A New Generation of African-American-Owned Bookstores

After a steep decline, the number of black-owned independent bookstores is growing.


Mahogany Books opens in Washington D.C.

When Troy Johnson began tracking the number of black-owned bookstores in the U.S. in 1999, there were more than 325. By 2014, that number had dwindled to 54, a decline of 83%.

“They were closing left and right, and the major ones were struggling,” said Johnson, who runs the African American Literature Book Club, an online book database. Today, Johnson estimates, there are at least 108 black-owned independent stores, a number of which have opened in the past six months, marking a substantial reversal. “Last year was the first year I added more stores to the list than I took away,” he noted.

The surge in black-owned indie bookstores is notable at a time when both bookselling and publishing are wrestling with issues of workforce diversity.

Read through to the ORIGINAL article HERE.

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Author Spotlight: Yecheilyah’s 2nd Annual Poetry Contest Sponsor: Dr. K.E. Garland

Today we are introducing and spotlighting Dr. K.E. Garland, poetry contest sponsor! You may remember Kathy from her excellent Introduction Interview on this blog HERE. Well, she’s back and has a lot of exciting things going on! Join me as we catch up.

Dr. K.E. Garland

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Katherin Garland was born and raised on Chicago’s west side. She has spent much of her adult life teaching secondary and post-secondary classes in Florida. Kathy is an amazing writer and First Place Royal Palms Literary Award-winning writer for Creative Nonfiction. Her work has been featured in the South Florida Times, Talking Soup and For Harriet. The Unhappy Wife is an anthology of 12 fictionalized stories of real women’s marriages. Her first book, Kwoted includes 100 original and inspirational quotes focused on living a conscious life. She typically writes in order to inspire social change. Other examples of her work can be found on her personal blog.

Kwoted

The quotes encompassed in this book are the result of advice and mantras that the author lives by and offers to those around her. Through this book of quotes, she hopes to broaden the range of encouragement and support for any person who seeks to live consciously, activate dreams and participate in relationships with their whole hearts.

Support Kwoted Here

The Unhappy Wife

You may remember The Unhappy Wife from my five-star review earlier this year (check it out HERE).

Twelve women share one thing in common – the quest for being happily married to the men they chose; however, each one finds herself in an unexpected marital predicament. Inspired by real events and told from each woman’s perspective, these short stories are firsthand accounts detailing the realities of marriage well after each woman said, “I do.”

Four women represent The Voiceless Wife. Although circumstances vary, these women give their power away to friends and family. The result is a loss of intuition and self. The Detached Wife symbolizes five different ways wives can be disconnected from their husbands and themselves. Sex, intimacy and self-discovery are central to understanding these women’s narratives. The Committed Wife includes three women who demonstrate the depths of devotion. These final stories show that wives sometimes need more than loyalty to be happy.

Also included is an afterword by Dating and Relationship Coach and Instructor, and founder of Relationship Architect Academy, Anita Charlot. She gives valuable insights as to how and why some women become “unhappy” wives and what we as women can do to maintain healthier relationships.

Support The Unhappy Wife Here.

Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships

I am “uber” excited for this one! Daddy is Kathy’s latest anthology and is currently available for preorder. She is also doing a special feature of the writers who contributed to this piece on her blog.

A father’s presence is important in a daughter’s life. He is the first man a little girl sees and knows. He demonstrates how men relate to women. But what happens when the father-daughter relationship is dysfunctional? Daddy answers that question.

Included are fourteen memoirs that describe the impact a failed father-daughter relationship can have. These women share essays and narratives that detail various stages of breakdown. Whether an event occurred in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, each story explains how their father’s physical, emotional, or psychological abandonment has affected them.

The book is separated into two parts. Part I shows the proverbial truth in the phrase, hurt people hurt people. While some stories confirm why or how men mistreat their daughters, others show how daughters sometimes internalize neglect and continue the cycle either with the relationship they have with themselves, or others. Part II illustrates how compassion can lead towards a path of inner peace and happiness, no matter the state of the relationship.

