Book reviews are, in my opinion, a double edged sword. It does not guarantee that people will buy your books but what it does is add value. When I go to purchase a book, if I had a desire to buy the book I’m going to purchase it anyway. I may scan the reviews yes, but whether or not I decide to buy depends on my initial thought processes before I even got to the authors page. If I’m still leery about purchasing I may depend more heavily on the review as opposed to if I already had my mind made up to buy.
Book reviews are interesting in that they validate that people are actually reading and discussing the book and I think this is what gives them their leverage. There are real life men and women who are interested in your work as an author and that adds a worth to them that becomes more important in the end than book sales. It’s a funny thing because book reviews do increase book sales to an extent (naturally) but they also turn out to serve a greater purpose. Book Reviews authenticate the author in many ways. One of these ways being that he or she have reached someone with their artistry. Its interesting because not everyone who reads a book will review it and that is why they are so special. Good reviews are like little compliments that help to encourage the author. Even if its just one person, the reviews help people to recognize the author as someone who is officially capable of using their skill set and talent to change lives.
In 2014, I tried my hand at writing a screenplay that reads like a movie script. I figured, OK well, since the writing moves like a movie in my head, why not? Of course, I would like to try my hand at all genres eventually. Anywho, July of this year will mark the 2 year anniversary of Pearls Before Swine so you can imagine my delight to log into Amazon and see this customer review for it! Of course this review was left some months ago but I had not seen it for some reason. Long story short, last thing I was looking for is a review from PBS. I wouldn’t say that I’ve forgotten about it, but I was pretty lazy in pushing it back then. Time truly flies and it just seems like I knew so little then in comparison to today in relation to book publishing. As I think about it, I think its because I wasn’t as into Book Reviews. I didn’t understand the value of them back then as I do today. But as I hold the book in my hands, I am still very proud of what the Designer did to the cover, and what the editor did to the interior. Shout out to Andre Hawkings of Kenosis Innovative Designs and Cynthia Brooks for hooking me up. Below is a screenshot of the surprise review. It truly made my day.
Alrighty then, let’s get started. Of course, those who know me, even slightly, know that I’m a “365 day a year black history frantic”, but I love black history month because its the time of year where black people’s minds are the most open and willing to be in tuned with back history and that, despite how small it may seem, is worth investing in. Yes, I am saying that you (black people) should invest in your people’s minds. If ever you can capture a moment where they are most in tuned, you should do so. Yayy.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
First up is Phillis Wheatley, first (recognized) black writer. AND (yes and) she was a poet. So, I don’t know, that’s like extra credit or something write? ( I can spell right, I just didn’t on purpose…duh). OK, my humor is not funny, which is why I’m not a comedian…on to Wheatley…
The First African American Writer
The first African American Writer is a statement I say lightly. I say it lightly because we do not know if she was the first. She is only recorded as the first because her work was published and that makes it legitimate in this society. So, as the first recorded black woman writer, Phillis was the first to make a name for herself while still under the bondage of slavery. Brought from Africa as a child and sold to a Boston merchant, Wheatley spoke no English initially (as didn’t many of her people) but by the time she was sixteen, under the tutorship of her owners, had mastered the language. Her interest in literature led her to write and publish Poems on Various Subjects in 1773.