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Controversy Sells

Ron Pramschufer:       This is Ron Pramschufer and welcome to Publishing Basics Radio where weekly we help you navigate the self-publishing minefield.  Publishing Basics Radio is sponsored by SelfPublishing .com the Internet’s only self-publishing super store.  Think you’re ready to publish a book try SelfPublishing.com, now on with the program.




                                    This is the first of a series of peer-to-peer     tips for the independent publisher.  Our guest today is Chika Onyeani the author of “Capitalist Nigger”.  Chika welcome to the show.




Chika Onyeani:           Thank you Ron for inviting me.




Ron Pramschufer:       Now the old saying goes “controversy sells” and it’s hard to imagine anything more controversial than the title of your book.




Chika Onyeani:           Well the name “Capitalist Nigger” as I said in the book, I dread that issue because people say why, would you use such a word that is so offensive to your race, to the Black people.  And in the book I said that for a long time that why people have used the word “nigger” to denigrate Black people and every time a White person says the word we run to the barricades.  We make all kinds of noises and all that.  I mean I understand the kind of anguish that my people feel about the word but by always protesting when somebody does that, as I said in the book, we are giving comfort to those who say it and making them feel more superior to us.  And we feel inferior and the reason for my using that word is to make it irrelevant as it applies to our people for us not to be really paying too much attention to it.  Because as I said, you know the first sentence in I said “Capitalist Nigger” is that in Africa we have a problem but which says “it is not what you call me, but what I answer to that matters most”.




Ron Pramschufer:       Okay, see I read the book and the book is really good.  And it seems like you know you could have used something like “Wake Up Africa”, I mean you could have used something a little softer because the words inside the book don’t seem nearly as controversial as the title itself.




Chika Onyeani:           Um-hmm.




Ron Pramschufer:       Right, I mean like you had to have known you were gonna like have a lot of people go crazy with that title.




Chika Onyeani:           Well I, of course I know that it will offend a lot of people, my wife is an African-American.  And initially she thought the book was disparaging Black people but then she found that it was, it was a book meant for the Black race as a whole.  It wasn’t just simply for Africa-Americans or Caribbeans or Africans in the continent.  It’s a book for everybody.  So for every Black person and every White person who wants to understand the problem within the Black race.




Ron Pramschufer:       Okay because as a White person, I mean when I first picked it up, I looked, I wanted to crawl under the desk.  Because we’ve got, I mean I was afraid you know if I got seen with it, you know people gonna see me with a hood on or something, you know.  So I mean, the book is, when I read it, it’s like okay the book is for everyone.  I mean the one thing about controversy is its one thing to have a controversial book.  The other thing is to have skin thick enough to be able to stand up to the controversy.  And I did, you know Google searching around, you know under your name and under the book’s name and everything and you seemed to you’re your own.  You had to have, I mean this book’s been out for a couple of years now, right?




Chika Onyeani:           Hmm.




Ron Pramschufer:       And you seem to hold up.  You tell your end like pretty well.




Chika Onyeani:           Well I believe very much in what I have written in the book.  Of course there are people who feel that, that I have said a lot of bad things about Black people.  But my thing in this, as I have written in many other places, in the 21st century Black people have to be totally, totally and brutally frank with themselves.  We have to be brutally frank with ourselves because if we are not, in the year 2050, the year 3000 we are still going to be making the same excuses.  We are going to be talking about why the Black man is still where he is.  It is because of slavery.  We are still going to be talking about the Black man is still where he is because of colonizm and/or racism.  And as I said all those things are, you know race, colonizm, a lot of countries, I mean suffered colonizm.  Some people thought of slavery due on the Black part, it was I mean slavery was more, you know on the Black race than other people.  But racism as I have already said is not something that we have to dwell too much because no matter how you legislate racism, it’s never going to go away.  It’s not something you can legislate.  Because there are people who just going to practice it, no matter what.  So if you spend all your time thinking about, you know this and that you are never going to make progress.  And our people, Black people you know we’re making too may excuses.  We have a victim mentality.  And as I said it is something that the book addresses that we have to get out of those things.  We have to stop making excuses for our failures.




Ron Pramschufer:       It’s funny now when you I talked to you earlier, I said wow, you know, you sound pretty conservative.  And you came back and said just kind of flatly “no”.  You know that you weren’t conservative.  So how would you describe yourself politically?




Chika Onyeani:           Politically, you know I consider myself an Africanist because as I said the problem of Black people should not be labeled.  Whether you are considered a conservative or progressive or socialist or whatever, then you want to adopt.  When you look at what is happening within the Black race it is something that we all have to come together and say how do we begin to solve the problem of the Black man or woman being always on the lowest economic totem pole?




