Tag Archives: artist

Google, We Have A Problem

There seems to be a tragic misunderstanding of what makes a person or entity relevant on the internet. If you are an artist, a business owner, a musician or a magazine publisher there’s the expectation that you should be found one specific place on the internet so that you can be booked, called or contacted. That place is not Twitter or Facebook. It’s so simple, even a two-year old could do it. It’s called Google. Yes, Google. Twitter and Facebook require that a person sign up and create an account to obtain your information. Everyone doesn’t want to become a follower or a friend in order for them to locate your store, buy your album, magazine or services. Do you realize how much you are limiting yourself, simply by NOT having a website? If you aren’t sure, think about the last time you got a call from someone who said “I saw you on Twitter today, and I wanted to know if I can buy ___.” If that’s happening to you regularly just from your tweets, then by all means, carry on. But if you’re not getting that call, you’re not as relevant as you think you are, even if you’ve hit record numbers of followers.

It doesn’t matter how many fans you have. Some of your fans aren’t as active on Twitter or Facebook as you think they are. They may actually only view your timeline or news feed once a month because that’s how often they sign on to look at their own Twitter and Facebook accounts {Side note: some of your fans are also stalkers or looky-lous and they won’t result in any profits}. Even with the increased use in smart phones, social networking is still limiting the way in which people can locate you. A fan is one thing, a consumer is something completely different. When you’re in business, which one is more important to you? A fan who becomes a consumer will buy more than your mp3 from iTunes. 

I recently pulled out some business cards people gave me and Googled all of the companies. I was utterly amazed at how many business entities, artists, singers and creatives I couldn’t find on the internet outside of Facebook and Twitter. Do all these companies and individuals want to be a secret? Do they want to make money? Do they want people to know their tour dates, office hours, and any other important information that consumers look for? You can’t even find a phone number for them to call and ask them “What is your website?” I’m going to share a business secret with you now. Smart consumers like to do a little research before they get into their cars and drive somewhere. If you operate a business, consumers may actually look for your business address online before venturing out to buy your products. However, if you don’t have a website, you prevent that from happening. And every business doesn’t have a store or static business location. Therefore, if your business is done in a nontraditional office or storefront location, being accessible online becomes even more crucial to your success.

Recently someone on Twitter sent me a link saying “how to become #1 on Google“. I replied and told them (not bragging) that I’m already #1 on Google. How do I know? I learned how to accomplish that a couple of years ago at a technology conference I attended. Unfortunately, I was one of five people of color in attendance at the conference and we were all women. I periodically Google myself [typing s u p e r w o m a n p r o d u c t i o n s]. I type it different ways and even misspell it intentionally sometimes, just to see what others might find if they do the same. My website is the first result, is listed on the first seven pages of Google results consistently and then I remain in the results up until around page thirteen. Don’t believe me? I challenge you to prove me wrong. I’ve even been re-blogged and reposted in other languages. I’m in business directories that I didn’t even know I was in. I had to tell the editor of one business directory to change their listing because they incorrectly listed my business at an address in Troy, Michigan instead of Detroit.  

I don’t know how people do it. By it I mean not exist on the internet outside of social networking sites. It’s a lot easier to co-exist within the confines of social networking than it is to be completely reliant upon it. Does anyone remember MySpace? One minute it was the hottest thing in existence. Now anyone who’s still using it exclusively needs to be put into a time machine and brought into 2012 at the speed of light. The changes that Facebook is constantly making are an attempt to remain on top of the social networking pyramid because it’s hard to be king. They are not making the changes for you. Twitter is… well, #trending, for lack of a better word. It’s fun, but you’re still limited to providing information in 140 or less characters. It can be argued that smart people can say a lot in 140 characters, but it can also be said that not being able to spell out words makes even the smartest person look stupid on Twitter.

So as an entrepreneur, I encourage anyone who calls themselves the same or sells a product or service to increase your audience outside of the constraints of social networking sites and establish a website for yourself, your products and business. If you feel like the financial investment isn’t truly worth the costs associated with establishing a real web presence, you are not serious about being in business. All serious business owners know that it takes money (time, energy and committment) to make money. And if you need help, I have a great website designer that I can refer you to. He helps keep me #1 on Google.

