I realize I’ve been a bit MIA lately. Not just on this blog but on social media in general. I have a lot that requires my full attention, which is professional work and personal work. I am in that transition place where I am learning to be patient with understanding what’s next for me, between that place of gratitude for what is but seeking continual growth.
In any event, I am still here, and I do want to try harder to check in with your blogs. I’ve fallen off in the blog world, and I really need to get back to it.
But I am still here. I am well, and I hope you are well too and continue to be so.
To catch up with me, please check out my latest interview in Shoutout Atlanta.
They reached out to me last month, and I enjoyed working with them for the second time.
Click on the link below to read in full, and be sure to share if you feel so inclined!
It’s time for another edition of “Lessons from a Book Signing.” If you have been following, I am coming off two book signings one week apart, and I always write something about what I learned from my signings. I am a believer that everything must teach me something. Everything I do or am a part of must serve a purpose; every relationship and every experience must have value.
You wouldn’t believe the number of times I was asked at both signings (especially at the mall) if I was on IG. This question told me that if you’re a writer, Instagram is one platform you want to be on right now (especially if you’re a black writer, a lot of black readers on the gram). What I loved about both signings is that I gained something even if people didn’t buy a book. Those who didn’t purchase stood by my table and looked up my IG handle and followed me. Not once did someone ask me if I was on Facebook. Facebook is still an excellent platform, don’t misunderstand me, it just didn’t come up much except among the older crowd of authors at the Festival who wasn’t on Instagram. All I know is, I won’t be ignoring this real-time data. If IG is where readers are, that is where I want to be. (Follow me @yecheilyah 🙂 )
Ladies and gents, brothers and sisters, I believe we have hit a technology shift in the way people do business. I have a card reader, but I didn’t have to use it, and I rarely had to give change. Instead, money passed through the air through Cash App. If you’ve been living under a rock, Financial apps like Cash App and Zelle allow people to connect their bank account to an app and send and receive money in an instant. No swiping and no chips. Many businesses are using these apps as currency. “You got Cash App?” was a constant question, and I am wondering how much longer I will need to carry my card reader (I didn’t use it at all). Are you hosting an author/business event? Consider having a Zelle or Cash App account just in case!
Keep Working: The right people are watching
I posted to my SM early Saturday morning stating that a young woman approached me at the venue to meet me. I was setting my table, and someone tapped my shoulder. She said she follows me on SM and wanted to come over and meet me. We hugged, chatted, and took a pic for the gram. She also gifted me a copy of her book. It was an exciting start to the day and caught me by surprise. But even more surprising, this kept happening!
I didn’t post every occasion to SM, but this kept happening throughout the night. Other young women came up to me and said they came to the event because of me, that my face popped up first in Google, and that they had been to my author website.
Even as I was packing up to leave someone ran up to me and bought a copy of I am Soul. She was so excited to have caught me before I was gone. Another young woman went further. She said that she had messaged me through Facebook (which I saw last week but went back to look, and it was gone so I forgot about it), because she wanted me to headline an event next month featuring Renaissance. (I will talk more about this later and how you can support it.)
Stuff like this happened to me all night, and filled me with gratitude. I don’t look for outside validation or anything like that, but I would be lying if I said it didn’t feel good to be appreciated.
Your book is always new to the people who have never read it
There is a widespread belief that I am Soul(which I just noticed spiked again and is #28 on Amazon’s Best Seller’s List) is a new book, but it’s going on almost two years now since its release in December of 2017. My Stella series has been out since 2016 and Renaissance just passed its two-year mark 7/15. The only new new book is my short story series; Even Salt Looks Like Sugar.
I did not order enough books to cover both my signings. After I sold my copies of, I am Soul at Greenbriar Mall I had to leave an additional four copies with Nia to restock on the shelf, leaving me with only four copies of I am Soul. I also only had two copies of Renaissance, so I put in an order for more of these books. But they told me my books wouldn’t arrive until July 23-24th.
