All posts by Yani

Hoop Dreams Deflated Cover Reveal, Release Date and More!

Woot Woot! I just finished my 8th novel! Yaaaaasssss! I am so psyched! I was worried that I was developing writer’s block and anybody who knows me knows for sure that writer’s block for me is a fate worst than death. I’m so serious.  But it wasn’t writer’s block. I just have so much going on right now, I’ve been going through so much for the last four years I’m just patiently waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel. It can’t rain all the time, right? But that’s another blog entry for another time. So, as I said, it’s wasn’t writer’s block. I really just needed some peace and quiet, and the opportunity to sit my ass down and write without hearing the itchy and scratchy fighting between my two oldest children, or my youngest running around being “Boss Lady” as I call her. Thankfully, my son went to Wildwood with his dad’s mom (funny how they didn’t bother to take Dallas but I’m not going to go there) and my sister grabbed Destiny and Dallas and they all hung out at her house, spending the night and leaving me to write in peace. Hunty listen, after I read over the book, my fingers went to town. Okay, well not immediately. LOL! I had to throw my earphones in and zone out for a bit. That’s how I see my books. I throw on some Tupac or some good Linkin Park, or some other groovy tunes and I close my eyes and rock out as I let my book play in my head until I see the complete ending. I gotta tell y’all, I didn’t like what I saw. One of the things that was taking me so long with this book is that I had to kill someone that I didn’t want to kill and I was trying to find away around that which is totally not like me. I believe in writing what I see. If I don’t, that’s like going against the grain and the book won’t be right! Once I came to grips with the murder I had to commit, it was just a matter of how this person was going to die. When I tell y’all I cried like a little bitch-baby over the way this murder went down. SMH it was the most heart wrenching piece of fiction I ever wrote. All in all, Hoop Dreams Deflated is the realest shit I ever wrote. It’s relatable to so many people growing up in broken homes in inner cities. I was thinking about posting a preview but NAH! I’m going to save that for my podcast as soon as I figure out how and when I’m going to get this thing popping. In the meantime, are you guys ready for this bomb-ass cover that I did last night?! Hunty, listen. I think this is the best cover I have done so far and I must say, I am getting much better at this.

Hoop Dreams Deflated by Yani
Hoop Dreams Deflated by Yani

Yaaaasssss!!! Oh My God!!! When I was hunting for images to use and I came across this guy, I screamed “That’s Davion!!” (main character). When I tell y’all that is damn near identical to who I pictured as I wrote this story, I’m so serious. I remember that’s how I felt when I found the guy I use as Jamal for A Thug’s Redemption series cover and A Thug’s Life Revisited. Nobody was using him. Now everybody and their fucking mama using his ass. Like damn, hop up off me! Let me be great! I hope I don’t have the same problem with him because he is fine as hell and PERFECT as the character for Davion. If I’m lucky enough to make this a movie, I plan on hunting his gorgeous ass down!

So, when is Hoop Dreams Deflated coming out? December 10th 2017 is when. Why am I waiting so long? Because I don’t want this to be a rushed release. I did that with a few of my books and though I had good sales, it wasn’t what I wanted or expected. Also, I have big plans for this book, so folks will have to be patient and stay up on this blog because you never know when I might do a give away, do a sneak preview or leak a couple copies to test the waters.

For now, get jiggy with this synopsis. Before I go, however, I will let y’all know that I’ve decreased my presence on social media. The chances of you seeing updates on Facebook, Instagram and twitter are slim to none. I just feel like I let social media and what some of these other authors do steer me away from how I initially set out to do things with my books. I’ve never been a follower. And besides, since I’m not in any of the “cliques” folks aren’t “really” checking for me unless their quietly spying on the low and I ain’t got time for that. Also because bitches are nosey (excuse my French) and only be eye hustling so they can have something to talk about. So rather than censoring what I say or trying to be mindful of what I post, I’ll just put the shit in my blog and on my website. Those who really support me will come here and those who don’t *shrugs*. They’ll hop on when it’s too late for me to give a shit about their (fake) support.

Hoop Dreams Deflated by Yani (Synopsis)

With a crack-whore for a mother, it’s no wonder that life for Davion and his younger sister Janaya, was everything but a crystal stair. Left in a dirty house by themselves with only the roaches to look after them as their tummies rumbled, the two anxiously await their mother to return with food for them to eat. Seeing LeBron James play in one of his first NBA games awakened Davion’s passion for the sport, but hearing his baby sister’s tearful pleas for something to eat makes him vow to become a super star athlete, so he and his sister would never again see days like the ones they were currently living. While salvaging slices of bread from a moldy loaf in the refrigerator, the two manage to make jelly sandwiches, only for the electric to be turned off. They are now alone in the dark, cold and hungry. A phone call placed to their father leads to their rescue and Davion and Janaya are placed in his custody.

His mother’s dope fiend habits wreak havoc in his young life, causing him to get into countless fights while losing all respect for the woman he now only refers to as Joselyn. But a heated confrontation between the two leads to a startling revelation that it was his father who turned Joselyn onto coke and created her habit that ultimately led to her overdose, with Janaya and Davion being the ones to find her. The respect, love and admiration Davion once had for the man he affectionately referred to as Pops, quickly diminishes after that dreadful day, and tragedy seems to make itself right at home in their lives.

