Tamika Newhouse is the award winning selling author of The Ultimate No No. She is also known as the creator and President of African Americans on the Move Book Club, which is an online book club catering to avid readers across the nation. She is currently the CEO of Delphine Publications and literary consultant. In March 2009 Tamika was announced the Women of the Year by Alive Magazine. She recently won Author of the Year with African American Literary Awards.
Tamika can be heard on the syndicated AAMBC Radio, where she interviews new and seasoned authors. The show showcases many of the author’s talents and their current projects.
Tamika created the national tour group called Literary Sistah’s, where she and authors tour all over the nation. She is currently living in San Antonio with her husband son, and daughter and attends University of Texas. She is currently working on her third novel Cookie: A Fort Worth Story and plans to release her fourth novel He was a Bad Idea following Cookie.
EDC: How did you get your start in the publishing industry?
In February 2008 I was sitting on the bed watching my husband pack for his second tour to Iraq. Already staying in a new city of San Antonio, I felt alone and bored. I simply stated to him I wish I was in a book club. Just out of nowhere in that instance an idea of starting a MySpace page and to post up books I read came across my mind. I thought it would be a great idea to just talk with people over the internet. In that same month I started to get emails from authors I had never heard of who wanted me to read their books. I said to myself, wait I should read their books and post my thoughts on them. Not knowing that it was going to grow into something so large. This is how African Americans on the Move Book Club were birthed. I later birthed AAMBC Radio and Delphine Publications.
EDC: Did you have any formal business training?
I had absolutely no business training. I didn’t know anything about blogs, book reviews, how to publish, how to market, or any of that. I started with posting up my views on the author’s book and I asked people to read them. I believe this totally came from God’s doing. I was blessed to have met so many authors through MySpace and learn from all of them all at once.
EDC: What separates you and your firm from the competition?
I honestly didn’t know of any other format when I started my company. So the fact that I launched something clueless to the industry excites me. The ideas and concepts I started in which I continue to do all began when I knew nothing or no one.
EDC: How would you describe your experience as a female entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur is tough, time consuming, and adventurous. You take complete control and meet so many people. To think that I am here in this position is a blessing because I didn’t start to read novels until 2006. But I was always a writer since the day I could write a sentence. Being your own boss has its blessings and sometimes I find myself so obsessed over my work that I can’t stop. Ideas come one after the other. So I enjoy being an entrepreneur because I control my destiny. Well me and God that is.
EDC: What do you like most about your profession?
I design my concepts, I promote my concepts, I develop my concepts, and I can stop when I want to. I enjoy having control over what I do, when I do it, and how.
EDC: What is your biggest challenge in business? How did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is that with success come trials and tribulations. I am a fan of myself but somewhere down the road you meet others who are not. It can be because of what you do, what you’ve accomplished and so forth. I use that as my motivation. So how I overcome the negativity is to use it as my gas to keep it moving. A business such as any other industry requires tough skin so I put my game face and enjoy my work.
EDC: What advice would you give someone just starting out in your industry?
To never enter an industry you don’t know anything about. I know that’s funny seeing as though I was an ammeter when I started. Thing is I took a crash course and learned the industry through others and research. Google is a great engine. Use it. Go to seminars and conferences and speak to veteran authors. Always research and as long as you’re living there is always something to learn.
EDC: What do you hope to offer your clients or customers to shape their lives?
I hope to give people I work with skills and knowledge. Anyone can show you how to do it but learning it for yourself empowers you. Within AAMBC I give authors exposure and I explain how to self promote. On my radio show I offer authors the opportunity to speak on the things they love while exposing themselves to potential readers. With my publishing house, Delphine Publications, I teach my authors how to hustle and grind. If you love who you are you would work as hard as you can to make sure you reach your highest potential and, even then, shoot for more.
EDC: What are 3 things all leaders possess?
A Strong foundation, common sense, and a creative mind.
EDC: How does your mission or vision keep your business growing?
I simply want to help others. My mission is to expose the independent writer so that they too can have a national fan base. Although I do converse and speak to national best sellers my main focus is the new authors. Because of this I have grown in more ways than I could ever imagine. I expect my reach for my company to reach more than triple the current reach within the next year with keeping the same mission and goals. When we started I could count the amount of members AAMBC had and with our new website I am able to keep track of over 1200 members worldwide.
EDC: Tell us about the people you help. How is your organization or company impacting the public? What social issues or causes do you want to address?
The authors I connect with on a daily bases are usually new authors on their first book or have recently self published and want more exposure. I offer them that. The purpose of getting your book exposed is very important. You want your name and novel to become a familiar product. My goal is to help them become more familiar. Some issues that occur are when an author knows to little about the industry and marketing. It can delay the process of promoting their novel. All authors must know that they have to self promote whether they are with a publisher or not. I always state that the author must self promote and do a lot of research. This is always important to any writer who wants a long term career in writing.
EDC: What’s new in your company?
AAMBC has become more active in virtual tours since last spring; our radio show has a consistent concept with on average two shows a week. We started annual events such as Holiday Book Bash, Valentine Showcases, Holiday Book Drive, College Scholarship Fund, April is our Poetry Month, and we have our annual conference which will make its home in Dallas starting in 2011. AAMBC Radio has a new co-host Anna Black who is also signed to my label Delphine Publications. I am constantly thinking and developing new concepts and online events for our members. I will never rest I know that for sure.
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