Saturday, January 30, 2010

Weekend Chatterbox: Does Amazon own Your Publisher?

If you've been hanging around Amazon much, then you noticed some weird things happen after Steve Jobs announced the iPad, particularly the iBook feature in it. Some St. Martins Press books and their sisters and brothers living in the Macmillan house have disappeared from Amazon. According to The New York Times they didn't just disappear they were yanked. Apparently Amazon is standing firm on its point to keep e-books under $10. The i-books are around $12-15. As a reader I admit I like the reduced price, but I am concerned that the selections on the Kindle would be reduced. Moreover, I'm a huge fan of Farrar and St. Martin's Press, so now Amazon is pushing me toward the iPad. Not coll.
As an author I'm also concerned. Ooh the conundrum. Most publisher's pay a small royalty percentage to authors for e-books. Don't know if there will be addendums made to contracts for i-book sales. If not, then it doesn't matter what price is set, the author gets the slim pickings. But what it does set forth is a problem for authors on the part of distribution. Since online book sales continue to increase, and we know Amazon is one of the top reasons why, then if our books become ghost over there, how large of a chunk will that suspension take out of our sales? An even larger question--one I open up to the community--what does that mean for the publishing industry? Are they owned by Amazon? If so, then the ramifications about the future of publishing,especially whether authors would benefit from being independent over being published by a major publishing house matter anymore? Can we make money writing stories anymore? If you discuss over Twitter or Facebook, please use the #iYank hashtag

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Friday, January 29, 2010

Dinner & a Movie Night: Carleen Brice's Sins of the Mother the Movie

Our dear author friend Carleen Brice's novel Orange, Mint & Honey will air on Lifetime TV Febrary 21, 2009 as "Sins of the Mother." The movie will star: Jill Scott(Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married)  If you haven't read the book, this is a great time to before the movie. Or a host a bookclub/movie night to watch the movie.

Hmmm...maybe I should do that for my birthday. If you live in Atlanta and would love to view the movie with me, let's make it happen. We can do it nationwide at our girlfriend's and Mama Nem's house. Online Facebook and Twitter. Wachoothink? Whatweeatin? Don't forget to bring your book. You can purchase it online here.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

iThink Thursday: iBookstore vs Amazon

This morning my newstream buzz is all the Twitter over Apple's Steve Jobs announcement of iPad yesterday. Below are the most interesting thoughts, all regarding e-book pricing and ending Amazon domination.
  1. Flavorwire's 5 Ways the Applie iPad Could Change e-books...
    if Amazon ends up as the primary distributor and sets the prices for ebooks — well, that leaves publishers pretty scared they’ll be cut out... But — for now — it looks like the iBook store may allow publishers more say in setting the prices of ebooks. Which puts Amazon’s marketshare squarely in Apple’s sights.
    This is a huge concern for authors. Not predicting the future, but let's be real eventually ebooks/ibooks will begin to profit, but will authors?
  2. Washington Post's "Think iBooks Looks Familiar? You're Not The Only One"...Was the iBook interface copied from Delicious Library. Delicious Monster Founder Will Shipley says, "yes."This story interested me most. I don't understand why there wasn't a nod to Delicious Monster like there was to Amazon.
  3. Economist's Steve Jobs & the Table of Hope... The funniest title by far
  4. Mashable's 4 Reason's the Kindle is Dead, 4 Reasons It's Not.
    "In fact, because the iPad can run any iPhone app with no modification, that means even the Kindle for iPhone() app will run on the iPad, giving iPad users instant access to Amazon’s library of Kindle-formatted books."

Please discuss here or on Twitter. Use hashtag #iThink.
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Photo credit Engadget

Wildcard: Yolanda Adams Points of Power

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

FaithWords (January 5, 2010)
***Special thanks to Valerie M. Russo of Hachette Book Group for sending me a review copy.***


Yolanda Adams is listed among the artists who have achieved the greatest critical and commercial success in blending R&B styles with gospel music. She has released twelve albums, two of which were certified platinum, one gold, and has won over twenty awards for her music. She currently hosts The Yolanda Adams Morning Show and makes her home in Houston. You can find out more about Yolanda at

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $19.99
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: FaithWords (January 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446545783
ISBN-13: 978-0446545785


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

4 Question for the iBook from an Author's POV

photo credit Engadget

So iBooks again, a great reader, a great online bookstore. All in one really great app. We use the ePub format. We're very excited about this."

