Thursday, December 15, 2011

If you can't can't write

It's been said that authors should read more than they write. One main reason, reading well edited books and stories helps you learn how to use language correctly and effectively. Often you can tell how well read a writer is just by reading his writing.

One reporter used Sarah Palin's book as an example. Even though he felt she was ditsy, he felt her writing showed that she had been well schooled and read a lot.

If you want to write Urban Fiction and haven't read Iceberg Slims stuff you are missing a great opportunity. This is the first writer of urban fiction and has sold over six million books. his first book, Pimp was eventually translated into German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish and Greek.

Some may feel his stuff isn't like what they are writing today and they are right. He wrote books that sold by the millions. He did things that no other writer was doing at the time. Most of us can't do that because we only read one type of book and basically copy it to be on the safe side.

But if we read other types of fiction, we might be able to stretch past our writing comfort zones and produce new classics. But it starts with reading. 

Friday, December 9, 2011 new lending library sucks

If you are an independent author you have probably heard about amazon's new program. For me it sucks. Two reasons:

One, they want you to only sell your book on amazon to participate.

The more authors that join and the more books the enroll the smaller each share of the six million becomes. If ten thousand books are enrolled and each one gets an even share thats only six hundred for the year. Which comes out to 50 a month.

Even if the kdp select payout went up to ten million, thats only a thousand dollars a year if all 10,000 books were divided evenly. I don't sell that many books, my readership is a narrow base, and I know that many of my readers use the amazon app on cell phones and Nook readers.

Until I hear a independent making more than $60 per month from one title and still SELLING books on amazon, I can't afford to participate.

And in the NYC area many black women own Nook e readers. And they are my customers. Why would I make a deal that would deny me customers. I think amazon is trying to smash smashwords and barnes and noble.

This program may work for some writers f they are more popular, but at my level in the game I am too small to benefit from be continued.

Alan Cramer writes fiction, not fairy tales

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bourgeois (AKA) Boojee

My newest book is  out. Bourgeois (AKA) Boojee is a continuation of the Detective Honey Sinclair saga. it's a dram in the first degree. I don't like promoting my books here, but shit I do gotta eat. It's also available on Barnes&noble nook

Check it out

Monday, November 21, 2011

Good luck charms that sell books

There's a discussion in one of amazon kindle's forums about if it takes luck or skill to be a successful writer.

The truth be told it takes lots of luck and skill. We all know there are plenty of lucky authors who were able to get there books mentioned on Oprah. Being on her show was like getting the winning lottery numbers two days before the lottery. But many forget the skill part. If your book is garbage and Oprah or whoever reads it and can't get past the first page, guess what?

All the luck in the world won't help you get that shout out. In other words people have to like your books. And not just any people. I'm talking about people who read and are willing to tell others about your book.

It takes some luck to have these first tier readers discover your book. And it takes some marketing skill. If you're an established author already with some sales under your belt, you have passed this hurdle. But if you are new, getting your book noticed may feel like the hardest thing to do.

If you are new and self published there are few things you can do.

1. Write a good book. Not a book that you and your loved ones think is good, but a book that people who pay for them think is good. Everybody's not going to like any book, but you better make sure the first tier readers like it. Because if they don't like it they will tell people your book sucks.

2. Only promote your book to people who read that type of book. I don't like romance books. Therefor every romance book that I come across will look like garbage to me. Why waste time and energy pushing your book to people who probably won't like it anyway. I write for African Americans in general. I don't promote my books in general to white readers. Some may say I'm missing out on potential sales but I learned from drug dealers a long time ago, you don't try to sell heroin at church picnics. You might have some luck with Tyler Perry movies but the dope probably won't sell too good.

3. Listen to the advice of people in the business. Things are changing fast, so some of the things they tell you might not work anymore, but listen anyway. You can use your own gut feelings to figure out if what they tell you is right. And too some degree you will have to trust luck. But the old saying is, if you want what someone has, you have to do what they do.

These three things can increase your luck factor. Because every seasoned gambler knows, you should never make a sucker bet.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Separating the men from the boys & I'm not talking about Penn State

See what a good title can do?  Actually I'm talking about separating professional writers from amateurs. 

1. A professional is an amateur that didn't quit. I've talked about it before, writers have to have persistence. It's important to understand that I don't mean just keep writing garbage. 