My Not So Ideal Life Makes Better Fiction

Everyone has things they want in life. They also have their idea of what their ideal life would be like. About fifteen years ago my ideal life would have been to have had five children, a loving husband, a huge house on a lot of land and the money to afford it all. My reality was vastly different. Instead I had one child, several miscarriages, and an abusive codependent husband who gambled away the household money. Today my ideal life is also different from the reality. In my ideal life, I would be married to a man whom I could share experiences and goals with and we’d have a media empire. The reality is that I can’t meet a man worthy of dating me more than one time and I have to build the empire I want solo. But the reality doesn’t stop me from wanting more. It does, unfortunately, sometimes dampen some of the excitement. As I’m reflecting on my regrets, my dreams, my failed relationships, rejection and my ever looming single status, I do know this: although I don’t know the reasons, seasons change and my lifetime may not have the love and marriage I hoped for, my experiences make for really good stories, which will one day make me very wealthy. There’s always a silver lining to my clouds.

There’s so much of my life that I could never have made up in a million years, such as the date from hell I had earlier in April 2011. There are authors who can only talk about other people’s experiences and hope we as an audience find it realistic enough to read about. But a lot of what I have written thus far, and will write and publish forthcoming, is based on an actual situation or person I have had a personal experience with. Yes, I use my imagination to make some of it more interesting, I don’t reveal anything that I could be sued for (names for instance) and I take certain literary liberties such as changing locations and details. However, I can honestly say that some of the men I wrote about in “The Goodie Bag; The Erotic Fiction Collection” are real men. None of them were my husband; some of them weren’t even my boyfriends. They didn’t necessarily have feelings for me or me for them, but the chemistry was good while it lasted and it made for good intimacy and sex. That’s the absolute truth. Not too many women get to say that they actually fulfilled some of their fantasies. And very few men get to say they were inspiration for erotic fiction. What is most interesting to me is that the men who inspired some of my work haven’t even bothered to read it. That’s too bad for them because according to male customers who have bought and read “The Goodie Bag”, it’s a very good read.

If nothing else, although my experiences haven’t always been pleasant, and I don’t have my ideal life (and I don’t always feel positive that I ever will), but my experiences combined with my talent will take me places. Maybe some of those places will be Paris, Dubai, Morocco and Rio. It would be nice to share it all with a man who loves me, and whom I love in return. And if not, my not-so-ideal life will still make for better fiction, that I hope will lead to everything else I’d like my media empire to be made of.

Me Time – A Voyage

I truly believe in self-assessment and self-reflection of oneself. I believe a person with strong character knows their worth and their flaws. Acceptance of oneself in all your glory and imperfections allows you to set personal goals that enhance personal growth. Some people refer to it as “Me” time. I recently went on my much needed annual vacation to somewhere hotter than Michigan. I started my voyage in South Beach and from there boarded a Carnival cruise ship to the Caribbean; Grand Turks and the Bahamas to be specific. This was my third time in Miami and probably my eighth time in Florida. But it was my first time on a cruise and my first time going to the Caribbean. No, I didn’t go with a group of girlfriends. No, I didn’t go with a man (I’m not in a relationship). No, I wasn’t afraid to be alone. I was looking forward to it. I was looking forward to digging my own space under the sunshine of the south of Florida and on the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

My flight departed without incident, although they had overbooked the flight. My flight landed on time and my shuttle arrived quickly to take me to The Richmond Hotel. The Richmond was a nice, oceanfront, boutique hotel on Collins Avenue in South Beach. However, I soon came to the realization that I was the only person of color on the premises who was not an employee there. It started in increments. First, at check in I was asked to pay for the two remaining nights of my stay in advance, plus an additional resort fee for “incidentals”. When I asked what type of incidentals would that additional fee cover, I was told “in case you break something”. I quickly raised my voice a little too loud for their comfort and informed them that I would not be paying in advance, nor would I be throwing rock star parties and breaking anything during my stay. Yes, I was offended. I didn’t know if this request was being made because I was Black or if it was because I was from Detroit. Either way, I was offended and I let it be known. Especially since none of the other quests checking in had been asked to pay in advance. I agreed to pay the resort fee, but let them know that I wouldn’t pay another dime until check out.

