African-American Publisher To Form Organization To Help Peer Publishers and Authors via Information, Legal Resources, Establishing Buying and Marketing Groups & More

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An ever-growing number of Independent African-American Publishers & Authors are becoming increasingly frustrated with negative climates that affect their industry. New association, AAPAA (African-American Pulishers & Authors Association) looks to shed light on problems and actively pursue systemic solutions.

Felicia Hurst, President of Black Pearl Books, one of the nation’s leading publishers of African-American urban fiction books announced plans to launch an association in March 2006 that will aid African-American Publishers & Authors to navigate their way successfully in the literary industry.

The organization will be named African-American Publishers & Authors Association (AAPAA). The mission of the association will be to enlighten and support African-American publishers and authors whereby helping them to avoid negative and disadvantageous situations that may hinder their success.

Whether it be understanding how to obtain the best printing prices, informed of less-reliable and lower-rate distributors, industry structures that may serve to disadvantage opportunity or legal resources for advice, the association plans to offer a diverse array of free information and contact resources.

“Many people are unaware of how difficult it is to succeed in the book industry. It’s not enough to write or publish good stories”, says Hurst. “My decision to undertake this task is because I’ve witnessed directly many African-American publishers and authors suffer from lack of knowledge or structures that served to place them at risk without their knowledge. In many cases, some of them are even totally unaware. Understanding the true business climate is crucial. If you don’t know why you’re having problems, it’s impossible to correct. The ultimate goal is with the customer in mind. By reducing problems and obstacles, African-American readers and bookclubs will see a great benefit through a diverse array of books that are more accessible”

According to Hurst, she has already garnered support of 30-plus eager African-American publishers/authors for the association, of which many cited recent non-payment from niche distributors as their main reason for joining. She even has plans to share information via a national campaign thru urban radio and print-news interviews to prevent unknowledgeable pubishers and authors from harmful situations.

Included in AAPAA’s most-primary plans is to establish and provide literary legal resources for publishers and authors. “The largest complaints that I hear are related to non-payment from niche distributors, as well as questions regarding contract preparation”, adds Hurst. “It’s only responsible to share information with peers to aid them in rectifying pitfalls. When all the stories are shared publicly and are out in the open, positive changes can be made as a group.”

In addition, Hurst says that AAPAA has plans to establish co-op buying groups and marketing groups that will ease obstacles many African-American publishers and authors face and at the current rate of support, she expects to have some 200 Publisher/Author members in the association by the end of March 2006.

Those publishers and authors interested in more information on improving their success are encouraged to contact by e-mail.

Though the website will be launched in March 2006, authors and publishers can join now at

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