Wednesday, August 24, 2011

One Amazing Houston Author

The recent earthquake that shook fear into the small towns and big cities on the East coast is reminiscent of the geological anomaly in the novel “One Amazing Thing.” The recent works of a Houston author that is being highlighted at the book festival held the libraries in the region throughout the months of September and October.

Gulf Coast Reads is a reading initiative that is replacing a similar program “Books On the Bayou”. It’s a “one book, one community” reading event designed to establish more dialogue about regional writers and their works, amongst friends, families, and in classrooms.

The overall strategy embraced by the libraries in the region: Fort Bend County, Harris County Public Library System, Brazoria Montgomery County alongwith the Houston Public Library is to encourage their communities to make sure their literary diet includes more works written by some of the outstanding literary talent in Houston and other places around the Gulf Coast.

This year’s novel is an intriguing, timely tale entitled,”One Amazing Thing”, authored by Houston writer Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, who lives in Sugarland. Her book chronicles the struggle for survival of 9 people, trapped in the basement of the Indian Consulate after an earthquake.

The premise of the book unfolds as the survivors begin sharing with each other “one amazing thing” that happened in their lives. As they listen to each other tell about love and loss, betrayal, and redemption it gives the entire group some much needed encouragement during their fight for survival while trapped in the throngs of darkness.

A few other good books written by authors from the Gulf coast that you may want to consider adding to your bookshelf include:

"A Good Long Way" by Rene Saldana Jr. of Lubbock, a fast-paced young adult novel that follows the troubled lives of three teens in South Texas (Amazon, $10.95).

A handy guide to about 150 interesting and sometimes offbeat Texas museums. "Texas Museums of Discovery" by Allan C. Kimball

"The Steps of the Savior: 365 Devotionals from the Gospel of Luke" by Phil Ware. A hearty helping of scriptures to infuse spiritual awareness into your day.

"The Smart Stepdad" by Ron L. Deal of Amarillo

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Houston Book Tours - Fail Up!

Catching Tavis Smiley's Houston book tour “Fail Up Tour” May 13th 2011, as it swings through town on its 10 city trek could pay off in more than one way. Houston authors, book club members and/or Houston book lovers in need of an inspirational jolt will have a chance to purchase a copy of what’s being called “a lesson plan to success”.

This stop in H-town a few weeks before the National Black Book Festival gets underway shows the African American author is still ahead of the rest of the pack. It’s an opportunity for local book club members and/or book lovers to pick up a signed copy of his new work that might prove to be really valuable someday.
If you haven’t read our discussion on how to buy books for fun and profit , now would be a good time to take a look at it.

Why buy just any old book that will only collect dust. It’s far more rewarding to have book collection that’s collecting dust and cash value as well.

Smiley’s book could become like the signed copies of first printings and first editions
of President Obama’s book, Dreams Of My Father. It was written before he was a State Senator or presidential candidate and sell for a premium on E-bay.

(Click image to enlarge)
Many were probably signed during his author tour promoting the book.

Tavis Smiley's New Book

After a bout with what is best described as a mid-life crisis, Smiley came to the realization that success is often born out of overcoming setbacks and failures. He then began putting his story into words.

He hopes the stories in the book taken from his life and today’s headline will help us to understand a universal truth. There is no success without failure.

We all are inevitably confronted by letdowns, fall-throughs, and setbacks in life. When you are in the midst of a struggle it’s hard to realize that success, is born out of overcoming the setbacks and failures,

Author Tour In Houston

You are more likely to lose touch, get disconnected or forget your sense of purpose. FAIL UP is a lesson plan to success that can help you get reestablished and aligned with your goals.

Whether you are an author, book club member, book lover or nine-to-fiver, FAIL UP shows us all of us how instead of settling for a step backwards we can surge forward. If we stay focused on the prize and seize each opportunity that comes our way.

Smiley will be in Houston to discuss Fail Up at the Westheimer, Barnes and Noble this Friday the 13th from 7 p,m, to 9 p.m. The stories in the book range from the private and personal to the public and professional. It’s an inspiring and challenging look at what it takes to make a new, better, more true ending when we are faced with challenging circumstances.

If you want to know about more about subjects discussed on this blog check out these resources.
Book tours in Houston
Selling and Buying used books in Houston Sphere: Related Content

Monday, April 25, 2011

Powerful Tips For Authors On Getting Signed, Published And Publicity

Authors and writers can benefit from tips to get signed, get published, get publicity to promote their books and build their writing careers during the Black Book Festival in Houston. The annual event will bring together some of the upper echelon in the publishing industry with aspiring, published and successful authors and writers.

The festival features a variety of seminars and symposiums for this years Houston event. It’s one of the must-attend venues for marketing-minded writers and authors. It ‘s a chance to get tips, tricks and techniques that can get a new career off the ground or keep a soaring career moving forward.

Book Marketing Tips

The Black Book Festival will host an informative Breakthrough Conference that’s designed to shorten the learning curve for freelancers, aspiring and published authors who want to sharpen their marketing skills. The experts in the conference will share proven techniques and best practices on how to get interviews with radio, TV and newspapers to make sure your work gets the maximum exposure it deserves.

Getting Published

The Breakthrough Conference is a chance for authors to get up to speed on what major publishing houses look for when they review a book proposal. You will walk away with a better understanding of how to meet that criteria. Some of the nations top African American book agents will also be on hand to impart their wisdom to help writers over several crucial hurdle's.