Just a few minutes ago Steve Jobs revealed the iBook feature in his new iPad. it has a built in ibookstore, e-reader format, you can change the font of the text. Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Hachett & McMillan already have an agreement with them. I'm sure other publishers will soon follow.

My review: So far I believe Selah would need this. Most of her school books are online. I could see her doing school reports on this. It's very light. i like the prepaid/no contract deal with AT & T for mobile. But I have a Sprint 4g hub in the house, so we're covered. Thank you Jesus.

Priced starting at $499. Awesome.

What do you think?
  1. Will netbooks be a thing of the past?
  2. Will thie iBook save publishing?
  3. And how much will authors make from iBook downloads?

Wednesday Readup: Is it a Beautiful Day for an Apple?

photo credit BusinessWeek
Today is the day that Steve Jobs will reveal his iSlate/Apple Tablet/name in question device that has been rumored to rival all e-readers.

On CNBC yesterday  McGraw-Hill Chairman and CEO Terry McGraw:
Yeah, very exciting. Yes, they'll[Apple] make their announcement tomorrow on this one. We have worked with Apple for quite a while, and the tablet is going to be based on the iPhone operating system, and so it will be transferable.

So what you are going to be able to do now is, we have a consortium of e-books. And we have 95 percent of all our materials that are in e-book format on that one. So now, with the tablet, you're going to open up the higher-education market, the professional market. The tablet is going to be just really terrific.
What makes this device better than what's out and what's still being shipped out there? You'll have to wait until 10 a.m. PST today to find out.

Who will be watching today with me? My chief concern is what will this devise do for digital media? Will it save print publications, publishing? If 44% of Google Readers aren't reading past the links, does that mean we are living in a time of Informaion Overload or growing Adult Illiteracy...wachoothink? Respond here or on Twitter. Use Hashtag #applez

On an off-topic note Ron Marshall has resigned as CEO of Borders Group, Inc. Could Border's drop in holiday sales be the cause of his departure?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Today's Trailer Park Tuesday is my buddy, Nicole Seitz brilliant novel Saving Cicadas (December 2009.)

From Publisher's Weekly

This beguiling, inspirational family-first tale from Lowcountry native Seitz (A Hundred Years of Happiness) follows the revelatory and haunting journey of a single mother from South Carolina who discovers she's pregnant and needs to clear her head to plan her next step. Priscilla Lynn Macy quits her job and hits the road with her daughters, Rainey Dae, 17, who has Down syndrome, and Janie Doe, her precocious eight-year-old. Grandma Mona's in the backseat with her husband, Poppy Grayson. Janie's and Grandma Mona's perspectives on Priscilla's situation invigorate Seitz's folksy prose as Priscilla looks for Harlan Bradfield, Janie's dad, who took off one day on his motorcycle. The tribe ends up at the Macy ancestral home in Forest Pines, S.C., where Priscilla reconnects with her half-brother, Pastor Fritz Rosier, who helps her make peace with past mistakes and to decide about the future. Seitz has a gift for creating wonderful characters, especially the young girls, and while she's strident in her antiabortion stance, this tale's spooky sweet dénouement includes a magical twist about spirited little Janie that's marvelously memorable. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 25, 2010

DeeChat with Rhonda McKnight on First Love & Faith

Rhonda McKnight
I receive many emails from aspiring writers and published ones about assistance and support, particularly about finding critique partners and good writer's groups. God is very good to me, because He gave me what I believe is the best Write-or-Die chicks in the land. These ladies have prayed, championed, tough loved and pushed me to be who I am. So I am honored to chop it up with my friend Rhonda McKnight, who I have dubbed the Book Club Queen. Since Valentine's Day, American Heart Month and my birthday are just around the corner she was the perfect choice for my first author interview of the decade.

Continue reading "DeeChat with Rhonda McKnight on First Love & Faith" »

Sunday, January 24, 2010

seeking spring 2010 red carpet events news, entertainment prs & publicists to be featured, swag requests & celeb news for Media Candy Radio
Good Morning.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wildcard: Byron Pitt's Step Out on Nothing

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

St. Martin's Press (September 29, 2009)


BYRON PITTS was named a contributor to 60 Minutes and chief national correspondent for CBS News in Jan. 2009. Pitts was one of CBS News' lead reporters during the 9/11 attacks and won a national Emmy award for his coverage. As an embedded reporter covering the Iraq War, he was recognized for his work under fire within minutes of the fall of the Saddam statue. Other major stories covered by Pitts include the Chicago train wreck in 1999, for which he received a national Emmy Award, Hurricane Katrina, the war in Afghanistan, the military buildup in Kuwait, the Elian Gonzalez story, the Florida Presidential recount, and the refugee crisis in Kosovo. He garnered recognition as NABJ Journalist of the Year Award in 2002 for his coverage of the 9/11 attacks. He is also the recipient of four Associated Press Awards and six regional Emmy Awards. Pitts graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a B.A. in journalism and speech communication. He lives with his wife in Montclair, N.J.