Holding on to his hoop dreams, Davion works hard at perfecting his craft with his sister following in his footsteps. But with tragedy striking around them constantly, the dream begins to slowly slip from his grip. Davion soon learns that everyone is not who they seem as he suspects his step-mother played a part in a murder that nearly destroys the family. Through Davion’s eyes, he tells his story down to the final seconds of his fourth quarter when it’s too late for him to realize that his suspicions were misplaced… as was his trust.

Anitbeet Productions Updates- Signed New Urban Fiction Author

I keep saying that I am going to update this blog more frequently, but I just can’t seem to find the time. It’s been six months since the last time I wrote a blog post and boy and have I been busy. I’ve been writing two books- Licked Into Submission and Hoop Dreams Deflated. I also started writing the screen play to A Thug’s Redemption and I must say, it is turning out to be much better than the actual book. That’s always been my thing about turning books into movies; it should either be like the book, or BETTER than the book. Movies like Cujo, the original It, (can’t wait to see what they do with this remake) and others disappointed immensely. They didn’t do the book justice and I don’t want to disappoint my readers. One of the reviews that I got a few times about A Thug’s Redemption is that Jamal wasn’t a “thug”. (Tell that to White America…) But by “hood standards”, Jamal was not a thug. And they were absolutely correct. Jamal wasn’t a thug. Maybe a little rough around the edges, but he was never meant to be a thug. It’s just unfortunately because of some of the things he had gotten into, he was perceived and pre-judged with many seeing him as a thug. But in this screen-play, wooo, y’all about to see a side to Jamal that I don’t think y’all are ready for. I made him much more ruthless and “thuggish”. I also changed a couple of things and there’s a major plot twist. So get ready. Now does that mean A Thug’s Redemption is going to get a re-write…? Hmmm… the idea has merit…

urban fiction author
Hood Boy by LeRoy Payton

In other news, I have signed my first author to Anitbeet Productions. Woo hoo! I am so excited for this author. His penmanship, style and way with words is not only charismatic, but artistic. He paints a vivid picture with his words that brings his story to live and gives you a taste of “the game” raw and uncut. Hood Boy: I Am What I Am by LeRoy Payton is the first of a trilogy telling the story of a young man Javon aka Slim who has a strong desire for freedom and independence, a desire that was brought on by being locked down by his father due to his behavioral problems. He gets a taste of that freedom and independence after being introduced to the street life of hustling and reaping the financial rewards that he technically does not need, but wants all the same. The seduction of the drug game pulls him in deeply and he soon faces what most street niggas face in the game: deceit, hate and threats to his street credibility that he’s worked hard to establish. Like many others, peace is sought outside of the hectic street lifestyle, but with that comes the strong possibility of it being compromised and even destroyed. Author LeRoy Payton definitely has done a great job with putting this book and series together. The ending is sure to leave you craving for the second installment in this amazing book series. So stay tuned! Hood Boy: I Am What I Am will be dropping July 27th 2017 which also happens to be his 37th birthday. I’m teaching myself how to use InDesign so I can design better and more high quality book covers. I am also looking to give Anitbeet Productions website a makeover. Starting in September, I will be taking submissions for urban fiction, erotica, Christian Fiction, thrillers, and more. I am excited to be taking Anitbeet Productions to another level! Lastly, I will be in Harlem, NY for the Harlem Book Festival. I will have all of my books with me with the exception of Terrors from Beyond since that is only in ebook format. Not only will readers be able to get signed copies of my paperback novels as well as Hard Cover copies of Love’s Deadly Masquerade, but I will also have my paypal debit card swipe device to accept credit and debit card transactions and you will be able to purchase ebooks from me as well. I will also be doing book bundle deals and giveaways with purchases to show my support to my readers. I have not been to the Harlem Book Festival since 2013 and I am super excited to be going back! So readers in New York, be sure to come check me out!!! That’s all of the updates that I have for now! I’m super excited for what this summer is going to bring! Until next time folks! And I promise it won’t be another six months before I post again. LOL!

Happy New Year! Goodbye 2016, Hello 2017!

