AMI
Authors Marketing International, LLC
A Member Based Owned Company

by Porter AndersonJanuary 21, 2020

A proposed Missouri state bill ‘relating to parental oversight’ of public libraries alarms freedom-of-expression advocates.

PEN America: ‘Shockingly Transparent’

Led by James Tager, who is PEN America’s deputy director of free expression research and policy, the organization’s media messaging about proposed legislation in Missouri has drawn attention and analysis.

With the headline “Proposed Book Banning Bill in Missouri Could Imprison Librarians,” the United States’ leading literary advocacy organization wrote, in part:

“The bill — the Parental Oversight of Public Libraries Act or House Bill 2044 — aims to add several provisions to the state’s funding law for public libraries. These new provisions establish ‘parental library review boards’ that would evaluate whether any library materials constitute ‘age-inappropriate sexual material.’

“Members of these five-member boards, who would be elected at a town meeting by a simple majority of voters, are empowered to determine whether material is appropriate, including by evaluating its literary merit. Public librarians are explicitly barred by the statute from serving on such review boards, even if they are from the community.

“Under the act, the boards would hold public hearings to receive suggestions as to possible inappropriate books, and would have the authority to order the library to remove any such material from access by minors.

“Any public library who allows minors access to such ‘age-inappropriate materials’ would have their funding stripped, and librarians who refuse to comply with the act can be fined and imprisoned for up to one year.”

In a prepared statement, PEN’s Tager is quoted, saying, “This is a shockingly transparent attempt to legalize book banning in the state of Missouri.

“This act is clearly aimed at empowering small groups of parents to appoint themselves as censors over their state’s public libraries.

“Books wrestling with sexual themes, books uplifting LGBTQIA+ characters, books addressing issues such as sexual assault—all of these books are potentially on the chopping block if this bill is passed.”

In fact-checking analysis, Dan MacGuill at Snopes agrees with PEN that violations of Missouri’s House Bill 2044 could lead to the imprisonment of librarians. As of Friday (January 17), he reports, the bill, introduced on January 8, had not been debated on the floor of the Missouri lower house.

Snopes picks out the criteria by which content can be defined as “age-inappropriate sexual materials” as: “Any description or representation, in any form, of nudity, sexuality, sexual conduct, sexual excitement, or sadomasochistic abuse, that:

• “Taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest of minors; • “Is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community with respect to what is appropriate material for minors; and • “Taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors.”

MacGuill’s assessment does point out that articles including that of PEN may “give the mistaken impression the bill would ‘ban’ certain books, outright. Rather, the bill seeks to bar public libraries from making certain ‘age-inappropriate sexual material’ accessible to children, in particular.”

Jane Ridley at the New York Post on Thursday (January 16) seemed to echo this point, writing that the proposal “has been attacked by critics as ‘a shockingly transparent attempt to legalize book banning.'”

In the UK, Alison Flood at The Guardian wrote on Thursday (January 16) that the bill has the opposition of the Missouri Library Association, which is on record stating, “Public libraries already have procedures in place to assist patrons in protecting their own children while not infringing on the rights of other patrons or restricting materials.”

Bill’s Sponsor: ‘Not for Children’

In comments to the local news station KOAM’s Zachary Dodge, the sponsor of the bill, Missouri state representative Ben Baker has said that his intent is not to block the presence of sexual content in libraries but to prevent minors from accessing it.

“The main thing that I’ve heard is that I want to ban books or ban content or censor content, and that’s not the case,” Baker says. “I just think that there’s a line between what is open and available access for our children. Even the bill specifies it wouldn’t be taken out of the library, it would just be put in a section that’s not for children.

“If the adult wanted to—and said ‘I’m okay with my child reading this or looking at this’—then they could check that out, and have that available for their child. I just think that we need to be careful about funding something with our taxpayer dollars without parental consent.”

KOAM also speaks with Carrie Cline, who directs the Neosho Newton County Library. Cline says, “I was contacted by my fellow directors across the state. They’re all very, very upset about it. The Missouri Library Association’s very aware of it, so is the American Library Association at a federal level.”

If the bill were made into law, Missouri’s libraries would have to annually verify their compliance. From the text of the bill: “Each public library shall, on or before June 13 of each year, verify compliance with this section on any form created by the board. After such compliance is verified, the library shall post the verification in a conspicuous place for public viewing at the library.”

 

 

Today we’d like to introduce you to B Alan Bourgeois & Authors Marketing Guild.

 

B Alan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2007, I started a publishing company to help fellow authors get their books published, and hopefully, to start some great careers. By 2011 I had to close it down as I became all too aware of the need for marketing for authors that was not only affordable but competitive.

 

It was for combined reasons of helping authors succeed and saving them money in the process that I created the Texas Association of Authors. In 2018, we added Indie Beacon and in 2019, we merged the two organizations and created the first membership owned company helping authors around the world: Authors Marketing Guild, LLC.

 

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The response from self-published & indie authors for our services and educational programs has been well received. However, as we continue to grow, we ran into a lot of roadblocks from traditionally published authors and publishers along with dislike from Barnes & Noble toward indie authors and authors published with Amazon. We understood a lot of the push back but also felt that it was not warranted, as many great authors these days start as indie authors. As we continued to grow stronger, going forward, we had to do a lot of educating with the old system of publishing.