PreOrder Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships Here

Kathy’s NOT done! She is currently a sponsor of my 2nd Annual Poetry Contest and has generously donated six books! Six ya’ll. This means you have a chance to win a copy of both The Unhappy Wife and Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships when you support this contest. Details of how to enter are coming soon. In the meantime, stay tuned for more Author Spotlights for this year’s contest and be sure to go support Kathy’s work! You won’t be disappointed.

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The Secret Behind Disappearing Amazon Reviews? | Tina Reber

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I came across this article a few months back but I want to share it now because, for the first time in my career, I have noticed that one of my reviews on Amazon (for Renaissance) is missing. Because of how hard it is to get reviews, this is obviously disheartening. I have never bought a review or forced anyone to leave a review and none of my reviews are from family members and the like. To my knowledge, I have followed all of Amazon’s rules for book reviews so to have one missing is weird to me. I have set a personal goal (that I haven’t mentioned before except for now) of reaching at least 20 Amazon reviews for Renaissance before releasing book two. I was at 19 and now I am at 18. My only hope is that those who bought books at the signing will also leave reviews. Just in case, I have disconnected my blog feed on Amazon. My Goodreads page is also not connected to Amazon. Check out the article below for more tips on how to decrease the chances of your reviews being removed.

Yesterday, Love Unscripted had 1145 reviews.

Today, Love Unscripted had 1144 reviews.

This is not the first time reviews have disappeared. Several weeks ago, the number of reviews on all my novels were much higher.

And then, overnight, something mysterious happened. Poof, about 75 reviews disappeared into the nether.

So what’s causing some reviews to disappear while others remain untouched?

Keep reading by visiting the ORIGINAL article HERE.

Special Announcement

Good day loves,

I’d just like a few minutes of your time. I am hosting two live events for those of you in or around GA:

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I am hosting a Double Book Signing and Community Meet and Greet Event on Friday, March 30, 2018 and I would love your support, those of you who can make it. Featured books will be Renaissance, I am Soul and The Stella Trilogy. If you don’t have these in paperback now is a good time to get them! (There will be limited copies of each so being on time is important.)

First Signing:
Nubian Bookstore
1540 Southlake Pkwy, Suite 7A
Morrow, GA 30062
12:00 – 2:00p EST

Second Signing:
The I-Lounge
2000 E Lake Pkwy
Marietta, GA 30062
3:00 – 6:00p EST

(includes light refreshments)

PLEASE NOTE: If you plan on coming to town anytime before Friday, 3/30, please let me know ASAP so that we can accommodate you. Also if you’re in ATL and you would like physical copies of the flyer I’ll be at the bookstore this weekend to drop some off.

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – The Unhappy Wife by Dr. KE Garland

Title: The Unhappy Wife

Author: Dr. K.E. Garland

Print Length: 83 pages

Publisher: Katherin Garland

Publication Date: October 17, 2016

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ASIN: B01J96KOCE

Been a minute since I’ve written a new review but I got a good one for you today.

I am not an Unhappy Wife but this book is a must-read for ANY woman as it contains information that is useful for us all. A short read, The Unhappy Wife is a compilation of the testimony of twelve women and their marriages; the things they expected and the reality they didn’t. This book shows us that marriage is work and that it doesn’t really matter how ready you think you are. Let me give an example of what I mean.

I am a bible believer. This includes the belief in law and order. I believe that men are the head of their households (1 Co 11:3) and that wives are to submit to that authority (Eph 5:22). I believe that women are to support their husbands and that husbands are to love their wives (Eph 5:25). What I don’t believe in is abuse and I dislike when authority and submission have been abused, taken advantage of and scripture twisted in support of abuse of any kind. I cringe when submission is blamed for abuse and I cringe when men abuse their authority.

I say all of this to say that The Unhappy Wife is a reminder that marriage is work no matter how you look at it. You can be deeply in love, know your role, all of this and something can still go wrong. That is because marriage is a constant commitment. Two people becoming one is not easy no matter how long you’ve been together. You will both come with your own baggage of some kind. The question is how heavy is that baggage? Sometimes it’s too heavy for you both to carry. Maybe someone doesn’t love themselves as much as they thought they did or someone is being abused. In either case the relationship suffers.