Some of the nations top African American book agents will also be on hand to impart their wisdom to help writers over several crucial hurdle's.

  • How to find the best agent.
  • The truth about book advances
  • What motivate major publishers to consider an author for a 2 or 5 book deal.

Getting Publicity For Your Book

Each action packed session of the National Black Book Festival has timely information and relevant themes designed to empower authors and writers to take charge of their careers. .

A  panel discussion  on how to  Get Signed, Get Published, Get Publicity  begins Friday,June 10, 2011 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Some of the top publishing industry pros on the panels include:

  • Pam Perry -Visionary of Ministry Marketing Solutions Inc. and one of the nation’s premiere Christian literary PR Coaches.
  • J. M. Benjamin CEO of A New Quality Publishing. J. M. has developed guerrilla marketing and grassroots techniques that helped him sell thousands of books.
  • Regina Brooks the founder of Serendipity Literary Agency LLC.
  • Malaika Adero, of UpSouth, Inc., an organization that promotes and presents authors and artists.

To be a successful author you need to know how to get signed, get published, get publicity and other career building marketing tips that will attract book publishers as well as an audience for your work.

If you’re a writer or author that’s serious about making your literary breakthrough and turning your existing or future book(s) into bestsellers you want to be a part of these three powerful sessions. Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Houston Author - Semi-finalist For Best New Author of 2011

People trapped in water

Leave it to a Houston author and resident, Kay Jay Smith to find the sliver lining in the dark clouds of despair that still hang over some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. The author/publisher has taken the horrific incident and weaved it into a historical fiction that chronicles a family’s life before, during and after the destructive hurricane.

The book promises to capture the witty, energetic and deeply emotional feelings of a family who endured the ravages of the national disaster. In spite of the traumatic underpinnings of Katrina, the African American author reached deep into the psyche of its survivors to bring to the surface sincere emotions of love and loyalty, the only ties that bind us sometimes during great difficulties and challenging situations when life seems full of lemons.

Who better to paint the picture of what some people were feeling and many could hardly express than someone who has turned those lemons into lemonade by personally helping several families who were misplaced by the harrowing storm.

The passionate, caring Houston author continues to let her light shine into the dark corners of the world, by pledging 10% of LOYAL’s proceeds to benefit young women through Mercy Ministries International.

If you, your family or someone you know was personally impacted, or lived through Katrina and wondered.
Could things have turned out differently for you?
How other victims may have dealt with and adjusted to the situation?
What could possibly happen to return, restore, resurrect your faith in your fellow man you need to read Loyal.

The book has established the African American author as one of 2011 Best New Authors. The selection as a semi-finalist for Best New Author by the National Black Book Festival solidifies this fact. You can expect to hear lots more about Houston author Kay Jay Smith when the book festival sets up shop in Houston this summer in June.

Even though this is the African American author's first book it’s already being published in multiple formats. A paperback book and a digital version, that can be easily downloaded onto your Kindle or other electronic reading device.

For a limited time (Monday, March 7 through Monday, March 14) in honor of Kay Jay’s birthday March 7th, "LOYAL," paperback’s version normally priced at $12.00, will be available to the public for $9.00 at Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

African American History In Houston

black art

The month of February is finally here and that means it’s time to read up on a little African American history. This month in Houston, Texas the public library and a variety of places are hosting events to commemorate Black History.

It’s with honor and thankfulness that we recognize the many achievements of the sons and grandsons, daughters and granddaughters of former slaves.

Some of these African Americans who lived in past generations, other centuries and the past few years are unsung heroes whose inventions, ingenuity and integrity has shaped this country into a collective of strong united states.

Here is a short list of museums in Texas that house well known collections of Black History.

  • Austin
  • George Washington Carver Museum
  • Dallas
  • African American Museum of Dallas
  • Fort Davis
  • Fort Davis National Historic Site
  • Fort Worth
  • National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame
  • Houston
  • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum

We plan to take part in a few of the Black History programs slated to recognize some of the talented African American entertainers, athletes, and authors that call Houston home. Maybe we'll run into you at one of the various branches of the Houston library that are hosting meet and greets, right in your neighborhood with some of today most popular Black authors in Houston.

An Evening with Cydney Rax
Thursday, February 17 | 5:30PM
Mancuso Neighborhood Library

An Evening with ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Monday, February 28 | 5:30PM
Vinson Neighborhood Library

Take a look at some of the Black History events and programs scheduled in some of the other top metro areas in the U.S.

Washington D C
African American history programs at Smithsonian
Chicago Parks Programs
Essence magazine
Los Angeles
California African American museum
New York
Black History events in NY.

Before you move on to the next blog remember, if you find yourself in one of our sister cities, Austin or Dallas, or any of the places listed below, you'll find events all over the state that are being planned in February to celebrate the Texas heritage of African Americans.

George Washington Carver Museum
African American Museum of Dallas
Fort Davis
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Fort Worth
National Cowboys of Color Museum and Hall of Fame
Buffalo Soldiers National Museum

There is plenty of history in the annuals of time that has occurred in the Lone Star state. No matter what neck of the woods you find yourself hanging out, there is some intriguing history waiting to be uncovered in books, buildings and eye witness accounts of famous events. Sphere: Related Content

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