2. Pro's constantly are trying to better. We have to read books on writing, and learn from our customers experiences.

3.Pro's know that it's a business. When customers complain about our product we can't just get mad and say they are stupid because they couldn't understand your book. Because if their gripe is legit, and enough people agree, you won't sell too many books. And what that means is your the stupid one. But there is help. Read number two on this list again.

4. Pro's get paid. We can give away free samples of our writing. I gave away close to five hundred books a few years ago. But i sold a lot more. There's no semi pro league in writing. If you have ever gotten money for writing you are a professional.

The thing is the market is more competitive than ever. Not only do we have to compete with hundreds of new writers daily, there also playstations, 360's and movies on demand. Pro's recognize this and do what they need to do to deal with the new competition. 

Boxers like Mike Tyson used to study tapes of other fighters. Modern armies send in spies before they go to war and performers practice at least 8 hours before a one hour performance.

So we have to man up. In order be professionals. We have to do a little more than the other guy. Most importantly we have to keep writing. In reality, I'm saying this too myself more than anyone else.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Class System

It seems to me that there are two kinds of ebook buyers. There is the die hard read a book every few weeks reader. And there is the read every once in a while or when the weather is bad reader. When I look at my amazon and Barnes & Noble sales a few of things pop out at me.

The die hard readers read all types of books by all types of authors. But it looks like they tend to go after top sellers and or books from traditional publishers. Many of them will read indie authors books but some won't. I think this is why indie sales go down in the summer. Amazon is still selling lots of book, just not as many indie ones.

In the winter or when there is a spat of bad weekend weather, my sales and sales ranks go up.  This is when the every once and a while readers start to buy. This crowd seems to be more willing to give indie authors a try.

The weather was nice in NYC this weekend and it seems I couldn't give my books away. But on rainy weekends my sales seemed to jump even in the summer.

This may seem obvious to most of us, but some times we don't do things based on observations. More often than not our actions are based on emotions. Many writers got depressed and talked about wanting to give up during the summer. The extra competition, plus the fact that the die hard readers weren't that supportive of indie authors made them FEEL that it wasn't worth it. They stopped writing.

Now when sales for indies pick up in the winter they won't be ready with new books. They'll hear about all the indie ebooks that are selling and rush to write. The problem will be though, their books won't be finished until the spring when indie sales start to go down again. Again they'll be flooding the market when our type of books are not in season. Publishing like many other businesses is subject to seasonal cycles.

Just like there are two classes of regular readers, there are two classes of indie writers. Those that can get regular sales and those that can't. Both groups know that writing is an art. But only one seems to realize that publishing is a business.

Friday, November 11, 2011

You're fast you pass

If you read books on writing or have taken a class on writing, you've probably heard that good writing takes time. This may be true if you're writing a text book. But if you writing fiction there's no proof of this. Some of the greatest writers have written over a hundred books and short stories. And when I use the word greatest, I talking about writers whose books sell.

Why is this important. Because in the new world of ebook publishing, quantity counts. If you have put out an ebook, you may be wondering where the sales are. But if you have three or more ebooks out you are starting to see some sales. I'm not saying if you write a lot of books you are guaranteed a lot of sales but your chance will be increased.

This is because once people read an author they like, they will often read more of his books. Also if people see your name popping up on a few amazon or Barnes and Noble titles they may be more inclined to try you out.

Three of my shortest ebooks were written in one day. They're not best sellers but they sell one or two books a month. If I complete my goal to write over on hundred books in the next ten years that could add up to five or six hundred sales a month on books that are not selling well. Now imagine if one or two of them sells well.

I don't know about you but I am in this for the money.

By the way those one day written ebooks are under different pen names. This is important, but I'll tell you more about that later.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The writing on the wall

Everybody who can read, likes to read to some extent. They may not read novels, but when they're in a public restroom they definitely read the writing on the bathroom stall.

If you live in New York City and drive down the FDR you have tried to read the signs that the crazy homeless holds some where along the south bound side below 125th Street.

Reading seems to be in our nature. People love to text. And I don't care what anyone says, it's easier to call some one and talk than it is to tap out a bunch of letters on a small ass phone. But yet my baby's mother claims it's  easier for her to text me than to just call and say come pick up your kid.

I read some where that a majority of teen age girls now sleep with their cell phones in the bed with them. I don't know if that is true, but I have watched my daughter wake up, grab her phone before getting out of bed and start texting.

