Edited story available soon and tons of photos at www.Disilgold.com .
THE BEA STORY 2007: Heather Covington’s Reflections of the African American Pavilion@ BookExpo 2007 as retold by “The Literary HEAT”
Editor-in-Chief of DisilgoldSOUL Magazine
PART 1: CANDID REFLECTIONS OF THE 2007 AFRICAN AMERICAN PAVILION @ BOOKEXPO AMERICA (BEA) -JACOB JAVITS CONVENTION CENTER
Did the 2007 African American Pavilion @ BookExpo America(BEA) historically catapult the rise and rebirth of the Neo-Black Literary Renaissance of the Millennium’s First Decadium along with the greatest literary industry professionals of this era?
The African-American literary community and some of the most renowned and rising literary industry professionals celebrated at the African American Pavilion @ BookExpo 2007 in New York’s Jacob Javits Center; spearheaded by Tony Rose (ACGI), Niani Colom (Genesis Press), Adrienne Ingrum (Adrienne Ingrum, LLC). If you are a literary artist, it is important that you read THE BEA STORY 2007!
What you are about to witness is a written documentary of major events and several more pre-award show events that took place before the African American Pavilion Awards Reception @ BookExpo America which was held on (June 1st) and African American Pavilion Awards held on (June 2nd), plus a bonus preview of my reflections of just some of my favorite YOUnity Guild Award Winning authors who joined me at DisilgoldSOUL Booth #223. This is where I committed major literary infractions as a Top 5 Literary & Media Mogul, and reported on everyone who was brave enough to stop by. Rumors have circulated that I am the literary paparazzi, and it’s all true!
It will take you approximately 24 minutes to read all 5 parts of “THE BEA STORY 2007” to be syndicated to millions on the famous AALBC.com (CEO/ Troy Johnson), so sit back, and treat yourself to some lemonade or ice tea, because I’m bringing “The Literary HEAT,” without apology. This one is a scorcher for booklovers that is power packed with name dropping, literary celebrity filled moments and GOOD gossip! Get Ready! If you are an aspiring author, don’t be surprised if you are an exhibitor at the BookExpo 2008 in L.A. It’s the event that makes it happen!
Now on with the show…
The turn out of celebrated guests was an amazing success and historical journey I will treasure forever as well as many visitors who witnessed the largest publishing industry event of the year that brought out over 25,000 industry professionals like Jeff Burns, Associate Editor of Ebony magazine; Harriette Cole (Bestselling Author of VOWS & Creative Director of Ebony magazine), Pat Schroeder (President/CEO of the Association of American Publishers), Haki Madhubuti (Publisher of Third World Press, and bestselling book, the “Covenant with Black America”, Dante Lee (CEO of Diversity City Media who was issued the Business of the Year Award by Black Enterprise), Terrie Williams (CEO of the Terrie Williams Agency) and author of the heavily anticipated upcoming book, Black Pain, Carol Mackey (Editor on Chief of Double Day Entertainment’s Black Expressions Book Club with over 400,000 members), Ann Burns (Library Journal),and Kevin Wayne Johnson (Outstanding author of the Give God to Glory book series) which recently gained international rights and many more guests as you will read about in THE BEA STORY 2007.
As a kindergarten teacher, I was not going to attend the BEA until June 2nd on a Saturday, for I did not want to miss 2 days with my students who are getting ready to graduate and will be singing a new song I wrote and produced for the third year in a row, but this time entitled, “When I Think of Summer.” However, upon finding out that the African American Pavilion Advisory Board had selected me as a Toni Trent Parker of the Year Award Recipient on behalf of a lady who spent her life dedicating her work to children, I could not resist accepting this award to take back to my students and further inspire them to become young authors. All of my students know the authors in Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African American Women in Literature. The Literary Divas collectively earned a NAACP Nomination among literary heavyweights like Tavis Smiley, Barack Obama, Chris Gardener and Hill Harper. Visit my site at www. LiteraryDiva.com for more Literary Divas I have been blessed to meet.
Relentless Aaron (Bestselling author and visionary), whom also shared a Toni Trent Parker of the Year Award shared the same convictions for supporting youth literacy, and I couldn’t be prouder, for he humbly revealed my part as a witness to his rise to success as a best selling author on the streets of New York that I was never going to reveal, so hats of to the humble literary mogul and giant who has surpassed my goals as an author, but we are one with our dedication to the youth which is equivocal, and enough said!
As the Editor-in-Chief of DisilgoldSOUL Magazine over at ww.Disilgold.com, I decided to debut as a first time exhibitor with a publishing company re-launching December 2007, along with several of my YOUnity Guild Award winning authors at Booth #223 like Dorothy Goins ( overwhelming voted as YGA Author of the Year), Harrine Freeman, Dena Silver, Kenda Bell, Jewelene Banks, Yvonne Bridges, Tichaona Chunyelu, Nissa S. Showell, Diane Dorce, Saadia Ali Asheman, Joe James, Rel Dowdell, Francis Ray, Keston Karter, Dream Relations YGA Award winning authors, Venesha, Misha and Michele A. Fletcher. These artists are excelling in multi-genres from Financial, Drama Fiction and Urban Fiction to Screenplays, Poetry, Calendar & Gifts and Mystery and Young Adult novels.
