Pushing limits to help others dream out loud
From teen mom to the author of 18 books and the winner of 8 African American Literary Awards, Tamika Newhouse is a literary icon in her own right. A quick glance into her journey reveals her boundless creativity as she uses her platform and literary prowess to provide opportunities for Black creatives worldwide.
This visionary is the CEO of African Americans on the Move Book Club (AAMBC) Inc., which aims “to develop interactive literacy-based programs centered around African American books and those who write them.” Further, Tamika created Delphine Publications by the age of twenty and has successfully released over three hundred titles as a producer and writer. She is the powerhouse behind the groundbreaking AAMBC Literary Awards, the only entertainment literary awards show for Black creatives.
“Never be intimidated by those who share the same dream… there’s room for all of us to be successful.” Tamika’s openness has endeared her to her clients and supporters. Through her literary knowledge, influence, and relentless drive, she has launched the careers of many in the publishing industry, helping them to fulfill their dreams.
There is no stopping this trailblazer. Tamika created Traces of Mika, a podcast “designed for Black girls who dare to dream.” In Season 1, Tamika shared her “journey to success as a Black woman and single mother, along with her ups and downs in the publishing industry and relationships.” The highly anticipated Season 2 chronicled Tamika’s “experiences through unfiltered and candid conversations.” Traces of Mika is available for viewing on YouTube and Amazon Prime.
Today, Tamika is still on her entrepreneurial pursuits, producing her first film and documentary called Traces of Mika, an adaptation of her podcast. VBD Magazine is honored to inspire you with Tamika’s story, words of encouragement, and advice.
VBD: Tell us about you and your journey.
TAMIKA: I was born to tell stories and to gather and influence people, almost like a prophet in a sense. I help to elevate a lot of writers, creating events and experiences that inspire people. This all started when I began living in San Antonio. I was new and did not have any friends, so I went on MySpace and began talking about the books I was reading. I discovered authors this way, who just wanted me to read their books. I was so accustomed to seeing the same black writers being honored that I couldn’t believe that there were hundreds and hundreds of other black writers, just like me. I began to host a podcast called AAMBC radio and a book club. I promoted black books and hosted interviews because I was simply discovering their stories and sharing it with the world. From there, my organization grew into something bigger than I would have ever imagined.
VBD: Why did you start the AAMBC Literary Awards?
TAMIKA: AAMBC stands for African Americans on the Move Book Club, because the awards were birthed from the book club. I wanted writers like me to have the opportunity to be honored, but I did not want to do it like a ceremony or graduation. I’ve always had that innovative approach to books, to make it fun, inviting and engaging. So from the very beginning, I wanted AAMBC to be entertaining and decided to model it from the music industry. It would be as grand as the Grammys or Oscars, with the red carpet, formal attire, celebrity hosts, and performances. I wanted us to walk the red carpet like we were stars as well. My dream was to have a literary award show as a star-studded event, and that’s what it is today.
VBD: How has your vision for the AAMBC Literary Awards evolved?
TAMIKA: The awards event has caught the eye of major studios and streaming services, so I feel like it’s only a matter of time before it is seen by millions and billions of people.
VBD: What are the categories for the AAMBC Literary Awards?
TAMIKA: Wow, we span so many categories that expose and celebrate creatives in the podcasting, filmmaking, publishing, and editing industries. Some of them include author activist, best book club, best male writer, best female writer, best screenwriter, best independent publisher, best audiobook – you name it. My desire is to honor all of them.
VBD: What are three major keys to building a successful literary business?
TAMIKA: From my experience, I have learned three things. First, you must know your voice, niche, and audience. Second, you must have a game plan and consistently put that plan into action. Third, you have to build relationships. When you have all those things flowing, you’re destined to be successful and grow.
VBD: What other services do you offer authors?
TAMIKA: I offer a wide range of services, including interviews, virtual conversations, book tours, and media tours. I own a management company called Delphine Legacy Media that helps writers to develop their brand, discover their brand voices, and generate marketing ideas and campaigns.
VBD: What advice do you have for authors?
TAMIKA: Always remember that you’re an artist first. When you’re settled on this, and you understand your audience, you’ll know how to market to them. For example, everyone is not going to be interested in your book, so don't say your book is for everybody because your book is not for everybody. Find an artist you admire, observe how they market to their audience, and learn from them.
VBD: How do you successfully practice work-life balance?
TAMIKA: It’s all about prioritizing and organizing your day, especially if you have multiple projects and activities. You have to be really disciplined. You can't work on everything every day. Also, you can't work on every idea all at the same time either.
VBD: What helps you to keep going when things are tough?
TAMIKA: Honestly, myself. I am definitely my biggest cheerleader, but I’m also my biggest critic. Then I would have to say my network—I lean on my relationships and the value they create. Best of all, sometimes when I’m not able to go on and keep moving forward, my name continues to speak for itself. It continues to flow through walls and rooms even when I’m not in them.
VBD: What’s next for you?
TAMIKA: I’m excited to share that I’m producing my first film and documentary called Traces of Mika, which is an adaptation of my podcast. Also, I’ll be releasing my 18th book and the third season of my podcast. Further, I’ll be hosting my literary arts festival called ‘Black Writers’ Weekend’ and opening a bookstore called Lit Diaries. And of course, I’ll be producing my awards show.
Tamika Newhouse is a self-made bestselling author and the CEO of AAMBC INC., a creative agency for Black Writers. She overcame the projected stigma that teen moms can’t have it all, by working in the radio and literary industries to soon create Delphine Publications by the age of twenty. She has created a publishing empire that has housed more than thirty writers at a single time. Releasing nearly three hundred titles as a producer and writer, she assists others in chasing their literary dreams as well, producing films, curating large events and festivals, and publishing books. Believing authors deserve more recognition, she created the AAMBC Literary Awards, the only entertainment literary awards show, with a healthy lifespan of 13 years running. Her festival, Black Writer’s Weekend, is a meet-n-greet celebration merging Black writers with fans from across the country. A motivational speaker and advocate for mental health, Tamika encourages others to take pride in taking care of their well-being. She gives motivational speeches at events throughout the country, inspiring others to fearlessly achieve their lifelong aspirations.
In Tamika’s short 14 years, she has released 18 books of her own, many of which have appeared on several bestseller lists, earning her much recognition and multiple awards. As an inductee of San Antonio’s Who’s Who and a three-time winner for Best Self-Published Author, she has gained more honors, awards, and notoriety over the years, recently adding an Adcolor nomination for Innovator of the Year. Adweek once called her “The Shonda Rhimes of Black Publishing” in their 2020 Summer issue. In 2021, she won an Urban MediaMakers Film Festival award for Best Podcast. Tamika Newhouse is proving to be a trailblazer who’s creating a lane for Black creatives to be heard and respected with no signs of slowing down.
Connect with Tamika
Author Website: www.TamikaNewhouse.com