The New Math for Authors: CwF + RtB

The publishing business is undergoing major (if not catastrophic) changes. The days of authors being “pure” creatives who write books, and then leave the selling of their books to others is long gone. The new business model for authors and many other creative artists is CwF + RtB; which means find ways to connect with fans, and give them reasons to buy your work. A number of independent musicians have already been using this business model to create an audience for their work. In the writing context, creating connections with potential readers is called a building a “platform.”

I’ll discuss this more in future posts, but as a starting point, I would strongly urge all aspiring authors to take heed of the following warning from a literary agent.

ADDENDUM

These are exciting times filled with many amazing opportunities for those African-American women who understand and apply several basic concepts:

(1) Always asking “What’s in it for me? What does will this do in terms of MY long-term interests?”

(2) Always keeping in mind and applying the normal human ordering of priorities: self, family, clan, ethnic group. [I mean this in the sense of the reciprocating folks within these categories. For me, a non-reciprocating biological relative is the same as a non-reciprocating total stranger in terms of my priorities.]

(3) Always take advantage of opportunities to cooperate with like-minded African-American women who understand points #1 and #2.

Ladies, you don’t need “the masses” of anybody to understand or do anything in order for you to make amazing progress in living out your wildest dreams. All you need is your own determination, your own willingness to take action, and God’s help (He helps those who help themselves).

Elijah Muhammad was quite correct when he said, “Start with the believers.” In other words, start with the people who “get it.” And don’t worry about the rest who don’t get it. The ones who don’t get it don’t matter. Bestselling self-help author Robert Ringer (author of “Looking Out For #1”) also stressed this simple rule of only working with what he calls “qualified prospects.” Meaning people who are “qualified” to be worthy of interacting with you because they “get it,” and want to work with you.

When I speak of encouraging more African-American women to form publishing and production companies, I’m not talking about this in the traditional sense of “Oh, come join this holy and noble crusade.”

Instead, I’m saying this because—in addition to being a good thing in terms of promoting healthier visions of sane living for Black women and girls—these are opportunities for you to make large sums of money doing things that you enjoy (for the aspiring writers among us)! I’ve never been interested in taking vows of poverty. For any reason. It’s quite possible and doable to “do well by doing good.” This has always been my motto and practice.

If you’re savvy and you work it right, the writing biz can solve many of your financial worries while also being a lot of fun. The folks who are most adept at working the angles of the writing biz have found financial freedom! This could be you!

As I mentioned in the sample blog post about the 5 elements of money-making nonfiction, there are a lot of people making good money with their writing without being on a bestsellers list. There are ways of doing this. Now, that’s what I’m talking about here. LOL! I’m not talking about the old, played-out “crusade” model of failed, idealistic African-American businesses.

The other interesting pattern I’ve noticed is that when you make your move, you’ll often be surprised by the unexpected support that you’ll get from like-minded people. I’ve been humbled by the outpouring of active support that so many of you have given me with this latest project. And I can’t THANK YOU enough for that!

There’s no need to worship other people in other places. Hidden between the deranged masses of African-Americans, we have our own deep pockets of talent, industriousness, and intelligence within our own African-American collective. Ladies, that would be YOU. *Smile* The problem is that right now, most otherwise-sensible African-American women are directing their energies and talents toward NON-reciprocating people, places and ideas.

With all the modern tools available at our fingertips (the new technology, an opening of social and business opportunities in the wider world, and so on), those African-American women who understand and apply the above-mentioned basic principles will make HUGE strides forward in this new decade!

Onward and forward to full-spectrum abundant life!

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11 Responses to “The New Math for Authors: CwF + RtB”

  1. Shecodes says:

    Hi Khadija,

    Just wanted to let you know that your book will be ordered from Amazon today. I can’t wait to read it.

    I am incredibly proud of what you are doing. Keep flying, my sister!

  2. Hello there, Shecodes!

    Thank you so much for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it! You’re one of the activist bloggers that I’ve been trying to imitate. It’s time to go beyond complaining about the poisonous messages that others are trying to shove down our throats; and create our own outlets for promoting life-sustaining messages. This is a small step in that direction.

    Shecodes, I have NOT forgotten about your instrumental role in confronting Rev. “Hot Comb” Sharpton about the utterly despicable postion that he originally took regarding The Dunbar Village Atrocity. I also haven’t forgotten the instrumental role that you and BlkSeaGoat took in rescuing Citoya Greenwood and her small child from Dunbar Village. May God bless you!

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  3. Everyone,

    Here’s yet another (mostly unremarked upon) example of why we need our own information outlets.

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  4. Karen says:

    What the Jewish people do better than anyone else is to control their image and they take whatever measures to do so. The “muted” response to this obvious and severe conflict of interest speaks volumes to their influence, power and control.

