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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Harlem Book Fair 2010

Okay, I'm back from the 2010 Harlem Book Fair. It was an okay show this time around. Networked with some people, and promoted my three books. Lowered prices and offered free cupcakes. (No takers on the cupcakes)
A fun moment was when I met two readers of my blog (Didn't know this area of cyberspace was that popular)
This year Bought a Gazebo so my family (YAY FREE LABOR!) wouldn't broil in the 90 degree sun. Glad they were there to support me. (I have to thank my brother for providing the skirt that made my table look elegant and polished!)

Our new improved table! 100x better than last year!

Our intrepid writer hawking his wares at the fair.

Unfortunately, A strong wind turned our tent into junk. Had to cut my appearance short as and family was getting headaches from the heat. (ALWAYS TREAT YOUR LABOR RIGHT OR YOU'LL PAY DEARLY!)

At the end of the day, we sold one copy of Isis. Six hours of work, with more effort an improved table, and free treats for customers and I sold the same amount of books as as last year! YAY!

Bad News:

The Cassandra Cookbook is on its way out of print. It's been out for two years and it's made no scratch. Isis sells well, and Marilyn is selling well, but poor Cassandra isn't pulling her weight sales wise. I loved writing this book, but I can't afford to keep it in print. So if anyone wants one, GET IT NOW!

More Bad News:

I won't be doing the fair again. Walking around the grounds today I realized It's not my market. 98 percent of the fair is Urban/Street lit and my Contemporary fiction titles don't fit in that venue. As much as I'd like to offer readers a positive alternative to Urban/Street lit at the HBF, I just can't afford it. With money tight (no job right now) I'm focusing my limited resources on venues where I can get new readers. And Since most of my readers come from the web, it'll be more facebook/Twitter stuff from now on.

Will I release my other two titles? Yeah, but I'll be scaling back promotion on those books. This year I scaled stuff back for All About Marilyn and it actully sold more copies So for my newer titles this means fewer review copies going out for review (Book clubs who took titles and didn't read/review them will not get another or another request for submission!) and fewer promotional copies will be given out to vendors/readers. Self-publishing costs money and with this recession (Depression) with no end I have to save money for job search/day-t0-day living.

Writing is becoming less of a job and returning to a hobby...


  1. Hi Shawn,

    Thanks for the updates. You did give it the old college try again and even had family support.

    Like you said you did meet a few of your blog readers.

    Sorry, to hear about Cassandra. I love my copy. Wishing you continued success in other literary venues.


    PS Haven't forgotten about interviewing you for my blog/s as well as reviewing the books on LinkedIN/Amazon etc.

  2. Keep doing what you doing brother, all other black authors seem to write about is meaningless smut...keep doing the more uplifting positive stuff, U'll make it, I know it

    P.s. Keep up with those reviews too, I aspire to write some like you

  3. Liz Mike,

    Thanks for the support

    I'm going to keep persevering. Brothers and sisters need a positive alternative to the street lit and the other meaningless smut. It may not be selling now, but one day brothers and sisters are going to wake up and want more substance from their literature.

    Planning on doing a review for "The Wrestler" Soon on Amazon. A cinematic work of art with amazing performances from Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei.