from the
Industrial Bank of Washington.
At an unsuccessful mediation session Thursday, Williams promised such
an offer would be forthcoming within a few hours, said Stephen O.
Hessler, the attorney for the trust that owns 1515 U St. The
beneficiary of the trust is an African American man who lives in
Prince George's County. His brother operated a consulting business in
the building and lived in one of several apartments upstairs until his
After waiting until Thursday evening, Hessler said, he phoned the
lawyer who he understood was supposed to convey the offer. Hessler
said that lawyer, who had not been at the mediation session, knew
nothing of the promised offer and had no specific proposal to make at
"We were lied to," Hessler said. "They've wasted my time. They've lied
to everyone involved and lied to everybody about what they're going to
Burton said she and others made clear to Hessler that they were still
finalizing their financial arrangements and might need more time.
The owners of the bookstore have fought with their landlords for more
than five years -- over repairs to the building, maintenance costs
and, more recently, proposed increases in their rent. For much of that
time, they withheld rent in protest, or paid it to a court-monitored
escrow fund. In the meantime, trendy shops and cafes opened, and
pricey loft condominiums were built -- some named for the African
American artists whose performances during segregated times gave U
Street its reputation as the "Black Broadway."
In May, a D.C. Superior Court judge ruled that Sisterspace failed to
renew its lease when it expired last fall and therefore had no legal
right to stay in the building. The trust is suing Sisterspace to
recover back rent and legal fees, which Hessler has told the court
Outside the store yesterday, as men in sweaty T-shirts carried out
couches and cash registers, bookcases and artwork and hundreds of
paperbacks in black plastic trash bags, Lillie Baker, 71, begged an
official from the U.S. Marshals Service to stop the eviction.
"We had a meeting," Baker, who had attended the Saturday event, told
the marshal. They were "collecting donations and everything . . .
fixing to buy the building."
After the storefront was emptied and the logos scraped from the plate
glass windows, Williams and Burton staged an impromptu vigil on the
sidewalk and steps.
"We had to stand up, for U Street and for people who look like us
around this city," Williams said. "That's what this is really about --
rolling back our history."
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Post Number: 25
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 05:47 pm: ||
Random House has pulled Norma Khouri's book Forbidden Love (after it already sold 250,000K copies) from sale permanently after she could not prove her life story was true.
Earlier this week Ms Khouri submitted documents to Random House to demonstrate the book was a factual account of her life in Jordan.
But today Random House said it had not been enough to conclusively prove her version of events.
Queensland-based Ms Khouri has been overseas on a fact-finding trip to back her book since a Sydney newspaper asserted last month that the memoir of her life in Jordan was not factual.
Post Number: 29
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 04:34 pm: ||
Federal Bureau of Prisons Adds Gay Memoir to Banned Book List
Memoir: Delaware County Prison, by author Reginald L. Hall, has been banned by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
New York, NY (PRWEB) August 27, 2004 -- Writersandpoets.com, LLC , the book’s publisher, received a letter in the mail from the Allenwood Medium Correctional Facility in White Deer, PA in response to an inmate’s attempt to order the book from The Ligorius Bookstore in Philadelphia.
The letter from the acting warden states that Memoir “has been rejected in accordance with the Bureau’s Program Statement on Incoming Publications.” According to the warden, Memoir was deemed “detrimental to the security, good order, or discipline of the institution, or may facilitate criminal activity.”
The book tells the true story of Mr. Hall, who, as a gay Black inner-city youth, was sentenced to eight months in prison after committing check fraud at the age of 18. He candidly reveals his life during those turbulent months, during which he got involved in the self-destructive world of drugs and illicit sex, and tried to put a permanent end to it all by attempting suicide
“Reginald’s story not only shows us prison life through the eyes of a gay teen, but also the challenges of growing up Black and gay in the inner city,” said Earl Cox, President and Chief Executive of Earl Cox & Associates Worldwide and Writersandpoets.com, LLC. “I can’t imagine what they allow prisoners to read if they are banning a book like this. Memoir does not glorify violence, nor does it promote criminal activity."
Hall is currently writing the sequel to Memoir called Smoking Cigarettes, due out in late spring 2005.
Producers, writers, editors, show hosts or reviewers who wish to receive a free copy of Memoir: Delaware County Prison should contact the publisher, Earl Cox of Writersandpoets.com LLC at 908-233-2399 or email email@example.com.
Post Number: 33
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - 09:45 pm: ||
Brandon and other authors got more plugs on the Triple Crown boards than the Triple Crown authors, so . . . you guessed it . . . They shut it down.
Subject: Re: Triple Crown Publications
***This email is being circulated with permission from the author of the email as stated below***
Please do so that's why I took the time to email it cause I wanted people everywhere to know what they were about especially since they think the 300 of us that are on their board don't count. 300 members multiplied by 15 the cost of the book + 10 authors=a lot of loss revenue. What goes up must come down!
----- Original Message -----
People I've read all of your books and I wanted to share with you'll how TCP operates as a how to guide not to treat people who purchase your books.....
