C & B Book Industry News

Monday, July 18, 2005

Queens Book Fair announces E-mail list sign up for 2006 Queens Book Fair

Queens Book Fair announces E-mail list sign up for 2006 Queens Book Fair. The 2006 Queens Book Fair is anticipated to attract hundreds of people to NYC, and Piper and Rogers were counting on the event to introduce some writers to a bigger audience than they've ever enjoyed.

"It was packed in 2005" Rogers said. "And I was shocked. It was rainy and we didn't think people would show up. But they still came out."

To some degree, the women are all about taking chances. They started their book business almost by accident a decade ago, while selling gift baskets and floral arrangements at the St. Nicholas of Tolentine Flea Market in Jamaica.

They began bringing used books from their own collections to sell at the market, selling out each week. A frequent customer soon asked if the pair could get their hands on books by other African-American authors.

"She asked how soon we could get them, and I said we'd have them for her the next Saturday," Rogers said. "And I thought, 'I don't know how I'm going to get these, but I'm going to find out.'"

Rogers, 44, not only supplied the requested books, but soon found herself fielding requests for work by other black writers. Within weeks, she and Piper were visiting distributor warehouses that stacked dozens of titles from tiny imprints around the country.

By 2001, the women sensed a revolution stirring in the African-American literary community. Sister Souljah's 1999 cautionary coming-of age novel "The Coldest Winter Ever" had reinvigorated an urban-literature market that had hibernated for decades, provoking a new generation of black writers to eschew the mythic glamour of drugs and violence.

Other genres took shape around the same time, including revenge melodramas, romance thrillers and inspirational memoirs about overcoming abuse, addiction and lives of crime.

"It's a whole industry booming within an industry," said Angela Wallace, whose self-published novel, "Secret Dramas," earned acclaim for its unique hybrid of soap opera and mob intrigue. "[Writers] are implementing their own imprints. As a result of that, they're bringing other black authors in under their umbrella. I think mainstream publishing is noticing that."

Amid this resurgence, Piper and Rogers established their own tiny umbrella on the Internet in 2002. C&B Books Distribution eventually opened a kiosk at Jamaica Market in October and introduced its newest location in a compact corner store in Flushing in January.

The partners built their stock through consignment deals with self-published authors, advising writers through labor-intensive processes such as mission statements, cover design, press releases and book signings.

While she tirelessly provides encouragement and advice, Piper, 53, insists that no book will sell without its author's own follow-through.

"They have to be willing to get out," she said. "They can't just drop their book at the store and expect the stores to sell their book. We have our own business to run."

But the women treat the Queens Book Fair like a community service as much as they do a business endeavor.

The event, which offered seminars and workshops for published and unpublished writers alike, kicked off with a networking breakfast to help forge partnerships in New York's independent literary scene. Readers had the chance to meet and solicit advice from their favorite authors, as well.

"Harlem and Brooklyn, they already have their recognition - even the Bronx," Piper said. "Queens was very low-key, and it's just starting to blossom.

" The fair was very nice! I met some wonderful authors and walked away with a bag full of info on good books! They even had free food! As soon as I heard the announcer say free and food...LOL
Testimonial Queens Book Fair 2005

It was a rainy day outside but anytime you have a room full of books there is nothing but sunshine. My wrap got wet but it was worth it. :- )
Congrats ladies!!

Wanda D. Hudson
Coming Soon - Wait For Love: A Black Girl's Story
It's a Woman's World - www.extasybooks.com
http://wandasway.blogspot.com

The word is out. A listener spotted Guilty Pleasures at the Queens Book Fair. She enjoyed the interview and purchased two copies of my novel. Thanks again for providing yet another platform for striving authors.

~Sonya Harris - Guilty Pleasures
Books never go out of style!


Very nice artical written up on you in Newsday. Thank you for throwing such a wonderful event and also for you commitment to the self-published authors.

Nathaniel Portis
Things In Between

Congratulations Carol & Brenda on your vision to host the Queens Book Fair and for being dedicated to assisting black authors, readers and lovers of the written word. When I say, "It is a blessing to have people like you in the literary community," I mean it from the center of my soul! I can't wait to come next year!
Yasmin Shiraz
www.yasminshiraz.net

Self-published authors from around the country are anticipated to participate in the upcoming Queens Book Fair 2006.

Authors are encouraged to register early.

Last year the Queens Book Fair was filled to capacity and we anticipate another great year for the Queens Book Fair.

Log on to C & B Books Distribution.com today and contact us to get more information regarding the 2006 Queens Book Fair.

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