#WriterWednesday I’m Into Distribution: Do You Need to be in a Bookstore to Sell Your Books

Why did you become an author? To sell books or see your books in a bookstore? We all want distribution, nationwide distribution, but does being in a store actually sell your books? 

With my latest release, Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion, I attempted to answer my own question. I didn’t do what I would typically do, put it on sale through Ingram for distribution purposes, instead I put it on sale on Gumroad and directed all traffic there. 

Initially, there were only a few pre-orders, but since it’s release at the end of October I’ve sold almost 100 books and shipped them across the country and internationally. Now maybe to you 100 books isn’t a lot, but since according to Bookscan most books don’t sell more that 250 copies within the first year of its release I’m good. 

So, do you need major distribution? According to one my students if your book isn’t in stores then you’re not doing good. You may be of a similar mindset, but that’s the wrong mindset. If a bookstore doesn’t have my book when a customer asks for it they lost a sale. While I’ve built in exclusivity for my book and I am able to keep a majority of the money from the sale. 

A bookstore doesn’t sell your book, you sell the book, your marketing efforts sell the book, readers who recommend your book sells your book. With the whole world at your fingers, literally it’s time for you to be like me–I’m into distribution. 

Is this what your dream really is?

Why sell your book to a bookstore for a deep discount with no guarantee that the book will ever leave its shelf? If you can partner with an independent bookstore that’s going to help you move the books great, but if your book is just going to become another book on the shelf–I wouldn’t recommend it.

I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to the traditional model. My ebook will still be available on Amazon, but I’m enjoying the liberty (and my dinero). 

You may be wondering what I’ve been doing to move Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion. Well, I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing: 

1. Praying. I made sure this book was soaked in the Holy Spirit. 

2. Working my marketing plan. 

3. Praying. 

Now if you need help any of these I got you–Pursuing Your Passion in a Godly Fashion: Prayers for Creative Christians and Entrepreneurs will teach you how to pray over your passion instead of slaving over your passion and if you want to work with me on your marketing, writing, or both book a Publishing Pow-Wow NOW and #getyourInheritance 

So, what’s it going to be? Is it a must for you that your book is seated on a shelf in a bookstore or are you open to exploring your option? 

These 4 Things Should Be Enough 

It is great to have people in your life that support you, uplift you, and motivate you, but at the end of the day you need these four things to keep you moving forward when pursuing your passion. 

1️⃣ Confidence in the Spirit of God living within you and working with you should be enough to move you forward. 
2️⃣ Your quality of life should be enough motivation to move forward. 

3️⃣ Your belief in your ability should be enough to push you forward.

4️⃣ Your passion should be enough to push you forward. 

What’s your biggest internal motivator​?

#SimplySunday Independence Day 

This 4th of July I’m working on obtaining the Independence we’re supposed to be celebrating.
The independence that our ancestors were anticipating when they joined the Continental Army. Some African American slaves willingly joined with the Patriots because they believed their freedom was around the corner. Turns out it didn’t work that way,  but I’m still working on getting my independence, which is my Inheritance because who the son sets free is free indeed. Okay, let stop preaching and share what freedom looks like to me.

Creating My Own Flat Lay for the #GetyourInheritance Marketing Challenge

🔹Freedom to worship my God, in any way  I please.

🔹Freedom to raise my family in peace and safety. 

🔹Freedom to support my family using my gifts. 

What’s does freedom look like for you? Are you an author or creative entrepreneur? Do you want to join the #GetyourInheritance Free a Marketing Challenge? Follow the blog: Get Your Inheritance or Join our tribe. 

Today is the Day: Seasoned with Grace is Here

My second, yes second novel, Seasoned with Grace is now available in stores and online. If you haven’t ordered Seasoned with Grace yet please get in on the fun and order you copy today! 

