Sep 14, 2008


She is the principal of EDC Creations and The Sankofa Literary Society which is located in Prince George County, Maryland and viewed by many as the Empress of Internet Book Promotions. Who am I talking about? Mrs. Ella D. Curry! Small and medium-sized businesses, authors of all literary genres, and individuals rely on EDC Creations (www.edc-creations.com) -- a firm that provides press kits, graphic design, website design, and branding. EDC Creations’ specialization in Internet book promotions, publishing website and marketing materials for new authors is changing the face of publishing.

Curry’s Sankofa Literary Society (http://sankofaliterary society.org) offers authors, artists, reviewers, journalists and book clubs an array of innovative services. Through an Internet radio talk show -- Black Authors Network Radio -- (http://www.edc-creations.com/banradio.html), Curry introduces authors, publishers and community leaders to the global village. Mrs. Curry has been hired as the house publicist for Xpress Yourself Publishing as well as a columnist for Black Men in America. Her promotions can be found globally as well as her media broadcasts. As the new Assistant Organizer for the mulit-faceted Black Writers Guild Of America’s Washington, D.C. Chapter (BWGA), Curry plans to combine her business contacts and literary connections, with the member’s activities which will result in members of the BWGA coming in contact and networking with some of today's best-selling authors. Curry’s goal is to take the group to the next level by providing quality entertainment, while educating the writers, poets, and authors. And as the Marketing Director for A Good Book, a bookstore located in Baltimore, Maryland, Ella seeks to provide authors with a diverse selection of programs to showcase their talents and assisting them in transforming their dream of being published into a reality.


During the waning days of summer, I had an opportunity to chat with Mrs. Ella Curry – the Empress Of Internet Book Promotion about where she grew up, her role models, what inspires her, the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship, and her future.

Where did Mrs. Curry grow up? Where was she educated?

“I grew up in the South, the Deep South. My childhood was spent racing up and down a cool tree covered holler, playing with my many cousins,” recalls Mrs. Curry. “Diana Green, my great grandmother, Elizabeth Cook, my grandmother and first mentor, were my very first teachers. There after I continued my formal education at CACC Community College, University of Alabama, Birmingham, and later at the University of Maryland, University College. The lessons that I use daily in life did not come from my college education. They all come from my interaction with the PEOPLE God sent to guide and educate me. My angels come from all walks of life and bring about a myriad of curriculums for Ella Curry. My education continues daily as I meet people who share information or history I didn’t possess. My grandparents instilled in me values and standards that no degree could ever outshine. With the simple basics in understanding ‘the golden rule’, I have grown so much more than a few letters behind my name. Common sense, a feeling of purpose and genuine compassion for your brothers and sisters can bring so much more success in life.”

I asked Mrs. Curry to talk about the role models she had as she made the journey from childhood to adulthood.

“Mary Glass was my high school librarian and one of my role models. Mrs. Glass instilled in me the art of being a lady. Mrs. Glass was a chocolate, petite, Delta Diva -- very refined in every sense of the word. All my life I wanted to be like her and to make her proud of my accomplishments. She was the first person to discuss college with me, vacationing, acquiring the finer things in life and the first adult to show me what that Black people could do more than work at a factory! Because of Mary Glass, I graduated in the top ten percent of my senior class and went on to become the business owner you are meeting today. Mrs. Glass died of breast cancer two months after my graduation, but she lives on in my daily walk. She whispers in my ear daily to calm down! I can hear her clearly quoting her favorite phrase to me, ‘I choose to walk the path least taken, knowing that God is with me’.”

So, who or what inspires her?

“My mother who has survived, against all odds, when the doctors gave up on her life. My father who became a successful man in the South, when no one believed a Black man could own acreage and have a sizeable bank account. My best friend Samuel Barclay who has given me the sense of pride, praise and advice so many women lack in life. Samuel became my lover, best friend, later companion and now he acts as the father my child so needs to grow up with a healthy family support team. I am most inspired by people who dare to dream. Often times our plans may not come to fruition or they may not work out just like we planned. But I respect the effort to live out your dreams. Every success has to come from a dream, later a plan and ultimately from believing in yourself. At EDC Creations we take a person dreams and concepts and turn them into reality!”

