BOOK COVER MAGAZINE - WINTER EDITION - 2017

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Book Cover Magazine is setup for aspiring writers, upcoming artists, and published authors. Our goal is bringing authors, artists, and readers together.

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BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017

JL KING PUBLISHER

Greetings,

starting Book Cover Magazine, big plans were present day one. My vision was

When

a platform to bring authors and readers together. Book Cover would

building

a slick, visually­appealing interface with all the bells and whistles known by

embody

digital magazines.

best­in­class

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Book

mainstream and brick and mortar bookstores.

digital

dreams are inherent to me, as well as big goals. Developing JL (Just Living) in

Big

simultaneously broke me. This was the hardest thing that I had ever done. I

2004;

was blind going in a huge endeavor with big goals.

$75,000 of personal savings funding the endeavor, I was on the cusp of a

With

breakdown; vowing to never publish another magazine. I'd hit a breaking

nervous

from dealing with staff, advertisers, distribution, event planning events and so

point

more. This was too much for one person; however, the almighty buck started­

much

and­stopped with me.

the launch party, everyone who was anybody­­was there. Atlanta's

Remembering

came too ­­­ with a congratulatory wish to the Magazine. Celebrities were

Mayor

everywhere, and for weeks the red carpet was the talk of the city.

JL King had everything under control. Leading up to the launch, sleeping

Externally,

very far and few between and internally I was screaming. Often I'd questioning

was

why did I do this? Plainly­­­I am a risk­taker and dreamer with a vision of success.

to 2014, after seeing a self­publishing showcase, I was willing to take the

Forward

risk­­­again.

Book Cover released twelve issues, inclusive of problems indicative with publishing.

back, I guess I love punishment. Book Cover Magazine is back after a

Looking

hiatus and a new team. I am back with the same vigor, determination and

12­month

in providing a first­class magazine with events supporting books written by

passion

American authors.

African

is why the magazine’s motto is “We bring readers and authors together.”

That

hope that you enjoy what Book Cover brings you every quarter and that you join

I

mission to keep our authors, writers, and artists as part of history and

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for years to come.

heritage


to the first issue of Book Cover

Welcome

with me as the new Editor-in-

Magazine

I never, even in my wildest dreams,

Chief.

about becoming the editor of a

thought

until a few weeks ago. However,

magazine

always had dreams of becoming the

I’ve

I could be. I started out as a secretary,

best

became a school teacher, then a

who

counselor, followed by a

guidance

author, and an indie publisher.

romance

that, I became a proofreader/copy

After

and I’m now Editor-in-Chief of this

editor,

my dream is to move Book Cover

Now

to new heights and for it to

Magazine

the premier magazine for aspiring

become

upcoming artists, and published

writers,

With my background in teaching

authors.

publishing, the plan is to build a solid

and

where we can gather to learn,

structure

and promote one another on our

uplift,

artistic journeys. Whatever your

individual,

is, you can find a way to reach it

dream

this issue, we’re bringing you articles

With

a variety of contributing writers, as

from

as interviews with several featured

well

We’re showcasing the best that

authors.

independent and traditional worlds

the

to offer our readers. We’re also

have

indie publishers, showing you

highlighting

to become a certified bestselling

how

teaching you a new way to release

author,

providing you with tips on

audiobooks,

your book for film or television,

pitching

ways for reaching the Hispanic

presenting

market, bringing you published

book

and a great deal more.

poets,

you read this fall/winter magazine issue,

As

hope that you will see the diversity as well

I

the quality we intend to bring our

as

each quarter. But most

readers

we intend to bring authors

importantly,

readers together to make all our

and

EDITOR'S NOTE

DEPTH AND SCOPE

distinguished publication.

using this literary source!

Joe Williams

Barbara

Editor-in-Chief

dreams come true! Happy New Year!

03

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017


SMITH

BRENDA

AUTHOR - FEATURED

BESTSELLING

L KING, NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLING AUTHOR

J

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE

RELAUNCHES

L King J

from Publisher

Letter

Joe Williams

Barbara

from Editor-in-Chief

Letter

Cover Magazine's Team

Book

the Magical Team of BCM

Meet

L. Smith

Brenda

Author - Longing to

Featured

Jackson

Brenda

Author - Hopeless

Featured

Jamila Battle

Dr.

Author

Featured

KIMBERLA

LAWSON-ROBY

Referee's Shelf

Book

Reviews & Top 10 Books by

3

Book Clubs

National

and Literary Events by

Authors

D. Mensah

Monique

Author -The Dark side of

Featured

E. Fortson, Jr. - Poet

Carl

Voice of the People

The

Samuels Young

Pamela

Author

Featured

Lawson Roby

Kimberla

Author

Featured

THE NEW YOU

04

Orsayor Simmons

Sharon Lucas

Media Powerhouse

Writing

Write Stories

Romantic

From Abuse to Abundance

04 BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017


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COVER MAGAZINE is published by

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TO WRITE STORIES

B R E N D A L . S M I T H

LONGING

FEATURED AUTHOR

Brenda Smith is a retired educator who has

"Write the novel, tell the story!” She placed it in

served her community as a teacher, principal,

her file cabinet, and after retiring in 2004, she

assistant superintendent of schools, and an

started on it again. The story became her first

adjunct college professor. After completing her

novel titled, Insane Circumstances. When her

dissertation in 1994, her attention turned to the

manuscript was completed, Brenda

contemporary fiction stories she longed to share.

attempted to follow the traditional route to

To date, she has written four contemporary

getting published; bought a Writer’s Digest,

novels. She graduated from high school at the

composed a query letter, then sent it out to

age of 16, received a B.A. in French from Albany

about 150 publishers, editors, and literary

State College in Georgia. Later, she acquired a

agents to no avail. A few responded with notes

Masters in Special Education, an Education

indicating their companies were not accepting

Specialist Degree, and a Doctorate of Philosophy

entries like hers, but still encouraged Brenda to

in Educational Administration and Supervision.

Needless to say, she spent countless hours in

write. So in 2012, Ms. Smith decided to selfpublish,

which was the new wave in the

libraries at the colleges she attended. However,

industry. Since releasing her novels, she’s

Brenda found herself veering away from the

attended several literary events across the

academic shelves to sitting on the floors in the

country and even pitched one of her books to

fiction section fingering book pages and longing

a movie producer, Bob Kosberg, in Los Angeles,

to write stories. About 40 years ago, Ms. Smith

California. And even though she didn’t get the

wrote a story titled, “The Bus Ride” for an Ebony

deal, Brenda said, “I gained valued insight into

Magazine competition. The guidelines indicated

the industry.” She went on to say, “Other than

that only winners would be notified and authors’

writing, my hobbies include traveling, playing

work would not be returned. Although she did

the piano, and helping others.”

not win the cash prize, to her surprise, she

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 06

received the manuscript back with a note,


fiction with a historical slant. Here are

Contemporary

summaries of the books I have published:

the

Circumstances’ theme is “prejudicial hazing.”

Insane

contemporary work is fiction; it is replete with my

This

is Southern and country! It is comparable to

culture—it

Stockett’s, The Help.

Kathryn

Circumstances, the second story in what I

Unforeseen

my Circumstances Series, deals with aging and the

call

Circumstances, the third book in the trilogy,

Extreme

the life of Caroline Jackson. Brandi and T.J. are

traces

relatives, and she looks to the elderly couple to

her

her during an abusive relationship.

support

fourth novel, Forbidden Love in Timbuktu (Woman

My

Another Land,) is based on an AP story I read in

from

local paper last year, and it transcends from a tale

my

unacceptable romance.

of

view this standalone novel as just one way to show

I

how one can remain hopeful even when

readers

face challenges.” Brenda wanted to

relationships

an author because her love for books started

become

a young child. “My mother was an avid reader who

as

books of all kinds from Readers’ Digest. Some

ordered

for children, others not. When everyone was

were

at night, I would read by flashlight under the

asleep

first hardback book I remember reading was, The President’s Lady, the story of

The

Andrew Jackson and his wife, Rachel Donaldson Robards, the scandal concerning

President

legality of their marriage, and how they overcame their difficulties. My penchant for

the

stories with riveting plots started there. I decided I would not only read them but

romance

shared with us what she thinks about the current status of books today. “As a

Brenda

advocate, I rest hopeful. Reading is so important and if children do not learn to

literacy

by the time they are in the third grade, their chances of completing high school, going

read

college, and securing gainful employment that will support them and their families

to

I believe we are doing more now than ever to encourage literacy in our

lessen.

So many organizations support literacy in one way or another: donating books

communities.

THE KIND

O F B O O K S T H A T I L O V E T O R E A D

WRITING

problems that come with aging.

covers.

write stories."

to schools and libraries, reading to children, conducting writing competitions.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 07


workshop and gleaned tips and strategies

writers’

by successful writers. I generally know

employed

beginning of my story as well as the end.

the

I outline and try to determine

Sometimes,

Since I embrace themes, I research the

chapters.

used in my story.

topic

employ tips about

I

drafting, revising,

prewriting,

Brenda co-hosted

published,

South Georgia Literacy

the

in May featuring

Festival

traditionally

several

a grant to help with

co-wrote

the event. Clearly,

funding

add about my work is

would

desire to see my

my

Series moved

Circumstances

print to screen.” For

from

information about

additional

books, please visit

her

website at:

Brenda’s

forbiddenloveintimbuktu.com

CONSEQUENTLY,

I REST

OPTIMISTIC

ABOUT THE

STATUS OF

BOOKS

editing as I tell the story.

and

I start writing, my

When

generally take a

characters

of their own, and I follow

life

them. My imagination is

after

vivid, and it is constantly

very

I occasionally jot

working.

that come in the middle

ideas

the night or during the day.

of

I am at the computer, I

Once

as long as I

compose

“flow.” I don’t

experience

daily… but think about

write

work until the last word is

my

paper.” In order to inspire

on

writers to become

other

BRENDA L. SMITH

and many selfpublished

published

authors. She also

described her book writing process: “I am

She

a trained writer but have attended a few

not

is a passionate author

she

stated, “The only thing I

who

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 08


COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 9

BOOK

COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 09

BOOK


BRENDA JACKSON

I'm a

diehard

romantic

Brenda Jackson is a New York Times and USA Today

bestselling author of romance novels and women’s fiction.

