Friday, November 06, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
The magazine cover for the Urbania Magazine issue was inspired by the illustration "An American Evolution" by Jon Edwards. An edgy piece, that begs the question is evolution all about appearance? An why some readers may say no, I ask them to go look at top grossing companies in any industry and look at the images of the CEO, VP etc.
I'm stuck. My hair is long and nappy. Ironically, I never liked long hair and laughed at my friends that had braids. I kept my hair short and clean. I always had a job and never had employment issues. However, with the long hair and not-so clean cut, I find myself creating the jobs and money I get ,
Sunday, September 13, 2009
This Killer Mike video shows the man talking about the independent grind of an artist. Whether you sell and market books, music or any other product, you must have the think like an animal. What good is it to be known around the world, if you can't sell in your city?
Interview with Ella Curry of EDC Creations on the making of her media network.
UM - In general, how did you become involved with books? Specifically, how did you get involved marketing black authors online?
EDC Answer: Working at Karibu bookstores was where I first came into contact with new authors. As a Buyer and the Product Submissions Manager, I would receive their book submissions and press-kits. It was a real shame how under educated most of the authors were at that time. I turned my web design and event planning company into EDC Creations and started helping the authors with their branding and marketing materials.
As a single parent, who spends all her spare time on the Internet, I realized that there were more and more businesses taking their business to the web. What I didn’t see on the web in 2000, when I started my online company, was an abundance of black people. I knew this was a market I could dominate with my skills and passion for reading and my people. At the time, I was attending UMUC and taking graphic design and business management, I merged all my talents into a profitable business, doing what I loved—reading quality literature. Today, I review books for publishing houses, interview celebrities as well as new authors on BAN radio and represent some of the hottest authors in African American literature.
UM: Does online marketing generate an increase in online sales? Offline?
EDC Answer: Online marketing definitely increases online and offline sales. You can reach millions of potential customers in one day, via the Internet. You can conduct business in several countries from the comfort of your home, via the Internet. The use of online marketing is one sure way of increasing your territory and getting the word out about your product or service. Micro-blogging, social network marketing, RSS feed syndication and article submissions are just a few of the ways that business owners can connect and create relationships with their target audiences. Internet marketing has so many components, but a great business plan, marketing plan and solid publicity strategies can put it all together and definitely increase awareness and sales.
Name three online marketing strategies that no new author should do without.
EDC Answer: a) Article placements on Internet sites is an important strategy and should be included in all authors overall publicity plan. Writing for Associated Content or becoming a professional blogger is a great way to build followers and to show your range of writing. It can be essential in building your overall brand.
b) Using Internet radio interviews should become an important part of the authors overall media and publicity strategy. Internet radio and the syndication of the shows to iTunes can award authors overnight popularity and cause a great deal of viral responses to their books. I am the producer for Black Authors Network Radio; we reach over 118,000 fans per show via RSS feeds delivered to their personal email accounts!
c) Creating a strong relationship with readers is the most important strategy of all. Authors can do this by social networking with their target audience. Finding out where their potential readers shop, socialize and play online and making meaningful conversation with them, can create repeat buyers and establish brand loyalty for life.
Authors should share their news with the readers, as well as take sincere interest in the reader’s daily lives. Combining just these three strategies can take authors a long way, but there are hundreds of other more industry savvy ways that could be explored. That’s why people come to EDC Creations Media Group, my publicity company, to help them find those unique and cutting edge ways to reach the readers….LOL.
In what ways can EDC assist authors in online marketing?
EDC Answer: EDC Creations coaches each client on how to capitalize on what they already have in place. Be that a tight focus group to sell their first books to or to use their every day careers as a platform to showcase the books. We help the authors to get major book publicity in radio, local TV, print and on the Internet. The most important thing that EDC Creations does for our clients is bring out their strengths and weaknesses and address both in the most productive manner. We take the vision of our clients and chart the course to turn it into a reality!
Additionally, we offer services in:
• Web Business Consultation
• Marketing Strategy Creation
• Marketing Plan Development
• Corporate Identity creation
• Comparative SWOT Analysis
• Branding & Book Coaching Programs
• Competitive Research
• Marketing Communications
How does the economy affect book marketing? What can still be done to effectively market in downtimes?