Noting that Mrs. Curry is the owner of EDC Creations and the Sankofa Literary Society and the producer and moderator of an Internet radio talk show, The Black Authors Network, which showcases authors, publishers and community leaders to the global village, I was curious as to what motivated her to become an entrepreneur.

“My motivation to become an entrepreneur came from my mother. My mother is a retired nurse now, but most of her life she operated successful sideline businesses. She later became the most affluent Black woman in our town. Her drive to receive a higher education, raise three children alone, and to work two jobs gave me the same sense of determination and perseverance. For the first 20 years of my adult life, I worked in mills as quality control managers and training instructors. After all the factories moved to Mexico, I was forced to turn my events planning hobby into a real business. My lifetime of hosting elegant parties became my new career. Those house parties became corporate and political events and they opened doors that took me from the assembly lines to the boardrooms of some of today’s most successful companies. With the help of my sister, who is a corporate executive, my dreams were becoming a reality and EDC Creations began.”

At what point did Curry decide to focus on authors and in the process become a liaison between authors, the publishing world, and the book-buying public?

“Often times launching your own business is difficult and the expense that comes with owning your business can be overwhelming. In an effort to increase my income and to acquire health insurance, I went to work at Karibu Bookstores in Maryland as a buyer’s assistant. This opened my eyes to a world I never knew! The Black History that I ‘thought’ I knew became a farce. Karibu exposed me to the classics, --our classics. The bookstore enveloped me. Always an avid reader, I became obsessed with catching up with what our people were doing and all the achievements that had been denied to me during a Southern education, in a predominately white school. I quickly went from being just an assistant to the New Submissions Manager, Sideline Buyer, Events Buyer and consultant to the Marketing Department as well as to the Human Resources Department. Carolyn Reed was the Director of Human Resources for Karibu. We met for lunch one day and she was so impressed with my desire to learn, that she hired me on the spot. After working briefly in the store, I was offered a position as the head Buyers’ Assistant. My immediate manager name was Sunny Sana, a very socially conscious, proud artist, with world renowned musical appreciation. Sunny gave me an understanding of being part of a global family -- not just an African American family. She introduced me to the arts! Lee McDonald, the Marketing Director encouraged me daily to step out on faith and take EDC Creations to new heights. Lee was pivotal in turning my events planning company into a design company catering to authors. Lee passed my work on to authors, she allowed me to design material for Karibu’s six bookstores and as they say the rest is history. Simba Sana, the co-owner, of Karibu bookstores instilled in me the value of ‘having your own’ and being there to bring others who seek to have ‘their own’ up with you. Simba Sana and Yao Glover both instructed me on the philosophy behind Karibu. Karibu was more than a book store -- it was a mindset. Both owners fully believed in the spirit of Sankofa, you have to know where you came from, in order to know where you are going. This motivation, direction and constant support lead me to reach out to new authors and direct their paths in a more business savvy manner.”

I asked Mrs. Curry to talk about what, in her view, are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of entrepreneurship?

“The most challenging part of being an entrepreneur is staying up to date on the technology that’s growing by leaps and bounds. As an Internet publicist, my career depends on bringing my clients the next great Web 2.0 promotional tool. The most rewarding part of my career is to see an author become published, get their books in the major chains and to enlighten the world with their message. Just to help bring a client’s dream to reality is so pleasing. Meeting some of the most profound literary icons is also fabulous! Recently I was granted a 20 minute interview with Dr. Maya Angelou, which was the most defining moment of my business life.”

I was curious about the type of books Mrs. Curry reads. Who are her favorite authors?

My selection of books and reading taste is so eclectic! I will leap from reading a Christian Fiction title to a mystery, then move on to the hottest Erotica written. Since, I am a publicist, I don’t purchase many books. Whenever I do go out and purchase a book, it is usually an audio book that deals with improving your life or business in some way. My all time favorite book is Squashing Grasshoppers by D. Bernard Wright. At the moment I am reading the revised edition of The Georgia Avenue Bus by author Henri Edmonds. Author Henri Edmonds, is my friend, mentor and literary godmother. She is there for me through thick and thin. Her counseling sessions, as a professor of Theater at Howard University, are essential in helping me to learn the ropes in the business world.”

