Review: “Authority Marketing” by Adam Witty and Rusty Shelton

authoritymarketingAUTHORITY MARKETING: HOW TO LEVERAGE 7 PILLARS OF THOUGHT LEADERSHIP TO MAKE COMPETITION IRRELEVANT, Adam Witty and Rusty Shelton. ForbesBooks, $16.95 (160p) ISBN-13: 978-1946633132
Publication date: May 3, 2018

While many modern business-related books stake claim to having the “answers” few actually deliver. An exception to this trend is the recently published Authority Marketing by Adam Witty and Rusty Shelton. The authors assert in this world of social media, branding, and hypercompetition, the paradigm has shifted from product-centered marketing and personality-centered marketing to “authority-centered” marketing; thus, they have developed the formula: Expertise + Celebrity = Authority.

In short, according to the Witty & Shelton: Effective Authority Marketing involves a strategic process of systematically positioning a person as the leader and expert in his or her industry, community, and marketplace to command an outsized influence and edge on competitors.

The authors cite seven pillars of Authority Marketing (and dedicate a chapter to each one): Branding and Omnipresence; Lead Generation; Content Marketing; PR in Media; Speaking; Events; and Referral Marketing. During the course of these chapters, Witty & Shelton provide compelling anecdotes to illustrate concepts so the reader “gets it.” The language is straightforward, not stuffy, and the authors don’t write as if they are being paid by the number of words (or syllables for that matter).

An example used to illustrate the point of personal branding made by the authors is their mentioning of David Meerman Scott who decided to insert his middle name to distinguish himself from the numerous David Scott(s) across the globe. Think noted sports journalist, Stephen Smith—I mean Stephen A. Smith. Witty & Shelton also discuss the importance of “owning” your media presence, keynote speaking, writing a book, and using Twitter—strategically!

Authority Marketing’s strongest attribute (inarguably) is its intent on being written as a “how to” instead of being a jargon-laden, academic treatise overrun by “analytics” and theoretical constructs. The book is a must-read (excuse the cliché but it applies in this case) for college students (regardless of major), entrepreneurs, and people who want to go from being “dreamers” to being “doers.”

Reviewed by Professor Clifford Benton

Interview With Vice President, Exec Editor and Author Andrea Davis Pinkney!

Andrea-PinkneyphotoLargefileAs a children’s publishing professional and author, among Andrea Davis Pinkney‘s creative processes is directly conversing with that audience–children– about books.  “They tell me they like stories with heart,” she says. Heart, in fact, is definitely Pinkney’s approach to her craft. The Vice President, Executive Editor of Trade Books at Scholastic has worked in publishing for more than 30 years. “Time flies when you’re having fun,” Pinkney cheerfully remarks.

She is also a New York Times bestselling and award-winning author (the Coretta Scott King Award and A Poem for Peter, anyone?) and acquired the cult-favorite, The Cheetah Girls by Deborah Gregory, to name a few. Before building a thriving career as a book editor, Pinkney was a senior editor at Essence, in which she highlights the parallels of magazine and book publishing.

Check out our full interview with Pinkney to learn more about what she calls “beyond category,” how she hopes publishing will evolve, the mistakes she’s made as an editor, the importance of profit and loss statements, why authors and illustrators don’t interact in publishing, and more!

A Review: “Perfect is Boring” by Tyra Banks and Carolyn London

TYRAAPERFECT IS BORING: 10 THINGS MY CRAZY, FIERCE MAMA TAUGHT ME ABOUT BEAUTY, BOOTY, AND BEING A BOSS, Tyra Banks and Carolyn London. TarcherPerigee, $27.00 (320p) ISBN-13: 978-014313230
Publication date: April 3, 2018

Tyra Banks and her mother, Carolyn London, have created a resonant Girl’s girl (and guys, too, they don’t discriminate) self-help memoir in Perfect is Boring: 10 Things My Crazy, Fierce Mama Taught Me About Beauty, Booty, And Being a Boss. The candid and humorous mother and daughter guide embodies the young female experience with topics from from menstruation, dating, sex, and career to (of course) beauty and body image. “I think that in the future, the most prized looks will be the flawsome ones (flaws + awesome ones), not the perfect ones,” Banks writes.

The model recalls the time she advised a fellow contestant on America’s Next Top Model to minimize her gap, a decision the executive regrets today. She also divulges her own share of criticism she’s faced throughout and even prior to her modeling career.

Surprisingly, Banks was a bully and was eventually bullied herself. Her mean-girl behavior and awkward stage were both short-lived, and helped inspire Banks to become an active supporter of other girls. Before launching her then talk show, Banks and London had a camp devoted to helping and empowering young women.

Perfect is Boring also reveals the supermodel’s self-described misguided attempt at a singing career (did you know she’s collaborated with Kobe Bryant and Pharrell Williams?) before realizing it was not her calling. Throughout the pages, Banks and London possess an entertaining and we’re-rooting-for-you way of dropping both wisdom and laugh-out-loud admissions, but the dynamic of the book that especially shines is the beautiful bond between mother and daughter.