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, and a proud graduate of

William M. Raines High School. Brenda earned a Bachelor

of Science Degree in Business Administration from

Jacksonville University. She is a proud member of Delta

Sigma Theta sorority, with over 100 novels and novellas.

Brenda has over 10 million books in print. Her professional

writing career began in 1994, when she signed on with

Kensington Arabesque. Tonight and Forever, her first book,

became a huge success by introducing the Madaris Family.

Since then, she has introduced the Bennetts, the

Westmorelands, the Montgomerys, the Masters, the Savoys,

the Steeles, and the Grangers, just to name a few.

Interview By Barbara Joe Williams

O M A D I C | 2 4

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 10

N


BRENDA JACKSON

books can be

Brenda’s

on her website:

found

They just enjoy different types of books, and I

applaud them for their preferences and varieties.”

She enjoys writing and said if she ever wrote a book

about her life story, it would be titled, Gerald and

Brenda: A Forever Love.

Brenda became an author because of her

abundant love for writing love stories and

shared what she thinks about the current

status of books. “I think it’s great! There

was a time where there were few African-

American authors.”

She went on to express that some black

authors don’t support one another, saying,

“Some have a crabs in a basket mentality.”

She’s currently reading, Fighting Dirty, by

Lori Foster.

However, her favorite author is Nora

Roberts, because Roberts got her start

writing romance novels and is proud of it.

Brenda said, “Some authors who got their

start writing romance and now write

mainstream novels, try hiding their

beginning in romance. And all of Nora

Roberts’ books are well-written and

enjoyable to read.”

The reason is because Gerald Jackson was a big part

of her life and the man she vowed to love forever.

She still owns the "going steady" ring that he gave her

at the young age of fifteen.

Although she prefers traveling with eBooks, Brenda

said, “There is nothing like sitting by the pool with a

real book (in your hands). I’m glad publishers offer

both.” And the only advice she has for new authors

thinking about entering this business is, “Write what

you love. Believe in yourself and respect your

readers.”

In the Works

Currently, Brenda is working on Book 3 of the

Protector Series titled, Locked in Temptation. She’s

also trying to inspire other writers to become

published. “I hope that I am setting an example by

being a dedicated author who writes in a genre I

love.” Ms. Jackson wanted to share this final

information about herself with our readers: “

I am a diehard romantic.”

brendajackson.net

Brenda's successful writing process

Brenda also shared with us her writing

process for starting a new book. “I don’t

have a formal process. I just sit down at the

computer and start writing.” She also

shared her view regarding why some

authors complain that African-Americans

don’t buy books. “African-Americans do buy

books.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 11


Dr. Jamila Battle

F R O M A B U S E T O A B U N D A N C E

Dr. Jamila Battle is an awardwinning,

triple boardcertified

physician, author,

speaker, and consultant; but

most importantly, our abuse

to abundance authority. Her

book, from Abuse to

Abundance, is a #1 Amazon

bestselling self-help memoir.

She published her book in

June 2016. She is also the

creator of Reboot Repair

Rebirth®, a self-help course

that she created to help those

impacted by

trauma. Jamila's desire to

author stems from

batteling childhood abuse

where both parents suffered

from mental illness and

addiction.

Although she escaped 14 years

of childhood abuse, it

followed her and sapped her

joy and creativity. Writing

was therapeutic and shared

her truth and intimate

bleeding story of what was

going on in her head, in hopes

that others will better

understand what they are

going through, and those that

they love can gain

understanding, too. Dr. Battles

shared with us what she

thinks about the current

status of books. “For me,

books are nostalgic and have

physical beauty. There is

something magical in

physically holding a

book that can't be compared

to watching videos or movies.

Books are here to stay and

will never die.” Jamila notes

that black authors can do

more in support of one

another by “sharing resources

and cross-promoting one

another. ” Currently she's

reading the ASAM Essentials

of Addiction Medicine and

said, “Sorry, no light reading

here! ASAM is part of my

medical practice, as one of my

certifications is addiction

medicine.” She adds, “I enjoy

reading Dr. Maya Angelou's, I

Know Why the Cage Bird

Sings." I can relate given my

background.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 1 2


the Battle continues

"I enjoyed reading Alex Haley’s, Roots while

learning about our history. As a child,

another writer I found enjoyment was

Laura Ignalls-Wilder. Her books helped me

to hang onto threads of hope while in the

thrusts of abuse.”

Dr. Battle enjoyed sharing her book writing

process. “I create a story arc followed by

chapter outlines. Then, no other editing is

done until I am finished. I leave editing to

the professionals so that the reader has an

optimal experience from reading.

She believes there is a way that we can

encourage more African-Americans to buy

books. “Given the number of African

American book clubs across the country,

more books can be purchased by this

demographic.

Urban art on the cover of the books may

identify them as written by a black author.

Utilizing black media for promotions would

also help.”

Dr. Battle’s books; From Abuse to

Abundance, Reboot Your Soul, Repair Your

Heart, and Rebirth Into Prosperity.

Her books chronicles her life story and

helps others take control of their destiny. “I

named them in tribute to my dad. As he was

a talented and charismatic jazz musician,

who everyone loved. Externally, our family

looked picture perfect.

What people don't know is that our home

was a prison. The windows had metal bars

that were designed to keep me, my mother,

brother, and little sister caged, along with

our family’s deepest secrets. We shared our

house with rats, bats, and other rodents;

often used in torturing us.

While I physically escaped the abuse, it

followed me. Abuse sapped my joy and

creativity. I spiraled into a hole of

depression as a [supposedly] successful

doctor and mother of three children, I

realized there was a purpose in my pain.

Reboot your soul by breaking the silence,

speaking your truth, and ending the

isolation.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 13


1 0 W A Y S N O T T O

C O M M I T S U I C I D E

Darryl "DMC" McDaniel,

one-third of the

legendary rap group,

Run DMC has penned a

candid and thoughtprovoking

memoir of his

struggles with

alcoholism, depression,

and suicidal thoughts.

B E L I E V I N G I N

M A G I C !

Believing in Magic

My Story of Love,

Overcoming Adversity,

and Keeping the Faith is

the story America has

been waiting to read.

Z I G G L Y M A R L E Y &

F A M I L Y C O O K B O O K

Most people know Ziggy

Marley from his Grammy

award-winning music,

but the literary world

knows him from his

bestselling children's book

titled, I Love You, Too and

his comic book named,

Marijuana Man.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 14


B O O K R E F E R E E S S H E L F

3 R E V I E W S & T O P 1 0 B O O K S

TEN WAYS NOT TO COMMIT SUICIDE

A M E M O I R - D A R R Y L " D M C " M C D A N I E L S

P U B L I S H E R : A M I S T A D ( H A R P E R C O L L I N S )

R E L E A S E D A T E : J U L Y 5 , 2 0 1 6

P A G E S : 2 4 0

R A T I N G : 3 / 5 S T A R S

Darryl "DMC" McDaniel, one-third of the legendary

rap group, Run DMC has penned a candid and

thought-provoking memoir of his struggles with

alcoholism, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Depression is a topic that many people shy away

even though so many people, especially in the black

community, are suffering from this illness in silence.

DMC also reveals his true feelings about the members

of Run DMC and trust me, everything that glittered

on stage wasn't gold backstage.

I applaud DMC for being so transparent with his life

experiences. It's never easy reliving things from our

past but sometimes, it can be therapeutic. I believe

that by us sharing our stories with others, we can

help someone that may be going through the same

thing. There were issues with this read. First, the

book was not chronological, which, at times led

to confusion. I was flipping back and forth

making sure I didn't skip anything. The title of this

book is misleading. Judging from the title, you would

think it's a self-help book, but it's not. If I had to sum

up it in a few words, I would say it's a memoir that

can serve as a cautionary tale. If you are a fan of

Run DMC, this is a great book to add to your

collection.

Orsayor L. Simmons is Book Referees founder. Book

Referees spotlights/reviews/promoting all literary

genres globally. She is the recipient of the 2013 Top 25

Literary Leader Award - 2014 Top 25 Literary Leader

Award (presented by Ella Curry) - 2015 AAMBC

Blogger of the Year & 2016 AAMBC Reviewer of the

Year.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 15


B O O K R E F E R E E S S H E L F

3 R E V I E W S & T O P 1 0 B O O K S

BELIEVING IN MAGIC

P U B L I S H E R : H O W A R D B O O K S

R E L E A S E D A T E : S E P T E M B E R 2 0 , 2 0 1 6

P A G E S : 2 7 2

R A T I N G : 4 / 5 S T A R S

Believing in Magic: My Story of Love, Overcoming

Adversity, and Keeping the Faith by Cookie Johnson

is the story America has been waiting to read.

If you were born before 1991, then you can remember

where you were when Magic Johnson said these

words: "Because of the HIV virus that I have

attained, I will have to retire from the Lakers…

today." The earth stood still for a lot of basketball

fans that day. After the news of Magic's diagnosis

was absorbed - the next two questions that

immediately came to everyone's mind were: How's

the baby? How's Cookie?

Fast forward to 2016 - 25 years after the

announcement that shook the world to its core -

Earlitha "Cookie" Johnson reveals the ups and downs

that comes with loving and "believing in Magic."

Cookie also opens up about her personal struggles,

faith, their son EJ’s sexuality and larger than life

personality, and never before shared information

about her daughter's adoption.

