Lessons from a Book Signing

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.

Instagram

Book Models 🙂 lol

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 🙂 )

Cash App

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

aanndd we are off to a great start!

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.

She caught me before I left. Yayy!

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 signings HERE.

Don’t forget to preorder
Keep Yourself Full in 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.

Advertisements

Free BOOK IT Masterclass: “Turning your story into Print” | Oliver T. Reid

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.*

Link to purchase FREE ticket: >>>

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/book-it-master-class-turning-your-story-into-print-tickets-51720690979?

Date: Sat. 2/9/2019
Time: 11:00am-2:00pm
Thee Werk Place
1900 The Exchange Bldg 300A Ste. 345 Atlanta GA 30339


You’re welcome!

4th Quarterly Settlefree Mixer with Settle-Free Coach Tinzley Bradford

I’m so excited to be a sponsor and to perform at the 4th Quarterly Settlefree Mixer with the Settlefree Coach Tinzley Bradford. To live Settle-Free means not to settle for anything less than you deserve whether that’s in relationships, friendships, finances or business partnerships.

Tinzley’s message goes hand in hand with my philosophy of self-love and why it’s so important. Why is it that no one has ever taught us the importance of loving ourselves? No wonder we don’t know how to love others and settle for anything regardless of how it impacts our mental, spiritual, emotional and yes, financial health.

Get your tickets to this dynamic event today. There will be food, vendors, settle-free tips, poetry, and more. If you’re in Atlanta this is the event to be this fall!

Link below and I’ll see you there!

CLICK HERE

Black History Fun Fact Friday – The Atlanta Child Murders

If you’ve been paying attention, there is great fear surrounding Chicago and the Illinois suburban area. Young women and children are going missing and are being found murdered. The murders are graphic with some of the women being found with body parts missing and found in garages. The terrifying accounts have been reported in the West, South, and suburban parts of the city. While it is starting to be shown on the news in the city now, I am not sure if it has made international news (they aren’t showing it in Georgia. I had to hear it from my sisters and the internet.)

This has brought back thoughts of The Atlanta Child Murders. I thought I’d recap what this was for those of us who may not have known.

What became known as “The Atlanta Child Murders” happened in Atlanta between 1979 and 1981, when about 29 Black children, teens, and young adults were kidnapped and murdered. A majority of the killings shared common details. In 1979, for instance, Edward Hope Smith, also known as “Teddy”, and Alfred Evans, also known as “Q”, both aged 14 and from the same apartments, disappeared four days apart. Their bodies were both found on July 28 in a wooded area, Edward with a .22 caliber gunshot wound in his upper back. They were believed to be the first victims of the “Atlanta Child Killer”.

On September 4, the next victim, 14-year-old Milton Harvey, disappeared while on an errand to a bank for his mother. He was riding a yellow bike, which was found a week later in a remote area of Atlanta. His body was not recovered until November of 1979.

On October 21, 9-year-old Yusuf Bell went to the store. A witness said she saw Yusuf getting into a blue car before he disappeared. His body was found on November 8 in the abandoned E. P. Johnson elementary school by a school janitor who was looking for a place to use the bathroom. Bell’s body was found clothed in the brown cut-off shorts he was last seen wearing, with a piece of masking tape stuck to them. He had been hit over the head twice and the cause of death was strangulation. Police did not immediately link his disappearance to the previous killings.

On March 4, 1980, the first female victim, 12-year-old Angel Lenair, disappeared. She left her house around 4 pm, wearing a denim outfit, and was last seen at a friend’s house watching Sanford and Son. Lenair’s body was found six days later, in a wooded vacant lot along Campbellton Road, wearing the same clothes she had left home. A pair of white panties that did not belong to Lenair was stuffed in her mouth, and her hands were bound with an electrical cord. The cause of death was strangulation.

atlanta-child-murders-victims

I won’t go on as the accounts get more and more disturbing. The FBI joined the multi-agency investigation in 1980. The investigation was closed following the conviction of Wayne Bertram Williams for two of the murders in 1982. After the trial, law enforcement linked Williams to 20 more of the 29 murders. Not all of the missing children have been found and not all the murders were attributed to Williams. Some believe he was falsely accused.  Those days, it was hard to know what to believe. Tensions were high and rising with each body found. Hundreds of residents volunteered for a community watch program at schools, playgrounds, and shopping centers. Others took up baseball bats and patrolled the streets.

