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“Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” – Jay-Z, “Reminder”

This morning, I checked the sales stats for my two books GUESTLIST and KISSES FOR TATI. You know, just to see how well they were doing.

Well, according to Amazon, the sales rank for KISSES FOR TATI was 280,613; GUESTLIST, which was released back in March, is at 331,939.

Now, some of you may be saying, “That’s not impressive. It ain’t like you hit number one or nothin’.” But I’m a tell you like this, Dear Readers: those rankings are impressive as hell.

First, you must take into account that my books are going up against over EIGHT MILLION other books in Amazon’s database. To be included in the Top 300,000 out of 8,000,000 is fucking extraordinary.

Second, understand that I am practically doing all of this BY MYSELF. I must reiterate this, it’s not like I had a true mentor or helping hand. I had no co-signs prior to publishing any of these books. No hook-ups, no one taking a chance on the kid. I did this all by myself. Plus, the staff of Be Cool Books is exceedingly small.

So I look at these sales rankings with no small measure of pride. I’m making it happen.

Have you read my books yet? If not, what are you waiting on? KISSES FOR TATI already has a 4.5 rating on Goodreads, and GUESTLIST has 4.7 on Amazon.

To buy GUESTLIST at Amazon, click here.

To buy GUESTLIST at Barnes and Noble, click here.

To buy KISSES FOR TATI at Amazon, click here.

To buy KISSES FOR TATI at Barnes and Noble, click here.

To buy either GUESTLIST or KISSES FOR TATI from my store, click here.

GUESTLIST is also available for Kindle, Nook, and iPad. Ebook versions of KISSES FOR TATI are coming soon.

Plus, there are some exciting things happening with Be Cool Books. I can’t wait to share the news with you all. Thanks to all of you for your support. Happy reading! Cheers!

Because I am a piss poor blogger these days, I did not post this when I was supposed to. Ah well, life happens. But YESTERDAY, my new novelette KISSES FOR TATI officially released (despite Amazon selling it a couple weeks early). The book is about a young woman named Tati, natch, who lives under the oppressive thumb of her older sister Jacqueline. When Tati meets the handsome, charming Roy, romantic sparks fly and Tati finally has a shot at happiness. But is that something Jacqueline will allow?

A few people have read K4T and given me their feedback. One person said it was “very weird.” Another person loved it and sent me the below text saying so.

To buy KISSES FOR TATI from Amazon, click here.
To buy KISSES FOR TATI from Barnes & Noble, click here.
To buy KISSES FOR TATI from me, click here.
To read an excerpt, click here.

As of right now, K4T is only available in paperback. The digital version will be released in September. But c’mon. It’s only $5.99. A real book at that price is a bargain.

Please read and tell all your friends to read KISSES FOR TATI, and be sure to leave a review of it on Amazon and Goodreads. It’ll be the best novelette you’ll read all year. Ha!

As an indie author and publisher with two books under my belt (GUESTLIST and KISSES FOR TATI) and a third in December, I feel I’ve learned a thing or two about the wonderful world of self-publishing. Many people ask how I’ve done certain things, such as acquire distribution, design covers and interiors, and come up with marketing initiatives. To be honest, it’s all pretty easy – what’s hard is devoting the necessary time and effort in making an indie published book a success.
Beginning next Thursday, I will publish a series of posts, The Indie Publishing Chronicles, that detail my experiences as an indie author and publisher and offer tips and insights for anyone wishing to follow a similar path. Be warned, the info I offer may seem complex. And, well, yeah, some of it will be. But it will be the sort of info essential to establishing yourself as a force to be reckoned with in this world of independent literary publishing.

Related articles
Win a Copy of KISSES FOR TATI by Jay Fingers via Goodreads
Why I read books by Indie Authors
Indie (Independent) Publishing

Original Article

As an indie author and publisher with two books under my belt (GUESTLIST and KISSES FOR TATI) and a third in December, I feel I’ve learned a thing or two about the wonderful world of self-publishing. Many people ask how I’ve done certain things, such as acquire distribution, design covers and interiors, and come up with marketing initiatives. To be honest, it’s all pretty easy – what’s hard is devoting the necessary time and effort in making an indie published book a success.

Beginning next Thursday, I will publish a series of posts, The Indie Publishing Chronicles, that detail my experiences as an indie author and publisher and offer tips and insights for anyone wishing to follow a similar path. Be warned, the info I offer may seem complex. And, well, yeah, some of it will be. But it will be the sort of info essential to establishing yourself as a force to be reckoned with in this world of independent literary publishing.

Related articles

The below quote is from Cressida Leyshon’s recent interview with author Zadie Smith about her upcoming novel NW.

[E]very time I write a sentence I’m thinking not only of the people I ended up in college with but my siblings, my family, my school friends, the people from my neighborhood. I’ve come to realize that this is an advantage, really: it keeps you on your toes. And it seems clear to me that these little varietals of voice and lifestyle (bad word, but I can’t think of another) are fundamentally significant. They’re not just decoration on top of a life; they’re the filter through which we come to understand the world.

I actually feel that’s applicable to my own own approach to writing. Because of my varied life experiences, the stories I wish to tell will be done through a unique filter, one which will invariably mix the profound and the profane, the secular and the sacred, the bourgie and the ghetto.

What about you? Are you a writer and, if so, do you worry about having to, as Zadie puts it, “think yourself into many places at the same time”? Share your thoughts on this in the comments below.

[The New Yorker]

Joss Whedon Avengers

Welp, I can’t really say this is surprising news but it sure is good news. According to Deadline Hollywood, Marvel Studios has not only confirmed the 2015 release date for The Avengers 2, but they have gotten writer-director Joss Whedon on board for the sequel. So sayeth Disney:

Joss Whedon has signed an exclusive deal with Marvel Studios for film and television through the end of June 2015. As part of that deal, Whedon will write and direct Marvel’s The Avengers 2 as well as help develop a new live action series for Marvel Television at ABC. He will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.

This bodes well for Disney and Marvel seeing as The Avengers is the year’s biggest film, taking in almost $1.5 billion since its May release ($619 million of that from U.S. and Canada alone). This also makes it the third top grossing film of all time. Pretty damned awesome.

I’m looking forward to The Avengers 2, and all the other projects Marvel and Disney have in the works. What are your thughts on this new development. You know the deal, leave a comment below!

[Deadline Hollywood]

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Ha! So true! This meme never gets old.

Stolen from Stacey Jaine McIntosh’s Facebook page. Head on over and give her a “LIKE,” why don’t cha?

My Cocoasis sister and fellow writer Danielle Gilyot has just published her latest short story When the Bough Breaks in Specter Literary Magazine. Check out the excerpt below.

Nadine took the money out of their savings account that morning without telling her boyfriend. 300 dollars. Gabe would have a fit. Half-running down Magazine Street because New Orleans’ buses wanted to be extra slow today, she made it to the fancy baby store within ten minutes to closing time. Thank goodness. No one had bought it yet. The white-wooden jewelry box adorned with small pink flowers on vines. Little hearts instead of thorns. The ballerina’s brown limbs positioned into a perfect arabesque. Nadine looked down at her stomach. Six weeks. It was a girl. She felt it. 300 dollars. Her little girl would be a ballerina, too.

An elderly black woman waved Nadine inside of the store. Nadine smiled with embarrassment. No more window stalking. She had the money.

“Isn’t she lovely?” The woman asked. “I’ve seen you. On your way home, I assume. I think your nose print it still on the window from yesterday.”

“I’ve been waiting for right moment to buy her,” Nadine answered. “I used to dance.”

“I see. Well take your time, dear.”

As the woman disappeared into the back of the store, Nadine looked around. A pink-and-white-lace wonderland. Christening dresses packaged inside clear garment-bags. Tiny black, patent-leather Mary Jane shoes with ruffled socks displayed on a table. Satin hair bonnets, pink-flowered head bands, porcelain piggy banks. This place was made for little girls. The kind of little girl Nadine would have. Cocoa butter and baby powder. Powder-puff cheeks. She’d have Gabe’s beautiful green eyes. Brown skin like the ballerina. Like her Mama. Nadine’s little girl. Sugar and spice and everything nice.

Lifting the jewelry box so she could hear the music up close, Nadine saw the price tag. 375 dollars written in a beautiful green ink. She’d have to wait until payday at the end of the week to get the rest of the money. Using the word “layaway” seemed blasphemous for this kind of store. Placing the jewelry box back into its spot in the window display, she left the store before the woman could see her.

“We’ll get it soon enough,” Nadine said to her stomach.

Man, look, I am so proud of Danielle! Be sure to click the link below to read the entire story! Tssstssstssstsss!

[When the Bough Breaks - Specter Literary Magazine]

As most of you already know, my novelette KISSES FOR TATI releases on Tuesday, August 21, but here’s a chance for readers to score an advanced copy. Head on over to Goodreads and enter the KISSES FOR TATI giveaway.

The novelette tells the story of Tati, a young woman who lives under the oppressive thumb of her older sister Jacqueline. When Tati meets a handsome young man named Roy, it seems she may finally have a shot at happiness. Or does she?

The novelette includes an exclusive interview with author/blogger Jamie B. Musings, a GUESTLIST Q&A, and sneak preview of my forthcoming novel ORANGE MOUND.