And we all know about the different emails that get passed around.

The reason most people don't read novels though is a no brainer to me. They find them boring. Before Sista Soulja reintroduced us to Urban Fiction, most Black people couldn't relate to novels. We weren't in most books. And when we were we didn't recognize the characters. Alex Cross may be a black character, but I can tell on a subconscious level that it's a white guy doing the talking.

A lot of Black people hate Urban Fiction. I guess the reason is, they spent years learning to read, write and talk like white people. And now regular talking black people are reading and writing books for and about regular black people.

Like rap music, Urban Fiction is here to stay. And like rap music, in a couple of years, white people will spend more money on it than we do. I see the writing on the wall

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Drama for your mama

There's an old saying in the teaching of writing; Happy families are boring. What this means to fiction writers is, your stories have to be about people who are in not so happy situations. How do we do this?

First off we have to understand, that part of what makes a story interesting is seeing some sort of action. Not just any action but action that shows us change.  You show your main character living life and then as quickly as possible something in their life changes. Not just any change but a what's the worst that can happen change.

Of course your character has to be likable. You have to establish that as quickly as possible too. Because if readers don't like the character, they won't care about  the change in said character's life.

Modern stories are told in scenes. Each major scene with your lead  should be about the main character trying to get out of whatever jam the major change has put them through. And each scene should end with your character a little worst off. This will keep people reading. You know how when you watch your favorite show and it ends on a cliff hanger, you can't wait for next weeks episode. Well if you end your scenes and chapters this way reader won't be able to put your book down.

I'll tell you another way to keep readers coming back for more, in my next instalment.

Doers and Waiters

Doers make orders waiters take them.

When people find out I'm an author, they often tell me they want to write a book. I call most of these people waiters. They'll tell me how great their idea for a book is and then they'll wait. Some will even ask me to help them write the book.

One person told me, they'll tell me the story and I could write it. When I asked them, "Why don't they write it?" They told me they weren't ready, they'd have to WAIT until they had the time.

The first step to writing a book, short story or even an email is sitting down to write. It also doesn't hurt to have something interesting to write about. But even books that are not that interesting often sell. The key is you have to write it.

So if you think you have a book in you, write it. Sit in front of your computer and get to typing. If you do it every day, the worst that could happen is you'll eventually have a book. Don't worry about wasting your time. So what you miss a few hours of TV.  But by its very definition, waiting, means wasting time.

So maybe you should stop reading this and start typing that book you always wanted to read.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

It's a Black Thing

It's a black thing and some people just don't understand. There's a customer discussion group on called how to avoid indie authors. They basically talk about how self published authors should be avoided and that there should be some way to stop them.

Now I am all about freedom of expression, but most of today's top selling black authors are self published. And many others were published by previous self published authors. Self published authors like myself have been able to get our books in Barnes & Nobles and have sold good enough for stores like Barnes & Nobles and Borders to have Urban Fiction sections.

The big publishers won't pick up most of today's black  writers unless they've sold a lot of books already, whereas if write something that will appeal to or not threaten white readers you can actually get an advance before you even write the book. The reason for this is economics. Most readers are white and if you want to sell a million books it's best to write for them.

On the other hand, even though most urban fiction books will never sell a million copies, many have sold in the  thousands and have been very profitable. But just not on the scale that the major publishers would want to deal with unless it was a sure thing like Zane or K'wan.

Triple Crown  started out as a vehicle for the owner to self publish her own book and now puts out other books. If this indie author would not been able to thrive many others never would have had their work read.
Even if you never read a Terry Woods book, chances are you've heard of her. This is more proof that for African Americans ebooks and self publishing in general has created a new Renascence.

Yes there are some books out  there that are garbage. But there are also songs movies and plays that are garbage too. The thing is, we as black people should be glad that so many of our brothers and sisters are trying to write. We should be glad that many of our people who never would have picked up a book a few years ago are reading. Nothing but good can become of this. With all these books floating around, our reading and writing skills can only get better. Any book that can get kids in the hood reading is a good book to me.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don't stop before the miracle

It's hard to figure out how to write a million seller. But it's easy to figure out how not to sell any books. If you don't write them, you can't sell them. I know a few writers that quit after writing one or two books that didn't sell well. And I know a few writers that quit before they even finished the first book.