Visit the author's Facebook Fan Page.

Product Details:

List Price: $24.99
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (September 29, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312577664
ISBN-13: 978-0312577667


New York City

“In five, four, three, two . . .” This wasn't the first time a floor director had ever counted me down, but it was the first time I ever choked back tears. It was August 25, 2006, my first on-camera studio open for the CBS News broadcast 60 Minutes. Moments earlier I'd been in makeup with famed artist Riccie Johnson. She'd done up the likes of Mike Wallace, Harry Reasoner, Morley Safer, Dan Rather, Ed Bradley, Lesley Stahl, Steve Kroft, and every other big-name correspondent who ever worked for 60 Minutes. And the Beatles. And now she was putting powder on me.

Executive Producer Jeff Fager poked his head in the dressing room, "Good luck, Brotha! You've come a long way to get here. You've earned it." I think Jeff was talking about my ten years of covering hurricanes, tornadoes, politics, the September 11 disaster, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and every other sort of story for CBS News during those years.

If he only knew. My mind flashed back to elementary school, when a therapist had informed my mother, "I'm sorry, Mrs. Pitts, your son is functionally illiterate. He cannot read."

Months earlier, another so-called expert had suggested I was mentally retarded. Perhaps there was a "special needs" program right for me. Here I was some three decades later sitting in the "special" chair of the most revered show in the history of broadcast news. Musicians dream of playing Carnegie Hall, astronauts work a lifetime to take their first mission in space, and every broadcast journalist worth his or her salt dreams of 60 Minutes.

Engineers generally keep television studios icy cold to prevent the equipment from overheating. The 60 Minutes studio is no different. But in this age of high-tech sets with massive video walls and graphic trickery, Studio 33, where 60 Minutes is taped, looks more like a throwback. You can almost smell the cigar smoke from decades past. Black-covered walls. Bright lights hanging from the ceiling. There’s one camera and one chair. As a correspondent, you sit in the chair, cross your legs, look into the camera, and tell a story.

"Take two. In three, two, one!"

Seven takes later I finally recorded one that everybody liked. It took a while—not so much to settle my nerves as to get everyone settled in that one chair. Sitting with me were my mother, Clarice Pitts; my grandmother, Roberta MaeWalden; my sister, Saundra; and my brother, Mac. We had made the journey as a family, with the help of a few friends and even a few strangers.

What an overwhelming feeling it was and the symbolism was not lost on me.

That afternoon, to all who could see, I was seated alone. But I knew better. Some thirty-seven years before I would ever hear the phrase "Step Out on Nothing," God was writing those words to cover my life. How many times has each of us been in a difficult place and thought we were alone? Standing on nothing. Perhaps it is only in the empty space of those moments we can truly feel God's breath at our necks. His hands beneath our feet. Step out on nothing? Yes. Step out on faith.

So where did I get the title for this book? Step Out on Nothing. What does it mean and how does it fit into my life? Most important, how do you find the courage to try it?

I first heard those fateful words on a Sunday in March of 2007, Women's Day at St. Paul Baptist Church in Montclair, New Jersey. My wife was excited. She'd helped with the weekend program. Me, not so much. As usual I was running late for service and she was getting annoyed. We arrived at church in time. The place was packed. Women all dressed in white and black. The guest preacher that morning was Reverend Benita Lewis. She began her sermon by talking about the pain women will endure to be beautiful. She talked about pedicures, high-heeled shoes, and women's sore feet. I thought to myself, This is going to be a long service. Nothing here for me. And it got worse. She moved from pedicures to massages and spa treatments. Body wraps to skin treatments. At that point I was drifting away. It felt as if we'd been in church for hours. But Reverend Lewis was just warming up, and I soon discovered that she wasn't speaking only to the women in the congregation. She was telling all of us about overcoming pain and obstacles in our paths. She was talking about a belief in God, a faith so strong that anything is possible. Then Reverend Lewis uttered four words that took my breath away. "Step out on nothing." She encouraged the congregation to "step out on faith" in this journey we call life. To put your life and its challenges in God's hands. To believe in a power greater than yourself.

Step out . . . on nothing . . .

In the time it takes to say those four words, a lifetime flashed before me. She was speaking about my life. How had I overcome my childhood inability to read when I was nearly a teenager? It was my mother stepping out on nothing, despite the doubts she must have had during the nights around the kitchen table when I "just wasn't getting it."

And how do you explain an inner-city kid who stuttered until he was twenty years old becoming a network television news correspondent? Let's start with a college professor who didn't even know my name. She stepped out on nothing and believed in a young man who didn't believe in himself.

Then there's Peter Holthe: a stranger. A college classmate from Minnetonka, Minnesota. "Why's your vocabulary so limited?" he asked. He stayed around to find out why and helped expand it.

Those Franciscan Friars at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, Maryland, who heard I was in a gospel choir at a church across town. These were white men who'd never ventured into a black neighborhood or set foot in a Baptist church. They too stepped out on nothing, figuring that being supportive of one of their students after hours might actually make a difference in his life.

We all have those defining moments in our lives. Moments of great joy. Moments of unspeakable sadness and fear. We usually think we're alone. But if we look into the corners of our memories, we'll find them—those people who had faith in us. Those times when a grace beyond earthly understanding touches us.

This is a story of those times. Those people. And the lessons they taught me. We've all had such people in our lives. If not, it's time to find them.

And for me, this story is my "step out on nothing," revealing a childhood shame that I've hidden from all but those who are closest to me, in hopes that my leap of faith will inspire some young child, or even an adult, who is living with a secret. It took me years to discover my shame was actually a source of strength.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Remembering King

 An excerpt from

Letter from Birmingham Jail (April 1963)

Was not Jesus an extremist for love -- "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you." Was not Amos an extremist for justice -- "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." Was not Paul an extremist for the gospel of Jesus Christ -- "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Was not Martin Luther an extremist -- "Here I stand; I can do none other so help me God." Was not John Bunyan an extremist -- "I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience." Was not Abraham Lincoln an extremist -- "This nation cannot survive half slave and half free." Was not Thomas Jefferson an extremist -- "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." So the question is not whether we will be extremist but what kind of extremist will we be. Will we be extremists for hate or will we be extremists for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice--or will we be extremists for the cause of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary's hill, three men were crucified. We must not forget that all three were crucified for the same crime--the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thusly fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment.

Good Book News & the Future

Last week was a week. The Haiti Earthquake shook me up, then I received some news beyond my wildest dream. I was offered a 3 book deal with Kensington Publisher's Dafina. Today I will not get into the particulars about the deal except that I have a deadline to turn in the final manuscript by April and need a new book title. The release date is tentative spring 2011.
So what will that mean for the future of Christian Fiction Blog?
Of course I will share more news about the book here and will invite you to help me present my best work and then help me to share it with other readers like you. However, I will need guest bloggers, book reviewers and the like to help me continue to provide great content to this blog. I'm seeking great bloggers. I would love to have someone from my 30 Days to Build a Better Book Blog Facebook Gro and The Christian Fiction Network as well to post here as well. My dream is to make this blog a community blog. Perhaps this year it will.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Why Fiction Matters: Haiti

Praying for Haiti

During my childhood my mom would send my brother and I to Avon Park, Florida for the summer. While there we attend a summer bible study at a local baptist church and was introduced to Haitian immigrant kids who became our summer friends and frienenemies. I was curious about Haiti, I had never heard of the island until then. I've featured her here on the blog After I grew up and moved to Atlanta I was introduced again to the Haitian community when I met my ex-fiance Gaspard. Naturally, I went to the library to learn more and was introduced to the wonderful writings of Edwidge Danticat.She won the American Book Award in 1999 for The Farming of Bones. However, my favorite novel is The Dew Breaker, which on my first book review blog back in 2004 here.

The story is about an American sculptor, who learns that her father was  a "Dew Breaker," a member of the Tonton Macoutes, a group of volunteers who tortured and killed thousands of civilians under the regimes of François and Jean-Claude Duvalier in Haiti. Incredible story.

My favorite lines...
I immediately regret the question. Is he[father] going to explain why he and my mother have no close friends, why they’ve never had anyone over to the house, why they never speak of any relatives in Haiti or anywhere else, or have never returned there or, even after I learned Creole from them, have never taught me anything else about the country beyond what I could find out on my own, on the television, in newspapers, in books? Is he about to tell me why Manman is so pious? Why she goes to daily Mass? I am not sure I want to know anything more than the little they’ve chosen to share with me all these years, but it is clear to me that he needs to tell me, has been trying to for a long time.

