Barnes & Noble Chair Personally Finances African Author

September 19, 2011  |  

(New York Times) — It is trickier than ever for an author to persuade a publisher to finance a traditional book tour. Brick-and-mortar bookstores are decreasing, travel is expensive, and money for marketing and promotion is increasingly being spent online.  So it is striking that Leymah Gbowee, a relatively unknown author of a memoir describing her life as a peace activist in war-torn Liberia, has just embarked on an eight-city tour to promote her book, “Mighty Be Our Powers,” which was released by the tiny Beast Books on Tuesday. The tour is possible because Ms. Gbowee has wrangled an unusual sponsor: Leonard Riggio, the chairman of Barnes & Noble, who is personally covering the costs.

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