EDC Answer: The economy being in this slump can play a significant part in the success of an independently published author. Traditionally published authors have the benefit of the publishing house presenting their books to libraries and bookstores via seasonal catalogs and through sales reps pushing the books. The self-published author has to write the books, market the books, distribute and promote the books. All of this can be very costly! In this economy the authors tend to start taking shortcuts to control the costs, sometimes this brings down the quality of the product. This is a serious no-no!
Also, when readers have less money to spend on entertainment, they tend to cut down on their book purchases. Some readers will turn to the libraries, online book swap groups and such sites as Book Crossings to find free or used books. The authors can work around this by creating personal relationships with their readers that will stimulate loyalty period. Some ways to do this is to create video blogs of the author in their every day life talking about the books and what’s going on with them. Create podcast readings from their books and post them all over the web. Use sites such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and Ning networks to meet the readers on their own turf. Create blogs about their daily lives or what’s going on with their characters to give readers something to chat about amongst themselves. Virtual book/blog tours are the hottest thing going in the book world right now. The online tours are a great way to reach people without breaking the bank. At EDC Creations, we offer blog and radio tours starting at $199.00, which will increase the author’s territory and put them before thousands of readers per day!
UM: How can people contact you for your services?
EDC Answer: For book promotions and publicity the best way to reach me is to visit my EDC Creations website. On the main website you can find Black Pearls Magazine, Black Authors Network Radio Show and all the packages we offer authors and publishers. The readers will also meet the authors we are featuring for the month.
To meet new authors and to explore the latest books, readers can visit the BAN Radio Community blog. We have two online bookstores established to suggest great literature for all our readers. The stores are updated monthly with new releases. It’s like going into any brick and mortar store; you can skim the books, and meet the authors. The site addresses are listed below for you and your readers to enjoy. It is a pleasure to meet new readers weekly! On BAN radio we always have gifts and prizes for the visitors. Frequent visitors and bloggers to our community, win books by posting regular and truly joining the conversations. Check us out…you won’t be disappointed! Thank you so much for this opportunity to share the world of EDC Creations Media Group with your network.
EDC Creations’ Main Website
Black Pearls Magazine
EDC Creations Internet Book Promotions
Meet the authors on book tours in 2009
BAN Community Blog
Black Pearls Magazine Blog
EDC Creations Bookstores:
Monday, August 17, 2009
1. UM: Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. What inspired Over and Over Again?
When I started writing the book it was supposed to be a tribute to my children. I had a daughter that passed away named Dionni. She lived to be 40 days old. The combination of all of my daughters is who I created this character to be. I combined the features of my other daughter's Destani 15 and Diamond 10, and came up with this character. I believe the characteristics, and the description that I created in this story is how my real Dionni would have been.
Then like other artist who has written about relationships, I was hurt. The pain that I was feeling allowed me to take the story line and my characters to another level. It allowed me to express how my self and the way other women in the world may feel after trying to make things work over and over again.
2. UM: The writing process is different for every writer. Describe your ups and downs when writing Over and Over Again.
Like I stated before, in the beginning it was a story created as a tribute to my children, but once I got into it, I went into another direction. At times I had writers block, but I would just stop and go to another section. I work a full time job and I am getting my MBA. So when things would come to me at work or at school, I would just jot them down, and work on it in the wee hours of the night. Once I established the pain in the story line, it was a lot easier for me to complete. A natural flow was then established, and while listening to music I was able to complete the manuscript.
3. UM: Is there a moral to the story or a message you want to communicate to readers?
I want my readers to be entertained but at the same time display that even through the trials and tribulations that life may bring, us as women can still be independent and successful.
4. UM: What is next for you? Any future events or information you want our audience to know about?
I have already started my next book "The Appetizer," and right now I am just promoting and preparing for my book release in July. I was just at the Las Vegas Black Book Festival as one of the 20 a featured author, and I have a host of other events such as:
Apr 4 Maryland Writer's Conference
May 28 – 31 Book Expo of America – New York City, NY
Jun 18 – 20 Black Writer's Conference – Las Vegas, NV
June 13-14 AAMBC National Meeting – San Antonio, TX
July 18 Harlem Book Fair – Harlem, NY
July 31- Aug 2 National Book Club Conference – Atlanta, GA
5. UM: How can our readers contact you and support your endeavors?
The readers can check out my website: www.nicolacmitchell.com or join my fan club site nicola.ning.com. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, July 16, 2009
With the release of Nookie, I've been hitting the streets of Baltimore heavy and often. The idea to build a company on sweat equity wasn't new. I 'd heard of authors like Relentless Aaron, Vicky Stringer, Terri Woods and others selling there books independent in the streets. However, with my own eyes, I never saw anyone hustle and get money from the block until my partner Dirt Bomb came to Baltimore and hustled his CD's.