“We have a proverb,” he continues. “One day for the hunter, one day for the prey. Ka, your father was the hunter, he was not the prey.”
 If you are seeking a great read about this torn island, I recommend any of her works.

And no... I will not respond to Pat Robertson' s statement regarding the Haiti earthquake, because it's beneath me.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Trailer Park Tuesday: Why Did I Get Married, Too?

Tonight's Trailer Park Tuesday Movie Spotlight Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, Too? Four couples reunite for their annual vacation in order to socialize and to spend time analyzing their marriages. Their intimate week in the Bahamas is disrupted by the arrival of an ex-husband determined to win back his recently remarried wife. Releases April 2, 2010.

Trailer Park Tuesday: Facebook Addiction

Happy Tuesday! In honor of New Year's Resolutions our Trailer Park Tuesday spotlight is Nnamdi Osuagwu's Facebook Addiction. Since Facebook opened its gates to more than college students in 2004, its mission to “make the world more open and connected” has done more harm than good for many. Some users have forgone their relationships and responsibilities, in order to Facebook. Parents have reached out to school counselors, corporate HR departments have sought work performance psychologists, and couples have turned to marriage counselors to help their spouses overcome social media addictive behavior. In fact, this past week Facebook Detoxing has been trending online as a top New Year's Resolutions for 2010.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Does the Beloved Community Exist in Christian Publishing?


"Too much is given, much is required." Luke 12:48

I want to believe that Christian Publishing is better than mainstream publishing, but it's getting harder to believe by the year, which is sort of sad since this year has just begun.  Yet within eleven days into 2010 I have heard some heart-breaking stories from published Christian authors that blow my mind. And what I read from literary agents blogs, Christian publishing event planners emails, and what Christian readers are buzzing about on Facebook it gets worse. The distance between Christian Publishing and mainstream has gotten shorter, not regarding content, but on what it deems is worthy.
One constant in particular...placing African American authors in the Publishing Ghetto. Huffington Post Leonce Gaiter describes this ghetto as black imprints when he rips into Publishing Weekly article "African-American Books in Today's Marketplace" with his counter "Rejecting the Publishing Ghetto."

However, the PG goes deeper than that. It's not just the creation of separate, but not equal imprints, but it is also a mindset that African-American's letters aren't universal, marketable, noteworthy to Americans, all of them. So from the onset--even before we query an agent or editor, even before we write a word--there is an understood that are works are of little value.
For Christian Writers this Ghetto mentality also means that our works are no value to The Kingdom.
And I refuse to believe that,although I continue to receive more evidence to the contrary.

Continue reading "Does the Beloved Community Exist in Christian Publishing?" »

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

41st NAACP Image Award Nominees for Literature Announced

 The 41st NAACP Image Awards announced it's  Nominees for

Literature Categories

Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction

  • "Basketball Jones" – E. Lynn Harris (deceased) (Doubleday)
  • "Before I Forget" – Leonard Pitts, Jr. (Agate Bolden)
  • "Life is Short But Wide" – J. California Cooper (Doubleday)
  • "The Book of Night Women" – Marlon James Riverhead Books)
  • "The Long Fall" – Walter Mosley (Riverhead Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Non-Fiction 


  • "Brain Surgeon": A Doctor's Inspiring Encounters With Mortality and Miracles – Arnold Mann with Keith Black, MD (Grand Central Publishing)
  • "Family Affair: What It Means to be African American Today" – Gil L. Robertson, IV (Agate Bolden) [Big Kudos, to my buddy, Gil. He is a national treasure & has been helpful to my career]
  • "Freedom in My Heart: Voices From the United States National Slavery Museum" – Cynthia Jacobs Carter (National Geographic Books)
  • "In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past" – Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Crown)
  • "Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis" – Al Gore (Rodale Inc.)