The giveaway ends on Friday, August 10. Good luck!

[KISSES FOR TATI Giveaway @ Goodreads]

As a writer, there are two things that I unquestionably love: alcohol and writing. Thankfully, Brooklyn coffeehouse Bedford Hill has decided to combine the two for their new reading series Words With Beers.
According to Brokelyn, Words With Beers “raises its glass to writers established, up-and-coming, but simply good, if only slightly hammered. Under the dim lamps of a subterranean cafe, readers share their works and everyone shares drinks. More party than parlor, expect non-pretentious chin-scratching, zero microphones, and wildcard excerpts from a literary grab bag.” Fucking awes.
The inaugural Words With Beers reading takes place this Wednesday, July 25, and will featuring readings from Tim Donnelly, Kate Mooney, Eric Silver, Kelly Murphy, Dave Colon, and Carrie Waye. The event will be hosted by Karina Briski and feature music inspired by 60s French New Wave hottie Anna Karina.
Bedford Hill
343 Franklin Ave
(between Greene Ave & Lexington Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 636-7650http://bedfordhillbrooklyn.com
Classon Av (G)
Bedford - Nostrand Avs (G)
Franklin Av (A, C)
[Brokelyn]

Original Article

As a writer, there are two things that I unquestionably love: alcohol and writing. Thankfully, Brooklyn coffeehouse Bedford Hill has decided to combine the two for their new reading series Words With Beers.

According to Brokelyn, Words With Beers “raises its glass to writers established, up-and-coming, but simply good, if only slightly hammered. Under the dim lamps of a subterranean cafe, readers share their works and everyone shares drinks. More party than parlor, expect non-pretentious chin-scratching, zero microphones, and wildcard excerpts from a literary grab bag.” Fucking awes.

The inaugural Words With Beers reading takes place this Wednesday, July 25, and will featuring readings from Tim DonnellyKate MooneyEric SilverKelly MurphyDave Colon, and Carrie Waye. The event will be hosted by Karina Briski and feature music inspired by 60s French New Wave hottie Anna Karina.

Bedford Hill
343 Franklin Ave
(between Greene Ave & Lexington Ave)
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 636-7650
http://bedfordhillbrooklyn.com

Classon Av (G)
Bedford - Nostrand Avs (G)
Franklin Av (A, C)

[Brokelyn]

Though I’ve posted sneak peeks here and there, Be Cool Books is finally, officially, releasing the cover and synopsis for Kisses for Tati, my forthcoming novelette. The book, which will be published on August 21 has a confirmed page count of 100 pages. The synopsis is as follows:

Tati Corona lives a simple life. She has no friends, works a thankless job as a cashier at her local grocery, and dwells in the shadow of her beautiful, successful, older sister Jacqueline. Nothing will ever change for Tati, it seems, until she meets Roy Marble.

Charming and handsome, Roy regularly visits Tati’s job during his lunch breaks. When Roy finally asks Tati out on a date, their minor flirtations begin to blossom into a full-fledged romance. This does not sit well with the overbearing Jacqueline, who demands to know more about Roy. But this begs the question: does Jacqueline have ulterior motives of her own?

Will Tati finally find happiness? Will she escape from her sister’s controlling, domineering rule? Or is she forever doomed to a life of loneliness and misery? The latest work of fiction from author Jay Fingers, KISSES FOR TATI is a riveting story of a young woman trapped in a living hell and desperately seeking a way out.

Kisses for Tati will be available in paperback ($5.99) and e-book ($1.99).

Damn you, E.L. James.

That’s right — we can blame the Fifty Shades of Grey author for this one. A handful of classics are getting sexed up worse than Anastasia Steele. According to The Hollywood Reporter, publisher Clandestine Classics is making all the sex hinted at in such classics as Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, and, yes, Sherlock Holmes explicit.

The publisher says, “The old-fashioned pleasantries and timidity have all been stripped away, quite literally. You didn’t really think that these much-loved characters only held hands and pecked cheeks, did you? Come with us as we embark on a breathtaking experience — behind the closed bedroom doors of our favorite, most-beloved British characters. Learn what Sherlock really thought of Watson, what Mr. Darcy really wanted to do to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and unveil the sexy escapades of Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre. We’ll show you the scenes that you always wanted to see but were never allowed.”

Claire Siemaszkiewicz, founder of Clandestine’s parent company Total-E-Bound Publishing, stated in an interview that they are “keeping the original prose and the author’s voice [but] want to enhance the novels by adding the ‘missing’ scenes for readers to enjoy.”

Sexed up versions of five classic novels will be released as ebooks on July 30: Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet, Northanger Abbey and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Wait, what?