Dear Avid Reader:
The message board was abused and definitely not appreciated. If you are a supporter, then be that. Respect our decision. We provided a ‘free’ forum that was abused. And we have the right to terminate it based on abuse. If you want to support the authors, then go to amazon.com where you cannot get out of control. You, the readers are so spoiled and self-centered that every decision is all about you. Do you think about anyone else? Have you thought of the cost TCP incurred to provide such a fun forum? No, you only think about yourself and that you cannot use TCP as a forum to do what you want. Might we suggest you starting your own message board? But you could not without the start of TCP.
How dare you tell us our message in inappropriate? The message board was bananas and so is your attitude.
A supporter does just that. Support and respect a business decision. What we have found is that loyalty is a thin line. When one does not get there way. The loyalty is out of the window. So how much of a fan are you? That is what we thought? You chose to BLAST the first chance you got.
We understand you being disappointed--- but you to can handle things differently. We have the right of perception. It is our board? Remember? Things taken for granted are taken away!
I can't believe that this is a response that someone representing TCP would send out. Maybe it's me, but this is not how you as a COMPANY handle problems. What happened to loyalty? I don't see the abuse, I don't see that TCP was disrespected and I'm not a major fan I've only supported a select few, but I could be wrong this message has stung a lot of people and word of mouth travels. How do you think that you've made it this far? See that's the reason Black Businesses don't last we as a people don't respect or support one another.
Whoever wrote this letter doesn't know what it is to be in BUSINESS! If this was a decision made up top then I believe that it was distasteful and shows that you're still thinking small. Then let's review the facts as a member of the TCP message board it was FREE, when were there rules posted? Only thing the board said was the views expressed on here don't represent TCP! A fun forum? It was an old out of date board that was FUN because of the people who stopped by! Spoiled and self centered how? Cause we talked with other authors? Cause we planned a meet and greet? Because the authors who we support at TCP weren't faithful to the board and come and chat with us, cause we weren't acknowledged, cause we asked that they respect that I spent $15 dollars to read something that was poorly edited such as this email that someone calls themselves putting me in my place! Come on is this serious?
Can't get out of control on Amazon.com apparently you are the one whose bananas you need to check my STATS Amazon is the one place I can go and SPEAK AND BE HEARD! You haven't seen BLAST!
Could not without TCP, let's pay homage to the fact that TCP was jumpstarted by Shannon who left Teri to get with Vickie and they had to pay her. B-more put ya'll on what's going to keep you there?
I got some free advice for you’ll…
Spell check is free press F7
The customer is always right
And when in doubt talk it out
Then if this wasn't bad enough Vickie Stringer herself said:
Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2004 2:43 PM
Subject: Re: OFFICE MANAGER: Mail From TCP Website
We treat our fans well but it is never enough the message board was abused and what you loose. Sre u saying if we don't give you a message board we treat u bad? That is game?
Vickie, I thought that you were so much better than this! But I see that this is how you regard loyal customers I hope that's a deficit you can afford! I've been a major supporter of TCP since you got down for your crown and this is how you going to play! Through all of the mishaps in Customer service, shipping, and editing and this is how it ends? No this here is game! Not respecting us enough to approach like we're people while we openly campaigned in your corners. Supportive of all writers, respecting their talents as well didn't mean we put ya'll down, but that's hate on ya'll cause we were being blessed by others. Vickie that's not right! Was it abuse when we were asking you and Shannon to hit the board and represent? Why ya'll only part-time holding down your crowns? Real people do real things... I learned that from a real person, with real insight!
Post Number: 34
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 03:51 pm: ||
Column: Reviewers shy away from do-it-yourselfers
By TERESA K. WEAVER
Published on: 10/07/04
From a writer's viewpoint, self-publishing can be the culmination of a
From the vantage point of a book editor at a daily newspaper, though,
self-publishing is a sign of the cultural apocalypse.
I'm kidding, sort of.
Technology has opened up countless opportunities for anyone who has a story
to tell to print it, market it and publicize it. But just because everyone can
publish a book doesn't mean everyone should.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution doesn't review any books that are
self-published. Admittedly, the definition of self-publishing — already a slippery
little devil — keeps shifting as the technology and the industry evolve. But there
has to be a basic standard of writing, of editing, of presentation.
We get about 200 books a day in this office, eight or 10 of which fall into
the broad category of self-published. On a typical week, we have space to
review five books. The math is unforgiving.
The space crunch is hardly unique to the AJC. Newspapers across the country
are struggling with the same issues, handling an onslaught of books in a very
limited number of pages. The self-publishing filter is a common one, in place
either formally or not at some of the most respected newspapers.
"As an unwritten rule, I don't review self-published books," says Margo
Hammond, book editor at the St. Petersburg [Fla.] Times. "I know all the arguments
against that rule — my favorite is that Walt Whitman was self-published — but
it is one I have been glad to pull out whenever I am confronted by a
persistent self-published author who can't understand why I'm not interested in his
"In my 14 years' experience as book editor, I can say that, Walt Whitman
notwithstanding, self-published books are generally not very good. But then again,
neither are most books published by publishing houses."
So what's the difference?
"Only that the latter provides me with one more gatekeeper to help me choose
what to review among the thousands of titles on the market," Hammond says. "I
figure that an author who is published by a legitimate publishing house has
had to convince at least one other person besides me of the book's worth."
For most newspaper book editors, time and space are equal enemies. That's
small comfort to self-published authors who don't understand why their hometown
newspaper won't review their work, but it's reality nonetheless.
"Not reviewing any self-published books is a way of being fair, in some weird
way," says J. Peder Zane, longtime book editor at The [Raleigh] News &
Observer. "The problem with a book is, you can't read just five pages . . . it's not
like a record, where you can listen to the first song for 15 seconds and hear
the melody, get a sense of whether it's a good song or not, and then go to
Song 2, Song 3. . . . Some books don't get good until page 50. In all fairness,
a lot of books I've loved start off slowly.
"It would be impossible for me to really preview the 10 self-published books
that come my way every two weeks," Zane adds. "What I want to avoid is
reviewing one because it's a friend of a friend."
Newspapers in larger metropolitan areas such as New York, Los Angeles and
Washington are better staffed to handle the volume of incoming books and can be a
little more flexible in deciding whether to review the self-published. But
the competition is fiercer there than anywhere, and so the ones that are
reviewed are few and far between.
"I suspect there probably are some well-written self-published books out
there," says Elizabeth Taylor, literary editor at the Chicago Tribune.
Long, long pause.
"But they're not flooding into my office."
Taylor notes an interesting recent phenomenon: an overall decrease in quality
among books published by traditional publishing houses and an increase in
quality among self-published books.
That's attributable in part surely to emerging technology, but also to the
greater use of free-lance editors to work with self-published authors. As the
field continues to grow, that may ultimately make some of the filters newspapers
But for now, they're all we've got.
"We never review books from vanity presses . . .," says Oscar Villalon, book
editor at the San Francisco Chronicle. "The reason is simple: These books
aren't ready for prime time. Any book, no matter how dubious its quality, will be
packaged and shipped out by these folks — for the right fee, of course. . . .
"I think some folks who go through vanity presses understand that, and just
would like to see their remembrances bound up nicely in a book of some sort —
something for their children, say — and that's perfectly fine. But some
people . . . suppose that that's how the publishing industry works, that there's no
difference between a book published by Knopf, say, and one from an online
print-on-demand vanity publisher."
Sam Hodges, book editor at The Charlotte Observer, finds conversations with
self-published authors "the worst part of my job."
"These are well-meaning people who are just really frustrated that this story
that means so much to them can't break out and get attention," Hodges says.
"And I have to explain to them the realities of space and how competitive the
book business is."
Hodges does have a policy against reviewing self-published books, but he
allows for exceptions.
"The thing that haunts me — that keeps me from having too haughty an attitude
— is that I think there probably are really fine books that don't find a
publisher these days, in part because the writer may not know how to work the
system well enough, may not have an MFA or some sort of entree into the
agent-editor world," Hodges says. "I see so much inferior stuff published out of New
York, my heart is a little bit with some of these strugglers."
He cites a recent example, a memoir by a 97-year-old local woman.
"It looks pretty good," Hodges says. "Just that she would be able to finish a
book at that age is kind of remarkable. And she comes from an old Charlotte
textile family, so I know there would be some interest in the book. . . . I
have entertained the idea of doing a feature story or a column about her. But I'm
reluctant to do it just because of the kind of calls it will yield. You know,
'You did it for her. Why won't you do it for me?' "
In New Orleans, a city unusually blessed with gifted writers and artists,
Times-Picayune book editor Susan Larson bends her own self-publishing ban as
"We receive so many more books than we can review that some kind of arbitrary
triage is necessary," Larson says. "This is unfair to the one writer who has
written a fabulous book and has only been able to [self-publish], but there
you have it. . . .
"I can count on one hand the number of self-published books . . . I've
reviewed in my 15 years here — books that were just so special, so emblematic of our
particular culture, or just so well done that they deserved review
Recent examples are books by New Orleans photographer Kerri McCaffety (who
created her own publishing company) and a gorgeous, informative history of
Carnival by Mardi Gras expert Arthur Hardy (who self-published).
"There are exceptions to every rule," Larson says, "but they are rare
In the end, Larson's triage analogy is a great one. More and more people are
writing books, while fewer and fewer are reading them. Writing is an art,
publishing is a business and reviewing feels an awful lot like a scramble to stop
Post Number: 36
Votes: 1 (Vote!)
|Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 03:57 pm: ||
By DON O'BRIANT
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 10/07/04
Once upon a time, self-publishing was considered a vanity outlet for the
untalented and a last resort for writers who had been rejected by New York
editors.It still serves that purpose, but not exclusively. Fueled largely by
technological advances that have made self-publishing much more affordable, the
industry has shed some of its stigma and become a viable alternative for people who —
whether by choice or last resort — don't go the traditional route to seeing
their work in print.
Travis Hunter eventually signed a deal with Random House for 'The Hearts of
Men,' his first novel.