The ending seemed rushed, but it didn't take away

from the lessons that readers receives. One of the

lessons I took away from this book was - With faith

anything is possible.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 16


B O O K R E F E R E E S S H E L F

3 R E V I E W S & T O P 1 0 B O O K S

ZIGGY MARLEY AND FAMILY COOK BOOK

P U B L I S H E R : A K A S H I C B O O K S

R E L E A S E D A T E : O C T O B E R 1 1 , 2 0 1 6

P A G E S : 1 2 0

R A T I N G : 4 / 5 S T A R S

Most people know Ziggy Marley from his Grammy

award-winning music, but the literary world knows him

from his bestselling children's book titled, I Love You,

Too and his comic book named, Marijuana Man.

Well, he's back with another contribution to the literary

world - this time he has an organic cookbook that will

satisfy your appetite. Ziggy Marley and Family

Cookbook offers easy-to-make, delicious meals made

from natural ingredients.

The cookbook is grouped into five sections called: Rise

(Recipes for your morning), All Day (Recipes that can

be eaten any time of the day), Midday (Light dishes),

Evening (Meals that are made for dinner), and Sweets

(Treats that your kids will fall in love with). Included in

the book are recipes for smoothies. So no matter what

time of the day - there's a meal that will cover it.

Author Ziggy Marley and Family have done an

exceptional job with delivering easy-to-make meals for

your family. There are contributions from his wife,

children, sister, and many more of his family members.

The pictures in this cookbook are very colorful and

inviting. If you are looking for healthy options when it

comes to meals for your family - look no further.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 17


BOOK CLUBS, AUTHORS & LITERARY EVENTS

By Sharon Lucas

When I founded my first book club in 1998, the premier places for readers to meet and get to know

African American authors in the DC/MD area were the now defunct brick and mortar bookstores,

Karibou and Borders. These stores didn’t just stock the books we were looking for; they brought the

authors to us. Unfortunately, by 2008, Karibou had closed and Borders was failing. Since then, other

significant changes in the literary world – such as the closing of most of our African

American bookstores, the dramatic advances in e-book readers, the growth of online retailers such

as Amazon, and the affordability of print-on-demand (POD) for self-published authors, which has

given us more authors and reads than ever before – have created a need for readers and authors to

develop new methods to meet and network. Many book clubs have risen to meet this challenge by

inviting authors to their book club meetings and hosting literary events.

Authors looking for the best way to “get in” with book clubs should consider building the kind of

relationships that will encourage readers to become supporters of both them and their work. The

average book club meets no more than ten times a year, so the number of authors who can be

invited each year is limited. If given the choice between inviting an author with whom they’ve had no

previous contact versus an author they have met – either in person or on social media – and

developed both a dialogue and a rapport with – the latter will most likely receive the invitation.

Award winning Author, Book Club Consultant and Literary Event Planner

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 18


Book clubs, authors and literary events.

Where does an author meet avid readers and book club

members? At literary events! Library and bookstore

readings and signings, author chats, festivals, author expos,

and literary conferences are all great places to network.

Readers no longer want to be limited to what they read on

the cover of a book, they want to meet the authors they

love and support. Whether you are a new or seasoned

author, you must go where readers go in order to build and

expand your network, AND readers must go to these places

to show their support, and help keep our authors writing.

The other proven approach to relationship building is

through social media.

According to an October 2015 study by PEW Research, 56

percent of AA’s are on social media. Authors and readers

can connect daily – from the comfort of their homes – on

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, through blogs, email blasts,

and easy to find and negotiate websites.

Social media allows authors and readers to talk, tag, share,

tell, review, friend, follow, invite, and like. Consistent,

current, and relevant information exchange is key.

Relationship building is essential to expanding your reach

and building a network. The more you embrace it, the

more likely you will become famous where you live and

invitations to book club meetings and events will follow.

Sharon Lucas is an avid reader, book club founder and

president, literary event planner, and the author of, Plan It!

The Complete Resource Guide for Authors, Book Clubs and

Literary Event Planners.

You can read more about Sharon on the web at:

sharonrlucas.com and onereadingdiva@gmail.com

Award winning Author, Book Club Consultant and Literary Event

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 19


WWW.THEBESTSATURDAYSOFOURLIVES.COM.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 20


BY YASHIKA CHERRY

A R E Y O U L I V I N G W E L L ?


wake up each

You

and roll your

morning

the motions yet

through

but because you

again,

you quickly shower,

must;

your teeth, and

brush

the kids. You

shake-wake

all thoughts and

shake

yourself from the

drag

It is at this moment

bed.

your already

that

morning ritual

expedited

more chaotic.

becomes

become a drill

You

belting out

sergeant,

cadences to

repetitive

deaf ears as they seem

on

sleepwalk through the

to

you’re able to get

Finally,

to swallow a bite

them

get on their way,

and

your pass to

granting

start the day.

hastily

of your hurried

Evidence

leaves a

morning

scattered

positioning yourself

After

the desk---

behind

crunching through

clock

hours in the

proximity of

close

project's deadline.

your

have just enough

You

to pick up the

time

from school,

children

dinner, assist

prepare

homework,

with

settle everyone for

and

to revisit the routine

bed

tomorrow.

familiar? If this

Sound

pulled your

scenario

YOU ARE

LIVING

then you know

heartstrings,

consuming the task at

how

--- such that you forget

hand

nurture everything else,

to

most importantly ---your

but

Shockingly, this is

wellbeing.

reality impacts most;

chaotic

those who don’t

especially

a traditional 9 to 5 job.

work

those individuals, the

For

rule is, 'All work or

golden

pay -- understandably so."

no

at the ceiling at the

eyes

of the alarm. Your

sound

is fatigued from

mind

of going

thoughts

throughout the

trail

room. living

WELL?

realization hits

Instantly

the workday ends.

and

your children: get

keep

stay orderly, and

moving,

on the bus. These

get

seem to fall

commands

process.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 22


a wellness coach and

A

trainer,

fitness

these individuals

Typically,

in planning lunch

excel

and thoughtprovoking

intentional

in goal-setting,

bottom of their “to-do”

the

(if it’s listed at all),

list

wellbeing,

Your

by health,

characterized

and prosperity

happiness,

fuels your

---

existence and the

daily

by which you

level

to prepare for work?

time

you start the day with

Do

you eating sensible,

Are

meals, and

healthy

5 – 6 times daily ?

snacks,

creativity naturally

Does

the day?

throughout

you engaged in

Are

home chaos?

from

you actively engaged

Are

3.7 WELLNESS:

DOLLAR TRILLION

YOU ARE

LIVING

WELL?

WELL-BEING QUIZ

unanimously proven

I've

is, "Those who

repeatedly

you wake in the

Do

in just enough

morning

under restricted

live

or restraints -

lifestyle---

bottom-line

show

but,

increases,

within an hour of

breakfast

waking?

health is the

declining

cost that no one

hidden

factors.

through and out of

flow

effortlessly?

you

but

meetings

in making

underperform

you stop and smell the

Do

daily? In other words,

roses

for exercise and

time

They are

meditation.

you pull away from

do

to step into the world

work

careless in meal

but

What does this

planning.

activity or exercise

physical

– 5 times a week?

4

mean? Most are

all

their well-being at

placing

you fatigued or lack

Are

energy?

you sleep 6.5 – 7 hours

Do

nightly?

it should be boldly

when

the top. at

you have a stress outlet

Do

you to de-stress

helping

in community outreach?

experience life.

YASHIKA CHERRY

INDUSTRY

STATS: GLOBAL WELLNESS INSTITUTE/2015

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 23


you answered "no" to

If

– 2 questions, you’ve got

0

pretty good handle on

a

wellbeing. But be

your

the busy world

careful,

easily get you on a

can

you answer no to 3 – 6

Did

these scenarios? If so,

of

on this path

continuing

lead to unfavorable

will

and life conditions.

health

few adjustments here

A

there will help you to

and

your lifestyle

strengthen

take control of your

and

before it takes

wellbeing

of you. If you

control

no to more

answered

6 of these questions,

than

challenge to you is to

my

find a way to

intentionally

these

incorporate

into your daily

practices

Many of you in this

living.

may already be

zone

some health

experiencing

Lack in multiple

blocks.

of wellness has a

areas

effect on your state

direct

health, and they are

of

silent for some time

often

they tattoo

before

physically

themselves

us. upon

matter where you are

No

what level of

and

you entertain

wellbeing

the saving grace is

now,

you’re existing at an

that

higher state lies

even

your control and

within

takes determination

only

daily pursuit to

and

Having a high

realize.

of wellbeing can, in

dose

serve as your daily

fact,

is a fitness

Yashika

wellness coach,

trainer,

and motivational

author

speaker

passionate in helping

-

attain better

women

experiences

living

practicing true

through

YOU ARE

LIVING

WELL?

Yashika's

book: A

upcoming

Experience

Living

True

through

less disciplined track.

and can even

medicine

the only medicine

be

you’ll ever need.

Alive: wake

a Thriving

Creating

Wellness.

wellness.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 24


IT IS VERY

IMPORTANT

THAT YOU STAY

TRUE TO

YOURSELF.

Write Until Your Heart is Content & You Have Nothing Left Inside


WANDA

LYNN MCROYAL

Author interview with Authoress

Wanda Lynn McRoyal

She shared the reasons for penning

her explosive books. “Writing my

memoir, Pleasure Pain and Prison:

Part 1 and 2, was a form of escape

for me. Writing comforted me, as it

was my safe place to go during my

incarceration. Pleasure Pain and

Prison was a cathartic way for me to

gain closure on those chapters of my

life by beginning the healing process

and putting the past behind me.”

Wanda added, “I was writing to

myself. It was a way for me to see

my path and growth from the person

I was yesterday to the person I am

today.”

