C & B Book Industry News

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Book Industry News

In Celebration of Black History Month

New Young Adult Anthology Designed to Get Black Teenagers to Read

Open the Unusual Door: True Life Stories of Challenge, Adventure, and Success by Black Americans Edited by Barbara Summers

NEW YORK (January 2006)?Barbara Summers, author, educator, and former Ford model, was tired of reading the headlines that black kids don?t read. ?I felt that if the sad statistics were true, maybe there was something I could do about it. What if our young people weren?t reading because the reading materials weren?t interesting or relevant? What if parents wanted to change the headlines but didn?t know what other books to get??

Her goal to provide an educational resource that was equally engaging resulted in the new inspirational anthology, Open the Unusual Door: True Life Stories of Challenge, Adventure, and Success by Black Americans, a collection of sixteen excerpts from memoirs of African American achievers.

Summers selected a diverse group of African Americans including Derek Jeter, Russell Simmons, Colin Powell, Queen Latifah ? and others perhaps less well known but equally well respected in their fields ? astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson, journalist Lynne Duke, and fencer Peter Westbrook. From reading these revealing, gripping, and unpredictable true life stories, young people will find the power within to recognize that when one door closes, another one opens.

To harvest additional literary excitement, Barbara Summers and her publisher, Houghton Mifflin, are sponsoring an Open the Unusual Door Essay Contest. Teens ages 13 and up can enter to win cash prizes. Guidelines are available at .

Barbara Summers is the author of three books, including Black and Beautiful: How Women of Color Changed the Fashion Industry, which was based on her experience as a Ford model for seventeen years. She edited the bestselling I Dream a World: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America. She lives and teaches in New York City.

Contributors in Open the Unusual Door include:
Derek Jeter * Queen Latifah * Susan Fales-Hill * Colin Powell * Sister Souljah * bell hooks Dexter Scott King * Antwone Fisher * Lynne Duke * Whoopi Goldberg * Neil de Grasse Tyson E. Lynn Harris * Michael Cottman * Peter Westbrook * Russell Simmons * Chamique Holdsclaw

Houghton Mifflin; November 2005; $7.99; 224 pages; ISBN: 0618585311 $7.99 Pb; 224 pages; 5 x 7 Age Range: (13+) Grades 7+



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In the January - February 2006 7 TH Anniversary Issue of Black Issues Book Review C & B Books was named as one of (The Power Behind Black Books).

In the January - February 2006 7 TH Anniversary Issue of Black Issues Book Review C & B Books was named as one of (The Power Behind Black Books). Black Issues Book Review is a national publication. Brenda Piper and Carol Rogers of C & B Books were highlighted for the role they play in the phenomenal rise of urban fiction.

C & B Books bookstores sells a variety of multicultural books, sponsors self-published authors symposiums, and author books signings.

Two years ago they started the C&B Book club. The club has grown immensely. Visit the site to join the club authors and readers are welcome.

The motivation behind this book business was the lack of affordable books written by African American authors. They decided to become an asset to the Youth and the community as a whole. C & B Books offer their books at a lower than the major distributors. They knew this would provide our readers with a wide variety of reading materials.

C & B Books carry titles for all ages and cultures, and stock titles in all categories, fiction, nonfiction, spiritual and inspirational etc.

In 1995 Caroline Rogers & Brenda Piper became booksellers after selling a few books at the St. Nicholas flea market located in Queens, New York.

When Caroline and Brenda first opened for business at the market, It was to sell sensual items, perfumed gift baskets and floral arrangements, which were crafted by Brenda.

One Saturday after a little spring cleaning, we decided to bring a few books from our personal collection to the flea market, not believing that shoppers would actually buy the books! We didn't believe that we would actually gain much profit or should we say become book sellers as a result of selling our personal book collection. However at the end of the sale day, every book was sold and we started our career as the Book Ladies of Queens.

They believed that it was due to our sale prices, which ranged from $1.00 and up, depending on the value of the book. They soon found out that books were in high demand. People love to read.

The children really inspired us, they liked the Dr. Seuss, Lil Elmo,Curious George, Blue Clues, all children titles. At that point with the children in mind, thy decided to specialize in children books.

Caroline is business smart, and she decided to sell the books at affordable prices, with emphasis on children books. Her concept was, if you make a book affordable, you were helping to educate others and draw many loyal customers. Brenda agreed with Caroline and C&B Books Distribution was established.

They never changed our prices this increased our sales. The concept being the less you charge the more the customer can afford to buy. Caroline, would say, "Greed is not necessary if we get the books at a discount price." "Why not give the customer the same savings."

They became known as the Book ladies of Queens. The customers would flock to us, requesting titles never complaining about the book cost, they knew that we would give them the best deals.

I suppose you would actually have to sell a book to see the expression of satisfaction on a customer's face to realize what we felt, especially the smiles of the children. I just can't put those feelings into words; it would take too many words. Actually it would take a Book.

They sold books at St. Nicholas for the next two years. Their last year was during the Christmas season, then they went to St. Nicholas to sell our books at their Christmas Holiday indoor market. They began to setup the books, when a nice woman approached them and asked them, "Did they carry any books written by African American authors?" They being the business smart women that they are (smile) replied, "Which titles are you interested in? She told them she would return with a list.

Caroline & I will always be grateful to Ms. Betty Miller Mason, she is the reason that we became Booksellers. When we asked Betty if we could mention her name in this writing, she was elated. Betty we want the world to know that people like you are the reason that we are successful African American Book sellers. Betty Miller Mason from the bottom of our hearts we thank you for your inspiration and our first African American Book Sale.

C & B Books customers comprise of all races, ages, and from all walks of life. Some customers became their friends and others come just to visit or place their order. You may wonder why they attracted so many people. The reason that they attracted so many loyal friends and customers, was due to their concern for their customer's satisfaction and happiness, not just their dollars.

Children have always been their specialty, so whether the parent could afford a book or not, they never let a child leave without a book, on them. Children are the future, and reading will offer them that future. They have never denied any child a book and we never will.

They beat the odds, bad weather, hot days, long hours, every weekend; nothing stopped us from getting books into the communities. Yes, they wanted to gain profit and we still do. However the real reward is when you can provide books for all the people who want them.

In 2000, they decided to sell books from home. They set up a mail order service in-house. They really wanted an Internet service but weren't educated in that area. They researched and educated themselves about the Internet business.

It wasn't until February 2002, that their dream became a reality. They were contacted by Mr. Phil Andrews, Public Relations Director, and a member of the 100 Black Men of America. He encouraged them to build a web site and put the books on the Internet.

They didn't feel that we were ready to take on a venture that large. Caroline was not as sure about the Internet business as Brenda was at that time. Eventually they both won me over. C & B Books began to build it's signature web site

Phil Andrews joined C&B Books Distribution Center as it's Public Relations Director on March 1st, 2002.

During her research, Caroline contacted a web-designer and asked her to take a look at out our site. Diane of Difs Web-Design, came to C & B Books with a site that they couldn't refuse. She is currently still maintaining C & B Book's web site.

C & B Books Distribution, Inc. is proud to be included in Black Issues Book Review January - February 2006 7TH Anniversary Issue in special feature titled (The Powers Behind Black Books). C & B Books looks forward to serving the reading public needs and promoting self-published authors. Log on to our web site at www.cbbooksdistribution.com to view our entire catalog of books.

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