Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You Can Help Make Sugar's 10th Anniversary - Historical!

Dear Book Lover:

You may not know me or my novels, because I am a member of a growing band of African-American writers of literary fiction who are slowly disappearing. And not because I am lacking in talent and credentials; in fact I have already published a number of books with major publishing houses and have been reviewed by national newspapers and well-respected literary journals, and have received critical acclaim and awards for my efforts. My work has been hailed as vivid, thought provoking and brilliant. I have been compared to Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston and Gloria Naylor.

The fact that my novels may disappear is not due to the downward spiral of the economy or the pound of flesh it has taken from the book-publishing industry. No, my demise began long before the floor of the housing market began to rot away and the stock market crashed through.


I don't rightly know why publishers market fiction written by African-Americans ONLY TO African-Americans - but it has become common practice. And by doing this, they've placed all AA authors in one box forcing them to compete for the attention of ONE audience.

The word that has been coined to describe what is happening to AA writers is: Seg-Book-Gation

Segregation is an abominable practice no matter how you slice it - but when you apply it to art -- it becomes a sin. Art of any medium should transcend color, race, class, religion and ethnicity, but alas, that is not the case in the publishing world.

AA literary writers like myself are being pushed out of the industry all together as we are no longer able to secure book deals, because publisher claim that AA readers are only interested in buying books about sex, street-life and drugs. We know that this is not the case. We are a diverse people, interested in a variety of subjects.

On January 9th, 2010, my debut novel, SUGAR will celebrate its 10th anniversary. In order to commemorate this occasion It is my great hope that this moving story of friendship and acceptance will sell 10,000 copies between now and the anniversary date.

Please try your best to purchase from an independent bookstore. It was the independent bookstores that made SUGAR the instant success it was 10 years ago. But if you're unable to do so, then place your order with AALBC or

It is my dream that the surge in sales for this decade old novel, will send a message to the publishers that we readers desire ...crave and DEMAND a variety of literature from our AA writers because our stories are just as riveting, thought-provoking and universally appealing as the stories coming from our non-African-American counterparts.

Please purchase at least one copy of SUGAR for yourself, a friend or family member. Cut and paste this message into your email program and send it out to your list. Tweet, Blog, Facebook and Myspace it.... !!

Thanking you in advance for helping SUGAR make history!


Send a picture of yourself purchasing a copy of SUGAR and I will post it here on the blog. Please include your name and the name and location of the bookstore.
Send to:

Also, don't forget to register your participation by hitting the button in the upper right column -------->

  • Bernice L. McFadden

    Bert/Detroit said...

    Thanks for putting things in perspective. I could't understand why the current trend of African American authors are being put in the fiction section in book stores. I have asked the book sellers and their response is totally different, they don't understand. Thanks to your blog, now I truly understand. We hate change, "why fix it if it ain't broke". We haven't realized we were being segregated, and it is authors like yourself and others who educated us(buyers) as to the practices of the book industry. I know how important the first week of sells affect authors, so I try to support and buy new releases during that period. I went one Tuesday to buy a new release and they only ordered four (4) books, for this popular author, only 4, which they had sold out. Wow, I couldn't understand until I inquired to management and they told me that a different person orders the book for the fiction section and they were unfamiliar with the author, that was previously put into the African American section. We the buyers just need to be more mindful of what is happening in the industry, because we have a voice. I also like the ideal that we buy books from the indepentent book stores.

    tygerbunny said...

    Me and my Mom read Sugar years ago,and we use to try and guess what actress could do her justice on the big screen. I will buy another copy because it fed my soul and I love the way it moved my heart.

    ElizaBlue said...


    I read Sugar when it first came out. I absolutely loved it then and will love re-reading it again for the 10th anniversary.

    I think you are a wonderful talented author who brings a special gift to readers. That is the gift of looking back. Not many can do that and take you back in time. And yes I agree Toni, Alice, Zora, Gloria and J. California as well are all those who do that so well. You are definitely in good company.

    I look forward to visiting Bigelow once again. And I will be sending you my picture with purchase to be included. Cannot wait.

    Brightest Blessings!

    pennybaby said...

    Wow. Thank you for sharing this with the WWW. I often wonder if no one knew that the book was by an AA author and just placed in general population, would a non AA reader buy the book for the very reason that one buys a book...just for the story.

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    Mizrepresent said...

    I read Sugar many years ago, and when i did, i went ahead and purchased everything you have written. I hate that authors like yourself are not getting publishing deals. In fact it depresses me that an author like myself has little or no future of getting one as well, but i digress. My mother is retired and likes to read and so i'm purchasing another copy of Sugar for her, something i'm sure she would enjoy. (i think someone stole my copy). Keep your head up, incredible talent is never wasted and never goes unseen.

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