"During the last few months, my wife and I have had the opportunity to attend many book shows and festivals -- in DC, Maryland, and New York City. It is gratifying to see so many new black faces promoting their literary works. However, in observing money transactions between authors and readers, sadly, many books just don't sell. At writer's meetings, authors complain of travelling hundreds of miles and spending hundreds of dollars only to sell one or two copies of their inventory."What's up? Why aren't people buying?Stafford BattleDear brother Stafford Battle and all othersWhen you have black people without disposable income coupled with dependents deciding the best way to spend the few dollars they do have, buying a book is not an option unless you are determined to buy something just for you on your trip to the mall. Even at that you must still prepare yourself to reap the whirlwind of criticism from your dependents calling you selfish and unthoughtful of their needs.If black a woman has 3 children an unemployed man and $200 to spend make sure you are alone if you decide to spend $25.00 on a book because otherwise your dependents and man will be in your ear reminding about how hard times are especially with high gas prices, food prices, joblessness, and the rising cost of housing. They will insist that your book purchase could have waited until the situation got better.White people on the other hand don't need to rob Peter in order to pay Paul therefore constantly using them as the shiny example of how to sell your book or how to market black authored books is totally unrealistic.To sell a black authored book to black people is a unique challenge that requires thought, preparation and diabolical planning not creative planning.Many black authors in order to sell or promote their works rely heavily on salacious titles and provocative high gloss book covers. Many attempt to pattern their writing style and subject matter around either Donald Goines, sex and betrayal or poetry. As a result the black book market is flooded with black authors all telling the same story.The major media outlets don't cater to black authors therefore exposure is limited to Barnes and Noble, Target, or some other commonly recognize book outlet. Having your book listed on Ingram's database is of no true benefit to black authors because black people don't understand nor recognize the significant of it.The African Americans dichotomyYoung and middle aged African Americans become extremely irritable and frustrated with others that have expectations of them reading anything beyond the manatory requirements of work or school. Older African Americans believe reading causes unneccessary strain upon their already aging or medically impaired eyesight.African Americans are motivated and compelled to purchase based on powerfully pursasive visual advertisement and not paragraph after paragraph of reading. The expectation, discovery or ambush of reading immediately causes African Americans to lose interest in your product or website.The major mistake black authors make is trying to do what white authors do. Black people are impulsive buyers. They are not concentrated buyers. Black people buy on the spot and if they buy a book directly from the black author you can believe they are going to let you know that they are buying the book to support you and for none other reason than that.Selling books to the black mindset without the help or benefit of white media conglomerate interest is a challenge unlike anything you will ever experience.Enoch MubarakPresident/CEO

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  • Chicago-Midwest
    This is why I avoid publishing.
    I'd much rather sell to the world and share the money earned with Black People.

    Thank you
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