Check out the video.
I'll add a link to an interview later.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Even after the Chris Brown domestic violence situation, I confess a woman has hit me in the mouth before and I have put my hands on a woman. The domestic violence situations occurred as a teenager and I regret the situations ever happened, but I ponder what I would do as an adult today.
When I watched this clip on The Root, I was reminded of the manner anger and violence erupt and are used in the urban environment and relationships. At one point in my life violence had become integral in daily interaction. It took time and effort to unlearn violent behavior, situations and people.
However, if a person power jabbed you in the face with a stiff punch like this young lady did with Charles Hamilton, What would you do? I had to think real hard before I proceeded to answer the latter for several reasons.
1. The young lady is his size or larger, she might be stronger. That punch was no slap or scratch.
2. The sexual exploit he discussed and experiences about the relationship were probably true. She was cute!
3. The truth hurt so much that she had no other way to resolve the situation other than to use violence and punch him.
4. She punched him because she could. She thought he was a punk and that she could beat his ass if he pissed her off - every violent person thinks alike!
I don't condone violence against women or men. However, I think it is too simple for someone who has never been involved in a violent situation with the other gender to say what they would or wouldn't do. People say what they are "supposed" to say and what is politically correct. No matter how hard she hit me, I would never hit a woman. Most men who are trying to impress and win favor of women claim, "I would never hit ..." even if they have!
I disagree. Every person is entitled to their 360 degree space. I will not put my hands on any person as long as they do not put hands on me. It is not personal or gender specific. Don't you think everyone deserves that basic respect?
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
When I was younger, I remember a dude Jimmy. Jimmy was in a gang. Flipped like a pancake from Vice Lord, Gangster Disciple, Blackstone to a Mickey Cobra. For his dishonor, a few gangs put a price on his head.
Jimmy cared less and spent most of his time with Marchell, a young chick that loved Jimmy. They were always together on the block, at the basketball court or at the movies.
One day somebody caught up with Jimmy in front of his house and blasted a double-barrow shotgun at close range. Jimmy wasn't hit,but Marchell caught it in the chess. Died instantly.
After the incident, Jimmy acted like 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and never was the same.
In an odd way, "A Drug Dealer's Dream" by Tremayne Johnson reminds me of this incident. A young lady in love with the wrong person and catches the consequences of the game. Check out the review. Befriend Tremayne Johnson and support the book.
You can view the book trailer too.
Sunday, March 01, 2009
After the Sean Delonas comic strips debacle, I decided to search for more diverse images of blacks depicted in comic strips. I found a cartoonist, Eric Nyamor who creates a unique take on perspectives in hip-hop and urban life.
He has a take on the Chris Brown situation in his latest cartoon.
Check out his website Hiphopillustrations.com to view more of his cartoons. An interview with Eric Nyamor along with his cartoon will appear in an issues of Urbania Magazine.
I will list another five to ten urban comic strips or cartoonists that offer in another post. Feel free to list any other urban comic cartoonists in the comments section. I will use the information to compile a list.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Tyler Perry is not the only black playwright in America! Chicago playwright Reshanda Henderson's "What Every Woman Wants in a Man" shows March 6 and March 7. The play features Christan Keyes from Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, What's Done in the Dark and The Diary of a Mad Black Woman.
Check out a trailer of another play she wrote and produced, "The Mr., the Mrs. & The Lover".
In a male dominated industry, woman voices are often overlooked. I can't remember the last time I experienced a play. Some of the reason is my circle of experience, more of the reason is the marketing of plays staged in local and community theaters. If you can, support your local theater.
Reshanda Henderson is the C.E.O of Xpressyoself Theater Company. Show your support for Reshanda Henderson and other black women playwrights.
Check out an interview with her in a upcoming issue of Urbania Magazine.