Later, as I lay out by the pool, I was greeted by the pleasantly surprised faces of the Afro-Caribbean women and men, who either worked in housekeeping or as doormen. They greeted me in the hallways and at the door, everyday with big, proud, smiles. Mind you, this was not a four or five star hotel; it may have been a three star hotel at best. But “we” apparently, were moving on up like George and Weezie.

On this trip I also had to endure the weeding of my garden and eliminate individuals from my life. Without this trip, I may not have been able to identify those people. I just don’t believe it to be necessary for me to allow men to mistreat me or speak to me in a disrespectful manner, simply because, out of their ignorance, they “think” they can. So they got dismissed – permanently and without apology.

Aside for the small bumps, the Caribbean is one of the most beautiful places I’ve laid eyes on. I’m thankful for the opportunity and finances to be able to enjoy myself. I learned new things, met interesting and intelligent people from across the USA and in the Caribbean. I received inspiration from the sun, the sand and the coasts. I got some much needed rest and ate delicious foods. The best part is that I didn’t gain any weight and I looked great in my swimsuits.

As usual, I received the common question – “Are you here by yourself?” And I was proud to say ‘yes’. But that always leads to – “You don’t have a boyfriend?” The answer is ‘no’. The follow up is then – “You are too pretty to be by yourself.” I replied, ‘Thank you. Would you like to tell that to the men where I’m from?’ The truth is that I would never go anywhere if I waited to have a relationship first. I’ve been told my men and women that I don’t have a man because I’m too independent and that doesn’t allow a man to do anything for me. I think that is an excuse for men not to step up and try something new.

Personally, I’m not interested in someone who doesn’t want to leave the city they were born in, or is too afraid to board an airplane or otherwise step out of their comfort zone. I shouldn’t be expected to wait to be partnered up with a man in order to enjoy living. The idea that you have to wait to live is ridiculous. I would much rather explore this entire planet alone, than wait for someone to explore it with who may or may not exist. The possibility that I may not a boyfriend or husband anytime soon, isn’t a negative mindset; it is embracing a reality. It is a self-assessment. I refuse to be a little old lady that waited and waited to live her life, just to wake up one day and discover that her life is almost over. If that means that I travel every winter by myself, I can live with that.

I enjoyed my “me” time. I enjoyed turning heads and being rebellious against hotel’s request. I enjoyed walking on the beach, riding a horse in the ocean, wearing a bathing suit instead of clothes, and wearing no makeup. I enjoyed the shopping, eating, sightseeing and being flirted with by Caribbean men. I enjoyed my trip tremendously.

I enjoy my “me” time. I enjoy living life. I’m looking forward to doing it more often…even if I have to do it alone.

New Year – New Goal

I don’t do resolutions; I set goals.  I have several goals for Super Woman Productions and Publishing LLC.  Some of those goals include being a brand that gives opportunities to aspiring authors to realize their dreams of becoming published.  How can that be accomplished if I don’t have people on my team that believe that you, the people, deserve to know that my company exists?  Another goal is for me to publish three books of my own this year.  How can I accomplish that goal if I don’t have people on my team who want you, the people, to know that there are books being written and published?  I want to be a household name, company and brand synonymous with publishing and eventually television and movie production.  How can I ever reach that goal if I’m kept in a box built by someone else?

I’m all for maintaining a level of privacy.  I’m aware that I need to be careful about who I associate with, date, have relationships with, and whom I’m seen in public with.  However, I’m realistic.  I know that if I want to claim the crown as The Queen of All Media one day, I can’t do that if I’m a “secret”.  I can’t assist others with becoming successful if I’m not reaching and achieving success myself because I’m being hindered.  So I had to trim the fat from the team.  I had to free myself from the box of secrets controlled by someone else, who for some reason felt that I was doing everything “wrong” and that I don’t understand media.  Well, me doing things “wrong” resulted in me selling books, having my first book signing and having my first radio and magazine interviews.  His doing things “right” didn’t accomplish anything; except possibly causing me to lose opportunities.  At the end of the day, who did the better job?  That’s rhetorical.  We’re intelligent enough to know that selling books and gaining exposure and publicity trumps the “stop, wait and do nothing” method.     

