Saturday, July 9, 2016

Black Entrepreneurs Matter

This week has been a rough week. The deaths of two black men at the hands of police were videotaped and circulated around Facebook so we could all be traumatized, hurt, angry, sad, shed tears, and be confused as to what our own lives meant to the world. These deaths led to protests around the country. The protests led to more of us blacks wanting to prove to white people why we are worthy of being loved and the desire to be heard led to the deaths of cops. The deaths of cops led to even more hurt and confusion. At this point the conversation has circulated back to another recurring topic. It's the fact that we need to support more black businesses.

I'll be honest. I've been writing for a long time. I officially started playing with the idea of writing online during college years (2005-2010) whenever Facebook created the notes section. There's tons of posts in the notes section of my Facebook in case you want to read. During college years I also majored in journalism, which helped others to get a feel for my style of writing. Then just before I graduated I created this blog (it started under another name). For years people had been asking when I was going to come out with a book, so I assumed that I could at least get about 20 sales easily upon first putting one out. You know when people are demanding a product, it only seems right that you expect them to purchase that product when it comes out. So this year I put out my book.

Finally coming out with a book with my name on it was the most beautiful experience ever. The moment I released that book, I allowed myself to become an author that someone would one day look up to and decide to be just like. Actually I was told that someone received a copy of my book and was influenced to follow their own goals, which is amazing to hear.

However, I still wanted to influence more people. I wanted to influence them while showing them I have real skills. I'm a poet and a storyteller. My art is writing. I wanted more than five or six people to respect my craft. It's been hard, but since March of 2016 I've sold 32 books, three of which were on Kindle. To some people 32 people seems like a good number, but it's not for me. I'm a writer who wants to see her name in the hands of thousands of people. I'm not going after a million people, just thousands of people reading my words.

It isn't going to be easy to get up to that number though. I've had bloggers give me prices way higher than I could afford to do reviews on their blogs. They have to read the book too, which means in no way am I getting a good deal. I've also had bloggers ignore me and of course those people who lamely say, "You'll find your audience."

As far as friends go, I had a friend who did purchase a book, but she also explained to me how she wasn't really my audience and I should be looking for real readers. Then I had another friend that I was trying to get advertising advice from. I didn't even ask for her to advertise for me, which would have helped a lot. She never helped me, but months later explained it was because I didn't have any money to pay her. If I didn't understand how this entrepreneual industry works, I would have felt like I was asking for too much.

It's all weird, because the biggest advice I've been given is to reach out to strangers. However, how does a person reach other to strangers if the people they know aren't even willing to talk about their product?

Oh, and I've had those people in my inbox asking for publishing advice, but they refuse to buy my book. It's weird because reading other people's books actually helped me to become a better writer and figure out what the topic I wanted to write on. In order to read those books, I had to purchase them.

It's been four months and I read somewhere that it takes new author at least six months to start really selling books. I'm not so much worried about how long it'll take anymore. I care more about people actually taking me seriously when I bring up the book to them. I care more about seeing people who voluntarily bring up my book also get themselves a copy to show they are serious about supporting me. I care about googling my name and finally seeing some reviews and real genuine opinions about what I've written.

Black Entrepreneurs Matter. If you really believe that, please get your copy of Woman Manifested: A Poetic Tale on Amazon.

Lashuntrice Bradley (Creator of Searching For My Star) (new sister website)
Mrsstarstatus (Twitter & Instagram)

No comments :

Post a Comment