Wednesday, December 26, 2007

FINALLY, PICTURES AND INFORMATION FROM MY BOOK CLUB EVENT ON NOV. 10






The Imani Book Club Presents…An Evening With Authors was a wonderful success. The members came together to make the event classy and make authors and guests welcome.

The event was free to the public and we were able to get free radio, newspaper and television advertisement for the event. In order for the Imani Book Club to put on this literary event, we had to fundraise. So we sold a lot of fish sandwiches and even had an “All U Can Eat” party. In fact I had to step out of my comfort zone in order to do the party. I personally like to keep the focus of the book club on books and community service where we encourage reading, not a social group where partying is the prerequisite to having a good time. I guess you can say I am more cerebral in my ideas. However, if it wasn’t for that party we could not have had such a wonderful event. Also, we have members donate money, time and find others willing to donate services for the event. I said all that to say we had to work HARD to make this event free to the public.

We did this event to support African-American authors and to give the surrounding area a bit of culture and mostly to encourage folks to read.

I have been asked how do you get the authors to attend. I solicit them through emails to them and their publicists. Although many said no kindly, there were others who wanted to support our event, and we will be forever appreciative. We had authors from St. Louis, New Jersey, Tennessee and Alabama. One thing mentioned was the number of authors scheduled to appear, which was fifteen initially schedule. Since we had done a similar event in 2004, I know folks will have issues that will make them cancel and other life issues may intervene. So when one of my biggest authors cancelled, I wasn’t sad. I knew it could and would happen. By the time of the event I had several authors cancel the week of the event, but I never lost my cool. In fact, I had one who actually cancelled the day of the event and although I was a bit disappointed because of the way it was done, I expected it since I hadn’t heard one thing from the author since I sent my final letter out the same week requesting a response. So in the end I had 14 authors in attendance with 12 on program.

Unfortunately, I did not see the beginning of the program due to issues involving the book vendor my members informed me the author showcase went well. The mistress of ceremony kept the flow going and made the authors feel the love in a room of almost 100 folks. I returned when one of our poets was doing his thing. Nice. My author and friend Dywane D. Birch did a nice speech about what he does and the books he writes and still was gracious about having none of his books there for sale. Kesha Redmon was the last author to speak, because bless her heart she was lost and I had to guide her back to the venue. I understand Angela Benson was also very gracious in saying things happen, since she too, didn’t have any books there for sale. Pat L. Simmons was so sweet and really excited about being in attendance and loving what we did to make this event a success. Shani Greene-Dowdell wrote a great piece about our event on her blog. Marc Lacy was kind in his assessment of the event. Avery Carter I heard was concerned about performing one of his poetry pieces due to the explicit language but he was encouraged by the audience it was okay. (He didn’t hear me outside going off about my book vendor issues.) Vanessa Davis Griggs is from Birmingham, Alabama and she is always on time and ready to do her thing and she is a true believer in letting folks know about her works and I just love her spirit. Seressia Glass and AJ Dawn were two of the authors who were able to attend our Ice Breaking get together and all I’ll say is they found our members down to earth and made the prospects of the next day’s event easier. Hazel Mills had a calming disposition and also appreciative of the opportunity as did Linda Jones. We also had to local published authors and clergymen available to sale their books. The authors were true professionals and very appreciative as well as crowd pleasers. There was something there for everyone.

The turnout was amazing with almost 100 people in attendance. I was impressed with the number of men who came out to support the African-American authors. We had several other book clubs represented as far as Birmingham who came out to give us love. Good looking out In the Company of 12 Book Club, Black Diamonds and others represented. We had a nice spread done by our caterer, pictures donated by the photographers, live flowers from our florist, a colored program, jazz music by our DJ, wine and beer being served by two of our Imani Book Club member’s husbands. The door was managed by several Carver High School students. A special thanks to our mistress of ceremony, Tara Johnson, who took on this role with only a few weeks to prepare and kept things moving when I was not there to conduct the show. A special thanks to all the members for working to make this event a success. Although they want to give me the accolade of this being my vision, it really wasn’t. This was a concertive effort by all the members to make it work and even with the minor glitches it was a success. My vision for this event was what the members wanted, personally my life is too complicated right now to have a vision which requires too much of my time and effort. Real talk.

It was also nice to have my sister there for moral support although now we know she wasn’t in Montgomery just to attend my event, but to spend time with our uncle who died a week and day later.

The only major issue with the event was with the book vendor. The book vendor showed up with only one of the five author’s books I requested. They also showed up without their customer service capes on. I don’t wish to expound more on this, but know the faux pas was embarrassing and quite unprofessional and reflected on me. The vendor has apologized and written a letter of apology and has made an effort to amend the situation. The event is over now and even with my own personal apologies it still doesn’t rectify the fact that at least two of my authors had no books to sign and it was God’s blessings that allowed the other two authors to bring some of their own books.

Overall, the event was a success and reflected our purpose which is to support African-American literature and encourage reading in the community.

2 Comments:

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Meikmeika said...

So great to hear your event was a success!!!! I'm all about supporting minority authors.

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger SistaLocd said...

Glad everything turned out great!Inspite of the cancellations. Sounds like you all really had a good time!

Take Care,
V

 

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Disclosure: Just so we are all clear any opinions or thoughts made on this blog or site are my own. Comments and statements from third parties may or may not be the opinion of Cashana Musings. I do not get paid to write book reviews or reviews of products or services. All reviews are based solely off my opinion as Cashana of Cashana's Musings. While I may receive review copies of books and even products or services they in no way influence my writing. All items that were received by me for review are disclosed as such. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Currently, we do not do advertisements.