‘Help Meet’ one of the poems in the upcoming anthology, Storm Over South Central (2018) #StormOverSC
Author Archives: Chatmon's Books
LIBRARIES are the centers of acquiring knowledge and wisdom. They serve our human databanks well, our brains. In this era of corporate and technological influence, we donât see libraries â or for that sense â reading as highly paramount in our lives. Itâs no surprise to learn the wealthy see libraries as a threat, championing closures across the country. This link dated this January, unravels the struggles these places of learning face under assault from affluent entities and a lack of funds to maintain services.
Most of you readers know my story. I grew up in a library in South Los Angeles reading plays, Peanuts from Charles Shultz, and books I found interesting and engaging. I believe if it wasnât for a library, I would not be a writer today. It was in a library I began writing my short stories, poems and other creative works I indulged in. It’s also not a surprise to read a legend such as Ray Bradbury promote the positives of a library. For example, this is a quote from Mr. Bradbury on the importance of such an institution:
Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.
It’s understandable why the Powers That Be aren’t too fond of libraries. As they long as they exist, an individual can do research of the claims made daily of what Propagandist Media uses for ‘proof’. A trip to the library disproves those claims. (Hint: the Propagandist Media isn’t just CNN. It’s ‘foxy’ to assume they’re the only one) A trip to the library will as I’ve often advocated in the past, opens up your mental heart to new experiences, different lives and stories often kept silent. A library doesnât turn you into one of the arrogant ‘elite’, it provides you with knowledge and hopefully wisdom to show this world is more than your city block.
With thirty two million adults in America who are illiterate, seven hundred seventy four (774) globally, more than ever libraries are not only necessary, they should be mandatory to stay alive, visible for everyone to access and build a foundation for literacy. As I look around Los Angeles and see the changes taking place at Playa Vista, aka ‘Silicon Beach’, tech is becoming a major force in shaping the world we live in (for now), and it takes an educated work force to compete globally as well as nationally. Enrolling in a college or university can be expensive, but our public libraries are always free and patrons can get the training they need by glancing at a book. Hopefully readers of this blog will take this advice and take the time to enter a library this week or sometime when your schedule allows.
Finally, not only have I spent my adolescent years in a library, I’ve also taught writers workshops in them too. (Looking at you African American Museum and Library at Oakland/AC Bilbrew in Los Angeles). Call me biased, but the author of this column encourages you all to check out a book in a library, sign up for a library card, tell your friends, and hold your book clubs there. Libraries are an important part in obtaining optimal knowledge from a variety of different sources including the sources we prefer not to research in our extreme political climate today. I would wager reading a book does not brainwash you, but it will do wonders for your brain.
Charles L. Chatmon
President, Chatmon’s Books
Top 5 Book Selling Tips
by Brent Sampson
TIP # 1
Online reviews are paramount in importance when it comes to drawing attention to your book. And the best part is, you’re in control of your own destiny!
If you haven’t yet submitted your own review on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, what are you waiting for? This should be one of the first steps for every published author.
Encourage other family members and friends to review the book, too. They’re inclined to be more generous than perfect strangers, but don’t underestimate the effect of any honest review. Published reviews on sites like Amazon, Barnes &Noble, and the many other sites Outskirts Press books appear demonstrates interest in your book. And that’s a good thing! Post a review for your book today, and ask others to do likewise.
Enhance your online listing with Amazon.com by participating in their “Search Inside the Book Program.”
Sign up to join this revolutionary new way to merchandise your book on Amazon.com. When customers search for books on Amazon.com, actual words from inside your book — not just the author or title — are engaged to return the best possible matches. With this powerful new search feature, customers can discover books that may never have surfaced in previous search results!
With “Search Inside the Book,” customers can also browse sample pages and do additional searches inside a particular book to confirm that the title is just what they’re looking for. All of this helps authors like you sell more books.
Once you sign Amazon’s Publisher Participation Agreement and are accepted into the program, you will need to provide Amazon.com with a physical copy of each book you would like to include in the program.
Become an “expert” in your field and book sales will follow. It’s true that promoting a book requires a great amount of resolve, but it is also true that working smarter, rather than harder, can help reap those rewards.
By projecting yourself as an “expert” in the genre in which you write, you can open new doors for networking, doors that often remain shut without that expertise status.
How does one go about making himself or herself an expert? Easy! You already are one. The name on your published book proves it. Now just use that book as a calling card to line-up speaking engagements, freelance writing gigs, and other opportunities at a variety of venues.
Two good places to begin are AOL and the ABOUT.COM information network. Both have category-specific forums in which you can participate, and by mentioning that you are the “Author of such-and-such” within the scope of your communication, you begin to label yourself as an expert to fellow participants.
Being recognized as an expert in a technical or “non-fiction” category is admittedly easier than the largely subjective category of “fiction expert” but even if you have written a work of fiction, becoming a recognized expert is conceivable.