I got tons of calls and e-mails for exhibiting requests, but my heart went out to new award winning authors whom I had the opportunity to recently read and review their books, and from that moment my mission, purpose and goals for attending the BEA were set in literary stone! I e-mailed all of my literary peers, top publishers, bookstores, media and booklovers to let the world know…. BookExpo America here comes Disilgold, of course abridged for “Diamonds, Silver & Gold.” Make no mistake about it, all of the people you read about here are shining like Gold!
When I was asked to emcee of the African American Pavilion Reception & Awards program by the Amber Communications Group, Inc. Family, and the Black Pack Publisher’s BEA pre-show event hosted by AALBC.com’s Troy Johnson, Mosaic Books.com Ron Kavanaugh and Harlem World Magazine’s Daniel Tinsdale on (May 31st), it gave me the esteemed pleasure to report on these events of the BookExpo, interview celebrated guests with videography provided courtesy of ACGI (Amber Books), and take over 500 snapshots to historically document this great event. Unlike some exhibitors who never bothered to visit the African American Pavilion, I graciously toted my camera over to other mainstream and small press publishing houses to share that African-American literary hospitality.
Troy Johnson and Tony Rose also assisted with taking numerous candid photos that while won’t win a fashion show contest for anyone featured including myself, are historical because who would ever dare to imagine a place and event as grand as the BookExpo affording African American authors an opportunity to showcase their literary works with such grandeur and celebration for all? I hold back a tear because if it drops, there will be a flood on this ocean of success.
It was a pleasure to step back and take account of my personal behind the scene reflections of the BEA, that while minuscule to those who may not have ever read a book by an African-American author are relevant for those who do love the literature that resonates from the heart, mind and souls of people who count in this world. Instead of couples quarreling, one may be reading an AA book. Instead of teens going outside and looking for trouble, one may be nestled indoors while getting cozy with a good book. Instead of one giving up on their dreams, one may read an AA book and write their first novel that becomes their meal ticket out of the hood.
Perhaps, THE BEA STORY 2007 will encourage more readers to delve into African-American literature for its historical place in time. Everyone should savor TIME. For time is our friend and all we’ve got as we share in the grinding hustle and bustle of everyday living. Reading a book slows down life and makes life more sweeter. Reading a book allows each and every one of us to filter into the minds of AUTHORS we treasure with permission.
I must have walked 50 miles each day of the BEA in stilettos, but I cheated by putting on these tacky flat shoes sold in the Bronx and changing into jeans which I believe only a few best selling authors like Shannon Holmes (Dirty Game) and Tee C. Royal (Rawsistaz Bookclub President) caught, and maybe my mother (NAACP Teacher of the Year ), so I was safe from the paparazzi. It feels good to do what I do and remain unscathed like a sacred angel everyone protects.
I also, passed out for just a moment in the arms of bestselling Strebor author, Rique Johnson who visited Disilgold SOUL booth 223 and received fan fare from guests. Thank goodness he was there to catch me from falling. I guess I was overwhelmed with joy and had missed eating enough energy-fueled breakfast foods Authors are guilty of writing and working to maximum capacity, but forgetting to eat at events.
The YOUnity Guild Authors and Phil from AmberBooks.com fed me expensive wrap sandwiches, lemonade and chips. I was pampered and fanned like a literary movie star and I just loved the attention so, I was humbled and grateful for having such beautiful folks around me like the African American Pavilion family, and my dear friends like Carol Hoenig (BookExpo Foreword Magazine’s Author of the Year of “Without Grace”) and Greg Godek (Author of Romantic Questions: 264 Outrageous, Sweet and Profound Questions) who was introduced to me by Tim Brown; Small Press Center Writer’s Roundtable Conference™ founder Hopefully, noone caught these little wardrobe malfunctions and deviations on the hottest, sweltering and must humid week in New York’s history!
I thought that many people had only remembered me as the 2005 and 2006 Publicity Director of Harlem Book Fair, NY, but was surprised to find out how many fans of the Literary Living television show on the Black Family Channel (now available on Comcast Digital Satellite) recognized me as the host of the show.
It was humbling to sign autographs on postcards and author’s books. It was great interviewing publisher’s like Cheryl & Wade Hudson(Just Us Books), Strebor Books International Executive Publisher (Zane) and authors William Frederick Cooper, Che, and Rodney Lofton (Author of heavily anticipated book, “The Day I Stopped Being Pretty”.
I also, interviewed DisilgoldSOUL YOUnity Guild Award winning authors Diane Dorce, Harrine Freeman, Kenda Bell, Dorothy Goins, Dena Silver, Dream Relations Publicity President Dawn Murray, Black Classic Press Publisher Paul W. Coates, Africa World Press Founder Kassahun Checole and many more guests made possible by Tony Rose Executive Producer of the Literary Living Television Show. All I can say to readers of THE BEA STORY 2007, to carefully watch the people mentioned here. They are collectively worth a billion in literary sales!