Happy New Year everyone! I’m sure I’m not the only one who is glad 2016 is over. Between all of the bad luck and the celebrity grim reaper, 2016 was definitely one for the books and I don’t mean in a good way. Thank God I made it out alive. Maybe not unscathed, because trust and believe I had my fair share of issues, but I’m happy to be alive and able to say Happy New Year.
I’m going to be doing things differently this year all the way around. Not just when it comes to my books and how I market and promote them, but everything! I started making some serious changes towards the end of 2016. I know that people like to make New Year’s Resolutions, but I feel like if you are alive to make a change today, why not utilize the time you have right now to make those necessary changes, because as we can see from this last year alone, tomorrow is not promised. The first change I made was cutting pork out of my diet, which I’m not going to lie to y’all, it broke my fucking heart! Do y’all know how much I love barbecuing some ribs! Lawd! And pork chops smothered in gravy with onions and rice and corn. Finger licking deliciousness! And don’t get me started on how tasty pork bacon is on the side of some buttery pancakes or a plate of hot, buttery grits with some cheesy, scrambled eggs! So yes, a sister was mad hurt. But I am the kind of person who plays very close attention to my body and I noticed that summer of 2016, I didn’t eat a lot of pork. I ate a lot of fish and chicken and now and again I would have beef, like a burger or grill some steaks. But I rarely ate pork. One day, my mother made some neck bones, and I love those, too. Chile, I used to eat a whole pot of those damned things. LOL! Well, this time when I ate them, I felt sick as shit afterwards. Not just my stomach, but my overall life just didn’t feel right. That’s when I knew the pork had to go. Not only did I ditch the pork, but I joined Planet Fitness. I worked out six days a week (I’ve slacked off recently because I let other things grab my attention, but I will definitely be back in the gym this week) and when I tell you it felt so good to work out! I feel like I was becoming addicted to it. And no lie, I was starting to see results in my waist, my stomach and even my um… lady lumps LOL. I also began drinking more water as well as eating a lot more fruit, less candy and junk food (though occasionally I do like to have my Welch’s Fruit Snacks. Those shits are delicious.) and less fast food. It was one of the best changes I could have ever done for myself. This year, I plan to slowly slide into the vegan life which is going to be hard for me because damn it, I love my macaroni and cheese with fried chicken and candied sweet potatoes. Yum!
Another change that I wanted to make before 2017 was I wanted to experience life more and go out more than I do. Hell, I rarely ever go out. My life revolves around my writing and my children. I need some me time. You all already know that I went to the Beyonce concert, which was definitely an experience. I also went to the Bad Boys Reunion concert which gave me life. I even went to Sesame Place with my children for the first time in my life. I think I had more fun than they did. And since I’ve never been on a plane before, this year I plan to take my first flight to Puerto Rico for my 33rd birthday. I’m terrified to fly but that’s a fear I hope to get over this year because I plan on doing a lot of traveling.
Let’s see what else? Oh yeah, my goal for A Thug’s Redemption as well as all of my other books is to turn them into movies. In order to do that, I needed some serious capital because I don’t want them to be shot in a bullshit, low budget kind of way and I don’t want them to be straight to DVD movies. I want them to be in film festivals and generate a huge audience as well as fan base. So I decided to go back to work. There are things that I want to do for my books and places that I want to promote, advertise and market them that I just don’t have the money to do working where I was working. I must say that the company I am with now is one of the BEST companies I have ever worked for in my life. I love the staff at American Income Life. I love the energy and positivity of my boss, Dave Hausman, and my direct manager and trainers are just so encouraging. My team is so encouraging that I am positive I will be very successful as well as accomplish many great things there. That’s the first time I’ve ever had that feeling with a job that I took on.
It had also been a long time since I was able to trust a man enough to be in a relationship with him after the horrid shit my children’s father did to me. But there was a guy who had been after me for six years who I finally said, you know what, I’m going to give him a chance and see where this goes. So I am seeing someone, though I’m not holding my breath. Perhaps my children’s father turned this optimist into a pessimist. I like to think that I am a realist and there are some things that make me leery. No relationship is perfect of course, but as I said, I’m not holding my breath. I like to proven wrong though. So maybe this will be that rare time where I actually am wrong.
Now let’s get to the books. Am I releasing anything this year? I plan to have at least two releases; Licked into Submission and Hoop Dreams Deflated, which is what I am working on now. But things are going to be a little different from now on. First things first, I shut down all of my social media accounts except for Instagram because there are a lot of pictures on there that I need to download first. But I will not be active on it and I will not be using Facebook, Twitter or any other social media outlet to promote my books. Before any of you give me the screw face, let me explain why. I have almost 1100 followers on twitter and over 3,000 friends on Facebook and hardly any of those people support my work. I can count on one hand how many actively and openly rock with me. Maybe both hands. Yeah, I’ll say both hands just to be nice, excluding a couple people because I know for a fact that a few of them are the type of people who will claim to be proud of what I am trying to accomplish but really don’t. Smiles ain’t matching handshakes and all that shit. So I feel like most of those people are only my page to be nosy and to boost their friend list numbers and I don’t have time for that shit. I’m sure I could go through my list and just have a block party, but I don’t have time for that shit. So I removed myself. I feel like this, if you really fuck with me and my work, you’ll subscribe to my blog for release dates, cover reveals and sneak previews. You’ll follow my Amazon Author’s page so when I drop a book, you get that notification, buy it, read it and leave a review. So this year, outside of the various places I will be promoting and advertising my books, everything will be done from this website. Books will be released here FIRST! For the first 90 days of my new releases, the ebooks and paperbacks will only be available here. Why? Because my pockets are more important than Amazon’s Barnes and Noble’s, Smashwords, Kobo’s and every other ebook outlet and book store. My bottom line comes first. I don’t just want “fans”. I want supporters. Of course when people catch on that I’m not on social media anymore, they are either going to sniff me out and find me here or assume that I quit. And when they do find me here, they’re going to spy just as they do on my social media pages. The only difference is, this is my playground and I set the rules. No hard feelings and no love lost. I’m just simply weeding out the fake while I build.
Be sure to subscribe to my blog for previews and cover reveals, book trailers and other news. Make sure you go to my Amazon Author page and follow me there so you are one of the first to know when a book drops and by all means, when you purchase a book, leave a review. That is the best way to help an author is by leaving a review on their book because it helps the next reader decide if they are going to buy it and read it as well.
Last thing before I close out this blog post, no disrespect to those who are getting into promotions, but I will not be using mom and pop tweet blasters and other promotions like that because I have found in the past that it doesn’t work. I would much rather work with an established book promoting company such as Bookbub and promotions through Publisher Weekly and other Literary companies. I’m aware of the costs, but I’m a firm believer of you get what you pay for. And in most cases, you have to spend money to make money and quality ain’t cheap.
Thanks so much for stopping by, reading my blog and subscribing to it. Feel free to drop a comment. I love interacting with my readers. Just be respectful. I ain’t above cussing folks out! *wink*

BOGO Book Deal! Buy Terrors From Beyond & get any 2nd novel by Yani for FREE!