Children teased each other about getting caught by “The Snatcher” as the assumption was that it was just one killer but officials at the various local, state and federal agencies working the cases couldn’t agree.

In the wake of missing children and young people again, this time in Chicago, it’s imperative that we all be careful. These are dangerous times and it really doesn’t matter where you live. Be careful out there people and keep an attentive eye on your children.

Sources:

‘It’s terrifying’: Chicago community fears 4 missing females may be linked

https://www.myajc.com/news/crime–law/why-five-atlanta-child-murder-cases-are-still-unsolved/CdHuMiEvsBelz1TZDZy5oJ/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_murders_of_1979%E2%80%9381

Body found in garage identified as missing woman Shantieya Smith

http://allthatsinteresting.com/wayne-williams-atlanta-child-murders

The Revolution is Here

About.

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.).

REVOBUYNOW

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?

Universal Buy Link

REV

“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.”

Lisa W. Tetting

Universal Buy Link

“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.”

Nadine Tomlinson

Trailer

 

This Book is Now Available.

Universal Buy Link


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.

 

My Atlanta African American Book Festival Interview

I was interviewed by Atlanta’s African American Book Festival a couple months ago. Check out the feature at the link below! Also, for you Atlantians, be sure to register for the first inaugural AAABF festival this summer. “The Atlanta African American Book Festival is a great opportunity to showcase your work. Vending at the Atlanta African American Book Festival is an investment in your community, business, and personal brand.”

Click through to the INTERVIEW HERE.

ps. I was a little nervous so I made some mistakes. The Aftermath was not my first book, just my first novel. My first book was a collection of poetry. Also, the deer thing was weird but I didn’t know what to write at first lol. Reedsy also listed The PBS Blog among the Best Book Review Blogs for both 2017 and 2018 so far.

Two Weeks Before Book Launch

7339029_1449095221.9709_funddescription

I can’t believe its two weeks before launch day! Where did the time go? In just a short while, I’ll be wrapping up The Stella Trilogy with the release of the 3rd installment. I’m excited but I’ve been keeping things pretty chill. So here’s what’s going on.

Editing

I was excited to see that my editor sent me the copy of the final edit last week. There was a lot that needed to be changed and some things I just completely took out. I am so grateful for the revision process and the extra set of eyes. I think my ARC readers are going to really enjoy the revised edition.

Ebook Formatting

I have decided this time around to pay for professional eBook formatting! I don’t want my ebooks to keep looking like: who did it and why did they do it? So, while I have the basic understanding of how to format, I think its best to let someone more experienced handle it until I can perfect the skill. I am really excited about this change and should be getting the newly formatted manuscript back this week.

Print Book Proof

I am always very excited about my print book proofs! This is the final FINAL check where I get to read the book in its print book format for one final run through. I am expecting the mailman to deliver me the copy sometime this afternoon. Of course, I’ll do a FB blast when it arrives (that one part where I stand in front of a poster and hold the book up like I just made The New York Times Best Sellers List).

Photo Collage

I am thankful for all of the people who have submitted pictures so far for my Stella Photo Collage! Or at least the first one (I’m sure more pictures will be taken in ATL). I’m going to wait until a week before launch to put it together though. I want to wait until almost the last minute for the collage because I don’t want to miss including anyone’s picture.

Atlanta Event

Primarily, I’ve been focused on the Atlanta Stella Book Signing Event taking place in ATL the end of this month. It will be a combination of my Book release for Book #3 and a book signing for all of the books in the series. I am using these two weeks to finalize my Power Point Presentation and pick up the decor for the event. Which, interestingly enough, seems to be a lot bigger than anticipated. It wasn’t exactly an event per se at first but I actually have a staff now (special thank you to the six women who have come forward to assist me on the ground!) I am also going to be in a play the day following the signing which is keeping me busy. As we get closer to the date, we are rehearsing more. I am now in practice four nights a week. Speaking of which, I need to buy more coffee.

Future Works

The funny thing is that while I have this book coming out, I’ve been focused mostly on the next project. I’m reading so many books I can barely keep up and the research itself has been mind-blowing. I would tell you more about the project itself but its somewhat on the low right now. I will say it is another short story and I think Stella’s going to get a run for her money on this one! In the meantime, I am considering a Stella Book Tour to help keep me busy as I write this next story. What do you think? Would you like for me to visit your town?