Outstanding Literary Work – Debut Author

  • "3rd Generation Country" – BeNeca Ward (Xlibris Corporation)
  • "A Question of Freedom" – R. Dwayne Betts (Avery Books)
  • "Black Water Rising" – Attica Locke (Harper)
  • "Kiss the Sky: A Novel" – Farai Chideya (Atria Books)
  • "Lime Tree Can't Bear Orange" – Amanda Smyth (Three Rivers Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Auto-Biography

  • "Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud" – Dr. Cornel West (SmileyBooks)
  • "Michelle Obama" – Deborah Willis (W. W. Norton)
  • "POPS: A Life of Louis" – Terry Teachout (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • "Shooting Stars" – LeBron James and Buzz Bissinger (The Penguin Press)
  • "Stormy Weather: The Life of Lena Horne" – James Gavin (Atria Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Instructional

  • "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man" – Steve Harvey (Amistad)
  • "The Conversation: How Black Men & Women Can Build Loving, Trusting Relationships" – Hill Harper (Gotham Books)
  • "Down to Business" – Clara Villarosa with Alicia Villarosa (Avery Books)
  • "Start Where You Are" – Chris Gardner (Amistad)
  • "Your Money or Your Life" – Alvin Hall (Atria Books)

Outstanding Literary Work – Poetry

  • "Bicycles" – Nikki Giovanni (William Morrow)
  • "Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry" – Camille Dungy (The University of Georgia Press)
  • "Cooling Board: A Long-Playing Poem" – Mitchell L. H. Douglas (Red Hen Press)
  • "Mixology: National Poetry Series" – Adrian Matejka (Penguin Group)
  • "Roses and Revolutions: The Selected Writings of Dudley Randall" – Melba Joyce Boyd (Wayne State University Press)

Outstanding Literary Work – Children

  • "Child of the Civil Rights Movement" – Paula Young Shelton (Random House Children's Books)
  • "Negro Speaks of Rivers" – Langston Hughes (Author), E.B. Lewis (Illustrator) (Disney-Jump at the Sun/Disney Book Group)
  • "Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change" – Michelle Cook (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
  • "Peeny Butter Fudge" – Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison (Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
  • "Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Toeshoe Trouble" – Whoopi Goldberg (Disney-Jump at the Sun/Disney Book Group)

Outstanding Literary Work – Youth/Teens

  • "Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice" – Phillip Hoose (Macmillan Children's Publishing Group/Farrar Straus and Giroux)
  • "Just Another Hero" – Sharon Draper (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
  • "Mare's War" – Tanita S. Davis (Random House Children's Books)
  • "Michelle Obama: Meet the First Lady" – David Bergen Brophy (Collins-An Imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books)
  • "Rock and the River" – Kekla Magoon (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
 The awards will air live February 26, 2009 on Fox at 8PM

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Human Heart in Conflict with Itself

A conversation with award-winning author Richard Doster

Richard DosterRichard Doster is the editor of byFaith magazine. He’s been published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is winner of the 2006 and 2008 Evangelical Press Association’s Award of Excellence, and was a Christy Award finalist for best first novel. His work concentrates on Southern fiction: exploring the history, religion, family relationships, sense of community and place, and social tensions that characterize his home region.

In honor of Rev. Doctor Martin Luther, King, Jr.’s birthday, I wanted to chat with Richard about his second novel, Crossing the Lines (David C. Cook).

Doster takes the reader beyond racial stereotypes and reveals the extraordinary nobility of those willing to fight and sacrifice so all Americans can enjoy equality and justice. Continue reading at Christian Fiction Online Magazine Now... then tell me what you think about the rebooted column at CFOM.

Monday, January 04, 2010

#1 PR/Marketing 2010 Book Marketing Tip: Benchmarking Social Media Activity

Happy New Year!

For those of you who didn't live under a bubble last year we experienced a paradigm shift in literary marketing. Public Relations activity trumped Advertising. The down economy, the saturation of books in the marketplace, bookstore and print publication closings left us with little money and outlets to advertise our great books. However, Social Media Services gave us a new playing field that bypassed many gatekeepers and went straight to our market, book buyers. Unfortunately, many of us destroyed our fan based and brand because we don't understand New Media Marketing and have yet to become educated on how to use it. Sure there are many social media rockstars, gurus and authorpreneurs(my most unfavorite new word of last year) who will sell you that they have the magic formula to cracking the converting social media activity into book sales code.

They don't.

Others will try to sell you that their social media marketing kit is the only way to successfully market your book.


And the others will tell you that the only way to sell your book is online.


Since we're starting the new year off with reflective and receptive hearts, heed my words: Benchmark your literary PR efforts, especially the social media kind.

Ask yourself these questions:
  • How am I measuring my social media activity success?
  • How much of that activity converts into book sales?
  • Which efforts are successful?
  • How many publishing gatekeepers have I connected with and have forged relationships via social media that have improved my sales contract goals?
  • How can I improve in all areas of social media marketing?
  • Have my content become viral, if not, why?
If you don't know the answers to those questions, then your goal for this year is to get the necessary education, tools, and help to know those answers as soon as possible.


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