Hello guys! I know it has been a long time since I’ve updated this blog and for that I am extremely sorry! I have been a very busy little bee and I have also been sick! Over the summer, I thought I had pneumonia. I was wheezing, I had shortness of breath and I was coughing up some disgusting phlegm. Ugh, I was so scared! But the people at Chestnut Hill Hospital took such good care of me and it turned out not to be pneumonia, but instead an acute case of bronchitis. Listen y’all, they had me in there looking like Bane from the Batman movie with that damn oxygen mask on. Then they put me on this albuterol inhaler. No lie when I say that thing worked out like gang busters lol. After that, I cut my hair. Ugh, I’ll have to do a separate blog post about my disastrous experience at Foxxy Diva’s hair salon located on Germantown avenue off of Chelten Avenue. But, I also have been getting a lot of writing done and just finished my first book of short horror stories! Woo hoo! I am so excited! I always said that I didn’t want to just be stuck in Urban Fiction, that I wanted to branch out to other genres. I’ve done erotica, crime fiction and psychological thriller, and I’ve had so much fun with those titles. Now I want to see how readers feel about me throwing my hat in the ring of HORROR! (villainous scary laugh here) So this is what I’m doing…

Terrors from Beyond
Terrors from Beyond

Since I know how much readers enjoy a good free read as well as discounted ebooks, on my site only, I am doing the ultimate BUY ONE GET ONE DEAL! The name of my new horror book is called Terrors from Beyond and it has THREE short horror stories inside:  If I Should Die Before I Wake; Revenge of the Necromancer; and The Elevator. I am making it available on my site for $1.00 and when you buy this ebook, you get to choose any one of my other six novels to also receive as a free ebook! How dope is that?! This BOGO sale will last from now until December 31st, 2016 at 11:59pm.

I am also on a quest to reach 1 million readers and I need your help to achieve that. All I am asking is that you share this blog post through social media whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +. My dream has always been to have my work reach the furthest places in this world and make sure that my name is not only locally known, but known internationally! So if you follow me on twitter and you see me posting this blog entry, please retweet so others can know how to get two of my books for just $1.00.

So how do you take advantage of this awesome deal? Click the paypal button below to purchase Terrors from Beyond for $1.00. The link to download the ebook will become available instantly once payment is received. Visit http://www.theauthoryani.com/ebooks.html and pick out ONE other novel by Yani that you would like to read for free. Send me an email at anitbeet@gmail.com showing me your proof of purchase and let me know which book you chose as your freebie and the email address you want it to be sent to . Your ebook will be delivered within 24hrs. That’s it!

Step 1: Click here>>




Step 2: Visit My Site and choose the free ebook that you would like to receive.

Step 3: email me at anitbeet@gmail.com showing your proof of purchase and the name of the ebook you chose

Step 4: Share this blog post with your friends on Facebook and Twitter so your family and friends can take advantage of this great BOGO deal!

BET Awards 2016- Beyonce Peforms & Leaves- Sheila E “Prince” Tribute

I missed the BET Awards last night. Honestly, I never really watch them. Who needs to when Black Twitter and many other social media outlets are going to report the good the bad and the ugly and man it was plenty of it last night.

For the last few years I’ve always heard and seen BeyonceBETpeople say on Facebook and Twitter, “Where the hell is Beyonce?” and “I guess Beyonce too good for the Ratchet Awards”. So imagine my shock last night when I heard my neighbors hype because the Queen herself was opening the BET Awards with a bomb-ass performance with Kendrick Lamar. I tuned in for all of about two minutes and went back to what I was doing. I’m sure it was a dope performance but I already knew what was going to happen next. Mother Tina was going to pass her a towel, tell her to dry off on their way to the Bentley and they were going to get the hell out of dodge. So when her award was accepted on someone else behalf… (LOL) I did check out her BeyonceBET2performance in its entirety because you know folks don’t waste anytime uploading to YouTube and I enjoyed it just as much as I enjoyed when she performed the song in Philly earlier this month. But like in her song lyrics “Middle fingers up… Tell ‘em Boy Bye”. Yup, that’s pretty much what she did last night. LOL!

That wasn’t the good. The good came later. In fact GREATNDesiignerBETESS came later. But what the hell was up with Desiigner last night? Peep the look on Fab’s face. LMAO He was looking like, these new fuck boy rappers about to catch these old skool hands. It was not that deep for Desiigner to be all ugly-jo with it. So that was the bad. And then it was the Prince Tribute from what I hear it happened periodically throughout the awards show. I was looking forward to it until I found out Jennifer Hudson was doing Purple Rain. Nope, sorry. I saw a video of her and the cast of the Broadway Play The Color Purple and I was not impressed with her part of the performance. Now the young lady that started it off brought tears to my eyes. But Jennifer Hudson screams too damn much. Her voice is already powerful. There’s no need to scream. And then what pissed me off with the performance she did back in April was she had a 3 x 5 card with the lyrics on it and STILL got the words wrong! Like got-damn it! You had one job! And who the hell is 30+ years old and don’t know the words to Purple Rain?? UGH! So no, I didn’t want to see Ms Hudson screaming all over the damn stage. I peeked in… and popped right the hell back out. Judging by Black Twitter, the tribute was not at all appealing outside of BPrinceShadeilal so I know Prince was more than likely looking down like… But don’t worry, it got better later on. Calm down Prince. I feel your pain. I get pissed when somebody flubbs on one of my poems or reads a part of my book out loud and don’t read it with the umph I wrote it in. But don’t worry, baby. Sheila E. finna come through for you. Keep Calm.