BY THE NUMBERS 175,000: Books published by mainstream publishers last year,
up 19 percent from 2002
5,000: Self-published books in 1995
80,000: Self-published books last year TWO VIEWS "Self-publishing is a bad
trend, and it exists because aspiring writers do not respond correctly to
rejection. Successful published writers are successful because they corrected the
things that got them rejected." — JIM FISHER, author of "Ten Percent of Nothing"
"If writers send a query letter with a summation of how many books they've
sold and a brief but hard-hitting marketing angle, some editors will look twice
at self-published books." — DIANE HIGGINS, an editor at St. Martin's Press
"Anybody can get a book published for a couple of hundred dollars," says
Calvin Reid, an editor at the industry journal Publishers Weekly.That is both a
blessing and a curse. The development of desktop publishing software and the
proliferation of subsidy and print-on-demand publishers have opened the
floodgates in an industry already overflowing with books that few people read.More than
175,000 books were published by mainstream publishers last year, an increase
of 19 percent from 2002. The number of self-published books has soared from
5,000 in 1995 to more than 80,000 last year, according to BooksAmerica, a
nonprofit organization that monitors the self-publishing industry.Encouraged by
extremely rare success stories such as "What Color Is Your Parachute?" (1970) and
"The Celestine Prophecy" (1993) — and all the new companies that make it easy —
thousands of writers are taking the do-it-yourself route. Some 35 subsidy
presses and print-on-demand companies such as XLibris and iUniverse offer a
range of services from straight printing to copy editing, packaging and marketing
for fees ranging from $450 to $20,000.Quantity doesn't necessarily mean
quality, however. Many of these books are unlikely to appeal to the general reader,
and few ever become best sellers. But Cinderella stories such as that of E.
Lynn Harris and others keep hope alive for many writers who dream of hitting the
literary lottery.Harris is a New York Times best-selling author now, but a
dozen years ago the Atlanta writer's novel "Invisible Life" had been rejected by
numerous publishers. Frustrated, Harris paid a Nashville printer to publish
the book and began selling it out of the trunk of his car."I went to book fairs
and beauty parlors," Harris says, "and I had friends give book parties for
me. I ended up selling 10,000 copies, and in July of that year Doubleday offered
me a contract.""Invisible Life" eventually sold more than 500,000 copies, but
Harris cautions others not to expect similar results."One reason I was so
successful is I had a marketing background," he says. "I wasn't afraid to go out
and meet people. If you're a serious writer who can't find a publisher, I
would advise you to wait until the right editor comes along."Boon for 'street' lit
Self-publishing has undergone dramatic changes since then, says Reid."When E.
Lynn Harris started, that was a different era. Now they're using e-mails and
the Internet as well as the trunks of their cars. And they're coming to New
York editors with finished, well-designed books and documented sales
figures."Self-publishing has had the greatest impact on the number and types of
African-American books being produced, Reid says. There is a proliferation of "street
life" or "gangsta rap" novels that once were considered too raw or ungrammatical
for mainstream presses."In New York, they sell these books on the streets,"
Reid says. "I know many an editor at New York's big publishing houses who goes
from table to table to see what's selling."One of the most successful of the
new breed of self-published writers is Zane. Now a best-selling author with
Atria, she began by selling 80,000 copies of her graphically erotic books such as
"Gettin' Buck Wild" on her Web site.As self-publishing has gotten more
sophisticated, major publishers and literary agents have changed their attitudes
about these kinds of books and constantly browse the market for gems in the
rough.Teenage author Christopher Paolini and his parents had been hawking his
self-published fantasy novel "Eragon" in schools and grocery stores in Montana when
best-selling novelist Carl Hiaasen read a copy while on a fly-fishing trip.
Hiaasen recommended it to his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, who bought the rights
and made it a best seller.Diane Higgins, an editor at St. Martin's Press,
bought a biblical novel titled "Queenmaker" after reading about it in a New York
Times Book Review article about self-publishing. The fictional story of King
David's queen, by New York librarian India Edghill, went on to sell 50,000
copies, says Higgins, who was the editor for another best-selling biblical tale,
Anita Diamant's "The Red Tent."Higgins says she bought "Queenmaker" on the
basis of the quality of Edghill's writing. "Now I'm publishing her second novel,
'Wisdom's Daughter,' about the Queen of Sheba, and it's even better."Publishers
tend to look for self-published books that have already sold well regionally,
Higgins says. Other keys to getting noticed are having a reputable literary
agent and knowing who your target audience is."If writers send a query letter
with a summation of how many books they've sold and a brief but hard-hitting
marketing angle," she says, "some editors will look twice at self-published
books."Other times, being in the right place at the right time makes all the
difference.Going it aloneAtlanta writer Travis Hunter had no idea how the business
worked when he went to a seminar on self-publishing and scraped together
$4,000 to print 2,000 copies of his first novel, "The Hearts of Men," a story about
three generations of African-American males.Hunter had sold 6,000 copies of
the novel at jazz clubs and book parties when a friend told him about BookExpo,
a convention of booksellers and publishers being held in Chicago. After
loading up a sack of his books, Hunter roamed the aisles of the convention center,
handing out copies to anyone who would take them."A week later," Hunter says,
"I started getting calls from major publishers and signed a deal with Random
House."Other self-published authors have decided they would rather go it alone
and keep more of the profits for themselves. Bobbie Christensen, director of
BooksAmerica, a nonprofit organization of self-published writers in Sacramento,
says she makes about $100,000 a year from the seven books she's published,
including her personal best sellers, "Getting a Free Education" and "Building
Your Financial Portfolio on $25 a Month."Her advice to aspiring writers is to
avoid subsidy presses that charge hefty fees."You can find a printer who can do
a good job for $2 a book for 1,000 copies," she says. "If you sell it for
$14.95, that's a lot more profit than you would get in royalties from a publisher.