Synopsis: Sentenced to probation, thirty-year-old supermodel Grace King must put her plans of transitioning into acting on hold. Desperate to keep a close eye on Grace and his job, Grace’s ambitious lawyer, Ethan Summerville has her complete community service in the last place Grace wants to be—his church.

Instead of God, Grace finds a “chocolate drop” of a man, Brother Horace Green. Unfortunately, Horace isn’t looking for a supermodel. He wants his woman saved and sanctified, but Grace has never met a man who has been able to resist her. Will Horace compromise his faith for a taste of fortune, fame, and Grace?

While Grace focuses on the pursuit of passion, Ethan finds one director willing to take a risk and cast Grace in his debut film, but this role fits Grace all too well. Will this film revive Grace’s relationship with God and her career, or bring her closer to destruction?

SEASONED-WITH-GRACE (1)

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

BOOK-A-MILLION

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Support my second novel by sharing this post, liking this post, reblog this post.

And the Winner Is…Wheatley Awards Recap

Ladies and gentleman it has been a wild weekend for me that started with the Phillis Wheatley award ceremony on Friday. 

For those of you who regularly follow The Neophyte Author, you know that I was nominated for a 2015 Phillis Wheatley Award for First Fiction for my debut novel Born at Dawn. In June I became one of three finalists and I am pleased to announce that my God is faithful and as His word says He has blessed the work of my hands. Born at Dawn took home the 2015 Wheatley Award for First Fiction. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! 

There are not enough words to describe the level of emotions that washed over me when Omar Tyree (yes, the Omar Tyree, author of Flyy Girl) called my name. It was a wonderful night and I have some pictures of the other winners and I would like to congratulate all of the finalists and winners. 

Categories and Finalist (Winners in Bold)

YOUNG READERS

Granny’s Helper by Selma Jackson

Midnight and the Man Who Had No Tears by Tiffany Golden

Tate and His Historic Dream by Bernard C. Turner

YOUNG ADULT

Dear Diary, The Bullying Won’t Stop by Delicia B. Davis

The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis

Willow by Tonya Cherie Hegamin

FIRST NON-FICTION

Daffodil: A Mother’s Journey by Demetria Hayes

No Doubt: The Murder(s) of Oscar Grant by Thandisizwe Chimurenga

Regina Anderson, Harlem Renaissance Librarian by Ethelene Whitmire

NONFICTION

A Light Shines in Harlem: New York’s First Charter School by Mary C. Bounds

Breaking Grounds: My Life in Medicine by Dr. Louis W. Sullivan

Businessman First, Remembering Henry G. Parks, Jr… by Maurice W. Dorsey

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POETRY

Brief Evidence of Heaven: Poems from the Life of Anna Murray Douglass by M. Nzadi Keita

City of Eternal Spring by Afaa Micheal Weaver

Tears for My Ancestors by Malik Canty

FIRST FICTION

Adinkrahene: Fear of a Black Planet by Jeffrey A. Faulkerson (Check him out, please :)) 

Born at Dawn Nigeria Lockley

Shifting Allegiances: A Nigerian’s Story of Nigeria, America & Culture by Amaka Lily

FICTION

Every Day is for the Theif by Teju Cole

Glorious Sunset by Ava Bleu

Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique

Happy February: Goals and Vision Board Checkin

Okay I’m a day or two late, but don’t judge me I was engaged in lots of Superbowl nonsense Sunday and it was well worth it–my team won! Then I had lots of work nonsense to deal with on Monday. Thirty-three days have past since many of us declared our goals and pasted magazine cutouts onto cardboard boxes and now it’s time to check on how much progress we made. I’ll go first and you’ll share your progress in the comments.

 

Goal Progress

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I am excited to announce that I met my first writing goal. I finished writing Tempted to Touch on January 18th. Now, ask me have I finished typing it (that’s another story, but you can find out why I started writing it longhand versus typing in my post Fighting with the First Person). Once I’m done typing which I hope is this week I’m on to working on the next book in the Grace series, Riches of Grace (tentative title–cast your vote for the title on the Home page). Just in case you’re wondering how I was able to knock out my first goal so quickly here are some things that helped me.