The Unhappy Wife is the perfect guide for women in relationships period and a good warning for married couples in general. What I learned most from the women’s stories is that marriages do not fall apart all at once but that it happens little by little so we have to pay attention to the signs, not rush into things, communicate, and not ignore the red flags.

Favorite Quote:

“Marriage is a sacred commitment. You can never fully prepare yourself for marriage but what you can do is work on yourself, your choices in men and a good understanding of what will feed your heart before entering into nuptials.”

Entertainment Factor: 5/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 5/5

Overall: 5/5

The Unhappy Wife is Available Now on Amazon

The Unhappy Wife

 

Be Sure to follow KE online!

Twitter: kegarland

Instagram: kegarland

Facebook: kegarlandwriter

Author Website: kegarland.com

My Independent Bookstore Journey – The Purpose Beneath the Surface

Me at the MLK Historical National Park Bookstore, next door to the MLK Birth Home, Atlanta, GA

As you all know, I have been spending less time on social media and more time getting out into the community and networking with local Independent bookstores. I am doing this as part of my goal to try things out for myself and to be a witness to the experience so I know what works and what does not work. I am calling it My Bookstore Journey. Currently, I am working with three stores at the moment in the Atlanta-land area with one that has already stocked me on the shelves. I thought I’d share a little bit about why I am doing this. I am also using this as an excuse to update this blog (lol).

My Bookstore Journey is not just about getting into stores. In fact, I do not desire to get into every store. My Bookstore Journey is about learning more about this returns-based industry, how to negotiate, set discounts and experience all of this on my own. I don’t just want to read about it any longer, I want to experience it. In this way, I can help others and offer insight based on hands-on experience. There is a lot being said about Independent Publishing that is just not true (one of them being that Self-Publishers can’t get into bookstores…I’ve already proven this to be false.)

I’ve been spending less time online because 2018, for me, is about stepping outside of my comfort zone (selling my books online) and getting out to talk with people face to face. As an extremely shy person, this is a big step for me. I’d much rather stay at home and speak to you this way. (Am I the only person who thinks she writes better than she speaks?)

This is a journey of learning and discovering so not every place will be for me. (As the saying goes: “Never drink from every cup handed to you, that’s how you get poisoned..”) That said, here’s the latest update on my Bookstore Journey:

Atlanta has been cold but this weekend was a beautiful one so I took advantage of it. The bookstore at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site is currently reviewing my latest poetry release I am Soul. The store is next door to the MLK birth home and if they like my book we will see about getting it on the shelves if everything is everything. If I decide to go through with it, this will be a major milestone as the historical area brings major traffic, tourists, and city officials.

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” – Matt. 7:7-8


Yecheilyah is an author, blogger and poet. Be sure to pick up your copy of I am Soul, her latest collection of poetry on Amazon.

New Author Tip

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Blogging has greatly impacted my writing life. The knowledge and wisdom from my fellow bloggers is amazing. I love that we build each other up and alert one another to things that may seem fishy in the publishing industry. I love that we promote each other and help advance the other’s writing life. That said, my tip for new authors is this:

This is just a suggestion, but if you are about to publish for the first time and you’ve never published a book before (and people don’t know you as a writer, maybe as other things but not as a writer) consider starting a blog at least 6 months to a year of publishing your first book. Spend that time talking about your passions, networking with other writers, readers and getting a feel for the online community. Don’t just talk about your work, talk about yourself. Post funny pictures, inspiring quotes, short story excerpts, articles and anything that appeals to your target audience and that (most of all) showcases your personality. Let people get to know you better while also getting to know the writer you. Then, when you’re ready to publish your book, you have a platform and people who are interested outside of your immediate circle.

This tip is only for those who are close to publishing. If you are still writing your book, I would say to focus on that for now. If you are publishing soon however, you may want to try blogging to test the waters. It’s a better platform for networking (in my opinion) than Facebook and Twitter.