I've been in this business a little over five years and I've seen that there are many ways to sell books.

The first thing you have to do is write them. This explains itself

If you are not a master salesman, you have to write decent books. They don't have to be classics, but the have written well enough for the people you want to buy them. Some of us are natural story tellers, but learning more about the trade won't hurt. I knew a guy whose self published book was really bad. He couldn't give them away and would get mad when people didn't like his book. When I suggested some books and tips on writing he got offended. Which leads me to the next point.

You have to learn to take criticism. The paying readers are the judges, jury and executioners of our book selling life.

Write for a particular crowd. It makes it easier to market and get the word out about your book. I for example write middle class Urban Fiction for mature African American women. All I have to do then is get my books near other books that these same women are buying. The same thing goes if you write sci fi, horror or erotica. Trying to write for everyone is not going to work. James Patterson has a black character but h writes his books for white readers who love suspense. But he writes well and will pick up some black readers along the way. But most of his readers are white and his character doesn't get too black.

Realize that there is some luck involved. And just like the lotto, you have to be in it to win it.

Another thing I've noticed is if you keep at it, using the above tips, you can grow readership. After four or five well written and marketed books, you might not be able to make a living off writing, but you could have a decent side income.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Don't Give a F**k

This is for the writers who get upset when people give them bad reviews on and

The following post comes from Joe Konrath's blog A Newbie's Guide to Publishing 

Not Caring

One of the greatest skills you can acquire as an author is a thick skin.

Once you unleash a story onto the world, it no longer belongs to you. When it was in your head, and on your computer during the writing/rewriting process, it was a personal, private thing. But the moment your words go out into the world, they are subject to the opinion of strangers. What was once personal is now public.

Do yourself a huge favor, and don't listen to the public.

This goes for more than your literary endeavors. If you blog, or speak in public, or tweet on Twitter, you are a Public Figure.

That means some people aren't going to like you.

And you shouldn't care.

You shouldn't care about people liking you, either. Praise is like candy. It tastes good, but it isn't good for us.

The opinions of strangers, good or bad, should have no power over you.

Now, I'm not saying that your should live in a vacuum, oblivious to how you effect the world. In order to be a good writer, and a good person, it is important to have trusted allies pressure-check you.

These allies include family, close friends, and your agent, assuming you have a good relationship with your agent.

These are the people whose opinions do matter. You trust them, because they know you and your writing.

But anything outside of your inner circle should best be ignored.

Getting angry with reviews, or critics, or anonymous trolls, is a waste of energy, and serves no purpose.

Getting an inflated sense of worth because strangers praise you is one of the shallowest, emptiest ego boosts around.

In all cases, it is better not to care.

If you're lucky enough to be read, you will attract detractors and sycophants. You will be ridiculed, celebrated, roasted, venerated, criticized, analyzed, and talked about.

You have no control over what people say about you.

You have full control over how you react to what people say about you.

Not caring doesn't come naturally. In order to truly not care, you need to be confident, self-aware, and mentally healthy. You need to be deliberate. You need to understand your effect on others. You need to understand your needs, and how they're met.

The world is filled with a wide variety of people. But only a few of them should really matter to you. The rest are just white noise. They can amuse. But don't give them more power than that.

One of the greatest journeys in life is overcoming insecurity and learning to truly not give a shit.

But don't take my word for it. My opinion shouldn't matter to you at all.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Where you at? and how do the readers find you?

How do ebook readers find books to read. Well according to a survey on MobileRead:

29% get their recommendations from fellow readers on online message forums, blogs and message boards.
But only 4% only 4% selected, “Personal friend/family member recommends it to me.

18%  look first for their favorite authors.

Most of the rest find their books by browsing.

But only 3% got their books from the best sellers list.

Basically this means authors need to take multiple approaches to get noticed. But this also means most self published writers have an equal chance to get noticed. So remember, write the best book you can, so when they do discover you they'll come back for seconds.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stick out like a sore thumb

I am the only urban fiction writer writing about working class people. I'm not just saying this to brag. In order for any new writer to make it in the new digital world he needs an edge. Some thing to make you stand out from the crowd.

If you are an established Urban Fiction writer like K'wan for instance, you come to the ebook world with a fan base. This is a following that will buy your books. But if you are like me and so many others in the game who never sold a lot of physical books, we need other means to grow our fans.