Obviously, writing the books was a

difficult process for this first-time

author. “The one difficult time I had

was realizing, indeed, the truth as in

the saying, ‘We don't always choose

who we love, our hearts choose for

us.’ And also feeling the depth of the

pain that resurfaced during the

writing.” Although her favorite

authors are Ronald Marshall and

Norman Ross, she’s currently reading,

The Guardian, by Liane Larocque, and

August Rebellion, by Ronald Marshall.

Lynn McRoyal

Wanda

a sister who loves to

is

To date, she has

write.

her memoirs;

written

she sees herself

and

into directing

delving

plays, writing

stage

stories,

motivational

poetry. Yes, she

and

to do it all!

wants

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 26


She truly has a

powerful message for

anyone interested in

reading her books. “I

want the reader to

understand that even

in your darkest times,

you can still "Stand"

and you are not alone.

There is always hope.”

Her advice for new authors or writers who want to become

published is simple. “I would advise new authors who want to

become published to find a good editor that understands your

vision, someone you trust, and someone who encourages you.”

When we asked about her future as an author, Wanda replied, “I

would like to develop a faithful following and continue to write

empowering stories.”

Readers can find her books, Pleasure Pain and Prison:

Part 1 and 2, on Amazon and her website:

authoresswandalmcroyal.com.

Ms. McRoyal wanted to add this final statement: “I am in the

process of turning Pleasure Pain and Prison into a stage play in

2017! Writing my life story has been a life life-changing

experience.”

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 27


BOOK COVER MAGAZINE

WE BRING

AUTHORS & READERS

TOGETHER!

LITERARY GAME CHANGERS

PHOTOGRAPHED BY IAN CASTANEDA

TAKING OVER

THE WORLD


TELL ME

WHAT

YOU READ,

AND I WILL

TELL YOU

WHAT YOU

ARE.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE


MONIQUE D. MENSAH

M A K E Y O U R M A R K

Monique D. Mensah, a four-time

award-winning author dreamed of

becoming published since she was

eight. Fueled with

determination, Monique published her

first book, Who is He to You, in 2009.

It was the first novel in the Malignant

Mind Series, consisting of five books

with a common theme: dark

psychological thrillers.

During the third grade, Monique’s

English teacher recognized her writing

talent. Her mom had her reading early

and she loved it. At eight, Monique

declared herself a future author. This

came on the heels of recognizing her

writing gift and finding

encouragement at school and home.

Writing is exactly what she did!

Monique enjoys supporting African American

authors as expressed recently. “Maintaining a

network of like-minded authors desiring success;

along with others, is vital to our craft. Grasping this

concept furthers our common-goal of authorship

and collaborating, versus seeing one other as

competition. This means informing each other of

events, different promotional opportunities,

referrals, etc. We should recognize each other as a

family.”

Currently reading: Every Little Step: My Story,

-by Bobby Brown.

Monique's "5th" release:

Death's Companion

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 30


THE DARK SIDE OF AUTHORSHIP | MONIQUE D. MENSAH

writes dark and disturbing stories like I do.

Flynn

my favorites include: Eric Jerome Dickey,

Historically,

Bebe Moore Campbell, and J. California Cooper.

When asked about her favorite author, Monique

states, “It’s difficult to choose a favorite author. I may

be into a particular author at different times. Gillian

Flynn, Gone Girl's author resonates with my writing

style. Monique’s book-writing process is a little

different from the norm, but is working well. “With

many of my books, I’ve started with the ending in

mind and then work in creating the rest of the story

--- justifying the ending. Monique's process is

different for each book. II’ve done character or

chapter outlines and free-styled others. Randomly,

I've jotted notes when ideas arise ---later on

capturing to paper."

Monique's thoughts on increasing the African

American's book-buying experience -- notes ,

“There’s a book genre out there for everyone. Some

readers are not exposed to those genres. Others may

feel that African American books are limited in

scope, topics and themes. As authors, it's our

responsibility to diversify among our black readers.

Part of this push is raising awareness that there’s

something in a book for them.”

The title of Monique autobiography would be,,

"Finding My Voice." She has struggled with

confidence and self-love. Pursuing her passion and

walking purposefully as an author has armed her

with confidence , thereby giving her my voice.”

“Invest in yourself. To be taken seriously, you have to

be serious, such as, spending time and money,

researching, and hustling in getting your book into the

readers’ hands. It is a business just as much as

art.“ Monique inspires writers to publish their works.

“Through Make Your Mark Publishing Solutions, my

team and I facilitate a unique process for selfpublishing

authors --- spanning, editing to print.

Monique is inspired by helping authors turn

manuscripts into masterpieces.

Monique's working on a ghostwriting project for a

Make Your Mark client and also working a

collaborative project involving a short story for

author Brian W. Smith. Monique didn't shy away

from showcasing other projects in tandem with

highlighting her company, Make Your Mark!

“My brand is dark, disturbing, jaw-dropping, and

entertaining. I want to be known as an author who

wasn’t afraid to push the envelope and dared to be

different.” Readers can reach out and buy Monique’s

books at the following places: Amazon, Barnes &

Noble, and wherever books are sold online. Her books

can also be ordered at brick and mortar bookstores

across the country.

Ms. Mensah left us with a parting statement: “I’m

excited to be back in the game after a four-year hiatus.

I'm debuting my fifth release, Death’s Companion and

looking forward to many more years of writing and

many more books.

Monique's website: www.makeyourmarkps.com.

Monique is torn on eBooks, "eBooks are cool. I still

enjoy paperbacks, but my Kindle is loaded with great

eBooks too.” Either way, her advice:

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 31


family members, or friends. It can inspire

themselves,

in becoming a writer, sketch artist, or even

them

Never tell your child they cannot be any one

illustrator.

these professionals.

of

day, my daughter asked me to write down her

One

and feelings. Writing is difficult for Se’Quince

thoughts

she has cerebral palsy which prevents further

as

of writing skills. She’s the thinker and I

development

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 34

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 32

E L P I N G C H I L D R E N

H

E C O M E B

P U B L I S H E D

RASHONDA

AIKEN

your child's creativity by having them write

Launch

thoughts and feelings. Using a notebook, diary,

their

computer, or a drawing or sketch pads can

journal,

This allows them opportunity to express feelings

work.

a certain way depending on what they plan on

in

Some kids show feelings by drawing pictures of

writing.

help compose her ideas by typing them.


ALL ABOUT THE ANIMALS & THE ALPHABET

do all her writing and note-taking, tape

I

and every thought that comes to mind.

record

was the time to discuss her thoughts. We had

This

notebooks, one for each idea. Keeping up

three

I write everything down, I read it back to

Once

ensuring it’s written correctly and the

her

Se'Quince's thoughts was tricky. At times,

with

have vision for one thing, but her mind was

she'd

manner in which she intended.

thinking of something new. However, I

already

grab one of the notebooks an capture that

would

idea.

funny because it’s like she is proofreading

It’s

I have written down. No matter where

what

is, she’s always thinking of

Se’Quince

things to write. During seventh grade,

different

book, Life is a Journey mirrors Se’Quince’s

The

with cerebral palsy. It took two years to

life

visioned writing a book. but didn’t

Se’Quince

what to do with it. She kept it to herself

know

I had to remember back to when she

complete.

first born up until the end of the story. I had

was

she was ready to share. I've sat and

until

her facial expressions as she thought

watched

find my old pictures because that was my

to

Those pictures needed to be pieced

puzzle.

about ideas, but the puzzle wasn’t completed.

piece by piece, by piece. Once the

together,

was finished, Life is a Journey was born. I

puzzle

the timing was right and Se’Quince was

When

to share the many things that she wanted

ready

thought about writing as an everyday

never

I used it so Se’Quince could learn to

activity.

do; there wasn’t any way we could do them

to

-- at once! Se’Quince’s read using The

all

not as a way to become an author. Yeah,

write,

are people who write stuff in their diaries

there

Frog System. She would also keep

Leap

of current events by watching the

appraised

journals regarding their thoughts, life and

and

I didn’t look at it as an important part of

feelings.

news when she came home from school.

my daily life or Se’Quince’s.

when returning from work, we'd eat

Routinely,

discuss national events; which was the

dinner,

needed to teach my daughter to write for two

I

One, I won’t be here forever and two, it

reason.

technique in framing her first book.

a sense of independence. In 2014 when

created

how to write a book, I had all the

researching

is a Journey, without knowing if this

Life

was appropriate, I knew once we were

method

things to move forward. We just didn’t

right

how to pull it "all" together. That part took

know

I would find someone to help us to

ready,

sure everything was in order to make it

make

longest to figure out. We were novices in the

the

genre. We didn’t have one published author

book

into a great book.

the family. I had acquaintances and because I

in

their books, they offered to help and guide

read

becoming an author was not on my

Se’Quince

Se’ always been a happy-go-lucky kind

radar.

guiding me along the right paths to follow. I

me;

Se’Quince was already an author and didn’t

think

girl. Whatever she did made her face light

of

She was proud of each accomplishment.

up.

know it.

your time and be patient with your child,

Take

encourage daily writing activities. You may

and

nightly took about two hours and was

Writing

of our routing.

part

have a future author living in your house, too.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 33


National Book Clubs

­ S H A R O N L U C A S _

Book clubs provide invaluable support to the literary community by spreading

the news about good books and talented authors. Book clubs host intellectually

stimulating discussions and introduce their members to books and reading

genres they might not read as an individual. Book Cover Magazine

is pleasured to highlight "10" forward­thinking national clubs.

Beauty Shop Book Club Virginia

Beach, VA, POC Mattie Raby

Cousins Mattierc@hotmail.com

Mississippi Magnolias Book Club

Gulfport, MS, POC Antionette Gates

Toniwatts104@yahoo.com

First Sunday Book Club Upper

Marlboro, MD, POC Angie Moore

Amoore249@hotmail.com

S.A.G.E. Book Club (Sisters

Acquiring Greatness Through

Excellence) Germantown, MD, POC

Carla Wynn carlawynn@aol.com

The Reading Divas Book Club

Bowie, MD, POC Sharon Lucas

Thereadingdivas16@gmail.com

WEALTH Book Club (Women Exploring

the Arts Leisurely Through

Hermeneutics)

Southern California

POC Kim Cooper vbragg@csusb.edu

Go On Girl! Book Club, Inc.