How to Meet a Goal

-Establish a timeline

-Work towards it everyday so that you don’t have to play catch-up

-Get two partners: an accountability partner to keep you on track and an encouragement partner to tell you’re doing a good even when you might be sucking. It will get you back on the road to your goals. If you can find a 2-in-1 praise the Lord!!

 

Vision Board Progress

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All I can say is all glory and praise be to the most high God. My vision board is divided to address the needs and desires the innerman and outterman. I can see both visions being addressed and I can’t take the credit for it. Of course, this isn’t magic, it’s really quite simple (if you let it be). I make myself available to God and express my desires to Him they are being met just as Psalm 37:4-5 says, “Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”

Innerman

To address the needs of the innerman, I’ve signed up for Bible reading plans and whenever I feel that tug from the Holy Spirit I’m learning to drop what I’m doing and pick up my Bible or pray. Despite a lot of calamity at work, I’ve been putting my best face forward, as my visionboard suggests.

Outterman

I repeat I can’t take any credit for the vision coming to pass. On my visionboard I pasted to cutouts that said “My books are great bookclub finds.” What happens? I received a review from Michelle Monkou on the USA TODAY blog, Happy Ever After, that begins with “Bookclub alert! Born at Dawn is the perfect story for a hearty discussion.” and prior to that my Born at Dawn was selected to be the book of the month for the African-American Christian Fiction Book Club on Facebook.

Just to take the mystique out of this let’s come to the common understanding that first of all, “every good and perfect gift comes the Father of lights in whom there is no variableness or shadow of turning” (in other words if He said it He will do it). The good that I’ve received is not because I’m good, but because He is. Secondly, Deuteronomy 28 says that “The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand;”  Of course, that means I have to do something with my hands (so do you). I had to put my book out there for God to bless it, but once I did my part He did His part to bless my vision because my vision is aligned with His. I want to be a tool in His hand and He wants to use me and bless me.

Have you accepted that for yourself? The Lord wants to use you and He wants to bless you? With that in mind–where are you in the Vision 2015 process? Approaching a goal, on target, or way off? Share your progress or your pain and then let’s figure out how we can march on in Jesus name.

Pathways to Your #Passion: 2015 Goals and Visions

So, if you’re over 18 you’re probably already familiar with the rhetoric that surrounds the ringing in a New Year–“New Year, New Me”, “This year is going to be better than last”, etc. etc. etc.

Now, in all honesty many people abandon this motto after January or at least after the first trial or obstacle of the New Year smacks them in the face, which is why I generally don’t set resolutions. However, this year I’ve been entertaining two things: vision boards and goal setting. Neither one of them are new concepts and as an educator I’m quite familiar with goal setting, but I’ve never applied the  practice to my new writing career.

Goal Setting

I think my soul sis, Unoma Nwankwor’s posts about goal setting have rubbed off on me. In one of her recent Facebook posts she quoted the late Dr. Myles Munroe in which he stated that your goals should, “create your priorites, determine your desicions, dictate companions, and predict your choices.”  That inspired me to set some wiriting goals (I know I should probably have goals for other areas of my life–give me a break).

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Vision Boards

Vision boards have been around for awhile, but I have been kind of hesitant to create one. A certain part of me felt like, one it’s kind of New Agey and two it kind of takes away from the whole notion of “have your way in my life, Jesus” if I’m drafting up my vision. I believe in Habakkuk 2:2, when it says write the vision, the word meant write the vision that the Lord had given the prophet not the vision the prophet wanted to write, but after some investigating and polling I decided it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. So, I created a vision board. My understanding is there are no rules to vision boards except making sure you have a clear objective.

