Join @palitcafe for Speak Out Against HIV & AIDS on World AIDS Day!

world aids day

Join the Pure Artistry Literary Cafe on December 1st as we speak out against HIV and AIDS!  Your support is needed to help make this event a success in the Montgomery community.  Among the activities for the day long observance will be the viewing of the documentary 25 to LIFE, which chronicles the story of William Brawner, a young man who kept his HIV positive status a secret for over twenty-five years. Now, William seeks redemption from his promiscuous past as he embarks on a new phase of life with his wife who is HIV Negative. We journey with William and his family as he struggles to carve out an open and honest future. 25 TO LIFE is the 2014 American Black Film Festival Grand Prize Jury winner.

Make a donation – – to help support this free community event (we need money so that the people who need this information won’t have to pay for it) and make plans to attend on December 1st.


Fusion Tour Montgomery a Success!

Fusion Tour Montgomery a Success!

Hosting an event can be very unnerving because you never know what to expect. This event was especially challenging for me because I was hosting on behalf of Vernetta Freeney, CEO of Women are Gamechangers. Knowing that she was traveling to Montgomery Alabama from Houston Texas just for this event AND bringing guests from Atlanta Georgia added to the pressure.

The day turned out to be a success. The women who chose to attend left empowered and connected with other like-minded women which was the goal of the event. Thanks to everyone who came out to show their support. You are greatly appreciated. Thanks to Monique and Ms. Janice for being wonderful hostesses at Pure Artistry Literary Cafe and thanks to the panelist for sharing your knowledge with the group.

(Pictured left to right: Jael Byrd, Founder of Natural Hair Community; JoAnn Ajayi-Scott, Founder of Essence of a Lady Inc; Monique Dennis, Co-Owner of Pure Artistry Literary Cafe; Vernetta Freeney, CEO of Women are Gamechangers; Janice Dennis, Co-Owner of Pure Artistry Literary Cafe; ShaKenya Calhoun, Chief of Staff at Calhoun Enterprises; LaKesha Womack, Consultant at Womack Consulting Group)

The Fusion Tour is coming to Montgomery AL!

Register Today!

Register Today!

Yes, you heard me correctly!

The Fusion Tour, hosted by Women are Gamechangers, is coming to Montgomery Alabama on Saturday, October 5th.  I am pleased to be the cohost along with Founder and CEO of Women are Gamechangers, Ms. Vernetta Freeney.

What’s so special about this event?

Vernetta, an award winning blogger and master networker,  has created an event that allows women to make meaningful connections.

Don’t you hate going to events where everyone is hustling a business card or where there are so many vendors until you feel like you are in a shopping mall?  You won’t find any of that at our event.  The event has been carefully planned to allow you to get to know the women in the room so that you can create meaningful, long term, professional relationships.  You will also have a chance to hear from local business owners, such as Shekenya Calhoun, Human Resource Director of Calhoun Enterprises.  I am excited to hear her share some success secrets as well as answer your questions about how her father built a legacy and the work she and her family are doing to continue that legacy.

The theme for the Montgomery event is “Creating a Big Brand in a Small City.”  I will also be sharing tips and techniques that I have used to build my personal brand as well as strategies that I have used with my clients to help them use social media to build a brand without spending a bundle.

Are you excited?

You should be!

Register today and make plans to spend October 5 from 9am until 11am with a  group of dynamic women who are committed to helping you become successful!

Visit to purchase your ticket and save the date (September 2) to join our next Twitter chat ~ use #FusionTour ~ to learn more about this game changing event.


Eleven Tips for a Successful Book Signing

When I participated in my first few book signings, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  I would look around at the other authors (when it was a group event) and try to take some cues from them but for the most part; I was just winging it.

Last year, I signed up to participate in Copyrighted hosted by Pure Artistry Literary Cafe and received a great little tip sheet with some ideas to ensure each author’s participation was a success.  (Thanks Monique and Ms. Janice).