 

The other issue we ran into was that so many authors wanted to sit back and let someone else do the job. That concept is the biggest hurdle for any author to overcome. Writing a book is only 10% of the work. The remaining aspect of a successful career these days is marketing and promotion of the book. With over one million books a year being published, each author has to work hard to have their book noticed and read. Getting authors to understand this is an ongoing struggle that we continue to work on and help them overcome.

 

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Authors Marketing Guild is a unique company that helps authors learn how to better market and sell their books. We do this through our annual Authors Marketing Event held in July each year, as well as through a radio/tv show, and other events and programs. These are all specifically designed to give authors more opportunities to get exposure and find readers. In addition, we have created the only online fully indie bookstore, Indie Lector Store, that pays authors up to 80% of their book sales. No other bookstore does this.

 

Finally, we have created two nonprofits that also support authors in Texas and around the world: Texas Authors Institute of History, Inc., is the first museum that supports a state’s author group and the DEAR Texas/DEAR Indie organizations help get books into Title 1 schools and libraries.

 

We provide multiple programs and opportunities that, when authors take advantage of them, they can grow in book sales and exposure. These are key issues that are critical to the success of any author.

 

What were you like growing up?
I consider myself to be an average person who has a creative side. This was clearly shown as I created programs, when I was a child, to help other people. My first project was in Los Angeles, CA when I petitioned the state legislature to create a young adult’s congress to help the legislature to grow stronger. I was ahead of my time, and sadly, that didn’t go too far.

 

The second program was Youth for Earthquake Safety (YES), which my friend Dale and I helped create in our high school. The concept was very simple, educate students about the proper procedures for earthquake safety, a critical aspect for those living in an earthquake zone. We received numerous awards and recognition for this and left high school with the program moving forward. It was the first of its kind and it led to more projects and programs that I worked on for years to come.

 

Pricing:

 

· Our membership dues are more than fair at only $60 for an annual membership.

 

Contact Info:

 

· Address: 1712 E Riverside Dr 124
Austin TX

 

· Website: https://AuthorsMarketingGuild.com

 

· Phone: 5125549560

 

· Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

· Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Authors-Marketing-Guild-114701316623676/

 

· Twitter: @authorsmarketin

 

· Other: https://AME.AuthorsMarketingGuild.com

 

Granbury Book Festival
July 23, 2021
6 PM – 10 PM
Granbury Community Hall
Main Square, Granbury, TX

 

This is a first-time event created for Granbury, instead of the annual reception held on Friday night before the AME on Saturday. If the event goes well, we will be working with the city to create an annual festival.

Authors will receive a 6’ table and one chair to use for the event. A reception type atmosphere will be created for a Friday night fun time. Set up will begin at 4 PM and end at 5:30 PM. NO AUTHORS WILL BE ALLOWED TO SET UP AFTER 5:30 PM! If you are late to set up, you will NOT be allowed in – NO EXCEPTIONS AND NO REFUNDS!

 

Table Space

Granbury Book Festival
July 23, 2021
6 PM – 10 PM
Granbury Community Hall
Main Square, Granbury, TX

 

Thank you for registering for the Granbury Book Festival. We will confirm your registration via email within 24 hours. If you are NOT a member of AMG, please send your pic and bio to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Plan Your Year


To be a successful author, one must plan their events and program schedule.  Here are some of the events that we are participating in for 2021 and we know of some new and exciting events to come.  A calendar has been created on our website so that you can keep up to date and get as much exposure and you possibly can at the lowest possible rate.

January
2021 Book Contest Entries Begin for Books Published in 2021 (International or Texas)
Teen Book Festival by the Bay (Pending), Corpus Christi, TX

February
No Events

March
Short Story Contest Entries Begin March 1
Tucson Book Festival, Virtual in March 2021, Tucson AZ
Texas Library Conf (Pending Dates - Virtual), Houston TX

April
Entries for Summer Reading Blast (Free) April 1 - 10th
San Antonio Book Festival (Not Participating) April


May
Lone Star Festival May 29

June
American Library Annual Conf (Pending), Chicago

London Book Festival (Tentative Dates 25 - 27)

July 
6th Authors Marketing Event  July 23-25  Granbury, TX 
Short Story Contest Entries End July 31st.

August

Killer Nashville 19-21

September


October
Entries for Holiday Reading List Blast (Free) October 1 - 10th

November
National Authors Day  Nov 6th
25th Annual Texas Book Festival Nov 6 & 7, Austin TX

15th Annual Word Wrangler Giddings Tx  13 - 14
4th Annual Galveston Island Book Festival Nov 13
Family & Friends Book Sharing Day  Nov 28

December

 

Thank you for requesting to have a title on display at the Tucson Book Festival. We will contact you to verify which title you want on display and promoted. If you have any questions, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please send us a copy of the title and sales materials you would like us to pass out to us by March 1st, 2020:

Authors Marketing Guild, LLC
1712 E Riverside Dr 124
Austin TX 78741

 

Remember, our sponsor Creation Station Printing offers our members a great discount for marketing materials. Click more to learn about what they can do.