  5. Karen,

    You said, “What the Jewish people do better than anyone else is to control their image and they take whatever measures to do so.”

    That’s absolutely correct. And I’m not mad at them for controlling their image—that’s what sensible people are supposed to do! For those who aren’t sure what I mean by that, please compare and contrast the following:

    (1) How Jewish people strictly manage how their Holocaust is portrayed in the media. VERSUS

    (2) How AAs play with, and allow nonblack others to play with, how our experiences with slavery and Jim Crow are portrayed in the media.

    [For just one example of what I mean, consider the number of movies that are purportedly about some AA historical figure or critical event in AA history. Most of these movies are designed so that, instead of focusing solely on the AA characters, insert White characters into the narrative. And then these movies go so far as to make the White characters prominent parts of what’s supposed to be OUR story.]

    Also, I will note that all of the topics I discuss here are connected. AAs allow other people to play games with our image and our history because we’re flattered that others are paying any attention to us. And we’re flattered because we don’t have any ethnic self-respect. Another reason why we let folks play games with our image and our history is that we never establish boundaries with other people.

    While AAs are busy worrying about being “fair” to the various people who HATE us, others are taking care of their business however they see fit—and they don’t care if other people like it or not. Which was demonstrated by the example I cited in the link to that news story.

    Sensible AAs can learn a LOT from how Jewish people handle their own interests. Much of this comes back to not having institutions (including various types of media outlets) of our own. Which is why I hope to encourage more sensible AA women to enter the writing industry. However, this only makes sense if more of us enter this industry on our own terms, by forming our OWN institutions (production and publishing companies, etc.). Having more AAs working at jobs for entities that DON’T serve our interests is NOT helpful. We’ve seen that over and over again. God blesses the child that’s got their own!

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  6. foreverloyal says:

    I got my copy in the mail! I was about to be hot with Amazon, since the status was “delivered to front door” and I didn’t have it. I found where they did put it though, and am looking forward to reading it. I thought of someone who could use a copy, too.

  7. Foreverloyal,

    I’m happy to hear that your copy of the book made its way to you. {chuckling} I must admit that I’ve gotten spoiled with Amazon’s “shop at home and delivered to your front door” service. At this point, the only book stores I bother to actually go into are the independently-owned ones (that I try to support as much as possible).

    Foreverloyal, thank you so much for your support; I truly appreciate it!

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  8. Tracy says:

    Thank you so much for more great writing info.

    “What’s in it for me” is my new mantra!! lol!!

    Khadija, you said:

    “AAs allow other people to play games with our image and our history because we’re flattered that others are paying any attention to us. And we’re flattered because we don’t have any ethnic self-respect. Another reason why we let folks play games with our image and our history is that we never establish boundaries with other people.”

    Amen! From Invictus to Precious, it is pretty much anything goes with our stories and history. And what is the response? Blank stares and Crickets…

    I may be dating myself, but remember when Melanie Griffith was cast in a movie about the Holocaust and Jewish leaders and community had a fit? Remember the run-ins that Spike Lee had with the Anti-Defamation League?

    Why don’t we have that? As of late, we definitely need a BW Watch Group. Something to add to the list.

    Continued Success to you all…

  9. Tracy,

    You’re welcome and thank YOU for your support; I truly appreciate it!

    You said, “I may be dating myself, but remember when Melanie Griffith was cast in a movie about the Holocaust and Jewish leaders and community had a fit? Remember the run-ins that Spike Lee had with the Anti-Defamation League?”

    I also remember all of that. The Jewish people don’t and WON’T play with their image or interests! And they won’t let anybody else play with their stuff either. [Incidentally, I don’t have a problem with “dating myself.” When I was a teenager, a very wise person told me that “the only people who aren’t getting older are already dead.” {chuckling} That one statement put it all in perspective for me!]

    You said, “From Invictus to Precious, it is pretty much anything goes with our stories and history. And what is the response? Blank stares and Crickets…”

    We change that situation by changing the overall image terrain. And we change the overall image terrain by creating and disseminating our OWN works. We also GET PAID while doing this! Like I said earlier, I’m not into crusades that bring no benefit to the “crusaders.” I insist upon getting paid (and paid well) for my efforts. *Smile*

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.

  10. Marty says:

    Wow Khadija,

    Love the blog! Also wanted to give you a heads up that we are going to be recommending that all of our clients who are looking to start a blog check yours out. The message, blog entries and format are totally on point. Best of luck.

  11. Marty!

    {excited waving} I’m so happy you stopped by! Thank you for your kind words and support; I truly appreciate it. And I can’t possibly thank you and Ms. Chris enough for how you’ve helped me with this project. THANK YOU!

    Peace, blessings and solidarity.