Initially, Curry’s Internet radio talk show focused on authors and their books. She has expanded her Internet radio talk show to showcase community leaders and explore a myriad of social issues. Why?

My guests brought about this change. The more conversations we had on the radio show, the more the need to take this information back to the streets and communities became apparent. The authors and community leaders all knew what our issues in society were -- what we all needed were resolutions! We needed others who were out there working in the trenches, to come in and tell us what to do next. I have had the pleasure of bringing some of the most intelligent people in the United States on the show! This gives people HOPE to know that there are others out there trying to bring about a change.

Talk to us about the Gift of Knowledge Campaign. What is it about? What is its mission?

“EDC Creations, The Sankofa Literary Society and The Black Authors Network ïs announcing the launch of their 2009 Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign’ which is bringing readers and authors together to help improve literacy. In 2004, during the Christmas holidays, in my capacity as the Founder of EDC Creations, reached out to women's groups and literary organizations to help promote early literacy by giving new books to children from low income homes. Today, the ‘Give the Gift of Knowledge Campaign,’ seeks to expand even further! Based on the “each one teach one,” model, our goal is to help people introduce reading and new books to their family and friends,” Mrs. Curry, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of EDC Creations explained. “Instead of giving expensive gifts that don't shape lives----let's ‘Give the Gift of Knowledge’ and help to strengthen our future generations! Each year thousands of people — educators, concerned parents, community leaders, authors, poets and publishers — devote their time and resources to presenting the reader with great books! However, too many outstanding books do not get the attention and reader support that they deserve. It is our mission to connect readers with these hidden gems and bring them books that will change their lives. Each week EDC Creations will sponsor bookclub chats, live readings from authors, podcast presentations, seminars, community relations discussions, and radio shows that deliver the best our writers have to offer. All we ask is that the readers of the world spread the word.

If our readers want to learn more about your services and how they purchase your services, how they can contact you?

“My website has a ton of information and advice for the new author or for business owners. You may visit my website at: www.edc-creations.com or just email me for a free 30 minutes consultation. EDC Creations PR offers:

• Full-service direct and indirect marketing campaigns
• Exemplary graphic design and marketing materials
• Imaginative website and image development
• Impeccable book publicity campaigns
• Flawless Internet marketing plans

We assist authors and businesses that are too busy to tackle the cyberworld
or to take care of the behind the scenes activities of the day-to-day corporate
front. We are virtual publicists, marketing specialists, book coaches and brand
developers. Let us make life just a little easier! We make marketing communications easy by assisting you with Internet outreach strategies, viral marketing plans, and state-of-the-art Web 2.0 production to build communications that move markets. EDC Creations can put your high-quality communications and books in the hands of customers the world over. Check out our virtual book promotions by visiting http://sankofaliterarysociety.org/specialpromotions.html. We hope that your readers will take time to fully explore our vast site. We offer your readers unlimited avenues of marketing, branding and product presentations from MySpace creations to complete marketing and promotions strategy that can take them to the next level and beyond!” Curry remarked.

What’s next for Ella Curry – the Empress of Internet Book Promotion?’

"What’s next for me, now that is a good question! I am going to let God guide my path and go where he leads me. I choose to walk the path least taken, knowing that God is with me. Every day of my life is yet one more blessing! I wake up and the spirit takes me on my journey. I don’t have any set plans other than to give back what has so freely been given to me--choices, the right to dream and the belief that I can do anything in his name. I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my history, experiences and company with your readers. It was a privilege to be interviewed by such a dynamic organization."

2 comments:

  1. nice job! God bless you! We should work together on some things one day. Doing a promotion with The Secret Life of Bees. See www.ChocolatePagesNetwork.com

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  2. Ella, that was a great interview. I had no idea how busy of a women you were. Congrats on all your successes. And that interview with Maya Angelou was truly amazing. Congrats again on your future success. I'm sure God has so much in store for you.

    Tinisha Nicole Johnson
    Author, Writer and Poet
    www.TinishaNicoleJohnson.com

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