Every Day I’m Hustling by Vivica A. Fox Review

vivicaaa EVERY DAY I’M HUSTLING, Vivica A. Fox. St. Martin’s Press, $26.99 (288p) ISBN-13: 978-1250134455
Publication date: April 3, 2018

Actress, producer, television host, entrepreneur, and now author, Vivica A. Fox, has penned a riveting memoir-inspiration based on her various life experiences turned life lessons from on and off the screen. Themes of family, relationships, beauty and fashion, and ageism are discussed, and, yes, the book does address her relationship with Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent (as well as Celebrity Apprentice, which of course, comes with discussing President Trump and his family), but the most resounding aspect of the book is Fox’s overall sheer commitment to helping the reader.

She provides lists of tips and examples of how to be successful personally and professionally, without sounding preachy or arrogant, but instead projecting honesty and confidence. The book also manages to capture how personable she is—Fox will have you thinking she is a friend in your head, and her tone is perfectly woven into the pages. This feels like such a complete memoir; it reads true and heartfelt; and none of the pages are filler. She even creatively includes her favorite things, like specific things she carries in her pocketbooks, and the songs she listens to to motivate her. There is very little she does not discuss.

Let me tell you a secret,” Fox writes. “When I was a little girl growing up in Indianapolis, no one could say “Vivica”…I was so sensitive about my name that I made it easy for everyone else, going by a shortening of my middle name….In life sometimes we run away from the things that make us unique.”

When Fox moved to California to pursue modeling (while working and going to school), she’d carry around a portfolio just in case she ran into someone of note—you know the saying, you never know who you may run into, so always be prepared. Well, one day she gets approached by a film producer and even though the exchange had nothing to do with modeling, she recognized the potential. She saw it as an opportunity. This moment arguably highlights her hustler’s mentality even then as just a teenager. It was this same drive that would lead to Fox producing her own projects, performing in theaters, launching her own hair line, being smart enough to capitalize off the reality TV craze, and even looking for ways to find a career based on another passion of hers, sports.

At one point, Fox considered quitting show business when she saw a decline in movie role offers and being considered “too old” for most, however, she managed to pick herself back up and take matters into her own hands. It can be said that her perseverance led to her snagging a role on the hit show Empire, the sequel to Independence Day, writing her very own book and her newly announced endeavor, talk show host. Full of heart, personality, and inspiration, Every Day I’m Hustling will appeal to people younger and older than Fox.

Comparative Titles: Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes to Those Who Create It by Charlamagne Tha God; How to be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life by Lilly Singh

Honorable mentions: I Don’t Belong to You: Quiet the Noise and Find Your Voice by Keke Palmer and Mother of Black Hollywood by Jenifer Lewis

Interview With “Hello Beautiful Brown Girl!” Authors Charli Hodge & Octavia Samuels!

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So Booking Cool recently had the pleasure of speaking with debut co-authors Charli Hodge, 11, and Octavia Samuels, 37, about their picture book, Hello Beautiful Brown Girl. The self-published work is intended to celebrate and empower young girls of color around the world. What’s more is, Hodge and Samuels, based in Georgia, are an auntie and niece duo who sold beyond their expectations on their release day.

Hodge_Charli_Promo Photo.pngOctavia Samuels and Charli Hodge

One of the important themes of the self-described bedtime story is forgiveness. Listen to the full interview to learn more about their creative process, how Issa Rae inspires Samuels, their advice for entrepreneurs and children becoming authors, as well as their exciting future plans for their company and brand, ImCharli.Me.

Visit their official website to purchase the book and for more information.

A Review: Unsuccessful Thug by Mike Epps

MIKEeppsUNSUCCESSFUL THUG: One Comedian’s Journey From Naptown to Tinsletown, Mike Epps. Harper, $26.99 (288p) ISBN: 9780062684899

Publication date: March 27, 2018

For fans of Charlamagne Tha God’s Black Privilege, Kevin Hart’s I Can’t Make This Up, and Tiffany Haddish’s, The Last Black Unicorn, comes the must-read memoir from Mike Epps, Unsuccessful Thug. In addition to learning there will be a Meet the Blacks sequel, that he made Richard Pryor (who he will portray in a biopic directed by Lee Daniels and produced by and starring Oprah) laugh for the first time in years, and the nerves he overcame when replacing Chris Tucker in Next Friday, Epps divulges about his extreme humble beginnings, engaging in criminal activity because he was starving, his lacking of self-worth, etc., in a manner that is often humorous and always thoughtful.

Like any quality memoir, Epps is very candid in a way that is unapologetic and heartfelt. He isn’t afraid to express vulnerability, and he is sincere about struggling youth from “Naptown,” Indianapolis, beating the odds like he did.