I. Was. Livid.
The Festival was on the 20th; I didn’t need them after the fact. (insert eye-ball roll)
After getting out of my feelings, I stepped back and looked at my inventory. I grabbed the four Soul, two Renaissance, five copies of Beyond the Colored Line, and five copies of The Road to Freedom. These are books two and three of The Stella Trilogy series, but they can also be read as standalone novellas. I also grabbed a handful of Even Salt Looks Like Sugar (which I had plenty of).
To make a long story short, Stella showed out! Beyond the Colored Line sold more than I am Soul. It surprised me because Stella didn’t do very well at last year’s Festival and I intended on leaving it out of this one. Renaissance did sell out as I predicted it would (I only had two copies) but bringing some of my backlist books helped carry me. I guess Stella said shoo, don’t forget about me! (This mix also gave Renaissance, and I am Soul value being they were in limited supply. One reader was excited to have grabbed up the last copy.)
And as for those extra books I bought that will be arriving this week? They will go toward my reading event next month which will save me money.
Lights, Camera, Action
Be ready to talk about your book on the spot, just in case someone sticks a mic and a camera in your face! This is what I walked into returning from the bathroom. The ladies were hilarious and we talked for a good while.
Be sure to check out the photos of both signingsHERE.
Don’t forget to preorder Keep Yourself Fullin ebook. >Free with Kindle Unlimited< *It is #126 in Personal Transformation and Spirituality. Help me make it #1 by preordering today! *
The Poetry Contest is ending! Get involved before August 1st!
CLICK HERE for the original post with all the important information on rules, guidelines, and prizes.
Writers! Got something good for you. A friend of mine, Oliver T. Reid and his publisher Mr. Kelly Cole, both Bestselling Authors, are hosting a FREE Masterclass for those of you in the Atlanta area. I met Reid last year at the 4th Quarterly Mixer event hosted by Tinzley Bradford. Guys, the man knows his stuff, just wait until you hear him speak. You don’t want to miss this. I hear new and aspiring authors talk about the high cost of publishing all the time. Truth is, there are tons of free opportunities out there. Reach out and take them! Take advantage of the free resources that are available. This is one of them. If you are in the area, come on out.
Details: *Don’t mind the price on the flyer. This event is FREE as of this moment. Act now.*
When Nora White is drugged by her friend she is forced to deal with the harsh reality of life in the North. She meets Keisha and the women catch a ride to The Den, a gambling and numbers hole-in-the-wall in Jacobsville New York. Unlike the upper echelon of Harlem, Nora’s new friends are hustlers but down to Earth and feels more like family. They take her to Liberty Hall where she is introduced to Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.).
Meanwhile, Nora has no idea her father has been arrested and back home Molly is hanging on by a thread. When the community discovers the truth of the alleged crime they devise a way to get Gideon out of jail but their actions could mean life or death for everyone involved. Will Nora come to her senses and return home in time to help the family or will her naiveté lead her astray once again?
“I found myself enthralled with this story. The way the author blends the actual events of the past with her fictitious interpretation is compelling. The visual depictions of the surrounding had me inside the room when Nora was waking from one of her spells. I could smell the open air of the South and feel the breeze on my face at the lake. I had the feeling that if I took a step, I would enter into the realm of Nora and her friends as they prepared for the huge Marcus Garvey event at The Garden.”
“The author uses each scene to push the story forward so that it doesn’t lag. The pacing is so good that I was eager to know what would happen next. The cast of characters is large, but the author has already proven her skill at balancing multiple arcs and POVs. Like Book 1, Revolution is also well-researched. The author weaves history with her fictionalized narrative seamlessly. The scenes with Marcus Garvey delighted me (I’m Jamaican). I always keep an eye out for a connection between the title of a book and the heart of a story, and found it both in the Garvey sketches and in particular events that unfolded in the South.”
If you’d like to grab a copy of this book in person and you’re in the Atlanta-Land area this summer, I’ll be at the Atlanta African American Book Festival at Georgia State University on July 14th from 10 am to 5pm Eastern Standard Time. I’ll have copies of Renaissance and Revolution available. This is your chance to hang out with me in person and grab these babies in paperback. To check out my AAA interview, click here.