JWilliamsBETThen we had my man Jesse Williams. Fine, sexy, eyes make you want to drop down and be like the chick from Coming to America “Whatever you like”. A lot of people don’t know but Jesse Williams has been active in the struggle for equal and human rights for Blacks for a long time. Long before he was Dr. Jackson Avery on Grey’s Anatomy. Last night, he was awarded the Humanitarian Award and I can’t think of anyone else in the industry that is more deserving of it. He isn’t just on social media taking shots at the injustices that occur or the powers that be who allow these things to constantly go on. He is on the front lines in Ferguson, Baltimore, California, Flint Michigan. He is putting in work! He talks the talk and walks the damn walk! His speech last night gave… me… LIFE!!!! I was going to post the video of his speech but it seems that Viacom are being dicks and blocking claiming it’s copyright infringement yet I’m still seeing videos of Beyonce and Kendrick performing as well as Sheila E. on Youtube. Stop trying to silence this man. You really don’t want to be on the wrong side of this battle. So since I can’t post the video, let me put a few key quotes from his speech and then I will post the link to where you can read exactly what he said. Not as moving as seeing and hearing him say it, but just as good because his words are not being outdone by the loud applause and praises he received.

Now, what we’ve been doing is looking at the data and we know that police somehow manage to deescalate, disarm and not kill white people everyday. So what’s going to happen is we are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country or we will restructure their function and ours.

He also said-

Now… I got more y’all – yesterday would have been young Tamir Rice’s 14th birthday so I don’t want to hear anymore about how far we’ve come when paid public servants can pull a drive-by on 12 year old playing alone in the park in broad daylight, killing him on television and then going home to make a sandwich. Tell Rekia Boyd how it’s so much better than it is to live in 2012 than it is to live in 1612 or 1712. Tell that toEric Garner. Tell that to Sandra Bland. Tell that to Dorian Hunt.

Wooo and it really got hot when he said-

Now the thing is, though, all of us in here getting money – that alone isn’t gonna stop this. Alright, now dedicating our lives, dedicating our lives to getting money just to give it right back for someone’s brand on our body when we spent centuries praying with brands on our bodies, and now we pray to get paid for brands on our bodies.

There has been no war that we have not fought and died on the front lines of. There has been no job we haven’t done. There is no tax they haven’t leveed against us – and we’ve paid all of them. But freedom is somehow always conditional here. “You’re free,” they keep telling us. But she would have been alive if she hadn’t acted so… free.

Now, freedom is always coming in the hereafter, but you know what, though, the hereafter is a hustle. We want it now.

Damn it! I need to post more! Reading it just lights a fire in my soul and I want you all to feel that same fire because it’s time for us to make moves. Enough of the bullshitting around!

And let’s get a couple things straight, just a little sidenote – the burden of the brutalized is not to comfort the bystander.That’s not our job, alright – stop with all that. If you have a critique for the resistance, for our resistance, then you better have an established record of critique of our oppression. If you have no interest, if you have no interest in equal rights for black people then do not make suggestions to those who do. Sit down.

And this last part will lead me to my next section of this blog post and how Justin Timberlake got his ass dragged last night by Black Twitter

We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.

So Justin Timberlake took to twitter giving Jesse Williams his stamp of approval (as though we needed it) And then things got ugly when someone asked JT if that meant he was going to stop appropriating Black Culture and finally apologize to Janet Jackson. Justin Timberlake hit him with the “We are all one” spew and then dismissed him with “Bye” Wait a minute. Hold the #$%& on! Justin, you pretty much missed the point of Jesse Williams speech. No we are not one because you can get pulled over by the Police today and I guarantee you won’t have your face buried in the concrete and then the roughest photos from your instagram plastered on the evening news while being called a thug with millions of onlookers saying that you deserved that mistreatment for being a “thug”. You will never taste that kind of fate simply because you have the complexion for their protection so sit yo ass down and hush. You my friend have built a career off of what Blacks made popular and trendy with your corn-rows in the 2000′s, riffing like your Wanya from Boy II Men and trying to do Foot Work like you’re James Brown and Michael Jackson while beat boxing like you’re Doug E. Fresh. And yes I jammed to his music for years but if you are going to long stroke the creative way Black People created Hip-Hop and remixed R&B so that it has thrived over the last 30+ years, the least you can do is acknowledge that no we are not all the same. No we do not all have the same rights and receive the same treatment for some of the same crimes and mistakes. So like Jesse Williams said YOU extracted our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil –black gold, tried us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit, which is exactly what you did when you decided to pull that diva like bitch move, dismissing that man on twitter with “Bye”. You gon’ learn real soon what happens when you piss off an awakened people.