Here are the reasons I’ve cited the aforementioned comparative titles for Unsuccessful Thug: In Black Privilege, Charlamagne, like Epps, had an on-and-off-again history with drug dealing and going to jail despite knowing it was a destructive cycle. They also adopted tough personalities, knowing they were acting just the opposite of their true identities in order to fit in. With I Can’t Make This Up, Epps conquering the standard comedic boot-camp in New York City, as well as relocating to Los Angeles in pursuit of an acting career will remind you of Hart’s, the journey of a comedian. Finally, like Haddish’s The Last Black Unicorn, there is such a raw yet funny journey readers experience when reading Unsuccessful Thug. Haddish and Epps both used laughter as a way to avoid trouble and make others smile, even when they were at some of their lowest points. Unsuccessful Thug is definitely among the most personal and riveting autobiographies.

Unsuccessful Thug is available Tuesday, March 27, 2018.

Interview With Shannon Hitchcock On Her New Novel One True Way!

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Award-winning author Shannon Hitchcock recently returned to So Booking Cool to discuss her new novel, One True Way. Based in 1977, the story centers on two middle-school female students, Allie and Sam, who experience the pressures of falling for each other from their southern community, the political climate, and their families. Hitchcock says the novel is inspired by a real-life friendship she had, in which their mutual friends describe One True Way (Scholastic Press) as a tribute.

Check out the full interview below to learn more about the process that went into the book, Anita Bryant (a famous singer who was publicly anti-homosexuality) the response for the book thus far, historical fiction, and more! One True Way is available everywhere. Visit Hitchcock at her official website.

Tyra Banks and Her Mother Team Up On “Perfect is Boring” Self-Help Memoir!

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Supermodel and mogul, Tyra Banks and her mother, Carolyn London will release their self-help memoir, Perfect is Boring: 10 Things My Crazy, Fierce Mama Taught Me About Beauty, Booty, and Being a Boss on April 3. TarcherPerigee (Penguin Random House) will publish the book.

If you’ve ever followed Banks career, you’d know London is no stranger to the America’s Next Top Model creator’s brand (she’s the CEO of the Tyra Banks Company, FYI). Additionally, Banks is no stranger to the book world. In fact, she penned her first self-help memoir back in 1998, Tyra’s Beauty Inside & Out (published by Harper Perennial). And in 2011, Delacorte Books for Young Readers published Banks’ debut YA novel, Modelland. Check out the trailer for the novel below!

Founded in 2015, TarcherPerigee is an imprint that specializes in self-improvement, creativity, spirituality, and parenting. Some of their successes include Start Where You Are by Meera Patel, The Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci,  and Goldie Hawn’s 10 Mindful Minutes.

We at So Booking Cool are fond of the mother-daughter duo aspect of Perfect is Boring.  For more info, visit the official websites https://perfectisboring.com/ and http://www.penguin.com/publishers/tarcherperigee

YA Novel “The Sun is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon Gets a Movie, Yara Shahidi to Star!

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The Sun is Also a Star, 2016’s National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestseller, will become Nicola Yoon’s second novel to hit the big screen. Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi, 18, will portray Natasha, an illegal Jamaican immigrant who falls in love with a Korean immigrant, Daniel. An undeniable but inconvenient romance claims both teens when Natasha gets deported to Jamaica.

Alloy Entertainment, which produces books, films, and television, will collaborate with MGM, and its parent company, Warner Brothers for the project, just as they did with Yoon’s first novel, Everything, Everything.  The Sun is Also a Star is published by the Penguin Random House imprint, Delacorte Press (One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManu).

In addition to acting, Shahidi is also known for being involved with social issues, especially immigration. Yoon, who is also Jamaican-American like Natasha, tweeted about the film announcement:

You guys. I’m so over-the-moon thrilled about this!!! @YaraShahidi is not only a brilliant actress, she’s a tireless activist & advocate. She’s gonna make the perfect Natasha!!”

Yoon is currently writing more books (or hits). You can visit her at http://www.nicolayoon.com/

 

Catch Tayari Jones, Author of Oprah’s Pick “An American Marriage” On Her Ongoing Book Tour!

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Award-winning and now New York Times bestselling author, Tayari Jones, is currently on tour in support of her new novel, An American Marriage. The love story centers on a newlywed couple, Celestial and Roy, whose marriage is ultimately tested when Roy is sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Celestial believes her husband to be innocent, but is it enough to remain devoted to him during his extensive absence? Will she fall for her friend, aka the best man at her wedding? What will happen when Roy returns home after five years and aims to reclaim who he believes to be his soulmate?

An American Marriage is Oprah‘s newest book club pick and has debuted at number 2 on the New York Times Best Sellers list. It is published by Algonquin Books.

Jones is also the author of Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta. For more information on Jones’ events, check out the following websites:

http://www.tayarijones.com/events/?date1=2018 and

http://www.squarebooks.com/event/tayari-jones-american-marriage