If you know of other plays and playwrights that create plays that challenge ideas and are set in the urban city environment, please comment so that I can compile a list.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The Sam Stein response to the Sean Delonas cartoon in the New York was fair and balanced. However, the ideas that can be inferred from the perspective of an African American are unique.
The reference to the stimulus package was narrow. The history of the monkey and the comparison to African Americans by other races is wide, layered and politically charged. Not literal politics in elections, but the practical, figurative politics that is played in peoples private lives.
Calling African Americans monkeys and niggers is not a practice that takes place in public. It takes place in the homes and informal meetings of individuals who believe the idea of racism has credence. The New York Post cartoon spoke to these people. They will all laughed behind closed doors. But they are too coward to stand behind their ideas.
African Americans are not monolithic in thinking. However, the inference in the illustration suggest that the President Obama should be killed for signing the stimulus bill.
The above cartoon spoof illustrates the larger conversation about racism that the Sean Delonas and the New York Post will not participate in or stand behind. Instead, the New York Post blamed Rev. Al Sharpton for being a publicity opportunist. The latter may be true. However, the Rev. Al Sharpton has taken the correct stance on this issue.
There is room for an individual to hide behind their art, images, and cartoons. They should just have to explain words behind them.
If the point was to incite. Then the cartoonist did his job.
Friday, February 06, 2009
I completed a book review on Kissed by the Devil by Deshawn Taylor. I liked the book because the characters were criminal minded and witty. One of the street hustles in the book was a basic ponzi scheme used to generate money at the top. Just like in the real life Madoff scandal, everything attached to the scheme crumbles. In the book, the character involved in the scheme loses his life. Bernard Madoff lives in his penthouse while on house arrest.
Deshawn Taylor is the author of From Poverty to Power Moves and a finalist in the BET Ultimate Hustler Show.
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Getting Out the Game by Omar Powell was a book review that I wrote for The Urban Book Source. The book had the right motivation but lacked execution. I hope the book review will help people interested in urban literature. I think that If the book was nonfiction, it could have offered more value for the reader.
Make sure to support Omar Powell with other upcoming projects.
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Katt Williams is one of the best comedians in the world. Appreciate the critique of our culture in his latest, "It's Pimpin, Pimpin". In the show, Katt touches on the topics of animal cruelty, the dangers of riding motorcycles, the effects of Ritalin on kids and self love. In this segment, he discusses the situation with Oscar Pistorius and the 2008 Olympics.
In true Katt form, he speaks honestly about Flavor Flav and the image of some blacks that is portrayed in comedy.
Katt Williams has made the Art Official Media LLC top 50 urban comedians list. Help me compile a longer list with other comedians and their website contact.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Thank you President Obama!
Too many people have repeated the phrase, "In my lifetime, I didn't think that I would ever see a black president." However, few people spoke to why they thought they would not see a black president.
After thirty years on the earth, I offer my humble opinion.
I didn't think America would elect a black president because racism was far too ingrained in the American fabric of life.
In my lifetime, I've had experience with the police. I've been choked and arrested by police when I did nothing wrong. And I've been let go when my juvenile crimes were not remarkable. In my experience, the police have done more harm than good to my family and friends.
Therefore, I was overjoyed to watch the United States Secret Service protect the President Obama. The life of a black man more important than anyone else on earth. For once it felt sensational to be wrong. I realized after being considered 3/5 of a person, a colored man's life has value.
Racism is indeed ingrained in the American fabric of life. However worse, the effects of racism had ingrained itself in my own imagination. I believed a black person could be the greatest black athlete because I've seen it. Because, I've seen it, a black person could own a successful company. However, in my heart, I never thought white people would acknowledge and support any colored person.
I was wrong. And for one of the first times in my life, I have a renewed faith in what is possible. I not only have faith in what is possible within myself, but the confidence in the possibilities of others.
So congrads President Obama. Thank you America.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
For the past few months I've written a few book reviews for The Urban Book Source. Read the review of Sideline Ho and comment. I'd recommend the book for chick literature lovers but not for street lit readers. Find out more information on C.J. Domino.
If you would like to submit books for review to www.UrbaniaMag.com or the print edition. Send the books to Art Official Media LLC.
If you are a writer and would like to do author interviews, artists interviews, or feature articles for www.UrbaniaMag.com, contact me.
Look over the The Urban Boook Source and leave comments about the site.
I'll post some opinions on effective marketing sites for urban books next post.