Lastly, we have Sheila E. and her tribute to Prince which was epic! Man she beat the hell out of those drums and got her Princeboogie on! She even brought out Mayte and Jerome baby! I know that had to make Prince feel much better as he was looking down.  He probably pointed at her like “Damn it, I knew you would bring it on home for me Sheila! Bitch, you better work! You better come through!” And she did. That set twitter ablaze last night. It’s still hard to believe that he is gone. Michael Jackson is gone, Whitney Houston is gone, Natalie Cole is gone and now Prince. Who do we have left? Definitely not Desiigner with his weird ass. All in all, the BET Awards was okay. There’s a guy on the ave who always has it on DVD every year. I’m about to head on down there to see if I can find him and snag me a copy. RIP Prince. And RIP Justin Timberlake. (He ain’t dead for real but Black Twitter killed that ass last night #Petty)

 

Hey! Have you read a book by Yani? No? Well, visit my Official Website and purchase paperback copies of my novels which comes with Free Shipping or if you are an ebook reader, click here to purchase ebook copies which are available for instant download. Support an indie author!

Is Urban Fiction Novels On a Decline?

What is happening to urban fiction? That seems to be a question that I am coming across a lot on Facebook. A question was posted the other day asking what people are tired of seeing in urban fiction and quite a few things came up that I’ve been saying since I first came on the scene.

  • Grammatical Errors
  • The same story-lines again and again by different authors
  • Authors using the same models for their covers
  • Kindle Unlimited
  • Hip-Hop and R&B song titles/lyrics as Book Titles

Just to name a few. And those were answers that were coming up more than once. Let’s address these issues.

Grammatical Errors

When I first came out with A Thug’s Redemption, I ordered 50 paperback copies. How embarrassed was I when I was reading it after having sold damn near all 50 copies as well as a few that was given away for reviews and promotional reasons not to mention the hundreds that were sold on Kindle, only to see that I had given the wrong PDF file to the printing company I was using which had MAD errors in it. Oh nigga I almost died. I wanted to crawl under a rock and DIE! I corrected that shit real quick and apologized to my readers for the mistake. I will admit that I was so excited to get my work in print that I confused one file with another. (AThugsRedemption1 was sent instead of AThugsRedemption1a) With my books after that, I scan through them with a fine tooth comb and have a back-up set of eyes (beta reader) to check for what I may have missed. So far so good. But man, I’ve read books where the author used hear instead of here (how sway???) didn’t know when to properly use there, their and they’re (how sway???) had two different names for one character and I don’t mean on some the character had multiple personalities and those were their names, just a complete rookie move on their part. Indie Authors are too busy trying to put out a large quantity of work instead of making sure they are putting out QUALITY work and it’s not a good look.

Same ass tired story lines! Example-

  • Hood chick snags big time drug dealer for boyfriend and lives the glamorous life until he is tragically killed.
  • Kingpin of whatever city is betrayed by his workers and doesn’t know who to trust
  • Project Chick is abused by her mom and meets prominent drug dealer who rescues her. She falls in love only to find out he has another family
  • Chick is molested by father, uncle, whoever and grows up to be a stripper with low self esteem sleeping with any man who pays her a compliment
  • Chick takes over drug business for slain or incarcerated drug dealing boyfriend

I’ma just stop right there. How many times are the same damn stories going to be told? Why are the same damn stories being told? Where is the originality? Where is the thought and effort in putting together a well thought out plot for an engaging story? Where, damn it? Where?

Authors using the same model for their covers

Whooo this one right here is grinding my gears and is the reason why here on out I’m using my own models or no models at all. When I first did the cover for A Thug’s Redemption back in April 2012, I specifically wanted a black guy in a hoody. When I came across the young man I’m using, I scanned the urban fiction section of Amazon Kindle to make sure nobody was using him AND THEY WEREN’T. Now all of a sudden I’m seeing his ass on so many different covers its a damn shame. And the only reason why I haven’t stopped using him is because number one, I used him first FOH with the rest of those covers and for two he fits my character Jamal to the letter.

Here are all of the covers that I have him on and he will be on the next cover as well.

atr1covNewATRCover2atr2atr3cover1

Something Thuggish This Way Comes
Something Thuggish This Way Comes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are all of the covers that I’ve been using him on since April 2012 when I first began prepping to release A Thug’s Redemption. Now his fine ass is everywhere. Ya’ll gotta fucking chill! Let me be GREAT!! Maybe I should find him and pay for custom photos that only I have the rights to use…

There is also a light-skinned chick with curly hair that is overly used in urban fiction. I’ve seen that chick on so many covers it makes me not want to read the book because my take on it is, do your research first! If you see another author using a person on more than one of their book covers, (whispers) use another person. It’s really that simple.

Kindle Unlimited

Man I’m not even going to get into that again. Go back a couple of blog posts and you’ll see my take on that. We’re getting raped. Period.

Hip-Hop and R&B song titles/Lyrics as book titles.

This is just lack of creativity and originality, period. If I can look at your book title and start rapping or singing a song, you’re dead wrong. I don’t know about some of these other authors, but I don’t want to be remembered as the writer who was too corny to come up with her own shit so she combed through the latest hot songs and used the titles or lyrics as the title of her book. Before I pick a title, I Google it to see if there are any other books with the title I have in mind or songs. If there are, I scrap it and go back to the drawing board. I had to change the title for Love’s Deadly Masquerade four times before I finally came up with Love’s Deadly Masquerade and honestly it fits better than the other titles I was thinking of. I’m at the start of a legal battle right now because I have to trademark A Thug’s Redemption since some chick decided to use that as her book title too. Oh hell no the fuck you will NOT! I changed that book title 3 or 4 times as well nine years ago when I first went with Publish America and was originally going to use A Thug’s Life but that was too Tupac-ish and I believe there was either a song or another book with that title. Any author who strives to be creative and original with their work would take offense with that fuckery as I did. I’ll update y’all soon on how this turns out because I do not like the idea of my books being confused or associated with hers especially after seeing some of home girl’s reviews. Not only did she STEAL my title but she had the nerve to use the same guy I used on her cover. Dick eating shit. This is what I mean when I say do your fucking homework because had she done so, a simple Google search would have shown her that my shit was EVERYWHERE. Who knows, maybe she did and just didn’t give a fuck. Well, she’s about to learn the hard way. I can’t get her for copyright infringement because titles aren’t protected under copyright law. But because my book was a series before her book came out and I also have merchandise and am working on the film for the book, A Thug’s Redemption will be trademarked and she can either take that shit down and change the title, or get ready to pay up.