Headquartered in NY

POC Lynda Johnson

lyndajgogo@gmail.com

BRAB

(Building Relationships Around Books)

On line club

POC Sharon Blount

brabonline@gmail.com

PWOC Book Club (Prominent Women

of Color)

POC Toni Bonita Robinson

Jacksonville, FL & SE GA

bonita@tds.net

Sugar & Spice Book Club

New York, NY

POC Alicia Evans

questions@sugarandspicebookclub.org

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 34


BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 35


BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 36


A New Way to Release a Book

Melinda

Michelle

As much as I love to flip the pages of a good book

underneath a cozy cover on a Friday night, there’s

a new way to release a book – audiobooks! This is

the best of both worlds. You can multitask and

still not give up your love for books. You can

clean your whole house while listening to a good

audiobook. You can get lost in a story on a long

drive or help your workday go by faster.

I discovered these while working as an

Turns out this was not as easy as I thought it

accountant. I downloaded them from my library’s

digital catalog and listened to these amazing

would be. An avid audiobook listener, I knew a

bad narrator can ruin a good book. Desiring a

narrators bring books to life! I fell in love with

audiobooks. A good audiobook requires a good

quality audiobook where the narrator could not

be heard breathing, swallowing, or having a voice

story of course, but also a narrator who has the

type of voice that draws you in and makes you

that did not capture the essence of the

characters.

feel like you’re walking through the pages of the

book, experiencing each and every word with

When polling loyal readers, most didn’t listen to

each and every character.

audiobooks and had no desire. I also found that

I’m also amazed at the talent of narrators that

there are some readers who listen to books

exclusively. In my research, I have discovered that

can do multiple voices and multiple accents.

They literally become a one-person show. When

many male readers prefer audiobooks. I was

shocked by some of the information but also

a narrator can keep the same voice for the

characters you have now convinced yourself are

excited, because I realized that I had the

your best friends or family, it makes them feel

opportunity to expose my books to a whole new

more like they are a part of your life. As a reader

world of untapped readers. According to an

turned writer, I couldn’t wait to have my books

article that I read on goodreader.com,

audiobooks are a great product for authors to

produced as audiobooks.

consider adding to their body of work.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 37


proof is in the data:

The

are a i$2.8B

audiobooks

In 2016 ----

industry.

audiobooks were

43,000

up 16 percent

released,

2014 and 53 percent

from

2013. For the first

from

Nielsen is StatShot

time,

audiobook

tracking

subscriptions.

publishers show

Twenty

marketability

audiobooks

1 million copies vs.

by

eBooks.

you are an author who

If

to push your book

wants

as many readers as

to

it’s time to jump

possible,

the audiobook

on

bandwagon!

you’re a self-published

If

this is an

author,

goal. Audible

attainable

Exchange (ACX)

Creation

one of only a few selfpublishing

is

services.

connects authors and

It

to producers

publishers

narrators, and offers

and

options.

payment

or publishers

Authors

pay for an audiobook

can

Prices range

upfront.

$50 – $450 per

from

(dependent

finished-hour

your narrator's

upon

Full-length

credentials).

are hard pills to

novels

full-length novels

Most

10 – 12 hours. ACX

are

a shared royalty

offers

where the

program

assumes no

author

cost but splits

upfront

royalties with the

the

ACX distributes

producer.

or publishers

Authors

browse a plethora of

may

narrators to

talented

book auditions,

request

list your book(s) as

or

This

audition-available.

interested

affords

to submit to

producers

authors/books in

those

they there is

which

Ensure

interest.

include your payment

to

ACX offers

preference.

platforms on

distribution

Audible.com,

Amazon,

iTunes.

and

notes should

Production

information-heavy:

be

pronunciations,

name

ethnicities, and

character

audition scripts

Select

the best

providing

to glean the

material

narrator. If multiple

your

choose scenes

characters,

which, 'all' interact. If

in

characters,

accented

scenes you can

choose

upfront. You will find

see

what you are getting

out

excitement sets in

before

an audition, only to

about

they will not deliver

find

your ebook

everything

experience

Recent

me, this is a

convinced

market that must be

new

Audiobooks

considered.

be a top priority

should

every author. If your

to

base does not listen,

fan

is another group

there

has my vote and

ACX

as my

advocacy,

has been one

experience

enjoyment. Please note

of

ACX serves the

that

States only

United

Authors

(currently).

to be regionally

desiring

should

restrained

Author’s

consider

launched by

Republic,

I guess

Audiobooks.com.

question every author

the

ask when they are

should

if this is an

considering

for them is this:

option

you want people to

Do

read your book or

just

MELINDA MICHELLE

A New Way to Release a Book

swallow,

needs.

funds so there is no fuss.

that exclusively listens.

experience it?

locations.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 38


Melinda Michelle, owner of Global Multi Media Enterprise (GMME), is

a freelance writing and publishing company.

Melinda resides in Tallahassee, Florida and is a member of the

Tallahassee Authors Network. She has turned her love of reading into

a passion for writing.

Quality Press the nation's largest African American Self­Publishing

Book Packaging Service for Self­Publishers. Isn't it time you took

your manuscript and turned it into a book!

Call Yvonne Rose for a Free Consultation!!

602­743­7426 ­ amberbks@aol.com

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 39


P O E T R Y C O R N E R

the

urban

road

less

traveled

the voice of the people

Carl E. Fortson, Jr.,

is an author, poet, and

speaker. He’s also a

father, son, and

brother. His goal is to

be an all-around

decent person and

treat people the way

he wants to be

treated.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 40


P O E T R Y C O R N E R

The title of his book is, Just Saying: A Collection of

Poems. Carl shared a little bit about his poetry book with

us. “It's a lot of things including philosophy, biblical

principles, as well as life experiences told through

poetry.” He further stated, “This is the revised copy of

the previously published book with six new poems

added.” It took quite a bit of motivation for Carl to write

these kind of poems. “A lot of things motivated me to

write, but writing is basically therapy for me. In a

nutshell, writing helps me stay even-keeled in a stressful

world. Hopefully, all readers of my poetry will feel

inspired and motivated by it.”

Even though poetry is his first love, Carl is currently

reading, Adventures of the Mind, and several other

books by various authors including Loren Eiseley,

Jacques Barzun, William S. Beck, and Paul Tillich. Carl

said, “My favorite poet is Paul Laurence Dunbar, a fellow

Ohioan. He was one of the first published black poets

from Dayton.”

Carl's advice to new poets, “Hopefully, poetry is your

calling, say what's on your heart, mind, and spirit. If this

is what you want to do, do not let anything stop you.”

POETRY LOVERS AND READERS MAY ORDER

CARL’S BOOK ONLINE FROM AMAZON OR HIS

WEBSITE: AUTHORCARLEFORTSONJR.COM

When asked how important was it to have his poetry

book, he states, “I can't think of anything more

important, except the air we breathe.” Carl's dedicated

to his craft and has been writing intermittently for forty

years. His writing has been much heavier during the

last seven years. Carl resides in Cleveland, Ohio, with

his family. His writing inspiration is music and songs

heard on the radio, or something he may be going

through or life experiences; almost anything can be a

catalyst.” If you’re interested in spoken word events,

Carl is currently performing at Loganberry Bookstore

every second Thursday of the month. But he’s also

working on creating more live mic events in the new

year and growing his audience. When asked if this was

the only book he was planning on releasing, Carl

emphatically replied, “No, this isn't! I have several

books in the making, at least five!”

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 41


authors wait until the last

Some

to start getting ready for

minute

They try to do

promotions.

and get overwhelmed.

everything

they know it, they have

Before

promoting. I've learned not

stopped

allow promoting to get me

to

overwhelmed.

a plan keeps you in front of

Having

readers---daily. Below are five

your

used in successfully creating

tools

promotional plan. These tools

my

build SORMAG Digital into an

helped

magazine. They also

award-winning

my book, Building Online

developed

– One Reader At A Time

Relationships

an Amazon Bestseller (grab a

into

and notebook). Take notes while

pen

at the end you will be ready

reading,

work on your promotional plan.

to

Promotional Goals

1.

are your promotional goals?

What

writers don’t think about their

Most

goals; however, they

promotional

be right there with writing, life

should

financial goals. It is very

and

to know what

important

want from your promotions.

you

the age and gender of your readers?

What's

type of books do your readers read?

What

often do your readers buy books?

How

magazines, blogs, or websites do they

What

read?

can you find your readers?

Where

do you keep in touch with your

How

readers?

Who are Your Readers?

2.

writers don’t think about their

Most

audience when writing

reading

however, this is the perfect

books;

to imagine who will be reading

time

books. You want to cater your

your

deep inside of your readers

Touch

Accomplishing this is strictly

hearts.

your readers helps you in

knowing

your readers. When you say

finding

book is for everyone instead of

your

a specific reader, you make

having

more difficult. Your

promoting

most likely isn't for everyone.

book

digging deeper you will be able

By

identify and find your ideal

to

the age and gender of your readers?

What's

type of books do your readers read?

What

often do your readers buy books?

How

magazines, blogs, or websites do they

What

read?

can you find your

Where

(online/offline)

readers?

do you plan on keeping in touch with

How

Promotional Marketing Budget

3.

need a promotional budget

You

you always have

because

you need for your book

something

such as bookmarks,

promotions

cards, or flyers.

business

items in your budget,

Pre-Planning

not going into your pocket.

means

helps in

Budgeting

Refrain from

overspending.

thousands on

spending

when you've sold

promoting

books. Budgeting also

10

where your money is

identifies

Create an annual

Tip:

incorporating monthly

budget

are your promotional needs? What

What

will you promote your books?

sites/blogs

magazines can you promote in? (How

What

are the ads?)

much

literary promoters can you use (How

What

are their services?)

much

Promotional Content

4.

kind of content will you create?