I would have had to sell four or five times as many books with a publisher to
make what I did on my own."Shirley Garrett of Carrollton went the same route
with "A Tap Water Girl in a Bottled Water World," a coming-of-age memoir that
won honorable mention in the Writer's Digest International Self-Published Book
Awards competition last year. (Some 2,000 writers entered the annual contest,
which has been around for 11 years and awards $10,000 in prizes.) Only one of
four previous winners notified the magazine about landing contracts with
mainstream publishers.Garrett, 53, a professional public speaker, spent $7,800 for
cover design and printing for 3,300 copies. She's already sold those, she
says, plus another 3,000 copies (at $14.95 each) at book parties and speaking
engagements.Garrett says she had an opportunity to sell her book to a national
publisher but refused to make the changes the editors stipulated."They wanted
more childhood trauma and less coming-of-age escapades," Garrett says. "They
were looking for a victim that became a hero. I see myself as neither."Garrett is
working on another book, which she also plans to self-publish.'Parallel unive
rse'Beyond the satisfied authors, some observers consider self-publishing an
expensive option for writers who simply want to see their name in
print."Self-publishing is a bad trend, and it exists because aspiring writers do not
respond correctly to rejection," says Jim Fisher, author of "Ten Percent of Nothing"
(Southern Illinois University Press, $27.50), an exposé of a literary
agent/self-publisher who was convicted of fraud. "Successful published writers are
successful because they corrected the things that got them rejected."With a few
exceptions, Fisher says, he doesn't think self-publishing is a vehicle to
commercial publication."It's not even the minor leagues," he says. "It's a
parallel universe."Writers who decide to go with a subsidy press may be required to
buy a certain number of copies at retail prices, Fisher warns.Vantage Press, a
subsidy publisher that has been in business since 1949, will print a minimum
of 500 books for $5,000. Editor Walter Kendall says Vantage publishes 300 to
400 books every year, but he can't remember any that became best sellers.Scarce
reviewsSelf-publishing a book is relatively easy compared with the next hurdle
of distribution and marketing.Some chain bookstores, such as Barnes & Noble,
and many independent booksellers include self-published authors among their
signing events, with most judging each book on its own merits.Philip Rafshoon,
owner of Outwrite Bookstore, an independent bookstore in Midtown that caters
primarily to Atlanta's gay community, considers self-published books an
important part of his business."We can be a catalyst for introducing new authors,"
says Rafshoon, pointing out that he booked Ruby Ann Boxcar for a signing when she
was relatively unknown. Now the self-published author of "Ruby Ann's Down
Home Trailer Park Cookbook" has been signed by a New York publisher.As for
getting reviewed in major publications, self-published authors can forget about it.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, like most daily newspapers, doesn't review
any books that are self-published or print-on-demand. (See accompanying
column.)The best chances of being reviewed lie with smaller newspapers — the author's
hometown weekly, for instance — or with specialty publications that focus on
specific genres such as science fiction, romance novels, military memoirs,
etc.Some national publications such as Foreword magazine and Library Journal
review self-published books, although they typically stipulate that books be
available either at local bookstores or through online retailers. Anonymous
reviewers also weigh in on self-published books on Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and
other Web sites. A new publication, Kirkus Discoveries, will provide reviews
for a $350 fee.Ron Charles, book editor at The Christian Science Monitor in
Boston, says reviewers at daily newspapers already are overwhelmed by the
175,000 books released annually by mainstream publishers."Cruel as the publishing
industry is, hard as it is to get published, it's still an effective way to sift
through the millions of manuscripts that are being pounded out every year,"
says Charles."Yes, every once in a blue moon, there's a 'Christmas Box'
or . . . some such self-published book that catches on and makes it big. But every
week somebody wins the lottery, too. That's no reason to invest your retirement
savings in Lotto tickets."
Post Number: 39
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Saturday, November 13, 2004 - 10:19 am: ||
Greetings Literacy Marketplace.
This might be pertinent information to some of you more than others. In any case, everyone will have to take this information the way they choose and in whichever way it might or might not affect them. Regardless, I feel it is my responsibility to let you know what is happening, partly because when I began, I came to you. Now that it is over, or on the brink of being over, I am also coming to you.
THIS INFORMATION IS SENT ONLY TO THOSE WHO HAVE WORKED WITH ME WHILE I WAS AT BLACK PRINT PUBLISHING.
