Hi there readers and fellow authors. I am Willie Tee and I send out newsletters from time to time to keep you informed of the progress I am making in the promotion of my book, The Winds of Destiny, 2nd Edition. I will mention in my newsletter book festivals, speaking engagements and book signings that I attended or will attend in the future. I also inform readers of other fellow authors that I have met and the titles of their books. Importantly, I want to encourage others to become authors, a dream come true, and to provide them guidance on how to become skillful authors.
Newsletter Dated: 4/2/2006 7:26:04 PM
Subject: The First Annual North Carolina Black Book Festival
It has been some time since I have created and emailed a newsletter, but I wanted to share my experiences at The First Annual North Carolina Black Book Festival, which was held on 31 March 2006 and 1 April 2006 at Sundance Plaza Hotels & Suites, Winston Salem, North Carolina.
About forty Black authors were attendees at this event and autographed their books for visitors at the event. Zane the legendary author who wrote the best sellers "Addicted, Heat Seekers, Skyscraper" and about five other best selling books participated in the festival. She is also the owner of Strebor Book Publishing, LLC and a spokesperson for the NAACP. Zane is also involved in other nonprofit organizations that assist young people in need. My wife and I met Zane during April 2002 at the Black Book & Film Festival at Memphis Tennessee. I presented Zane with a copy of my most recent book, The Keepers of the Secret, at this festival. We are fans of each other books and literary achievements. Zane discussed the following matters during a presentation:
Latter portion of 2006…The Play, “Addicted”, which is based on Zane’s best selling book, “Addicted” will tour 50 or more major cities in the USA and Canada.
Summer or Fall of 2007…Lions Gate Film Production Studio will release the movie “Addicted”, which is based on Zane’s best selling book. It will be released about five weeks after Tyler Perry’s newest movie.
A line of perfumes and cosmetics with Zane’s name will be released soon.
Toys for adults with Zane’s name will be released soon.
Zane is now co-owner of a film or movie production company.
She will host a Hedonism retreat for couples at Jamaica or the Bahamas latter this year.
Many Black books stores have closed, because of the economy or competition in my opinion. This means that we must use other innovative means of selling books to various cultures. Zane will make her books and the books of the 60 authors that she publishes available for sell by book sales representatives. This is a feasible way to sell books, because most books are not sold in bookstores but by other sales methods. Of course, I have brainstormed and used successful sales methods, because books are products and can be marketed just like other products or commodities.
Zane mentioned that though her publishing firm, Strebor, is no longer taking submissions from authors, she receives hundreds of them. She stated that the biggest rejection of manuscripts is misspelled words and some potential authors spelling her name as “Zahne”. Other rejections are for story lines, which capture no one’s interest. She stated that fictional story lines should be based on personal experiences and even research. Zane is currently writing a book about dominatrix (s) and shocked booksellers when she hauled tons of books about the subject matter home to do research. She stated that non-fiction books, which involve self-help, invigorating life experiences or traumatic situations, are great story lines. Zane mentioned that poor character development is a problem, because readers fail to identify with the characters. Readers desire to either like or dislike characters, care for them or hate them. Authors must develop the characters so that readers can “feel” the characters and be concerned about them.
Zane mentioned that some writers succeed by hiring agents. I interjected later during an question and answer period that authors should be check out literary agents through the Better Business Bureau and Consumer Agencies and with authors as references. I commented that I rejected an agent after noting that his authors were far less successful than myself in sales and promotions. The agents also receive the author’s royalties or money first and take out their percentage and mails the author the rest. There could be problems with these arrangements.
Author’s advances were discussed, since Zane is a publisher and astute businesswoman. Zane stated that a $5,000.00 advance to an author before his or her books is published, means that the publisher must sell 6,000 books to cover the advance. Do the math. For authors who self publish, without a publisher, agent, and other middlemen, the sell of 6000 books bring far more than $5,000.00. In this market of production, supply, and demand, there are simple and easy methods of production that make for a fatter wallet. I (publishing great books for less and earning the most) hope to give seminars in the future about this, unless some large publisher buys me out before then. Send me an email if you interested in attending such a seminar.
I strongly believe that everyone has a story to tell or book to write. Everyone has a right to write his or her book and receive a reasonable profit for it. However, Zane warns that people should not write books with deadlines attached or for money. You write the book from the heart, perhaps to heal yourself or others or to entertain, but take your time.
I asked Zane about the future of book printing, because young people have palm pilots, Ipods and other computerized gadgets. I know of a electronic gadget or “E Rocket” that should cost less than $200.00 and readers can load six electronic books into it and read the books page by page with the LED screen and page flip buttons. The E Rocket weighs less than half a pound. My electronic books sell for $4.50 at www.authorhouse.com,compared to $25.00 for hardbacks and $13.95 for paperback books. Zane commented that two years ago she would have laughed about electronic books being formidable, but when Simon and Schuster sold thousands of her book, “Buck Wild” as electronic books recently, it is a reality. Zane stated that the provocative book cover caused people who read at work to load the electronic book onto a laptop, etc, and read it at work. The issue here is simple. If you print books or publish them, it might be wise to consider selling electronic book readers during the future. Even Stephen King showed the interest in electronic books by placing several pages of an unreleased book on the Internet as a computer download that patrons paid $1.00 to read. Millions of patrons paid $1.00 for a preview.
I have been long winded as usual with this newsletter. I will now get back to work on my third and last book of my Trilogy, which will be titled, “The Winds of Destiny”, The Survivors of the Secret.” It will be released soon, which could be this year or next year?
If you want to be an author, many great awards and a bright future await you. I am available to mentor those who have an interest, but being an author is not free lunch. You have to promote the books that you write. We had a great turn out at this book festival. I will attend it next year at North Carolina. I am a Wilmington, NC native.
In the mean time, I got to coordinate with local bookstores, which are seeking me for long overdue book signings. I am also the Vice President of Read Aloud Virginia (reading literacy program for children) and a member of Virginians Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Please visit these organizations, which are linked at www.authorsden.com/willietee.com. You can also view the authors who were at the festival and their books at www.NCBookFest.com. My wife, Ruth, is now carousing the fresh batch of books that I swapped from other authors at the festival. What a library of autographed books we are building.