Self-published best-selling author Tamika Newhouse is paving a new road for writers to showcase their skills on a national platform. As the founder and president of African Americans on the Move Book Club, she provides an online book club and radio show for avid readers across the U.S. For the past three years, Newhouse has been touring the country educating aspiring and established writers on how to brand themselves in a digital age driven by social media. Newhouse currently resides in Atlanta with her two children and is working on her next novel.
Rolling out spoke to Newhouse recently and she filled us in on the benefits of joining the AAMBC, resources for aspiring writers, plus tips for networking in the competitive Atlanta market.
Check out the highlights from her interview below:
What is the 2 to 5 year plan for AAMBC?
My plan is for it to be so attractive to a network that we gain national exposure. I feel there is a void missing in mainstream media. Writers are the root to every single artistry, period. People write songs, develop pilots, and write for films. Hopefully, in 2 to 5 years we will have a platform on TV.
What benefits does AAMBC have for authors workshops, how to tips, a website, etc.?
The AAMBC started as a resource to expose unknown writers. I started it because I wanted to be a part of a book club and I couldn’t find anyone to read books to me. When I created a MySpace page back in 2008, I discovered hundreds of talented writers. It baffled me that I had never heard of any of these authors before. When you go into the bookstore or check out magazines you always see the same names. We offer a platform for their books to be seen and heard. We also put on events throughout the year that give them an opportunity to interact with readers in person.
Is there a membership fee?
No. When I first started I did a reader membership fee, but then when it started to grow I had a change of heart. All they have to do now is subscribe to the site and they will have access to new articles, exclusive events and more.
How does an author network in a town like Atlanta?
Atlanta is the land of opportunity for the African American entrepreneur. It’s always been a city that thrives off of black owned businesses. I feel like an author needs to be visible like any other artist. They need to be out there networking and getting themselves connected with a team or publicist that can help get them exposure. Once you create those business relationships let your credentials speak for itself.
What are some good resources for an up-and-coming writer?
Google is your best friend. There are a lot of resources out there for self-publishing. This is a digital age where most authors are publishing their content themselves. The internet era is outgrowing the publishing, which is already suffering because there is no money left. They need to embed themselves in social media reader groups and writing circles to network and build their own brand.
What are your bestsellers?
My best-seller is Kisses Don’t Lie. That is my most read book, but when I run into readers they know me for The Ultimate No No series. That was my very first book, which ended up being a four-part series. I’m known for romance novels with good plots and twists and turns that people wouldn’t expect.
What separates your events from other book clubs and recognition organizations who favor writers?
This is different from anyone that has attempted to create an award show for authors. My goal is to incorporate entertainment with literature. I feel the doors will be opened more if we embed what people are used to seeing with what we are trying to accomplish. People have this perception that authors are boring, because you don’t see us on TV in a reality show or on radio shows. The only thing we get are a few mentions in small magazines and that’s it. I want these authors to get the same exposure as any other mainstream star would and that is what I set out to accomplish.