Back to the matter at hand though…

There are still so many things wrong with urban fiction that is keeping it from being the well respected genre for African Americans. Urban Fiction is losing its flare because too many hacks (yeah I said it) are jumping into this field with poorly written novels. Blatant grammatical errors, authors being unoriginal with their titles, STEALING titles from other authors, hip-hop and R&B song titles and lyrics, and telling the same damn story again and again. It doesn’t take much to be original, to think outside the box, and to tell a story that has not been told before instead of remixing story lines and rehashing the same shit that was written time and time again. How many different ways can you tell the same story about a poor black girl who falls in love with the notorious dope boy only for him to be killed? We are so much more than strippers, dope boys, trap kings, and trap queens. There’s a beauty to our culture that is being left untouched because too many “writers” are putting out bulllshit because it sells.  The beauty of our culture is being overlooked by the ratchet shit.  Sadly, urban fiction is becoming stale like today’s hip-hop and R&B because not enough writers are being original, they are just hopping on the bandwagon for what’s selling at the time being. The mistake that too many writers are making is thinking that urban fiction is only about drugs, sex, money, designer clothes, bags and shoes and crime. Think outside the box for a change! There are readers out here who won’t touch an urban fiction book because they are worried it’s going to be the same shit, different toilet. We’ve gotta do better or soon White people are going to take this shit over too.

Put some RESPEK on my Books!

When I first came into the industry with my novel A Thug’s Redemption in 2012, I noticed a lot of authors were selling their ebooks on Kindle, Nook and other sites for $0.99. I said to myself, how the hell can anyone make money off of their books selling them for so cheap? But then other authors told me and I also read in various blogs that gave promotional tips for indie-authors, that pricing an ebook at $0.99 was a good way for new authors to reach readers. So I tried it a couple of times and sold quite a few books. But I didn’t like it then, and I don’t like it now.

A lot of readers are becoming too cheap and it’s sad. And honestly it’s not entirely all their fault when indie authors are placing numerous books in front of them costing next to nothing. After a while, they’ve come to expect books to be $0.99 or God forbid, FREE! Shenanigans. I can see if it is a book that is 125-200 pages long. But a full length novel! SHENANIGANS!  Once kindle takes their cut, we get a whopping $0.35. Put some respek on my books. $0.99 ain’t happening. And if that means I lose out of a portion of readers, so be it. My work is worth more than $0.99 and unless it’s a pre-sale for a book I’m getting ready to launch, if it’s more than 300 pages, it’s going to cost between $4.99 & $6.99 for ebook and $15 for paperback. And to me, that is a fair price. I’ve seen authors charge $15 for ebooks. $4.99 is still cheaper than a pack of cigarettes in most cities. Hell it’s cheaper than a meal from Mckey Dees.  Put some respek on my books!

On a serious note, I know there are probably plenty of quality books out that authors price at $0.99 for marketing purposes and in part because some don’t know their worth. But I look at $0.99 ebooks the way I look at any dollar store. Most of the shit in the dollar store is cheap, falls apart and is of poor quality. Sadly a lot of $0.99 ebooks I’ve come across were the same way- cheap, stories fell apart because there was no real structure and the quality of the story was just poor. No shade though. *Shrugs* it is what it is.

Beyonce Formation Concert in Philly was LIT!!

 

Destiny in Formation
Destiny in Formation

So for Destiny’s 13th birthday, I got us tickets to go see Beyonce in concert yesterday at the Lincoln Financial Field and she had a blast! This girl screamed and jumped up and down and sang along with practically all of the songs. The only downside to the concert was that it rained. Oh lawd it rained! And we got caught in it, We were cool when we first left. It was when we got off the sub that all hell broke loose with the skies opening up and pissing on us. Even with our umbrellas, we got soaked. The messed up part was we had to stand outside for a bit before we could even go in and even when we made it inside, we couldn’t go to our seats because of the rain. So Beyonce, the next time you decide to include Philly in your tour, please have your concert at the Wells Fargo Center. I’m sure it holds just as many people if not more.  Here are a few pix from that night. I took so many videos and pictures. DJ Khaled opened and he brought out Yo Gotti, Meek Mill, Rick Ross and Freeway. Lawd when Meek did All Eyes on Us Destiny screamed the lyrics like no other. LOL! And you know when Freeway did Roc the Mic Right I had to get it popping. That song was from my senior year in high school. Shockingly Des knew part of the words LOL.momndaughterslay After the concert, no lie, I took my heels off and walked barefoot to the sub LOL. And because the bus wasn’t coming when we got to Broad n Olney and it was already after 1 o’clock n the morning, since we were still so amped from the concert, we just walked the rest of the way home. And yes, I was barefoot.