The Urban Book Source camera crew was very gracious to interview high profile guests as they appeared onto the BookExpo’s “Literary Red Carpet” with recommendation by the DisilgoldSOUL fam, and as newcomers to literary promotion doing an exemplary job discovering the who’s who in publishing. Just some of the “Literary Red Carpet” Guests who were interviewed were Miasha (Author of Mommy’s Angel), Carol Mackey (Founder of Black Expressions Book Club), and a rare appearance by Zane (co-producer with Sylvia Rhone of new movie, Addicted), one of the top grossing books of all time from Zane’s Strebor Books line. The Urban Book Source Documentary is on the way!
So I am convinced this year that like the men, the ladies are ruling the literary market this spring…The ladies of self-publishing who made an impressive debut over at the DisilgoldSOUL Booth#223 were YOUnity Guild Award winning authors, Saadia Ali Asheman (Luscious Lies),Kenda Bell(For Every Love, There is Always a Reason), Nisaa S. Showell (Eternal Souls Clashin’), Tichaona Chinyelu (In the Whirlwind), Harrine Freeman (How to Get Out of Debt), Yvonne Bridges (Everyone Gets Tired), Jewelene Banks (Spider Web), Diane Dorce (Devil in the Mist), Dorothy Goins ( A Woman Scorn’d), Dena Silver (Turning to Prayer) and The Dream Relations PR family of top authors like Miasha (Secret Society, Diary of a Mistress, and Mommy’s Angel; Simon & Schuster), Venesha (Mistress Me;Polka Dotz & Stripez Publishing), Michelle A. Fletcher (Charge it to the Game).
These top ladies in literature attracted over 260 librarians from around the country, signed all of their books, and due to their extreme professionalism, great award winning works, presentation, confidence and overall preparation for the event as marketing savvy entrepreneurs were celebrated with the most renowned and celebrated figures in the literary industry who were very impressed with DisilgoldSOUL signing guests like Ron Kavanaugh (Mosaic Books.com founder), Max Rodriguez (Harlem Book Fair Founder, Publisher of QBR: Black Book Review)), Tony Rose (CEO of Amber Books), Yvonne Rose(Associate Publisher and Editor of Amber Books), Ken Smikley (Publisher of Black Issues Book Review), Terry Nathan (Publishers Marketing Association), Pat Schroeder (Former Congressman Woman and best selling hit author of (24 Years of Housework and this Place is Still a Mess), Carol Hoenig (Book Expo’s Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award Recipient) who has moderated panels at Small Press Center featuring Good Day producers and DisilgoldSOUL side by side with a packed media attended seminar and is also, a top nationwide journalist.
Guests who attracted even more guests just by stopping by their DisilgoldSOUL family were the one and only Haki Madhubuti (Third World Press publisher of The Covenant with Black America edited by Tavis Smiley) and Walter Mosley (Author of “This is the Year You Write Your Novel”) and already at the top of best selling charts.
Haki Madhubuti shared one of his most famous poems entitled, “Fear” at the next day’s African American Pavilion Awards made possible by Tony Rose (Publisher / CEO of Amber Communications Group, Inc.), Adrienne Ingrum (Adrienne Ingrum, LLC), Niani Colom(Associate Publisher of Genesis Press and whom received a standing ovation. I know the work that goes into planning an event of this magnitude as the lady who spearheaded the Literary Pavilion at Circle of Sisters w/ Tony & Yvonne Rose’s guidance. To have Haki share one of his greatest poems is historic.
Tony Rose, a PR guru himself who produced the New Kids on the Block years ago to superstardom before they grew up and went their separate ways, undoubtedly reached many celebrities while promoting the BookExpo. Just one of my favorites I had to stop to greet and an inspiration to me since childhood was Bern Nadette Stanis, outstanding actress on the long time running “Good Times”.
Bern Nadette Stanis showed the DisilgoldSOUL fam much love and was received by an entourage of guest photographers who could not wait to support her latest relationship advice book from The Worthingham Group entitled, “Situations 101”. The teenage heartthrob of men across America, and role model to young girls of yesteryear, who is still as beautiful today with millions of fans, brought along her independently promoted title. Bern Nadette’s book is more than a relationship book, it’s advice from the lady America watched on air for years and may be able to help many couples today. Look for Bern Nadette on tour. The relationship guress is born.
There were several dozen more celebrated visitors who walked down the “The Literary Red Carpet.” Some African-American authors who had busy signing schedules with their big house publishers in other locations of the Book Expo were visited by many exhibitors of the AA Pavilion like rap pioneer and legend, LL Cool J who signed copies of his mega-platinum selling book, “The Platinum Workout.” We received word that he sent acknowledgment and a big hello to his DisilgoldSOUL fam. The no nonsense entertainment mogul is a professional role model for the literary community because he is showing artists how to really their work to its best potential.