There are many ways to promote an ebook, but the best way is to get into a category (genre) and then stick out. You see, a sore thumb sticks out but it is still part of the hand. We have to realize that most of us will never sell as many books as a K'wan or a Nikki Turner, but if we can carve out a small enough niche, we can sell a decent amount of books on a regular basis.

Some writers will say they want everybody to buy their ebooks. If you write with everybody in mind, your book may come out sounding crazy.
There's an old saying: If you try to please everybody you end up pleasing nobody.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Put your money where their mouths are...

Word of mouth is the best way to sell books. If a friend of yours tells you a book is good, there's a good chance you'll read it. One way to get people to talk about your book is to write a good book. If people like what you have written they will tell others. Another way to get people to talk about a book is to write a controversial one. Even if the book is not that good, but it gets people talking or even arguing about it, people will buy it.

Authors can help get the word out. With street books authors, they can help get the word out by mingling with readers. Going to conventions and book shows and things like that. Book signings and going out to meet with book clubs. Or in cities like New York they can even stand on street corners.

But for authors who only put out ebooks, the rules are a little different. Since we can't go around signing people's kindles we have to get the word to readers in different ways. In some ways the internet is just like the old way. You have to get some one else to talk about your books. Again the most important thing is to write a good or controversial book. Then you can get somebody like Valinda Miller to hit you up in her blog  African American Books on the Kindle .

Word of mouth can make a lousy book sell too. The problem with that is many people might not want to buy your second book. So again it still boils down to writing a good book.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Going H.A.M (Hard As a Mother F...)

This summer was rough for many independent authors.  and ebook sales were down for most of us. And since I no longer publish physical books these basically are my only two sales outlets, it made for a depressing summer.

I started to doubt myself as a writer. I really thought about giving up. The going was getting tough and I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. I thought my first book would be a million seller. Then I felt the next one would. Then I prayed that the third one would just sell twenty thousand copies.

Even though I'm doing fairly well for an independent, I'm not selling as much as I would like. I was comparing my work to the best selling books of others. But looking at the top ten list doesn't tell the whole story.

Take Dan Brown's book the Da Vinci Code. It has sold over 80 million copies. But the author's first three books sold less than 10,000. Since my first three books have sold over ten thousand copies I'm not in bad company.
There's a saying by President Calvin Coolidge: Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

That means we should keep trying. The Dan Brown example shows us how big publishing companies do it too. They'll put out a few books by an author. Then when they think he has a large enough fan base, they push his next book hard. i don't know if this is the best way, but it is one of the easiest for self published author's. Your books can be your best advertising. You just have to make sure they're good.

I've seen a couple of self published books that are garbage. This is usually because the author just up and decided to be a writer without ever getting an honest appraisal of his writing. Or the author is not a good story teller but thinks because he reads a lot and has big vocabulary he can entertain people. We have to always keep it up front. If we can't entertain people with our writing it's not going to sell.

That means our persistence should be two fold. One keep writing. Two learn how to write stuff that SELLS. Because in the long run, if your writing don't make no dollars, it don't make no cents.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

There are a few reasons many urban fiction authors can't get white folks to buy there books. But one of the biggest is writing style. There are certain tricks to good writing that many black authors haven't picked up on yet. They may be good story tellers, but I know some seven year olds who can tell good stories. There is a something a little extra that goes into writing novels. And I'm not talking about grammar.

There a saying in writing schools, show don't tell. This one trick can make a story come alive in a reader's mind.

Here's and example: Mary walked in the house and saw that the living room was still messy. She was angry because she told  her husband to clean up. It was the least he could do because he didn't have a job.There was a pile of dirty clothes on the sofa right next to her husband who was watching the football game. Now she was even more angry

This sounds decent but it's telling. Look how it reads when we show instead: Mary walked into the house and tripped over a pair of sneakers. She kicked them and they landed in the empty Dominoes pizza box. "Damn it," Mary said as she slammed her purse on the table that was by the door.

She stepped over piles of dirty clothes as she made her way into the living room. What the hell are you doing?" She said.

Her husband John, was laying back on the sofa using a pile of clothes for a pillow. "What does it look like I'm doing? I'm watching the football game."

The next thing she knew, she had a pair of scissors in her hand and was headed for the TV's cord. 

