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Posts Tagged ‘Noire’

Zane Sparks Debate about African-American Sections in Bookstores

GalleyCat contributor Jeff Rivera interviewed erotica author Zane for mediabistro.com’s So What Do You Do? feature today.

In the interview, Zane (pictured, via) tackled a tough question: “What are your thoughts on bookstores shelving books in the African-American section instead of alongside other fiction works?”

Zane replied: “They sell better. That’s been documented. There’s no question about that. When someone goes into a bookstore and they’re looking for African-American books, they’re going to look for the African-American section. If they dig mystery books, they’re going to look at the mystery section. I’ve done my research and seen the figures; I’ve met with the owners and heads of bookstore chains. I used to sit in a Borders bookstore, bring my manuscript submissions with me to read, and for hours on the weekends I’d watch how people selected books, what caught their attention, what made some people look at books more, and what they actually took to the register.”

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50 Cent as Publishing Enterpreneur

Over the weekend, the LA Times’ Chris Lee profiled Curtis Jackson, the rapper better known to his fans as 50 Cent, and his recently launched publishing venture G-Unit Books. Thanks to its high profile spokesman and writers like Nikki Turner and Noire writing books for the imprint, Lee writes, G-Unit is poised to become the most high profile purveyor of a hot-selling literary genre sometimes called “urban fiction” or “street lit” that has steadily increased its cultural presence over the last half-decade.

Which is to say that the rapper, 31, is using his publishing clout and street cred to cross-promote a dazzling array of branded goods and intellectual properties. Other rappers signed to 50′s G-Unit/Interscope record label make frequent cameos in the books; mentions of his Glaceau Mineral Water line, video games, Reebok shoes and G-Unit streetwear collection abound. Reciprocally, the rapper gives shout-outs to G-Unit Books in his songs. “There’s a whole generation of people who feel underserved by the types of books that are often categorized as ‘mainstream,’” Vibe editor Danyel Smith said. “50 and his management team are going to exploit that and hopefully serve some readers at the same time. From a marketing perspective, I think it’s genius.”

None of this would have likely happened had it not been for Marc Gerald, who published early street-lit novels in the 90s during his tenure at Norton and as an agent, represents many of the top street lit authors and brokered the G-Unit Books deal with Pocket. “It’s entertainment at the end of the day,” he said. “Historically, black books have had a heavy burden. They were meant to uplift the race — to speak to some larger social issue. It wasn’t something you could kick back and enjoy like a Stephen King book. These books have been under the radar because they don’t try to be more than they are.”