Tag Archives: Book & Publishing News

Strings of Color by Marian L. Thomas

Life can grab a hold of you like captivating strings of color. It is a lesson that four women will learn as they each travel down a journey filled with lies, betrayal, and shocking secrets.

Simone. Is immensely talented, yet everything she has ever known will be ripped apart. Her love will be tested. Her heart will call out for a strength that could only exist in moments like this, and her tears will carry her through the storm. Will she be able to give her heart to the love of her life while fighting to open her heart to a mother she has never known?

Naya. While facing her greatest loss, will she be able to find the key to strength, the will to continue on, and the endurance to make it through one of the darkest moments in her life?

Monà. Within her heart is a secret so deep that it could shake the very foundations of two lives. Will she be able to finally look into the eyes of a daughter she has only known from a distance?

Misty. Two paths are set before her; one could lead her back to the life of fame and prominence, which she so desperately wants; and the other could give her the love she so desperately needs. Will she choose the path that is best for her future, or for her heart?

Author’s Website: http://www.marianlthomas.com

Question of the Month: What are you looking to give this season?

The Amazon Kindle Fire and the Barnes & Noble Nook Tablet were recently released. As tablets, there were immediate comparisons to the Apple iPad, especially in terms of price.


Which one do you think is best? Better yet, which one would you like to give this season? (Well, one could ask which one do you want, but it is the season of giving, right?)

If you’re in the gift-giving mood, what literary gift is on your list? Enter your response to the attached poll and post your comments below.

Article: Writers Reconsider the Bookstore’s ‘Black Section’

Do booksellers still need sections dedicated to black authors and books?

That’s what Arielle Loren is wrestling with over at Clutch. When Loren was younger, she appreciated that there was a space where she could easily find the books she said reflected her interests. But now that she’s a professional writer, she wonders if the black section is keeping black authors’ work from getting a wider reading.

“Why not diversify mainstream front store literature to reflect the multicultural reality of this country?” she asks. “More than black readers ought to be reading black literature.”

For more, see Gene Demby‘s article at Black Voices.

News: African-American Books in Today’s Marketplace

by Felicia Pride — Publishers Weekly, 12/14/2009 2:00:00 AM

The economy stinks. Book sales are down marginally. Media outlets (and their book review sections) are being shut down at an alarming rate. Oh, and the last time we checked, no one has uncovered the secret to creating an automatic bestseller. All these issues are as pertinent to the African-American book market as they are to the larger American book industry. But what does all of this mean specifically for the African-American book market now and in the future?

Among a variety of responses to this question, it means that editors are becoming very cautious about the books they acquire; it means consumers of African-American–oriented titles may rate pricing more important than whether they buy it at a black book store; and it also means that even the endless demand for more street lit may be slowing down and publishers need to find new categories to target for African-American readers. Publishers Weekly spoke to a variety of book publishing professionals—editors, publishers, marketers, booksellers, and an author or two—to find out how they are responding to the contemporary African American market for books.

To read this article in its entirety, click here.

Article: 24 Graphic Novels for African American History Month

From Aya to Zapt!: 24 Graphic Novels for African American History Month
Featuring Marguerite Abouet, Frank Miller & Kyle Baker

By Martha Cornog, Philadelphia — Library Journal, 1/7/2010
Publishers Weekly

The past year has left tweens and teens with many more quality comics that increasingly depict engaging African American main characters. Plus, we have our Main Man himself, Mr. President, the comics geek–turned–comics hero. Forthcoming from Eureka: a Graphic Classics anthology featuring adaptations of short stories by African American authors. Forthcoming from TV star Rashida Jones via Oni Press: a spy thriller titled Frenemy of the State. Stay tuned!

How I Wrote 8 Books In One Year

So many have been asking: What caused you to write 8 books within the last year? Additionally, writing the screenplay for and producing a docu-drama based on my second book “Spread Some Love (Relationships 101)” – all within the same time frame? Basically, I fell in love with writing. I’ve studied many successful people and realized that they have one thing in common and that is – THEY LOVE WHAT THEY DO. Therefore they are good at it. Love is one of the most powerful forces given to man, though it is often overlooked. “For love we will climb mountains, cross seas, traverse desert sands, endure hardships. Without love mountains become unclimbable, seas uncrossable, and hardships our plight in life,” writes Gary Chapman in “The Five Love Languages.”

I never envisioned myself being a writer. I moved to Hollywood in 1996 and just wanted to act. As I stated in my book “When The Dust Settles” I was forced into writing or putting it more subtly it became as a blessing in disguise. While almost going bankrupt in 2004 I stumbled into a 1970s classic film which I so badly wanted to remake. At the time I had no prior experience in film making, except that which I had picked up previously on movie sets. Nonetheless, I was determined to succeed.

For the next three weeks, I made phone calls to find out who held the rights to my intended pet project. When I finally made contact with the studio, a woman answered the phone and told me they were not interested in selling the rights to a third party.

That statement didn’t sit well with me. You see, my plane had already taken off, the fasten-your-seat-belt signs were already extinguished, and the hostess was serving the beverage of the day.

I composed myself, contacted a writer friend whose script was recently optioned by a major studio, and asked him to assist me in writing my script. He did one of the best things a person can do for another: instead of giving me a fish, he showed me how to fish by sending me guidelines for writing a screenplay. I got busy. My mantra echoed for several months, “I’ll write my own. I’ll show them. They’ll be begging for my work someday.” My imaginary airplane was swiftly gaining altitude.