It was a great mother-daughter birthday experience for us. My birthday was June 4th and her birthday is tomorrow, the 7th. A lot of people threw shade on the low because of how much I paid for me and Des tickets. A lot of people don’t know (and wouldn’t care no how) what me and Destiny have been through over the last 2 1/2 years. I won’t get into it because it is our business and no one needs to be in it. But the fact of the matter is, whether I paid $300 for the tickets or I paid $3,000, it was my money that I worked for. I didn’t borrow from anyone to get the tickets, I didn’t sell ass or skip a bill or anything underhanded so we could go. With all of the tragedies that we’ve seen and faced these last 2 1/2 years, this mother-daughter outing was needed and the experience was well worth every dollar that was spent. beyonceslay

Happy Birthday to me- RIP Muhammad Ali

muhammadaliAs I celebrate my 32nd birthday, I am saddened at the news that Muhammad Ali has passed away. He indeed was the world’s greatest in more ways than one. Muhammad Ali wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. He was unapologetically Black and unapologetically Muslim. What separates him from so many artists, athletes and people in general is that he did not let money dictate his stance on politics and the ills that plagued the black community.

I ain’t draft dodging. I ain’t burning no flag. I ain’t running to Canada. I’m staying right here. You want to send me to jail? Fine, you go right ahead. I’ve been in jail for 400 years. I could be there for four or five more, but I ain’t going no 10,000 miles to help murder and kill other poor people. If I want to die, I’ll die right here, right now, fightin’ you, if I want to die. You my enemy, not no Chinese, no Vietcong, no Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. Want me to go somewhere and fight for you? You won’t even stand up for me right here in America, for my rights and my religious beliefs. You won’t even stand up for my right here at home!

What artist today would sacrifice their millions of dollars and their lavish lifestyles for their beliefs? Which artist have done that in last 40 years since Muhammad Ali? Name one.

Laila Ali posted a message stating that even after her father’s organs failed, his heart continued to beat for more than 30 minutes. Muhammad Ali was a true warrior, a true fighter and his spirit, his strength and his courage will truly be missed.

Kindle Unlimited is Raping the Sh*t out of Authors!!

I don’t give a damn how many authors love Kindle Unlimited, how many authors who swear by it, that shit is a rip-off. How the hell do you pay somebody a half of a cent per page? I can’t hold half of a cent in my damn hands, are you shitting me? Brace yourselves, as you can see this post is about to get so ugly.

I wrote a blog post about this before back in March about Kindle Unlimited when I really began researching it after putting my books back in Kindle Unlimited in January but not at all happy with the pay out for the number of pages being read. At the time I had four books out and for January I had over 25k pages read. (Not bad considering I put the books in KU in mid January.) Since Amazon only paid $0.0047/page read that amounted to a whopping $117.50 (thank the lord for the paperbacks I sold on my website and the ebooks that I sold on directly on Amazon outside of KU)

Since Prince died, the main thing I kept hearing about him was he was adamant about ownership- own your own business, own the rights to your music, your work etc, whatever it is, just make sure you OWN IT! Prince had his music wiped from damn near every music streaming site and I don’t too much blame him because it takes away from the artists’ pockets and we have to eat too! So I took a page from his book after analyzing some things. Amazon takes 30% of our royalties for ebooks sold through kindle as long as it is $2.99-$9.99. Anything under $2.99 or over $9.99 they take 65% and you, the author, only get 35% which makes absolutely no sense to me. Many authors like myself put blood sweat and tears into our work, writing the book, editing the book, formatting the book, designing the cover, marketing the book, promoting the book yet many are getting a lower cut since $0.99 ebooks seem to be the new wave to appease cheap readers. (I’ma get to that shit in a minute) That’s like going to a job and doing 95% of the work yet when it’s time to get paid, your boss gets 95% of the pay and tosses the scraps to you. Huh? Hell naw!

I’m hearing that a lot of authors are jumping ship from KU and I don’t blame them, in fact… I’m diving overboard right along with them because this is madness. It’s ludicrous to think it’s okay to pay an author $0.0047/page read. Two things wrong with that is again, I can’t hold $0.0047 in my hand and I don’t sell pages. I sell books. So if a reader downloads my book, I should be paid for it. When an mp3 is downloaded, the artist isn’t paid based off of how many minutes of the mp3 is listened to. When an album is downloaded off of amazon, the artist isn’t paid based off of how many songs are listened to. They are paid for the song downloaded and they are paid for the album downloaded. Pay me for my book when it’s downloaded.

If anything, Kindle Unlimited is more beneficial to readers and not authors. Yes it is an all you can eat buffet for readers who want a huge library without breaking their pockets but over-all it does nothing for many authors and I’m reading that more and more on different blogs in the comment sections. How dare Amazon require that we make our books exclusive to their site but then pay us pennies for our hard work? Oh I’m sorry, half of pennies!

People/companies/corporations can only treat you the way you allow them to treat you. Authors need to demand more and demand to be paid for our work because without many of our awesome books, KDP would not flourish as it does. We have to stop being afraid to stand outside of the box and work harder. For the writers who put out great books, our work will speak for itself and the payoff will come. For the hacks who hide their not so good work behind pretty covers and cheap prices, well eventually the jig will be up and either you’ll get it together or fade to black. The choice is yours. I don’t see myself being on KU or KDP by the end of the year. I know my worth. Do any of you know yours?