Tag Archives: urban fiction novels

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.

Something Thuggish This Way Comes- An Update

Something Thuggish This Way Comes
Something Thuggish This Way Comes

Hello everyone, and thanks for stopping by my blog. I just want to give a quick update on what’s popping with this awesome new book that I will be releasing very soon. As I said in the last post, the ending to Love’s Deadly Masquerade sparked an idea and all kinds of creative juices started flowing. Before I knew it, yet another movie was playing in my head I couldn’t write out what was happening fast enough! Nine days later, A Thug’s Life Revisited was born and it is definitely some hotness!
I’m still on the fence with this Kindle Unlimited thing and I haven’t decided if I want to put this book in the program for a little bit to see how it does and then place it every where else or if I just want to place it everywhere else and say screw KDP. The jury is still out on that. But I will let my readers know that A Thug’s Life Revisited is now available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle as well as through my website for my readers who enjoy a paperback novel versus an ebook. Now I know some of you may say, what’s the point of doing a pre-sale on Amazon? It’s not like the site is going to run out of copies of ebooks. That is very true. However, pre-sales help with ranking and who wouldn’t want to get a jump on being on a best seller’s list? There is also a best seller’s list for pre-sales and being high enough on that list could transfer over to being on the official best seller’s list when the book comes out. It’s more so beneficial for the author. I like to make it beneficial for my readers as well by giving those who are not apart of kindle unlimited the opportunity to get a discount on my book before it comes out. So the pre-sale price is $2.99 and when the book drops, it will go to the regular price of $5.99. I am also offering a discount on paperback pre-order copies by not only placing it under a discount price of $10.00 (plus free shipping when the book drops) but also leaking a lengthy preview to those who pre-orders the book from my site. So you save $5 on the pre-order not to mention, you get the scoop on what’s happening in the book before everybody else! And trust me, it’s a scoop you wont want to miss.
So now you’re saying- “Okay, so hook us up with the link then, what’s up!?”
For those who want to get their pre-order from Amazon Kindle, Follow this link
For those who want to get their paperback and ebook pre-order which includes free shipping for paperback and a lengthy sneak preview, Follow this link.
I also want to let you guys know that I worked diligently yesterday (14 hours) re-formatting all of my books and converting them to epub so they can be purchased directly from my site. Visit TheAuthorYani.com and go to the Shop tab which has a drop down menu for you to select either paperbacks or ebooks. All epub books have been tested on various devices (nook, kindle, android phones {Samsung, LG, Nexus} as well as apple devices to make sure that the appearance of the epub books were neat and professional looking as well as easy to read, easy to access, and easy to download. So you can now purchase your ebooks directly from me no matter WHAT device you enjoy reading from. (Hits my Cabbage Patch) How dope is that?!
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog again. I just watched Thursdays episode of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal earlier today and will post a blog entry about it tomorrow. That Scandal episode was FLAMES! I’m not going to get into it now because a sister is about to bust a SERIOUS grub. But stayed tuned, I will be posting my take on TGIT soon. Later, loves!