What

often will you create content?

How

content can you repurpose? Do

What

have other people content you

you

share? Will you use video or

can

content?

audio

takes time, especially

Promotion

Making sure you're

content-creation.

content-creation time;

scheduling

or monthly. Ensure your

weekly

is fresh keeps readers

content

TOOLS FOR A

5

SUCCESSFUL

PROMOTIONAL PLAN

LASHAUNDA

HOFFMAN

"BOOK PROMOTING ISN'T SOMETHING YOU WANT TO WING."

going.

readers

promotion funds.

your readers?

.

writing accordingly.

coming back.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 42


of the biggest promotional

One

authors face is not having

challenges

to promote. I’ve learned that a

time

of authors don’t make time to

lot

so they think they don’t

promote,

time. Just like you make time to

have

you have to make time to

write,

These two go hand in

promote.

calendar is your best friend

Your

it comes to writing and

when

If you don’t have a

promoting.

invest in one or find an

calendar,

one. Using a calendar will

online

your life.

change

often do you want to promote?

How

will you schedule your

How

(Social media

promotions?

or schedule yourself?)

management

time will you promote? (What

What

are your readers online)

time

the dates and projects

Are

on your calendar?

scheduled

dates

Family

dates

Personal

dates

Writing

dates

Promotional

dates

Research

events

Literary

consulting with clients, I

When

them to 15-minute

guide

It’s a great way to

promotions.

them promoting in a little

get

Take 15 minutes and pop

time.

your favorite social media

on

or take 15 minutes and

platform,

content using a social

share

scheduler. Or take 15

media

to answer emails. As you

minutes

to be more consistent with

grow

promotions, you can up the

your

to 30 – 60 minutes or two

time

You should have a few

hours.

down on your notepad to

things

you started with creating a

get

your copy of, Building Online

Get

– One Reader At A

Relationships

It has more questions to

Time.

create a plan that’s right for

help

and offers options so you can

you,

promoting consistently. Stop

start

plan-less. Create one

promoting

become the social butterfly

and

is an award-winning

LaShaunda

of Shades of Romance

publisher

find her on Virtual Tea with

You'll

teaching writers

LaShaunda----

business owners on the art of

and

online promotions.

using

LaShaunda on the web:

Visit

Lashaundahoffman.com.

TOOLS FOR A

5

SUCCESSFUL

PROMOTIONAL PLAN

#5 Promotion Scheduling

you were meant to be.

hand.

Digital Literary Magazine.

promotional plan.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 43


BRIDGET CUNNINGHAM

A FASHION CURATOR SINCE 2001, BRIDGET'S

BY

FOR BOUTIQUE OWNERSHIP AND

VISION

HAS BROUGHT SUCCESS TO HER

CONSULTING

AND OTHERS.

CAREER

DRESSING FOR BOOK TOURS

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 44


CUNNINGHAM B.

T H E R E A L B R I D T E T C @ G M A I L . C O M

Challenges arise when packing for a book tour. All

eyes will be on you! You’ll want to be stylish, yet

comfortable. We’ll start with accessories, the

simplest pieces. Accessories are a must with any

look, they can be bold or simple. For ladies, a

single bangle on the arm as when you are talking

about your book, there should be minimal noise

distractions. Bangles cling and if podium-standing,

they can hit the top, which can be annoying. Your

other arm should have a nice timepiece. Some

women do not wear watches; but if you do, make

it a classic piece.

Men should have a nice timepiece and something

simple on the other arm [if your style] but go all

out with the timepiece. A timepiece says a lot

about a man. The bigger, the bolder, the better.

Rings: keep it simple, wedding rings, and one or

two others, and that’s it [male and female].

Neckpieces: I’m not a huge fan of men wearing the

large, blinged-out medallion neckpieces; although

“trendy” again. Remember, you don't want your

audience to get distracted. You and your book are

the main attraction.

Ladies, depending on how low your top’s neckline

is, you have options. This can be your only bold

statement piece. The layering of necklaces is the

going thing, as long as you are comfortable you

can do up to three or four slim chains, beads, or

one big piece.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 45


If you want to keep it simple, you can go with the

other trend right now, which is a choker, also

depending on the neckline of your top. If wearing

glasses, make sure they are up to date and if you

only need them to read excerpts from your book,

take them off when speaking to your book fans to

seem more engaging in their questions and

comments. As far as your clothing, I’m all for

dressing according to your personal style or how

you feel when you get up that day, but sometimes

we have to change it up a little for the occasion. If

you are already a well-known author and you have

your image already, stick to that unless it’s not

working for you. If this is the case, we need to talk.

If you are new to this book tour thing, your image

starts here. Your image, your book, everything

you do from now on is part of your brand so make

sure it is something that represents you well and

you are comfortable with it. If you are trying

something new and you’re not sure about it,

people around you will be able to tell if you are

not comfortable, because you will look awkward.

Suggestions for the ladies: If you choose to wear a

dress, a fitted dress, make sure no panty lines are

showing, make sure it’s not too fitted to the point

you can’t breathe, and heels only with fitted

dresses, no wedges or flats. If you choose to wear

a flowing dress, you can pretty much do heels,

wedges, or flats. Flowing dresses say, “I’m fun and

approachable,” fitted dresses with a smile says,

“I’m approachable, sexy, and I know it.” Suits can

be a little stiff and corporate unless you make it

sexy with your neckline and a fitted suit with a

short jacket.

Choosing a casual route such as jeans, pair them

with a nice sexy top and heels.

Now for my men. The fit of a suit is so important.

Please throw away all of those oversized suits!

Oversized anything looks sloppy, jeans, shirts,

everything! If you don’t want too-fitted clothing, a

European fit is sexy. Think David Beckham or Idris

Elba. If suits are too much for you, try a pair of nice

slacks and a button shirt. Some men like squaretoed

shoes with slacks and suits, but they are 1960-

ish. Instead, try a pair of hard bottoms with a

slightly pointed toe with slacks, a fitted suit, or jeans

will work. If choosing jeans with the hard bottoms,

also pair with a button-up shirt or decorative T-shirt

[with or without a blazer]. Men can pair sneakers

with this look, but [again] should be European. All

depending on whether you already have an image,

trying to change your image, or start one. The reality

of all of this is some may or may not have the body

type for everything I have talked about. This is

where shapewear comes in. Yes, there is shapewear

for women, but there is also shapewear for men. If

you are not comfortable with shapewear, you have

to stick with what is flattering to your body shape

and size. At the end of the day, you have to be

comfortable because you will be reading and talking

about your book. Convenient packing for your tour.

Place all accessories in individual plastic bags for

each day and attach it to the hanger for the outfit

you will be wearing it with. Clothing should be hung

in garment bags including a separate bag for your

shoes. Now, you are ready to conquer the world and

sell your book.

D R E S S I N G F O R B O O K T O U R S

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 46


TO BECOME A CERTIFIED BESTSELLING AUTHOR

HOW

J L K I N G

I am a New York Times bestselling author based

on my first book, On the Down Low, which

stayed in the top 10 for 30 weeks. Over 100

books were listed, being among the top 10 meant

On the Down Low was selling. Landing on this

list was due in part from being interviewed by

Oprah Winfrey when On the Down Low released

in 2004.

Every author dreams of becoming a certified

bestselling author. What does that mean?

Technically, a bestseller is a published book

included on a list of the top-selling titles, based

upon publishing industry and book trade figures,

library circulation statistics, reporting bookstore

chains (Amazon and Barnes & Noble), magazines,

and national newspapers. Lists are broken down

into special categories and genres. Well-known

bestseller lists include: New York Times, Publishers

Weekly, USA Today, and the Washington Post.

Earning the New York Times bestselling author title

says you have accomplished what few authors will.

To be listed as a New York Times bestselling author

can open many doors for an author. It can get you

interviews on major television shows, like Oprah. It

can get you recognized as an expert on the subject

that was written. It can also get you movie deals like

it did for J.K. Rowling. Yes, to have this title is like an

actor receiving an Oscar.

Being a guest on Oprah’s show provided me an

instant international fame, which made me a New

York Times bestseller before the show ended.

Random House shared with me that the first

print of On the Down Low (100k), sold within

minutes of broadcasting, and a second printing

was on the horizon. On the Down Low sold

rapidly for 6 weeks, which kept my book on the

New York Times top 10 list. It also made number

4 on USA Today's bestsellers list and every other

book-ranking list. The "O" effect was in full

effect, and she continued to air the show every

week for a month. In 2004, she did an “Oprah

After the Show” segment and continued my

interview which escalated the book's demand.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 47


HOW TO BECOME A CERTIFIED BESTSELLING AUTHOR - JL KING

Years before appearing on Oprah’s show, I created a

brand for my message and that was the book. Writing a

book was not on my list. Being an author was not in my

plan and I didn’t ever think I would be an author, let alone

a bestseller. I had been doing a lot of speaking

engagements and shocking people about my DL

message. I had even been on major television and radio

talk shows without a book or an agent or anybody, just

me from Columbus, Ohio.

When Oprah called, I was living in Chicago and somehow

she found me. Oprah explained that she and Gayle had

been following me for years and she’d heard that my

book was about to be released. At the time, she was

interested in recording a show about HIV and black

women. She thought I would be the perfect guest for that

topic. Of course, Oprah had received an advanced copy

of the book, which I didn’t even have a copy of yet. She

showed me the book. Oprah endorsed the book, and the

rest is history.

I am asked by self-published authors all the time how can

they earn bestselling status. And I sadly have to tell

them… You can’t ever be a self-published certified

bestselling author because your book sales are not

tracked and reported. It is impossible because most selfpublished

authors sell their books off their websites

and/or on book tours. Many don’t have their books in

bookstores nationally and no one is reporting their sales.