Now that it’s 2011, I’ve set a business goal.  I am open to business opportunities.  I’m available for motivation speaking engagements in and out of state.  I’m looking for investors who want to get into the entertainment industry in a way that will result in profits for them long term.  I’m looking for authors who are serious about becoming published and have the talent to be more than a one-book-wonder.  I’m available to plan your next major promotional or entertainment event.  I will appear on your radio or television show.  I will weigh all serious options and opportunities that come my way in 2011 that fit my business vision.  I didn’t start this company for it to be held hostage by someone else’s inability to think outside the box.  I started this company because I want to make a difference and I want to be successful.

To contact Super Woman for bookings call (313) 833-2001 or email me at info@superwomanproductions.com

I’m Mad About It – I Want The Goodie Bag Back

They got me – again.  And I’m mad about it.  I can’t believe someone had the audacity to steal my car – again.  And I’m mad about it.  What angers me more than the theft of my vehicle (again) is the fact that copies of The Goodie Bag were in a box on the back seat that I had yet to sale to people anxiously awaiting it.  That sent me over the edge.  I went from Super Woman to She-Hulk in less than sixty seconds.  Now, they are messing with my business.  Now they are hindering my goals.  Now I’m getting angry.  And you won’t like me when I’m angry.  There are two things in this world you should never mess with; my child and my money.  Their thievery has impacted both.

They stole my little ten year plus old Chrysler that I’ve had for a little under a year now.  They took the little Chrysler car that Super Son was to inherit, and take to college with him in a few months.  They took the source of transportation for all of the things that Super Woman has to do.  Yes, they didn’t take my life; but I truly hope that car ruins theirs.  More important to me is the copies of The Goodie Bag that were on the back seat.  I want my books back.  They contribute to the security of my family’s finances.  They are my intellectual property.  They are my creativity personified.  They belong to me until I sale them to you.   

Why do thieves think they deserve to be in a car, that they didn’t pay for, when it’s less than 20 degrees outside?  What makes them think they can just take from people without ramifications?  Well, the joke is kind of on them – for a few reasons.  The car is in need of repairs.  The windshield wipers and fluid don’t work so it will be hell for them to drive in any precipitation.  The front wheel had to be recently replaced because I caught a flat, so the wheel alignment is off.  But the tire was only good enough to last a few days according to the man I bought it from.  Not good for slippery winter weather conditions.  And the spare tire is also no good so if they get another flat, they will have three tires instead of four.  Did I mention that the heat doesn’t work? I’m just saying.  They stole a bigger headache than they bargained for.  I just want The Goodie Bag back. 

I have a couple copies that people can still buy, and I plan to order more to fill any online orders that are placed.  I assure you that I’m not out of business because of this – never that.  It takes a lot more than ignorant street thieves to deter me.  It’s just a set back.  A set back is just an opportunity in work clothes (Melvin Van Peebles).  In the end I will be the one laughing at them.  If the police happen to catch and arrest them, they will go to jail.  And they could be facing civil charges as well, just because I feel like it.   Yes, I know they obviously don’t have any money or they wouldn’t have to steal.  That’s not the point.  The point is to let them know that they can’t steal from people and assume there won’t be consequences or repercussions for their actions.  And no, I don’t care about how old they are, their “situation” or their “problems”.  They apparently weren’t thinking about mine when they stole my property.   And they won’t be thinking about your’s if they come after you.

Everything happens for a reason.   I don’t know what this one is yet.  And eventually I won’t be as mad; but for now,  I want The Goodie Bag back.

I’m offering a cash reward for any legitimate information leading to the return of the remaining copies of The Goodie Bag in sellable condition.  The reward starts at one hundred dollars ($100), but will decrease every two days that go by that I don’t have The Goodie Bag in my possession.  Tweet me the info at twitter.com/BestSuperWoman.  If the information provided leads to me getting The Goodie Bag back, you’ll receive the cash.  But the longer it takes for the books to be returned, the less valuable they are to me.             

In the meantime, I’m hoovering somewhere between Super Woman and She-Hulk.  I just want The Goodie Bag back.

