Just over a year ago, my novel Billion Dollar Winner was released. As with most authors, the next step in the process is to promote and sell the book. In order to accomplish that goal, I joined a writers group that a local store owner on the South Side was attempting to put together. The first couple of meetings went well. Then all hell let loose. The group disbanded because of bickering.

By chance, I happened to meet one of the authors from the group at another event. He was putting together the opportunity for authors to sell their work at the Thompson Center (State of Illinois building). I got excited and jumped at the opportunity to vend my book downtown. We had a good run at the Thompson Center and, as a group, we continued to meet so often that we established ourselves as the Chicago Black Author’s Network (CBAN).

We are a talented group of black Chicago authors who have banded together to form a network to highlight our work. Our goal is to bring our novels and literary publications to the forefront for the reading public. We are dedicated to being a Chicago Renaissance for both urban literature and fiction/non-fiction in general. From romance to comedy, children’s lit to fantasy, history and culture to inspirational and religious, we know we can fulfill whatever literary form your mind desires.

CBAN recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. As a group, we’re proud we made it to this point, seeing that the previous group didn’t make it one month. We haven’t bickered and have all stepped up to the plate to work together to promote our books. We have encouraged friends who came to buy our works to purchase the books of others. We have given book-selling opportunities to others within the group when we learned of them. Trust me, it is very rare to find a group of people all trying to sell books, who are willing to share, but we have done it.

Earlier this year, we held a spring book fair at the Bronzeville Cultural Center. It was wonderful to meet the people who came out. Now we are coming to the West Side, and I hope everyone will come out and support this group. We will hold our winter book fair on Saturday, Dec. 4, at Chez Roué, 5200 W. Chicago Ave., from 11 a.m. to 5 pm. If you haven’t seen the remodeling inside the landmark bank building on the corner of Chicago and Laramie, you are missing a jewel within our community.

The members of CBAN will not only be selling their books, but at 3 p.m., we will host a panel discussion on how to get your book published and marketed.

And we will have a really special treat starting at noon. Did you know that we have an African-American woman who makes wine? If you are a connoisseur, here is an opportunity to sample and support Simple Spirits. We’ll also have an area resident who specializes in baking cakes, cookies and pies because nothing goes better with a good book than a glass of wine and a slice of cake.

Christmas is coming. A gift of a good book and a bottle of wine can be the perfect gift to give to those who are tough to buy for because they have everything. Our area has a number of individuals who are incarcerated. A novel is a great book to buy to send to a loved one who is away from Chicago, especially when the book is set here in Chicago and on the West Side – like my novel, Billion Dollar Winner.

For more information about the event, please give me a call at 773-330-6277. Or visit the website of CBAN at www.chicagoban.blogspot.com to learn more about our books