"People are going to either love it or hate it," said Siemaszkiewicz. "But we’re 100 percent convinced that there’s a market there."

I know which side of the fence I’m on. I think this is needless and silly, just an excuse to cash in on the so-called “mommy porn” phenomenon and apply it to works which need no enhancement. But hey, what do I know? Give me your opinion on this in the comments below!

[The Hollywood Reporter]

Right now, I’m sitting at the Jury Duty Fun Time House (as it’s called on Foursquare) awaiting the chance to perform my civic duty as a juror. Believe me, I’m not happy about this. Alas, it is a necessary inconvenience if I want to vote and enjoy the freedoms this great country affords us, no?

Luckily, the Jury Duty Fun Time House come equipped with vending machines and free wi-fi—how else do you think I’m publishing this blog post? (Okay, I could be using an app but I’m not, I’m on le MacBook Air.) I’ve spent a good portion of the morning putting the finishing touches on my novelette Kisses for Tati, which is slated for release next month. One of the things I’m including in this release is a sneak preview of my second novel, entitled Orange Mound.

Yes, you read that right. My second novel is named after my old Memphis neighborhood. Yeen mad, is it?

I’m also doing a bit of editing and revising while I sit here, wasting my life away. By the time you read this it will nearly be lunch time and I’m starving like a hostage. Luckily, I’m a ten-minute train ride away from my house.

Oh! Oh! They just released us for lunch! Time to wrap this up, go home, and enjoy a fried bologna sammich. I will holler!

Starting sometime next week, I’m going to give random strangers on the train a copy of my novel GUESTLIST.

My plan of attack will be simple: I’ll approach people with books and eReaders, those who look like they like to read. I’ll ask if they’d like to read my book. If they say yes, it’s theirs. If not, I’ll tell them that I’m not asking them to buy it, I’m asking if they would be interested in reading it. If they still decline, then it’s on to the next one.

We’re not running a big operation over here, so I’ll probably only do this once a week, but hey. Whatever it takes to get the word out.

So, if you’re in NYC and you’d like to check out a dope debut novel by an up-and-coming author, keep an eye out for the handsome young brother offering one to his fellow straphangers.

 

In his most excellent memoir On Writing, the venerable Stephen King wrote, “Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot if difference. They don’t have to makes speeches. Just believing is usually enough.”

In this section he talks about how, during the early days of writing his breakthrough novel Carrie, he’d gotten frustrated with the character and threw the manuscript pages in the circular file. His wife Tabitha found these pages while cleaning up and rescued them from the trash.

Both Stephen and Tabitha were writers, English teachers, and, most importantly, kindred souls. They understood one another as well as one another’s needs. Throughout On Writing, King dotes on his wife and it’s apparent that he loves her very much.

I would love to have something like that. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening in the near future.

You see, since writing is my passion, I pursue it with a zeal and passion unreserved for anything else. And since I have a day job, which consumes roughly ten hours of my day, I’m left with precious little time for anything else. Sacrifices must be made. So I sacrifice sleep. I sometimes sacrifice my social agenda. And I sacrifice all hopes of ever having some kind of love life.

I’ve always known this would be the case, though. Whenever I get deep into a project, whether it’s a novel or screenplay or even a series of blog posts, I shut everyone and everything else out. I concentrate solely on what I am working on. As you can imagine, in the case of a novel (such as GUESTLIST) that can be years, son.

While that may be great in creating the next Essence Magazine best seller, it’s not really good for relationships. And over the past few years, I recognize that I’ve lost quite a few opportunities due to my willingness to put writing over women.

Will I ever find myself in a meaningful relationship? Will I ever meet a woman who will understand the weird ways in which my mind works? Will I ever be able to devote myself to a woman as much as I do to my craft, and to sustain our budding connection? Right now, I don’t know. I’d like to think that I’d one day be involved and have kids and all that good stuff. But the reality is, I just don’t know if I’m built for that.

What say you, Dear Readers? Any advice? Can I hear from my fellow creatives in relationships? You don’t have to be a writer — musicians, artists, filmmakers, whoever, let me hear from you. How do you make time for your significant others? How do you make it work? Holler at me, give me tips, share your opinions in the comments below.

From now until the end of the month (July 30), Barnes & Noble is offering 50% off all Criterion Collection titles, whether online or in store, Blu-ray or DVD. That’s just fucking awesome.

This sale also includes their new releases, like The Gold Rush, Being John Malkovich, Harold and Maude, The 39 Steps, and the cult collection Up All Night with Robert Downey Sr. (which features the hilarious and subversive classic Putney Swope).

If you’re a film geek like me, this is good news, especially since Criterion discs are not cheap. Get thee to B&N now and take advantage.

[Criterion Collection at B&N]