Ron Pramschufer:       Okay, like with the talk show and as I say, I’m not sure how many shows you’ve done, say it’s like a “Hannity and Combs” or one of them, you know they’re gonna have you on this side.  Who would they put on the other side to rebut what you’re saying?  Like an Allen Keys kind of republican, Al Shartpon type democrat or --




Chika Onyeani:           I believe that because of what I’m saying they might have somebody like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson to rebut what I’m saying.  But that is the kind of people they will bring.  Although I might tend to agree with them on certain areas but basically I prefer to say that we have not done enough for ourselves.  We have not looked inward enough, within ourselves.  That a lot of the things, for instance some years ago, I don’t whether you remember Jesse Jackson was supposed to have admitted that if he was on the street at 12:00 midnight and he saw a Black person coming he would take the other side of the road, he would cross to the other side.  Of course people criticize him and I said to myself but he eventually said oh he was misquoted.  But that is the truth.  We have to accept the fact that if you live in a Black neighborhood it is not a White man who is going to come out and rob you or shoot you.  You know it is going to be a Black person.  My house was broken into, my cars until we installed all this very expensive things and you know around the, my house, the car broken into, somebody looking for change, $5.00 change.  And then I have to take the car to a White repair person, pay him $500.00 to fix my car, for somebody looking for $5.00.  You understand?




Ron Pramschufer:       Yeah.




Chika Onyeani:           And you know you have to say it, it is not a White person who is doing that.  It is a Black person.  We have to realize that and we have to be brutally frank.  It’s what we as Black people need.




Ron Pramschufer:       Okay, now being brutally frank, how many of copies of your book have you sold so far, over 20,000?




Chika Onyeani:           Oh yeah, yeah it’s over 20,000.




Ron Pramschufer:       I mean the reason for this show you know is a couple of purposes but to really share tips.  And if there’s real people that publish independently, yourself published that actually do sell large numbers.  Now who’s been your primary, these first batch of books that you’ve sold, who’s been the primary audience?




Chika Onyeani:           Well it has been African-Americans and some Africans.  The book has sold very well in southern African as well.




Ron Pramschufer:       Because you, in the beginning you said the book was for the general market.  You know and I read it.  I mean I was you know it was a very interesting book.




Chika Onyeani:           Unfortunately we have not broken into the White market.  Not too many people have really seen the book because we have not gone out to do a lot of promotion for the book. 




Ron Pramschufer:       Okay so if you haven’t promoted, again this is like the secret here.  You’ve sold this many books, you say you haven’t really gone out and promoted it.  I do a Google search.  You’re all over the Internet.  I mean you’re absolutely all over the Internet with discussions and discussions groups and all, you know talking good and bad about you.




Chika Onyeani:           Yeah.




Ron Pramschufer:       Based on your experience, okay what would be your, say number one tip you could share with everybody here, with how to sell books?




Chika Onyeani:           Well the first we said from the beginning is to have a good title.  That is of course the first thing you have to do to have a good title.  There are people who have told me oh if you do not have the “nigger” in the book you would have sold a hundreds of thousands of books. 




Ron Pramschufer:       Or you would have sold 2,000 books.  I mean that was what I was trying to get at earlier.  You know it’s like the controversy, you know and I know if it would have just said “Wake Up Africa” versus “Capitalist Nigger”, I mean your hand is gonna go down and pick it up just out of curiosity more than anything else.




Chika Onyeani:           Yeah, the first thing you have to do, get a good title.




Ron Pramschufer:       Get a good title.




Chika Onyeani:           Yes.




Ron Pramschufer:       You were saying you’d like to get it more widespread into the White marketplace and I guarantee you its not gonna go in as “Capitalist Nigger”.  I mean would you consider another title for another market, I mean --




Chika Onyeani:           I remember my bank manager who was Chinese and in New York .  When the book came out she said to me, how could you have this title?  And you can say that and I can’t say it.  I say well if you say it I will sue you because you are White.




Ron Pramschufer:       Oh Chika.  It’s been really good having you on the show today.  Okay and hopefully we’ll get you back on when you sell the next 20, 30, 40,000 give us a couple of more tips.




Chika Onyeani:           I will.




Ron Pramschufer:       Okay take care now.  Thanks a lot.




Chika Onyeani:           Thank you.




Ron Pramschufer:       For Publishing Basics Radio and Self-Publishing.com, this is Ron Pramschufer.  See you next week.







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