I’m An Artist

I can exhale – just briefly- but it feels good. I have gotten things accomplished and I am proud. As I prepare dinner for Christmas, I’m reflecting on what I’ve given and sacrificed, just over the last few months. I couldn’t buy Christmas gifts this year, but those who love me most, weren’t expecting me to. They understood that I had plans, and those plans cost money. I also made sacrifices for the greater good and made investments in my son’s future, as well as in my business. All of which cost money. I made a decision to move to a more financially comfortable and safer area in the urban center of Detroit. I made charitable donations to organizations and renewed my memberships to help preserve others. I spent thousands of dollars on Super Son’s current education and future college endeavors, including the sacrifice of not buying my flat screen television that was on sale for only $260. I even gave of my time and talents to help a woman, who turned around and accused me of trying to take advantage of her, and of riding her coat tails when she had no coat to begin with. I did a lot for others. And this was all during the last quarter of 2010.

So, as I put the finishing touches on my first full book, The Goodie Bag, for its release this weekend, on Christmas Day, I felt a huge weight lift from me. As I created the cover of the paperback version and watched the files upload, I felt a great sense of accomplishment. It is a beautiful book, if I can brag just a little. It’s different from other erotic fiction books written by other authors for more than one reason and I’m proud of what I’ve done. It might become somewhat controversial, but I’m ready and able to handle that. It might even bother or upset some people, but I’m ready for that, too. It’s worth it. I’m an artist. But I’m sensitive.

In a live version of what I consider to lyrically be the best women’s anthem ever written, Tyrone, Erykah Badu introduces herself by saying, “I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my sh*t”. I can completely relate. My art form is different from Erykah’s, but it is art, just the same. When I decided to write The Goodie Bag, and put my other book concepts on hold, I had to prepare myself for all of the possibilities that come with being an artist. Would people like it? Would people hate it? Would an ex-boyfriend of mine confront me about something he thought might be about him? Would it sale out or just collect dust on a shelf in the bookstore? What would the “critics” say about it? What would my friends and family say? Would I forever be stuck in the erotic fiction genre if people really like it? If there was a “what if”, I considered it. I contemplated it, weighed it, tossed it in the air and accessed it. Then I had to release it. All of it. All of the fears. All of the doubts. All of the worries. All of the “what ifs”. As an artist, I decided that I just needed to put myself out there and do me. I’d worry later, but for now I had work to do.

I put myself into my art – literally. I’m in every picture from the front cover to the back cover. I imagined each story, combined it with some of my actual experiences and wrote it for the whole world to read, if they want to. Some of the stories took a few minutes to write and some took months. I wanted each story to have a uniqueness about it. I wanted each story to draw the reader in, excite them, then make them want to add a bit of fantasy to their own reality. I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t. I wanted full color photos inside the pages of the book. And I wanted to be my own model. Not out of vanity, not because I’m narcissistic, but because I believe in my own vision, and I felt that no one else could capture my vision better than I could. I think I was right, regardless of anyone else’s opinion. Plus, other people had too many stipulations and demands that I knew I didn’t need to be hindered by. That’s the beauty of being an artist. You develop a bravery within your craft and you are willing to stretch yourself to preserve it.

I don’t know how many books an author has to sale to become “best selling”. I haven’t done any sales projections or set any sales goals. That is too much unnecessary pressure. With this project, I preferred to use the “if you write it, someone will read it” method. From a business standpoint, that may not be good to do, but as an artist, it allowed me to be free to concentrate on the art itself. However, if The Goodie Bag sales 100 copies in the first two weeks, I’d be very pleased. If The Goodie Bag sales 1000 copies in the first month, I’d be very happy. And if, by chance, The Goodie Bag sales a lot more than 1000 copies within a month or so, whether that makes me “best selling” or not, I’m sure I will have sold a lot more than many authors and publishers who have been at this longer than I have. I’m not trying to out-do anyone else in book sales. I just want to make my own mark and I hope you notice, read it and enjoy it. If I make a difference in one person’s life, with my blogs, my books or my smile, I’ve done well. So, this Christmas Day, which also happens to be my 36th birthday, when you buy your copy of The Goodie Bag, which is available through, Super Woman Productions and Publishing in paperback (ships to your home address by priority mail after the holidays) and eBook (available for immediate download to your computer or eReader), keep an open mind. When you read it, you might want your husband, wife or significant other present, with the kids out of the house. I’m just saying. I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my sh*t. But my sh*t is also very good.

Happy Holidays.