I have been given legal permission from my attorney to now officially disclose and announce that I am no longer the EXECUTIVE EDITOR of BLACK PRINT PUBLISHING INC. I need for everyone to know that I DID NOT QUIT. I am willing, open and able and was willing to complete my five year contract that was signed with Black Print Publishing Inc. It is imperative that its known that I did NOT QUIT, I was FORCED to seek legal help to settle their discrepancy and it has resulted in my leaving the company. I am now in official legal arbitration and contract disputes involving my employment and my books that are distributed by Black Print Publishing. I cannot give advice or suggest anything to anyone. I can only discuss the facts of my personal situation.
I have learned a HARD lesson in trust, about Corporate America, publishing and distribution. Unfortunately, I will not come out of this unscathed. I am hurt, disappointed, disparaged, skeptical, and not as optimistic as my personality usually dictates. These lessons are both negative and positive. The negatives are what they are and I am and will be a better person for them. The positives are that I have gained invaluable experiences that I can take with me in any direction I choose and for that I am blessed.
This email is also an apology to all the AUTHORS, EDITORS, DESIGNERS, PRINTERS, PUBLICISTS AND AGENTS that have chosen to work with Black Print Publishing due to my naiveté. I cannot tell you how saddened I am, and I offer my heart felt apology.
I have lost a lot due to this situation. Hopefully at the end of all this legal mumbo jumbo I might come out with at least my books.
Post Number: 45
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Friday, March 25, 2005 - 10:42 am: ||
Sexy' library worker pursues discrimination case against Harvard By
Associated Press Monday, March 21, 2005 - Updated: 04:49 PM EST
BOSTON - Desiree Goodwin thought she had the perfect resume to succeed at Harvard, working in the largest academic library system in the world.
Goodwin had a master's degree in English literature, a second master's
in library science, seven years of experience working in the library of Boston College, and another nine years as an assistant librarian at Harvard.
But Goodwin found herself rejected each time she applied for a promotion at Harvard. She claims in a lawsuit that the Ivy League university has been discriminating against her because she's black and is perceived as merely a ``pretty girl'' whose attire is too ``sexy.''
As a jury was chosen Monday to decide her lawsuit, Goodwin said she
still does not understand why she has never been promoted at Harvard, despite her advanced degrees, positive job performance reviews and years of experience.
She said she's been rejected for 16 jobs at Harvard since 1999, when she completed her master's degree in library science after attending night classes at Simmons College for 4 years.
"I feel no matter how much education I achieved or how many contributions I made, there was nothing I could possibly do that would impress them so that they would open the door for me to allow me to advance,'' Goodwin said during a court recess Monday.
Goodwin said she also believes she was discriminated against because of her looks and the way she dressed.
She said she was shocked when, in late 2001, her supervisor told her she would never be promoted at Harvard. In court documents, Goodwin said her
supervisor told her she was ``a joke'' at the university's main library, where she``was seen merely as a pretty girl who wore sexy outfits, low cut blouses, and tight pants.''
She said after the conversation with her supervisor, she modified her appearance and wore more conservative clothing but she continued to be
turned down when she applied for better jobs at Harvard. Goodwin, now 40, says in her lawsuit that she has suffered emotional distress and lost
$150,000 in wages as a result of Harvard's failure to promote her since 1999.
Harvard denies that it has discriminated against Goodwin. University spokeswoman Joe Wrinn would not discuss the case Monday, citing the
impending trial. But in earlier interviews, Wrinn noted that Goodwin's case was dismissed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the
Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.
`This case is without merit,'' Wrinn said just after Goodwin filed her lawsuit in 2003.
``Gender and race were not factors.''
A jury of seven men and one woman was chosen to hear the case, with opening statements scheduled for Tuesday.
But at the encouragement of U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro, lawyers for both Goodwin and Harvard huddled in the court hallways Monday to discuss a possible settlement.
Neither side would comment on any settlement offers.
In court documents filed recently in support of her lawsuit, Goodwin cites controversial remarks made by Harvard President Lawrence Summers in
January, when he suggested at an academic conference that intrinsic differences in ability are a key reason why fewer women are in the applicant pool for jobs at the highest levels of science
Last week, in a symbolic vote, Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences approved a motion expressing a ``lack of confidence'' in Summers leadership.
Goodwin's lawyers subpoenaed Summers to testify in the lawsuit, but Harvard's lawyers were able to get the subpoena quashed, saying he had no direct knowledge of her career.
Post Number: 47
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 11:32 am: ||
Tony & Yvonne Rose, Publisher and Associate Publisher of
Amber Communications Group, Inc. are profiled in the
January/February 2006 – Seventh Anniversary Issue of
Black Issues Book Review, in an historic article titled:
“The Powers Behind Black Books – Large and In-Charge”
along with dozens of other African American book publishers, distributors,
booksellers, agents, entrepreneurs and conference organizers
January 2006 (National) – The BIBR editorial by Publisher and Editor-in-Chief William E. Cox begins: “Why Are These Unfamiliar Faces on the Cover of This, Our Seventh Anniversary and Annual Black History Month Issue? That’s what you may be wondering. If so, your question is valid.