Notice the difference. Not once did I write that Mary was angry in the second version. I didn't have too, you could see it.

There's another benefit showing. It takes up more space than telling. You can really stretch a book out by telling.

A great place to practice showing is when you want to describe a character. Instead of saying she is beautiful, have one character in the book tell another character say that so and so's ass looks good or she has  gorgeous face.

It's like in a movie. The director doesn't come on stage and say the actor is mad now. The actor shows you he's mad through his actions.

Now I'm not saying you want to show the whole story. It'll read more like a crazy movie script. But you'll to w\show most of it, with just enough telling to round it out. It something you have to practice. Like when Richard Pryor Or Martin Lawrence do stand up comedy. Some of what they show us is funnier than what they say.

Believe me, their are some white folks waiting for some fresh and different writers; and Urban fiction has them. We just have to speak to them in a language they understand and enjoy.

More to come.

e-Reader ownership surges since last November; tablet ownership grows more slowly | Pew Internet & American Life Project

I wrote earlier about there being no real competition between authors. Here are some stats to help prove that point.

e-Reader ownership surges since last November; tablet ownership grows more slowly | Pew Internet & American Life Project:

The above article states that 12% of the adult U.S. population owns ebook readers. That's about 19 million people. And if African Americans are 10% of the population that means there could about 1.9 million black adults who own ebook readers. That means if you can get just one out of ten black ebook readers to buy your book that could be 190,000 sales.

The market is there. All you have to do is the marketing. Oh yeah you have to write a decent book.

Crabs in a barrel or is it the blind leading the blind

A lot of authors feel threatened by other authors they consider the competition. The ease of ebook publication has made some authors feel even more threatened. The truth be told no author is competition to any other author.

I first learned this on the streets of the Bronx trying to sell my books. I had a street vendor on Fordham Road and Webster who sold  a lot of my books. I would stand at his table sometimes for up to an hour just talking about the book business. But I would also talk to the customers.

I found out about two things that sold books. One was word of mouth. People bought books that they heard were good, or that they saw lots of others reading. But the other thing that sold books were other books. I saw people come back to the vendor's table after reading a good book. They would be excited and would want something else to read. Now they were willing to read whatever he recommended. This is when he would push my book, which didn't have the word of mouth recommendation yet.

What many novelist don't realize is or at least they don't act like they realize it is, readers can buy your book and another authors as well.

I had another author/vendor on 125th Street in Harlem, hide my books because he felt I was competition. When I asked him why my books were at the back of his table covered by some old books, his response was people were complaining about my book. But when I talked to other vendors they said the book was selling well.

I hand sold my book to one lady who wouldn't buy books from street vendors. But once she read my book, she started buying books from vendors. She buys about twenty books a year now off the street, but only bought one from me. My one book sale helps about twenty authors a year.

The truth is, if you book is well written and you can tell a good story, your book can sell regardless of the competition. If you book is truly well written but doesn't sell, the problem is your marketing not the competition.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Colored People Time-When did the revolution actually start?

I'm not exactly sure when the ebook revolution started. But like many revolutions small individual acts of rebellion were springing up before anyone noticed. Personal computers and the internet were the major social change that made it all possible.

The internet made it possible for a regular dude like me from the Bronx to be able to find a book printer whom I could afford. Soon I had 2,000 books sitting in my living room and was selling books on Bronx street corners. Eventually through internet resources I was able to get my books on Then came Barnes & Noble. At first, a few of my friends and family members didn't take me serious. But when somebody that new me saw my book in Barnes & Noble, I was accepted as an author. But what really excited me was that the big book retailers considered me a publisher.

I had joined the revolution. Six years later, I still deal primarily with amazon and B&N. But I no longer sell print books. All my books go straight to the Kindle or Nook formats. Some authors resisted ebooks in the beginning, but any one who's serious about making money off their writing has joined in.

Yes most books sell for cheaper price, but you can now reach a world wide audience. And you no longer have to worry about the cost of printing, storing and shipping boxes of books.

I say all that to say this: I'm still hearing about African American self published authors who are still trying to sell old fashion, first and foremost. I'm not saying don't sell paperbacks. I'm saying go the ebook format first. Let me put it to you like this, imagine selling 10,000 copies of a book that didn't cost you nothing but time to make. And all you had to do was upload the book to the internet and collect the checks.

Don't be late for the revolution