Whether you’ve penned poetry, horror, or romance, there is a forum in which to voice your opinion. The Internet is full of chat rooms, use groups, genre-sites, and more — all thirsty for content from published writers. You just have to know where to look. Start selling books tomorrow by being an expert today.
“Pay For Performance” internet advertising is making big waves lately. While most search engines feature such sponsored links, there are currently only a number of engines providing the back-end technology, and of those, only one serves the majority of search engines used by the public: Overture.
The way pay-for-performance (or p4p) works is simple. You bid on search terms (either words or phrases or a combination of both). Your webpage link then appears in search engine results relative to the price of the bid. If you’re the highest bidder, your webpage appears at the absolute TOP of many search engines. Remember the frustration of typing in a search for your webpage and never finding your link? No longer!
But that’s not even the best part. The best part is this — you only pay if someone actually clicks on your link. And since you’ve defined the search term, the people clicking on your link are already predisposed toward your subject. In essence, they’re already pre-sold.
Let’s look at an example. Say you’ve published a mystery novel about the death of a land baron in Louisiana. Not exactly a new plot, and yet millions of “whodunit” readers would be anxious to read it. Your solution? Open an Overture account and bid on search terms like “Louisiana Mystery Novel” and “Mystery Book Plantation” and similar terms. Counter intuitively, the more vague the term, the better, since very specific searches deliver very motivated buyers to your page, and since you’re paying for each click, you want those people to buy!
That brings us to the down-side. You have to be very careful managing your bids, or it can be expensive. Do not bid on ridiculously vague and popular words like “book” because you will never recoup your money. Instead, focus your search terms as specifically as possible.
If you’ve been clamoring for more traffic to your free Outskirts Press webpage, Overture may be just your ticket. To sign-up, click below. They’ll even give you a $10 credit to begin. Visit Overture at their website for more information.
Use ebooks to help promote and sell your paperback or hardback edition.
Think of e-books as a teaser. With a lower purchase price and more immediate gratification, many people are inclined to give an e-book a try when they might pass on a traditional paperback. Furthermore, if they like the e-book, 80% of people end up purchasing the “real” book, too!
There are three schools of thought concerning the way in which e-books should be sold.
1 – Some believe that e-books should have a very low purchase price, somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.00 for the entire book.
2 – Other believe that e-books should only contain excerpts, or sample chapters of the full book, and that they should be provided for free.
3 – Still others believe that e-books best serve their purpose when the entire e-book is given away. This encourages word of mouth about the author and the book, which in turn helps support additional book sales and really shows dividends when a subsequent book is published by the same author.
Whichever course you follow, there is little doubt that e-books are beneficial to your promotion efforts. If you don’t yet have an e-book, what are you waiting for?
Copyright © Brent Sampson
For anyone reading this, the past few days since Hurricane Harvey touched down in the Houston area has been tough for everyone involved. While it’s easy to criticize pastors for not opening their doors to those in need, I hope each one of us open our hearts and mouths and offer a prayer or two for the individuals and families affected.
We are our Brother’s (and Sister’s) Keepers, even when we’re caught up in the overwhelming drama in our own lives to notice.
Greetings, my name is Charles L. Chatmon.
Most of you who follow me on this blog know that I’m an author. I also interview up-and-coming authors on my other blog, https://authorsnfocus.wordpress.com I discuss trends in the publishing world, and offer commentary on the topics of the day in the writing world.
Most of you know me as the creator of the Authors N Focus blog, but I’m also a published author and writing workshop instructor. I write on topics either found in my books dealing with the issues that affect us all in today’s society. My blog, Thoughts on a String can be found on the blogroll to the right or by simply clicking on http://charleschatmon.bravejournal.com
If you’re curious, please follow me on these blogs by simply subscribing to them. I look forward to sharing my thoughts, ideas and opinions with you in the near future. Take care.
Just so we know
This is Charles L. Chatmon, author of The Depths of My Soul and The Voices of South Central. Years ago, under my AOL screen name of CChat66, I participated in a tribute to black women with three other gentlemen. We used my poem “A Message to Black Women” at the time in the chat room we frequented. The poem proved to be so successful, one of the men worked a deal with Net Noir when it was on AOL to reserve chat rooms called “Celebrity Spotlight” for the typing of the poem. Below are the reactions and powerful responses of A Message to Black Women, now found in The Depths of My Soul. At the conclusion of the comments below, I’ll have some news for you regarding the poem and where you can get a copy of the book. Who knew that one little poem could set off such a firestorm of goodwill and love? (smile)
Charles L. Chatmon
August 9, 1997
Netnoir Online presents….
A Celebration of Black Women
You are cordially invited to receive the greatest gift a Black man can give a Black woman.
Email reactions from those who read the poem in its entirety – not to mention the three straight hours of IM’s I received) The screen names of those individuals who sent emails to me WILL NOT be posted for the sake of privacy. This is just to show you what one poem can do to help each one of us realize we need each other. Nuff said.