The answer is that we at Black Issues Book Review believe that these individuals, and the dozens of others who are not on the list, but mentioned in our cover story (Page 20) are history-makers, and we salute them. While not nearly as visible as the authors, we bring you on the pages of each issue of our magazine, these publishing professionals, agents, entrepreneurs, conference organizers, book-sellers and distributors, who have tirelessly given the world – yes, check out the intercontinental reach of individuals like: Kassahun Checole – the gift of black books.
Black Issues Book Review extends our deepest gratitude to all of you! Without your excellent work over many decades, we would not have the rich reading culture we celebrate on this anniversary, and Black History Month would be far less concrete.”
We, at Amber Communications Group, Inc. congratulate and thank Black Issues Book Review for writing about our African American publishing industry for seven notable years; and we thank the publishers, editors, and staff of BIBR, along with Carolyn Hardnett Robinson for tirelessly, courageously and fearlessly putting together this historic and valuable article.
….Which leads us to mention something that we believe our African American communities-at-large and our total African American publishing industry, including: libraries and retailers, as well as the total corporate publishing industry as a whole - those who deal with our infrastructure of writers and publishing industry professionals - should do:
Ø Subscribe to Black Issues Book Review (you can subscribe on line now at WWW.BIBookreview.com;
Additionally, if you are an African American publishing industry professional – author, publisher, self-publisher – seeking out new resources for your business in 2006, these suggestions are strongly recommended:
Ø Become a member of the Black Caucus of American Library Association (BCALA). It is the oldest organized African American book industry organization in the nation. You can find out more about how to become a member at WWW.BCALA.ORG;
Ø Participate and exhibit with us in the African American Publishers’ Pavilion at Book Expo America. You will make enormous contacts and connections that will help your publishing endeavors. You can find out more information concerning the AAPP by emailing AMBERBK@AOL.COM;
And, of course, we look forward to your experiencing an Amber Communications Group, Inc. Book. Now, in our eighth year we thank you for your enthusiasm and support, and promise to continue bringing you self-help titles that will keep you informed and empowered.
Also in the January/February 2006 editorial, William E. Cox states, “We reported in our previous issue that Black Issues Book Review had joined with Amber Communications Group, Inc. and other African Americans in the book industry in a drive to send books to those displaced by the Gulf Coast Hurricane. That effort, now called the Katrina Literary Collective, has put more than 70,000 books into the hands of those who need them.
The organizers urge independent publishers, book clubs, authors, literary services, libraries, editors and major publishing houses to continue to donate books for the survivors. E-mail Tony Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org, Heather Covington at Disilgold@aol.com, or KaturaHudson@justusbooks.com for further information.”
Please go to www.disilgold.com for names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of receivers and transporters of donated books in various cities and states.
Finally, we want to thank the Katrina Literary Collective and all the Circle of Friends, who through their time, energy and finances donated and got these books to the Hurricane Katrina survivors. God bless all of you.
Further information, contact: AMBER COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, INC., 1334 East Chandler Boulevard, Suite 5-D67, Phoenix, AZ 85048; Phone: 480-460-1660 or 602-243-3144 / Fax: 480-283-0991 / E-mail: email@example.com or visit: WWW.AMBERBOOKS.COM
Post Number: 48
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Friday, January 13, 2006 - 11:35 am: ||
Truth Be Told: Tales of Life, Love, and Drama Travis
Hunter (Foreword) Michael T. Owens (Editor)
Truth Be Told is an anthology featuring some of
today's hottest Black male authors. Despite the
varying perspectives, these stories examine the
intricacies of relationships from single to married
life and everything in between, giving new meaning to
the phrase, "keepin' it real." These stories not only
keep it real, but they keep it sexy, exciting, fun,
and scorching hot! Bestselling author Travis Hunter
begins with a tell-it-like-it-is passage about the ups
and downs of relationships. The adventure continues
with Driving While Black, a story by award-winning
journalist and writer Robert Fleming about a man
forced to confront his doggish past. Michael T. Owens
contributes Ties That Blind, a story that looks into
the life of a man trapped in a love triangle with a
marriage-happy girlfriend, horny ex-girl friend, and a
possessive, alcoholic mother. In Dawn, Kenji Jasper
spins a tale of how decisions of a young couple affect
their relationship ten years later as husband and
wife. A struggling artist entertains thoughts of
mixing business with pleasure in The Harrisburg Tease
by Robert L. Anderson. In Sinfidelity, James W. Lewis
takes readers to Las Vegas where a married man
wrestles with the choices of fidelity and infidelity.
V. Anthony Rivers Last Remnants of a Good Situation
shows the consequences of a sweet love turning sour.
Nane Quartay's The Beautiful Ones is a day in the life
of a self-proclaimed porno star caught in an
underground world of sex and drugs. In For That Quiet
Time of the Day, Eric James Fullilove tells a tale of
an Account Executive's humorous exploits at a high
profile advertising agency. Told from a woman's point
of view, Edwardo Jackson's Postcards From Hell shows
the deterioration of a woman's emotional state during
the sudden absence of her boyfriend. Jonathan Luckett
pens The Object of His Obsession, a haunting
psychological tale of a married man's obsession with
his best friend's wife.