These are the ones that have helped me the most…

  1. To attract customers have a large (2×3) colorful poster of your book cover on display.  Table sized (11×18) posters are also useful in catching a customer’s eye.  Be sure to have the poster mounted and laminated.  I invested in one from Kinko’s and have been able to use it on multiple occasions.  It’s also useful to have set up in a room if you are speaking.
  2. Wear comfortable clothes that photograph well.  Be mindful that some people will want to take pictures with you so don’t dress too relaxed but also consider that you may have to lift your own boxes and/or do a great deal of walking.
  3. Bring someone along to be in charge of the book sales so that you can focus on meeting people and signing books.  It’s hard to try to do both which can sometimes to lead to a loss in sales.
  4. Make it clear on your book sales table which payments you accept and who the checks should be written to.  There are many devices, such as the Square and PayPal Here, that allow you to accept credit cards on the spot using a wireless device.  This could be a wise investment especially if you are leery of accepting checks.
  5. Don’t forget your cash box and make sure you have an adequate amount of change.  Not having change could also result in a loss of sales and be an embarrassment if you are walking asking people for change.
  6. Make your signings personal and don’t just sign your name.  Ask the person’s name and add a comment or words of encouragement related to your book’s topic.  People like the additional personal touch.
  7. Take bags to put their purchased books in.  I bought a bunch of solid color gift bags from Dollar Tree after reading this suggestion and it did make me feel more  professional to bag their books after making the sale.
  8. Set sales goals.  Know how many books you need to sell in order to break even (paying for your books, paying for your booth and covering any travel and other related expenses).
  9. Set up a guest book and ask for addresses or email addresses so that you can keep in touch and inform them of upcoming events and book releases.
  10. Offer to donate a signed copy of your book to the venue as a thank you.
  11. Finally, assess the day – what went well, what would you do differently next time, what did you need and not have and how did you do in relation to your sales goal.


I hope these tips are helpful and that your future book signings are a success.  Do you have any tips that I missed?  Leave a comment and share with us…

Speak No Evil

Are you ready to bear your Art and Soul?

I haven’t blogged much in the past few months but was so excited to see the flyer for this event and I knew I had to share it.  If you’re in the Montgomery area and want to network with professionals, this is where you want to be on the last Friday evening of each month.  Check out my Q&A with the event planners…

What is your inspiration for creating this event? 

The Speak No Evil event series was inspired by my desire to create events that are designed to inspire and uplift the community. A lot of residents are not “into” the club scene, so these events give them an alternative in a fun-filled, safe and friendly environment. They are “POSITIVE events for POSITIVE people!”. 

The Art & Soul event was motivated by a love for all aspects of art, from culinary arts to performing and visual arts, and also by a desire to encourage and promote local/regional artists and businesses.

When and where will the event be held?

All Speak No Evil events are held on a monthly basis at the Pure Artistry Literary Cafe (142 W. Jeff Davis Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104).

Art & Soul is held the last Friday of each month.

Laugh Lounge is held the 3rd Saturday of each month.

Montgomery Police Department provides security for all Speak No Evil events.

Why should people come to Art & Soul?

People should attend Art & Soul to “experience the arts” as never before. Each month will consist of something different (dance, theatre, paintings, drawings, sculptures, live music, spoken word/poetry, food, & much more).

“…the event was excellent. I haven’t been to anything like it, only seen it on BET. I loved it.”
– Linda Perry (via Facebook event page)

It takes a team to pull together a series like this, who is on your team?

To pull Art & Soul together, we work with the host, Kalonji Gilchrist, local/regional artists, and area businesses.

We are always looking for new artists, vendors and businesses.  Businesses typically offer door prizes or sponsorship as a means to promote their products or services to the community. 

Is there a fee to attend?

Yes. The Laugh Lounge is $15 in advance and Art & Soul is $10 in advance.

Where can we find more information? 

Additional information is available on our website (, Facebook & Twitter @paLitCafe.

Make sure you attend Art & Soul on Friday, July 29, 2011 to buy your autographed copy of “Is She The ONE?” and/or “Success Secrets for the Young & Fabulous” (#SSYF features Montgomery’s most handsome, Kalonji Gilchrist) written by yours truly…