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I divided my vision board into two parts: the inner man and the outer man–what I want for my spirit in 2015 and what tangible things  I want. I included some scriptures that spoke to the vision I was creating and my faith. Two of those scriptures are:

“If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. Yea the Almighty shall be thy defence, and thou shalt have plenty of silver. For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty, and shalt lift up thy face unto God. Thou shalt make thy prayer unto him, and he shall hear thee, and thou shalt pay thy vows. Thou shalt decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways.” Job 22:23-28

“And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper.” 2 Chronicles 26:5 

These scriptures will keep me focused on my ultimate goal–to hear my Father say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” while at the same time they address the fact that I still long for some of the things that the Gentiles long for. I want to be a powerful Christian (decree a thing), I want to live comfortably (gold as dust), and I want to prosper (God made him to prosper). 

The second half of my vision board addresses the areas of my life that I’d like to see the manifestation of these scriptures–in my writing and in my home. A vision is only a vision until you put the leg work to it, but having one gives your legs some direction to walk in. 

What are your goals for 2015? What does your vision for 2015 look like? Please share your goals and vision boards and as I update you on my progress I look forward to hearing about how you have progressed in 2015. 

#CoverReveal : Seasoned with Grace

On July 28, 2015 my second novel, Seasoned with Grace will be dropping and you know I had to share

the cover with you.

SEASONED-WITH-GRACE

Synopsis: Sentenced to probation, thirty-year-old, supermodel Grace King must put her plans of transitioning into acting to extend the longevity of her career on hold. Desperate to keep a close eye on Grace and his job Grace’s ambitious lawyer, Ethan Summerville has her complete community service in the last place Grace wants to be. His church.
 
Instead of God, Grace finds a “chocolate drop” of a man–Brother Horace Green. However, Horace isn’t looking for a supermodel. He wants his woman saved and sanctified, but Grace has never met a man who has been able to resist her. Will Horace compromise his faith for a taste of fortune, fame, and Grace?
 
While Grace focuses on the pursuit of passion Ethan finds one director willing to take a risk and cast Grace in his debut film, but this role fits Grace all too well. Will this film revive Grace’s relationship with God and her career or bring her closer to destruction?

Seasoned with Grace is available on Amazon for pre-order now

#Pathways to Your #Passion: Stay in Your Lane

There is nothing new under the sun, which means that regardless of what you’re passionate about there is someone who shares the same passion and may be making great gains in the field or industry that you are trying to break into. As you look at their resume it seems like you’re standing next to a giant and you are a dwarf. They’ve made so many gains and in such a short time–how could you possibly compete?

Don’t.

Let me say that again. Don’t.

The pathway to your (your) passion is not a competition. Nor is it a race. It’s a marathon.content (2)

You’re going to go around the track a lot of times. Some laps you’ll eat up and others will beat you down and have your legs feeling like jelly. You’ll see other runners turn the corner while you’re still holding an aching rib, but don’t fix your eyes on their race, instead with patience run the race that is set before you (Hebrews 12:1). Stay in your lane. 

 

The pathway to your passion is yours and you don’t have to replicate anyone else’s success or try to match or beat their time. What you have to do is walk or run the course that Lord has laid out specifically for you recognizing that there is no limit to what God is able to do for you, through you, and to you.

 

See you on the other side of your passion.  

Born at Dawn Launch Party Recap

I’m a wee bit late in sharing (I’m sorry), but I went from Launch Party Mode to traveling to the National Black Book Festival (recap coming soon).

Listen, God showed up and showed out. Everyone who said they’d make didn’t, but everyone who did make it supported Born at Dawn 100%. A midst traffic delays in the sprawling city everything came together, praise the good Lord! Check out some photos and video from the event below.

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We also had some scenes from the book acted out. Here’s one clip:

 

Did you enjoy this clip? If you’ve read Born at Dawn please let me know what you think of Esdras’ portrayl of Marvin? If you haven’t read Born at Dawn please get your copy today.