I knew if it was going to be – it was up to me! So I committed my time skill and resources to writing consistently. Each book I wrote, in that process I acquired a subsequent title and embarked upon the task of writing it.

Prior to 2007 I had written two screenplays and in spring of that same year my first book “The 5 Steps to Changing Your Life” was etched. In the summer of 2008 I wrote published and released “Spread Some Love (Relationships 101).” This book has become my bestseller and as a spin off “Spread Some Love (Relationships 101) Workbook” and “Spread Some Love (Relationships 101)” Journal were etched in early 2009. “When the Dust Settles (A True Hollywood Story)” based on my ten year quest in Hollywood followed in tow. This summer saw the release of “Dare to Make A Difference (Success 101),” “Dare to Make A Difference (Success 101) For Teens,” “The 52 Weeks Goal Setting Quest” and “The SUCCESS Triangle.” The latter is a volume of three eclectic books from my inspirational series relating to my climbing up from the bottom.

Back in 2007 after the release of my first book, I had a heart to heart talk with myself and decided that I wasn’t using much of my potential. I decided that no one was going outwork me. Still not adept at using the computer’s keyboard; I had never taken a typing class. My word per minute ratio no doubt was about a few words a minute – I’ve never checked. Someone once said: When the dream is big enough the facts don’t count. It’s my belief that if my thoughts can produce it – I can write it. This fall I’ll be releasing my tenth book “Total Commitment (The Mindset of Champions).”

If writing be the air that I breathe “write on.” When God brings it he doesn’t mess around.
A 2009 Books That Will Enhance Your Life – Release. All Rights Reserved.

News: Book fairs still going strong

Associated Press
April 3, 2009

New York — Marlene Perez’s “Dead Is the New Black” is a young adult novel with a noirish pink and black cover and a supernatural plot. If it ever becomes the next sensation, give some credit to middle-schoolers such as Geneva Lish.

“It has an unusual plot and a unique power,” says Lish, a seventh-grader.

Lish didn’t buy the book online or at a store. She was among the students at J.H.S. 167 in Manhattan who recently visited the Scholastic Book fair, shopping in the school’s auditorium as they looked through graphic novels, fantasy and a Life magazine volume about President Obama.

During a hard time for publishing and education, the fairs remain a relatively stable source of income. According to a recent report from Scholastic Corp., revenue from fairs for the nine months ending Feb. 28 was $261.2 million, virtually unchanged from the same nine-month period a year earlier.

“I’ve never met one parent who said, ‘My kid has too many books.’ . . . You might cut a lot of things out. You might cut out a toy. You’re not going to cut out a book,” says Scholastic’s president of book fairs, Alan Boyko.

Book fairs have been around for decades, although the field now is largely controlled by Scholastic.

The publisher says its business has grown from about 8,000 annual fairs in the early 1980s to about 120,000 fairs expected this year.

Los Angeles Times

Article: E-books catch on with children

Undaunted by technology, young readers have become a hot market for publishers who are making books available digitally.

By Alana Semuels
December 25, 2008

After he’s finished his homework and his chores for the day, 8-year-old Skye Vaughn-Perling likes to read Dr. Seuss. He’s a particular fan of the hijinks that ensue when the elephant Horton hears strange voices emanating from a dust speck in “Horton Hears a Who.”

He doesn’t read from a dog-eared copy of the children’s classic, though. Skye, who lives in Agoura Hills, often reads on his computer, pressing the arrow button when he wants to turn a page. Sometimes the characters move around on the screen like animated cartoons on TV. If he wants, Skye can have the computer read a book to him while he’s curled up in bed.

“It’s a whole new level of exploring the books,” said his mother, Victoria Vaughn-Perling.

Readers and publishers alike are embracing a digital future. Electronic-book sales increased 73% in October compared with the same month last year, according to the Assn. of American Publishers, while sales of adult paperbacks decreased 23% and children’s paperbacks declined 14.8%. Sales of higher-education books, including textbooks, fell 443%.

“There’s a new excitement that e-books will become a viable way for consumers to purchase and read books,” said David Langevin, vice president and director of electronic markets at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co.

The jump in digital sales is strongly related to the increased popularity of the Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader and even the iPhone. Once readers have bought the hardware, digital books are much cheaper than hardcovers or even paperbacks. You can get a hardcover of Wally Lamb’s “The Hour I First Believed” for $17.97 on Amazon.com, for example, but it costs only $9.99 on the Kindle. And “100 Words to Make You Sound Smart” is $5.95 in print but only $2.99 in Apple’s App Store.

Digital books could get even cheaper if New York company DailyLit goes through with its plan to place advertising on the e-mails and RSS feeds it sends to subscribers, which contain serialized books. The ads would subsidize the cost of the books.

But the children’s book market is especially ripe for the wonders of the digital world.

Los Angeles Times

2009 Romance Writers of America Annual Conference

Title: 2009 Romance Writers of America Annual Conference
Location: Washington, D.C.
Link out: Click here
Description: RWA is proud to host its 29th Annual National Conference in Washington, D.C., at Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Be sure the join us in Washington, D.C., to enhance your writing and knowledge of the ins and outs of publishing at more than 100 workshops; get the inside track at panels and round-tables featuring publishing professionals; schedule a one-on-one pitch meeting with an acquiring editor or literary agent; attend parties and network with the stars of romance fiction; and be a part of RWA\’s massive, 500-author strong \”Readers for Life\” charity book signing. And let\’s not forget the 2009 RITA and Golden Heart Awards.
Date: 2009-07-15