Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Black Books in Controversy: The Difficulty of Selling Foreign Rights for books featuring black people

Another oddity of publishing that worries me is the lack of enthusiasm on behalf of foreign publishers for titles about black history or novels featuring black characters.

THE KNOWN WORLD only sold rights in one country due to a personal contact before it won the Pulitzer Prize. The Pursuit of Happyness sold rights due largely to the Will Smith film project. But most of the time you just hear crickets from foreign publishers.

This again ties into my suspicion raised in previous posts that for some reason books about black people are somehow seen as less universal. Maybe it's the publishing industry's fault, maybe the consumer's prejudices or maybe neither at all. It's difficult to say.

So what do you think? Anyone seen books about the African Diaspora sold abroad? Which books were they?

Monday, July 21, 2008

On Sale Now: "Taj" from SWV takes on the ever present phenomenon of women hating on each other.

If you can remember the 90s clearly, which I assume most of the readers of this site can, you remember the mega-girl group SWV. Surely, many of you fought over who would sing lead in "Weak", and if you saw the 2008 BET awards, you saw that the members of SWV are very much still active and can still sing....

This month, Amistad published PlayerhateHER: How to Avoid the Beat Down and Live in a Drama-Free World, written by Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George and her best friend Katrina R. Chambers.

And oh all the ways we hate on each other! Tamara and Katrina discuss everything from wedding fights, men and celeb playerhating squabbles, and it's sure to at least put a smile on your face as you recognize yourself and others you know in the anecdotes. And take time to watch the video for "Weak"....it'll bring back some memories!


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