Writers Explore What It Means To Be ‘Black Cool’

Once just a temperature, “cool” is a word that has come to mean so much more than that: Cool can be applied to an attitude, or a style or a sound — it can even be used to simply mean “OK.”

In a new collection of essays, Black Cool: One Thousand Streams of Blackness, writers explore the definition of coolness within African-American culture. Writer Rebecca Walker edited the book and compiled a series of essays aimed to build a “periodic table of black cool, element by element.”

She tells NPR’s Neal Conan: “I really wanted to name ‘black cool’ specifically because I think that the more it’s appropriated, assimilated, commodified, the more distant … the cultural contribution to global discourse becomes from actual black people. If blackness is separated from this aesthetic of cool that comes out of our culture … we lose the understanding of how much we are actually giving to this world.”

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Share Information and Increase Your Income: Start an eBook Writing Business

$100 Laptop prototype

Image via Wikipedia

If you are a savvy writer with great English grammar skills, you should consider writing eBooks.  It pays very well and you can do it in the comfort of your own home.  It is very simple to write up an eBook.  All you need to do is have Microsoft word and the internet.  Do some research first on the topic.  Know everything you can know about it, read up on it and save some quotes in your favorites area.  You may want to stop by the local library to pick up some books on the topic too.  That will help you when writing up your eBook.  EBooks should be between 50 – 75 pages depending on the topic and what the assignment is.  After you have thoroughly researched your topic and you know a lot about it you want to create a table of contents.  You want the chapters to flow freely from one thought to the other.  Make sure you cover as much as you can about the topic and title each chapter, writing a few notes about what you want to write about which you will delete later.

The next step would be just to get started on it!  Start writing creatively, from your heart, not just spitting out facts on a paper.  People are reading your eBook because they do not want to read and search for information located everywhere about a specific topic.  They want a concise, easy to read; interesting eBook they can print out and curl on the couch with.  It goes without saying that no one should ever plagiarize; not only is it unlawful, it is disrespectful.

Always spell check and edit your work by reading it when you have finished.  Polish it off by organizing each chapter into an eBook.  Come up with a savvy title that catches the audience.  If you really enjoy this line of business, you could do this full-time and quit your day job.

Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine

Dr. Ande’s Tips on Article Publishing

Welcome to a new year.

Let’s start with some tips for successful article writing. Back in the day I started out as the writer and editor of my school newspapers going all the way back to elementary school (the parent’s circular). So I have decided to give you some tips on how to create your articles if you plan to write for publications or online blogs.

  1. Test Your Idea:

To lead to a sale, your query must convince the editor that you have a clear idea of what you plan to cover in the article, and what approach you ‘re going to take.

So before writing the letter, think your article idea through carefully, and picture yourself describing the article to a friend.

  1. Find Your Angle:

Finding your angle is often a matter of narrowing your topic.  A topic like “Sports” is far too general, narrow it to say, “Table Tennis” is better.  Often, reducing the story to a single dimension e.g., focus on a key person, place, or event – gives a salable angle.

When your subject is popular, you must give the editor a fresh approach.  One way is to take an idea like “Overcoming Failure” and give it a twist to something like “Failure Can Be Good for You.”  It needn’t be exotic to sell, something as mundane as “New and Improved” has worked by adding a new ingredient to the usual.

  1. Research Helps:

While many queries can be written entirely from your own knowledge, a little research can pay big dividends by seducing the editor.  Facts sell editors on an idea.  Editors look for queries with many specifics:  Don’t just write that “Last year millions of people suffered from yeast infections.”  Tell how many millions – and why!

Research both the topic and the markets you’re aiming it at. A common reason for rejection is because of inadequate knowledge of the magazine.

  1. Shaping Your Raw Material:

After you have the basics:

    1. the idea
    2. the slant/facts, and
    3. the market

Then you’re ready to write your query.   A good query starts strong, and never lets up until the editor is sold.  Follow the two newspaper dictums; the five W’s (who, what, where, when, why) which explains the story immediately, and “the inverted pyramid” which emphasized putting the most interesting information first.  You’ll lose the editor’s interest if you save the best for last, and always remember EDITOR’S CUT FROM THE BOTTOM UP!

  1. 3 Main Sections to a Query:
    1. The Lead Paragraph
    2. The Summary
    3. The Author’s Bio.

Each has a specific purpose: first, tell the editor what the story is, then why she/he should buy it, and finally who is going to write it.

The Lead – is aimed to hook the editor and make them want to continue reading.

Once you’ve aroused the editor’s attention, move directly to a summary of the article.

Summary – This section should convince the editor that you know where you want to go with the article; it should outline the points you plan to cover or provide factual information about your topic – giving only enough to prove that your story is real.  Here you can mention your sources.  Tell the editor who’ll you’ll be talking to, and if experts are they on the cutting edge of today’s technology.  Also include here a working title for the article.  Don’t spend a lot of time trying to get a provocative headline, because titles are often changed by the editor before publication.

Author’s Bio – is where you sell yourself as a writer to the editor now that you’ve sold him/her on the idea.  Don’t be bashful; editors expect a bit of sell in the bio.  There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I’m highly qualified to write this article because…” if a convincing reason follows.  Start your bio with your publishing credits, and include magazines similar to the one you’re pitching if you can.


Dr. Ande,
Creator of: The 30 Hour Business Plan
Author of, 65 Tips for Affiliate Marketing Success
Host of, Dr. Ande’s Marketing Radio & Biz Talk with Dr. Ande
Associate Editor: Writerstopia Magazine