Even though a self-published author can’t get certified

King is the author of over 18

JL

and publisher of

books

bestselling status, it should not stop them from setting

Book Cover Magazine.

goals to sell books. Also, don’t get caught up in being on

a list. I tell them that because they have become a

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 48

published author that makes them a success already.


BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 49


Featured Author

PAMELA SAMUELS YOUNG

Pamela Samuels Young is an attorney and the

author of seven novels and one non-fiction book,

Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide. She

quit practicing law just four months ago to finally

pursue a full-time writing career. She published

her first legal thriller, Every Reasonable Doubt, in

2006, so it’s taken her 10 years to get here. She

said, “All the ups and downs were well worth it

because I love what I do.” Pamela has wanted to

become an author since childhood. “I was always

an avid reader as a kid, but it never crossed my

mind that I could actually write a novel. My first

career was as a television news writer. After

suffering burnout from the fast pace of TV news, I

made a bold move and decided to go to law

school in my thirties. While working at a large

corporate law firm, I began reading legal thrillers

as a stress-reliever. It always bugged me that none

of the lawyers in the books I read were women or

people of color. Rather than continue to moan

The fact that her self-published novel, Anybody’s

about it, I decided to write a legal thriller and

bring some diversity to the genre.”

Daughter, which is about sex trafficking, won the

NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction

She believes that Amazon has truly changed the

against four traditionally published writers is proof

that self-published authors can compete if they

publishing industry and self-published authors

are the biggest beneficiaries. After publishing two

produce a well-written, professional product.

books with traditional publishers (BET Books and

Harlequin), she was forced to self-publish her

She believes that black authors can definitely do

more to support one another. “We have to be

third book, Murder on the Down Low, after nine

publishing houses rejected it. Now, she declares,

willing to share information, including our

mistakes. I definitely do that with my network of

“Taking charge of my writing career is without

question, the most empowering thing I’ve ever

author friends and other writers who reach out to

done.”

me. I’ve been in a writing group for more than 10

years and that support has been crucial to my

growth as a writer.”

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 50


“Recognize that even if you’ve written a fantastic

book, it’ll be up to you to promote it regardless of

whether you’re self-published or traditionally

PAMELA SAMUELS YOUNG - Featured

Pamela is an avid reader and has more than one

published. You need to have a strong social

favorite author. “There are too many amazing

media platform in place, participate in book

authors to single out just one. I read more

festivals, and other speaking events, and connect

mysteries than anything, some of my

with readers whenever and wherever you can. I’ve

favorite mystery authors are: Walter Mosley, Greg

Iles, Tami Hoag, James Patterson, John Grisham,

met with over three-hundred book clubs via

speakerphone, Skype, and in person. My book

and Harlan Coben. I love a good plot, and I think

all of these authors write very entertaining novels.

club fans have been a great source of word-ofmouth

buzz for my books.”

I also enjoy women’s fiction, and I'll buy anything

Terry McMillan ever decides to write.” She

Pamela is working on her next book, Abuse of

explained her writing process to us in detail.

Discretion, which picks up where Anybody’s

“Once I have a plot in mind, I start outlining first. I

Daughter left off. Readers will get a shocking look

write just a couple of sentences for each chapter. I

at the juvenile justice system and the devastating

will outline the entire book from beginning to

end. That can take me two or three months. Once

consequences facing a teen accused of sexting.

Abuse of Discretion is scheduled for release

that’s done, I start writing and will write the first

during the late summer of 2017.

draft all the way through without stopping to do

much editing. Once I have the first draft, I go back

and start revising.”

Pamela also has some keen advice for up-andcoming

authors. “Never, never, ever give up on

your dream! I’ve had lots of accomplishments in

Pamela's life story would be titled, We All Fall

Down, as she’s most proud of becoming a

my life, but none were as difficult to achieve as

writing a novel, finding an agent, and getting a

novelist despite a series of initial rejections. She’s

book deal. Writing is very subjective. The same

particularly proud of publishing seven thrillers

book one person loves, another person may hate.

and a non-fiction book while practicing law.

While it can get you down at times, you have to

have faith in your talent, and keep getting back

Pamela loves eBooks. “I love them! When I travel, I

up—no matter how many times people knock you

take my entire library with the ease of my

down. That’s essentially what I did. Every time I

iPad. My success and as an independent author is

received a rejection letter from an agent, I whined

primarily because of eBook sales. I still

about it, but I never stopped believing that I

occasionally buy print books, but most of my

would eventually be a published author. And

personal purchases are eBooks and audiobooks,

when nine publishing houses rejected my third

which are easier to access on the go.” She has

book, I took charge of my own writing career and

some great advice for new authors interested in

self-published. Don’t let anyone stop you!”

joining this business.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 51


BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 52


REACHING THE HISPANIC BOOK MARKET

opportunity for the future of small businesses,

corporations, and individuals in general.

By working with the Hispanic market during the

past 12 years, I have learned the importance of

reaching out to your niche market. In this case,

the Hispanic market is not an easy target. There

are many strategies that can be learned and put

into action when reaching out to the

Hispanic/Latino market. Not an easy task but a

doable one, just by reaching out to us.

MARIA ORTIZ

wanting to reach the Hispanic consumer to buy

Sounds simple, but it is the first step for anyone

maria@culturalatinamagazine.com

,

the Hispanic market? How do you achieve this

first step?

or consume their products. How can you reach

Since the year 2000, according to Pew Research

We are not just Hispanics, but the largest

immigrant group and the fastest of any other.

Center, the U.S. Hispanic population has

grown and in 2014 reached a high of 55.4

Learning that Hispanics are more than just a

target market. We are comprised of mothers,

million. Government entities, companies,

businesses, and individuals have failed on

fathers, writers, neighbors, managers, employees,

lawyers, politicians, entrepreneurs, and more. By

reaching out to one of the largest communities,

not only in North America but in the full

learning our backgrounds, values, and goals, you

can leverage our value proposition when

hemisphere. The Hispanic populations are great

consumers; it's known that our buying power

connecting to our values.

reached 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars in 2015 and by the

year 2020, Hispanics will represent 19 percent of

Know the Hispanic market. We are not a passing

fad or niche, we are here to enjoy life just like

the total U.S. population, doubling by the year

2050 and gaining a high cultural and economic

anyone else. We are educated, family oriented

individuals seeking to live life to its fullest by

prominence. Now that is something to think

about…

working hard and engaging with other various

cultures. Get to know our rapidly growing

We need to consider new ways to reach out to our

population by engaging with people in your local

fast-growing Hispanic consumers. Anyone

Hispanic community. Share in their community

restaurants, gatherings, and fairs.

targeting the U.S. Hispanic population needs to

acknowledge our consumerism as a growth

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 53


MO

REACHING THE HISPANIC BOOK MARKET - MARIA ORTIZ

Create a strategic campaign to reach out to the

Select the right product for the market.

Hispanic market. Strategies and focus are your

For example, do you have a book you would like

best allies for reaching out to a new emerging

to introduce to the Hispanic market? Therefore,

market. The Hispanic population has many

have characters that are Hispanics. Put Hispanics

different consumption patterns, and it takes a

on the covers or create a bilingual conversation

different approach to reach them. Most of the

within the book characters. You can also publish a

families in the United States come from many

bilingual publication. Have a line of products?

Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. Yet,

Name some products with Hispanic-oriented

there are many things we all have in common,

terminology. This way, you can engage and reach

like customs, foods, dances, and of course, the

out to our market and our culture. Many

Spanish language. But there are also many

businesses try to reach the market with the wrong

cultural differences within and between countries.

selection of products. You must do the right

Therefore, focusing on creating a campaign that

research to ensure inclusion. What does it take to

takes in consideration our values, cultures,

properly reach a market that is new to you?

languages, and our lifestyles will help you gain

Define the right product and market it correctly

market control.

to grab hold of the opportunities to come.

Reach out through technology and social media.

In conclusion, when reaching out to a new

Hispanic social media promotions and advertising

emerging market for the first time, make sure you

need to be included in your strategic operations.

do a vast research of the market. Explore their

Check this out: According to the Nielsen Report,

values, cultures, traditions, and likes. Get to know

the average Hispanic spends more than eight

the people in your local community. Set a

hours watching online videos each month (longer

strategic marketing campaign that outlines your

than the U.S. average) and Hispanics are 17

goals to reach the market. Check new trends,

percent more likely than non-Hispanics to access

products, and services that will help you

the web more through their phone than through

understand the Hispanic market. Engage in social

a computer. Apparently, we are very visual. So

media, create videos and learn new languages,

translate your social media content, get your

anything that helps you be visible. Set a budget

camera, and post away.

and reach the prospective market slowly but

surely, or fast and aggressively, it's your choice.

I've approached companies offering adverts in my

Open your heart and mind to a new colorful

publications and the've declined due to having a

market… The Hispanic Market!

limited marketing budget. Failure in creating a

small budget will hinder you reaching the

Maria Ortiz is an entrepreneur, Hispanic business

Hispanic market. Include a monthly amount for

strategist, advertising and marketing consultant,

marketing, time to visit local Hispanic resources,

and publisher of the award-winning Cultura

and budget for translation and editing services-as

Latina Magazine.

needed.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 54


ONE REASON TO NEVER HIRE AN EDITOR

Anyone researching what it takes to be a

successful author knows that hiring a professional

editor and proofreader is a must. In short, editing

focuses on the content of a story. Proofreading

focuses on grammar, punctuation, and the like.

Sometimes, these two services are provided by

one person, but they are most commonly offered

separately. I chose to focus on hiring an editor

because, unlike hiring a proofreader, there is one

instance in which you should never hire an editor.

