Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Shelving in black & white

Remember a few months ago when I blogged about how my books are shelved in the African-American fiction section instead of the mystery section in bookstores? Well, it seems the mainstream media has finally gotten wind of this controversy. Today's issue of the Wall Street Journal has an interesting story on the front page about where black books are shelved in bookstores. Authors Brandon Massey, Gwen Forster, Terry McMillan, Millenia Black, and Tananarive Due are interviewed in the article. I won't get into all the details of the article but the gist of it is: Bookstores that practice book segregation, and not all of them do, do so, they claim, to make titles by black authors more accessible to black readers. Some black authors have no problem with the practice while others feel it limits thier readership and chances of making the big best-sellers lists.

Personally, I don't know why, as Terry McMillan and others have suggested, books can't be shelved in more than one place in a bookstore: the African-American section AND the mystery section. I've gotten my share of email from both black and non-black readers who tell me they enjoy my books. But I always wonder how and where they got a hold of my book. Mystery lovers no matter what color they are aren't frequenting the AA fiction section of bookstores looking for good mysteries to read. So, my questions to the readers of this blog who've read my books are: How did you hear about my books and where did you get them?

In other news, my first book, THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, was named the 2006 Book of the Year by The Page Turners Book Club in Connecticut! The Page Turners Book Club was founded in January 2006 by a group of friends who share the love of reading a good book. It started with a group of four and has grown to a group of ten members. The club is a forum which fosters sisterhood among women residing or working in the Bridgeport/New Haven/Hartford area. THANK YOU LADIES!!!!!!


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