Let me thank you for your lovely poem and the sincerity that it holds. It’s so nice to know that there are some sensitive, loving, open and giving black men out there with such an attitude toward black women.
I think your poem is a wonderful tribute to women of color everywhere!!! Wish every Black woman had a Black man with your sensitivity and understanding.
Thank you for sharing with me. I love it.
It is not very often that I am speechless. I just don’t know what to say. Your poem had such lovely sentiment.
That is what is needed in today’s society, support. We CAN make it….TOGETHER.
It was truly wonderful, and it makes a sister’s heart joyful to know that there are still some brothers out there that really and truly love BLACK WOMEN!
It’s been a while since I read a poem which I LIKED immediately. Your poem A Message to Black Women was amazing. I don’t do poetry well…..but yours hit home and made me want to shout AMEN! How clear, touching, and yes, loving it was. I hope I find my Black king and when I do we will stand shoulder to shoulder and hand in hand. Thank you for a most wonderful gift.
Thank you for making it easy to get to your poetry. I am enjoying reading and can see it is truly from your soul. Keep up the good work and continue to allow words of love to flow from your heart.
I so regret that I was not able to make it to the room for the real presentation of the poem. I had it forwarded to me. Not good to read at work and get all teary eyed. The poem reflected my reasoning why I will never give up on my black men.
That was a dynamic, truly beautiful poem! Would love to read more of your poems. Truly excellent!
Thank you so much for sharing. I love it. Your are a very good poet. It shows that you write from your soul.
That is truly a very beautiful poem…..your delivery was great and your timing too.
The poem, “A Message to Black Women” was powerful and very informative. It gave me a sense of sweet understanding as a woman. It was like finally someone is saying the truth. I loved it. So thanks for your positive vibes.
Your poem was very inspiring as well as beautiful.
I found it to be very inspirational and passed it on to others, both male and female…….those who did not attend or attended late missed a treat.
This is just a quick message to let you know I enjoyed your gift of self expression. It inspired me to place pen to paper again. Thank you.
Thanks for such a nice poem. Nice to know we do have some true black men out there.
I was at the reading of your poem on Saturday evening and I must say I was extremely impressed. Very few Black men today have genuine respect and love for their Black women. It is refreshing to see that there are at least a few true black men still out there who feel the Black woman deserves some type of a tribute. Thank you again for your message of strength, pride, devotion, love, and respect for the Black woman.
Hello, I just wanted to let you know that I received a copy of your poem and it was very deep. I really enjoyed reading it.
Thank you for a positive message. I, and many of my friends, really needed that. What a welcome change from what we hear most from the ‘men’ we meet.
I am sure everyone was glad to see what you had to say. There was a great deal of interest, even after you signed off. It is a sad commentary that we are still going after each other’s throats. There are some very unhappy people and it seems to perpetuate itself. Thank you for the love you expressed in your poetry and for your words of encouragement and gratitude. It warms my spirit.
From one of the moderators on Net Noir:
NetNoir would like to thank you! Your tribute was beautiful.
I notice that there were 2 other rooms (one with 48 and one with 10) of people trying to get in to ‘hear’ your words. (big smile)
One man responded:
I want to do something special for that special Black lady in my life. I was not able to attend to get the poem live because we were enjoying the sun setting behind the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry. Would you please send me the poem so that I may present it to her? (to the moderator of NetNoir – forwarded to me)
So now that you’ve read the many positive and encouraging messages to me, you must be wondering where can I find this “A Message to Black Women”?
The Depths of My Soul – found only on www.charleslchatmon.com or Amazon.com (Depths) (Voices) and other online bookstores. (2017: as of this reposting, only a few copies of the Depths left, but I can make copies of the poem for you by request)
Thanks for the ongoing support. I hope to hear from you soon. Take care.
Charles L. Chatmon
The Depths of My Soul
The Voices of South Central
Trust me, I was THAT CChat66@aol.com…..
For all of you good people who have waited and watched the progress of my soon to be released anthology, Storm Over South Central should know that things are progressing nicely. There are a few more matters that need to be taken care of before the finished product, but after so many years of dreaming of producing another book, Storm is on the way to becoming a reality.
It’s been fun coming back to the poems and short stories that I wrote years ago which I’m finally happy to see deserves their place on the printed (and digital) page. As you can tell, there are plans to produce an e-Book version of Storm so readers will always have a copy for whatever device they prefer.
Although it might be close to meeting the deadline date of November 2017 to publish Storm due to my commitments to my job and other valid reasons, rest assured that I’ll do everything I can to release this within the 2017-2018 school year. I promise to let you folks know the minute it’s ready for production. Please connect with me here on the blog if you have any questions related to Storm or anything else I’ve written in the past. I’m very excited in the direction the anthology is taking and I look forward to seeing it in print. We all know it’s been a long time in coming. Take care.
Charles L. Chatmon