Anyone with a basic understanding of the

publishing industry will tell you to make sure your

book is edited before it is released. It doesn't

matter how well you write, or how good you are

at spotting errors. You will never be able to see all

of your own mistakes. I have been an editor for

over 10 years, yet, when I wrote my book, I still

hired an editor. The most important reason you

should have your work professionally edited is

because a poorly written book, especially if it's

your first one, is a difficult hurdle to overcome.

Readers are turned off by errors, and if they take a

chance by purchasing and reading a book by an

unknown author, it's not likely that they will

forgive mistakes that should have been corrected

before the book was released.

WALLACE MCBRIDE, PHD

JESSICA

jkw1104@gmail.com

There's a good chance that they will warn other

readers to avoid wasting their money on a story

they couldn't enjoy because of an inconsistent or

underdeveloped story line. An editor can help you

avoid this pitfall. However, there is one reason you

should never hire an editor.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 55


ONE REASON TO NEVER HIRE AN EDITOR - MCBRIDE

When you hire an editor, you are asking a

This book will be a bestseller! It will make

professional to take a critical look at your

you rich! Everyone will love it! Then along

work and give you honest feedback about

comes an editor, ruining their perfectly

it. If you are not going to take the advice

written novel with excessive use of the

you've paid an expert to give you, don't

"track changes" feature and intrusive

bother. In other words, the one reason you

comment bubbles. Clearly, there must be

should never hire an editor is if you are

something wrong with this person! As a

going to ignore his or her advice because

writer, I completely understand that

you are upset or offended by the honest

feeling. As an editor, I know that it simply

evaluation of your writing. Instead of

isn't rational. Every great work needs work.

making the corrections and improvements,

The truth is that all bestselling authors,

you'd rather bash the editor and label him

including your favorite authors, had their

or her a "hater" or "dream-killer." Editors

work edited before it was published. This is

are not in the business of killing dreams,

why every publishing house worth its salt

but their primary goal isn't to protect your

has at least one in-house editor. Whether

feelings, either. Instead, their goal is to help

manuscripts need a little work or a major

you clearly communicate your thoughts

overhaul, they all need something. Writers

with the written word.

tend to have a different attitude toward

proofreading. They are more willing to

Writing is such an intensely personal task

accept that they may have omitted a

that writers, particularly new ones, tend to

comma, or may have misused "their" versus

fall deeply in love with each prudently

"they're" or "there." Their subjects and verbs

chosen word in every carefully crafted

may not only disagree; they may be in an

sentence. All new writers believe that their

all out war. Still, they will accept the

stories came from God himself and that

changes the proofreader makes because

each typed page is anointed by the angels

their story is intact. Writers tend to accept

on high. They are extremely protective of

a proofreader’s corrections without

their work, so much so that they may be

defense. This may be because so many

reluctant to submit it for copyright, for fear

people feel that they never really mastered

that the government will steal it along with

the King’s English, and have clear

their fame and fortune. These feelings are

memories of being utterly confused by

affirmed when they ask their completely

words that can have several meanings and

objective parents, spouses, best friends,

that can even be different parts of speech.

and children to read their manuscripts and

Whatever the rationale, there is no good

reason to avoid hiring a proofreader.

give them their "honest" opinions. Ninetynine

percent of the time, the feedback

confirms that they have penned a

masterpiece!

5BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 56


ONE REASON TO NEVER HIRE AN EDITOR - MCBRIDE

They don't tend to make writers cry. An editor, on the other hand, just might. You should never

hire an editor if you aren't prepared to openly consider the constructive criticism you will get.

Despite the possible tears you may shed as you completely rewrite chapter one, or when you

eliminate characters you love because they are entirely irrelevant, if you have chosen a good

editor and are willing to take his or her advice, you'll be glad you did. You should also keep in

mind that if you choose not to hire an editor, you will pay for that decision with negative

reviews which could end your career before it begins.

The most successful writers are the ones who are receptive to feedback and are willing to

listen to a paid professional. If you are not prepared to receive honest, quality feedback, and

make the suggested changes, don't waste your money hiring an editor. Just keep letting your

mama read it and tell you how wonderful you are.

Dr. Jessica Wallace

McBride is an editor,

educator, and writing

consultant. She is the cofounder

of the Imani

Dance Program for Youth

Development, Inc., the

author of Almost a

Statistic, and the coauthor

of Oliver Vance,

Pull Up Your Pants!

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 57


BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 58


Lawson Roby is a New York

Kimberla

and USA Today bestselling

Times

of 24 books. She writes fiction

author

centers on real-life social issues,

that

as corruption within the church,

such

issues, infidelity, drug

relationship

illnesses, sibling rivalry,

addiction,

betrayal, and domestic

friendship

Kimberla’s teachers told her in

violence.

school that she had a gift

elementary

writing and storytelling and

for

her to follow a writing

encouraged

also heard similar comments from

She

teachers in junior high and high

her

and then from instructors and

school,

in college. However, it wasn’t

professors

she majored in business for both her

until

and bachelor’s degrees and

associate

worked for a number of employers

had

her twenties, that she realized she

during

to switch careers and follow her

wanted

for writing. She finally wrote her

passion

novel, Behind Closed Doors, when

first

was thirty. This is what she thinks

she

the current status of books: “In

about

of our digital age, it is certainly a

terms

day. So many more readers are

new

eBooks versus print books,

purchasing

I’ve also heard many readers say that

and

prefer shorter novels versus longer

they

I also think that the popularity and

ones.

of blogs and videos have

convenience

the scope of the industry as

changed

well.”

she has lots of favorite authors,

Although

is currently reading, I Almost Forgot

she

You, by Terry McMillan, along with

About

book club members. But her favorite

her

of all time is, Your Blues Ain’t Like

novel

by Bebe Moore Campbell. She

Mine,

“It was the one novel that, when I did

said,

to put it down the night before, I

have

about it all day the next day at

thought

and couldn’t wait to get back to it.

work

plot, storytelling, and overall writing

The

amazing.”

were

described her process for

Kimberla

a book as follows: “I first decide

writing

topic(s) I want to center my story on,

what

I write a two to three page synopsis.

then

there, I outline the first fifteen to

From

chapters. Then, I begin writing the

twenty

chapters every single day until I

actual

my first draft. After that, I do rewrites

finish

she’s working on finishing up

Currently,

June 2017 novel, Sin of a Woman.

her

if she wanted to write her life

However,

as a book, it would be titled,

story

by God and Truly Grateful. But

Blessed

it comes to eBooks, she’s not a

when

fan. “If I’m traveling on tour and

huge

pack multiple print books, I don’t

can’t

reading eBooks at all. But outside

mind

that, I really prefer and enjoy reading

of

and paperback books.”

hardcover

advice to aspiring authors

Kimberla’s

this business is: “To certainly

about

the craft of writing but if you’re

learn

fiction, please focus, too, on

writing

a good story. Also, do learn the

telling

of publishing from beginning

business

end.” She added, “Whenever an

to

writer contacts me with

aspiring

I try my best to answer them

questions,

also offer any advice I can.” She

and

encourages up and coming

also

with this advice: “To continue

authors

both the craft of writing as well

learning

the business of publishing. Even

as

an up-and-coming author has

when

his or her first or second

published

there is still a lot more that can be

book,

Roby has millions of dedicated

Ms.

across the world. They can visit:

readers

to reach out to her

www.kimroby.com

buy her books. There are also

and

excerpts available there for all

chapter

of her titles. Finally, when asked

24

her brand and how she wanted

about

be known, Kimberla stated, “I write

to

real-life issues in a fictional format

about

a way to hopefully help anyone who

as

KIMBERLA

LAWSON-ROBY

learned.”

career path.

has experienced these issues.”

and final editing.”

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 59


KIMBERLA

LAWSON-ROBY

AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE

January 31, 2017

All major book sellers

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 60


IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CLEVELAND ­ After hearing the cries of many hurting people,

learning they want more than to be told to forgive, Lay Christian

FOR

Counselor, Tammy Gaffney realized she must stop hiding

behind her story. The time had come for her to reveal how she

too walked in darkness, her own personal journey toward

forgiveness.

Lay Christian Counselor

Puts Flesh on C OForgiveness

N T A C T T A M M Y G A F F N E Y

in New Book Sharing My ( 2 1 6 ) 5 2 6 - 9 9 9 7

Shoes T A Mby MTammy

Y G A F F N E Y S M S @ G M A I L . C O M

Gaffney debuts

November 15, 2016

Gaffney detailed how she developed an understanding of how

pain corrupts the mind and soul, leaving you with fear, shame,

guilt, mistrust, anger, and confusion about how a loving God

allowed it in her debut book titled, Sharing My Shoes. Published

by Gazelle Press, Sharing My Shoes: A Walk through the

Journey of Forgiveness, is available everywhere books are sold

(November 15, 2016), including Amazon and Kindle.

"People are being told to forgive, to move on, let go and let

God," says Gaffney. “But behind closed doors, they say, ‘Where

is God? Why didn't He protect me? Why should I forgive? You

haven't walked in my shoes.’”

Gaffney says, Sharing My Shoes, is more than a book, one that

took her 20 years to write. It is her journey on paper because

what she shares wasn't learned in a classroom. She uses 35

years of life experience to show the way.

“People want their hearts and pain acknowledged and they

want to believe that God cared before they will forgive. It is no

longer enough to just say, ‘You're a sinner, you have to forgive,

trust God if you want to be blessed.’ They wanted more,” says

Gaffney.

She has led life Bible groups, served in the Women’s Ministry,

is a lay Christian counselor, motivational speaker, and has been

a registered nurse for eighteen years. She has been married to

Minister Adolphus Gaffney for twenty­two years, and together

they both serve at their church New Community Bible

Fellowship, in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. They have four

amazing children.

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 61


U R U W I S D O M

PRESS RELEASE

G

BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 62


BOOK COVER MAGAZINE | JANUARY 2017 | 64


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