From sensual and steamy, to humorous and
thought-provoking, this collection has something for
everyone. Consider this a front row seat on a thrill
ride you won't forget!
ORDER FROM AMAZON:
An up and coming rapper discovers Los Angeles, the city of angels might very well be the city of devils in "A Dream Come True". http://www.getmynovel.com
Post Number: 50
Votes: 0 (Vote!)
|Posted on Thursday, July 06, 2006 - 12:06 pm: ||
Amber Communications Group, Inc. Licenses Three New Titles to Bookspan/DOUBLEDAY ENTERTAINMENT'S BLACK Expressions Book Club.
July 2006 – National - Amber Communications Group, Inc (ACGI), Phoenix, AZ recently completed licensing the worldwide book club rights to Black Expressions Book Club for two Colossus Books' celebrity bios by author Jake Brown and one Amber/Wiley title by author Deborah R. Lily with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Included in the agreement are: Kanye West In The Studio: Beats Down! Money Up! The Studio Years (2000 - 2006) Colossus Books (ISBN# 0-9767735-6-2) by Jake Brown; Suge Knight - The Rise, Fall, & Rise of Death Row Records: The Story of Marion 'Suge' Knight - A Hard -Hitting Study of One Man, One Company that Changed the Course of American Music Forever (Revised Edition) Colossus Books (ISBN# 0-9702224-7-5) by Jake Brown; and Wavy, Curly, Kinky: The African American Child's Hair Care Guide, Amber/Wiley Books (ISBN# 0-471-69534-3) by Deborah R. Lily.
The Colossus Books deal was negotiated by Tony Rose, Publisher/CEO, ACGI and the Amber/Wiley Books deal was negotiated by JWS with Carol M. Mackey, Editor-In-Chief of Black Expressions Book Club, the worlds largest African American Book Club.
Black Expressions Book Club's parent company, Doubleday Entertainment is the preeminent marketer of books and merchandise via direct mail and e-commerce in the U.S. A wholly owned subsidiary of BOOKSPAN, Doubleday Entertainment and it's predecessors (Book-of-the Month Club and Doubleday Book Club) have been recognized as leaders in the direct marketing business for over 70 years.
Carol M. Mackey has been the Editor-In-Chief of Black Expressions Book Club since 2001. Ms. Mackey, featured in the new title Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African American Women in Literature by Heather Covington, Amber Books (ISBN# 0-9767735-3-8) is noted as one of the leading experts on African American literature. Prior to joining BOOKSPAN, Carol worked at Newsday as a Project Manager and was a freelance writer for the New York Times and Essence Communications. She has a Bachelor's Degree from Adelphi University.
Other titles licensed to Black Expressions Book Club by ACGI include:
Beautiful Black Hair - Real Solutions to Real Problems (ISBN# 0-9702224-6-7) by Shamboosie; Is Modeling for You? The Handbook and Guide for the Young Aspiring Black Model (ISBN#: 0-9655064-0-1) by Yvonne Rose and Tony Rose; The African-American Woman's Guide to Successful Make-up and Skin Care (ISBN#0-9655064-2-8) by Alfred Fornay; The African American Writers Guide to Successful Self Publishing (ISBN# 0-9727519-7-1) by Takesha Powell; Langhorn and Mary: A Nineteenth Century American Love Story (ISBN# 0-9727519-0-4) by Priscilla Stone Sharp; Your Body’s Calling Me: The Life and Times of 'Robert' R. Kelly - Music, Love, Sex and Money (ISBN# 0-9727519-5-5) by Jake Brown; The Afro-Centric Bride, A Style Guide (ISBN# 0-9727519-1-2) by Therez Fleetwood; The African-American Woman's Guide to Successful Make-up and Skin Care (Revised Edition) (ISBN# 0-471-40278-8) by Alfred Fornay; The New Revised, Expanded Edition Of Pay Yourself First - The African American Guide to Financial Success and Security (ISBN# 0-471-15897-6) by Jesse B. Brown and Born Beautiful: The African-American Teenager's Complete Handbook and Beauty Guide (ISBN# 0-471-15897-8) by Alfred Fornay.
AMBER COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, INC. is the nation's largest African-American Publisher of self-help books and celebrity bios, with partnerships in the United States, South Africa, Europe, and Asia.
AMBER COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, INC.'s Publisher is the recipient of several awards, including: The Chicago Black Book Fair and Conference Independent Publisher/Press Award; The BlackBoard Bestseller's African-American Publisher of the Year Award; The American Library Association "Reluctant Reader Award", The Cape Verdean News "Millennium Award" for Excellence in Book Publishing and the 1st YOUnity and Disilgold Soul Magazine "Publisher of the Millennium" Award. The Co-Founder of the African American Pavilion at Book Expo America; "Founder/Coordinator" of the Community of Color Pavilion/The American Library Association Annual Conference and a Member of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
For further information or orders please contact ACGI: Toll Free: 1-866-566-3144, 602-243-3144 or 480-460-1660, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: WWW.AMBERBOOKS.COM