Proven book publicist and literary agent who enjoys advocating for writers and their creative work across a multitude of mediums.
Dawn Michelle Hardy has been called a "literary lobbyist" by Ebony magazine for her ability to help authors reach their readership using strategic promotions, win awards and garner national and local media attention. As a publicist, she has spent the past 13 years managing pre-publication details and publicity elements for debut book campaigns consisting of galley mailings, development of proper angles and pitches for national and regional mediums, quote requests, coordinating and implementing book tours, award submissions and speaking engagements resulting in several bestseller lists, year-end lists, and other distinctions for self-published authors including, USA Best Book Award for Fiction, Phyllis Wheatley Award for Fiction, Break-Out Author of the Year (African American Literary Award Show); Essence Bestsellers and a 2014 White House Champion of Change honoree.
She represents fiction, non-fiction and poetry including New York Times bestseller D. Watkins, author of The Beastside: Living and Dying While Black in America, Tia Williams, former magazine beauty editor and author of The Perfect Find and Clint Smith award-winning poet, contributor to The New Yorker and author of Counting Descent, a collection of poetry. In 2010 African-Americans on the Move Book Club Awarded her ‘Publicist of the Year’ for her work with debut authors of color.
Social Media Engagement
College and Community Speaking Engagements
Author's debut book. Self-published.
“Readers are in for a treat to hear from some of the most impactful and passionate linebackers to enter the National Football League.”— Peyton Manning
“BEHIND THE MASK is a riveting read that takes you inside the minds of some of the greatest linebackers to set foot on an NFL field. If you’ve ever wondered what motivates truly elite-how they think and feel and approach life as well as football-BEHIND THE MASK has some answers.”—Jim Trotter, ESPN NFL Insider reporter and writer
Only a linebacker with the skill and wisdom of Takeo Spikes could produce such a compelling book about the fierce position that he played impressively for 15 NFL seasons. BEHIND THE MASK is as intimate, compassionate and warm as it is insightful. In the process of exploring linebackers like never before, this brilliant work provides valuable life lessons about success, at work and at home.” – Jerry Brewer, Sports Columnist and Author of Pass Judgement: Inside the Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl XLIX Season and the Play That Dashed a Dream
15-Year NFL Veteran Takeo Spikes Publishes 'Behind the Mask' Photography Book on Elite NFL Linebackers
Two-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro Takeo Spikes makes his book publishing debut with the release of his photography collection titled BEHIND THE MASK. BEHIND THE MASK combines personal narrative, iconic images and original photography captured by Spikes himself. The former player gets first-hand accounts from some of the National Football League’s most prominent defensemen spanning generations as they each discussed their personal drive, hurdled obstacles and secrets to greatness.
BEHIND THE MASK profiles linebackers because they are football’s fiercest gridiron warriors. This distinctive collection of both black-and-white and color portraits includes London Fletcher, Harry Carson, Ted Hendricks, Bobby Bell, Rickey Jackson, Willie Lanier, Kevin Greene, Mike Singletary, Derrick Brooks, Cornelius Bennett, Takeo Spikes and the late Chuck Bednarik.
Linebackers are to the defense what the quarterback is to the offense: the on-field coach, the team leader, the heartbeat.
Educator, activist and poet Clint Smith, whose two TED Talks, “The Danger of Silence” and “How to Raise a Black Son in America,” have been viewed more than 4 million times, will present his latest poetry collection, Counting Descent, here at the Schomburg. In Counting Descent, Smith explores the cognitive dissonance that results from belonging to a community that unapologetically celebrates black humanity while living in a world that often renders blackness a caricature of fear. A 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, Smith’s writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Guardian, The American Literary Review, and Harvard Educational Review.
Hailed by Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, as “incredibly beautiful and powerful,” Counting Descent is sure to be one of the most talked about literary works this Fall. It is Smith’s coming of age story that seeks to complicate our conception of lineage and tradition. The poems move fluidly across personal and political histories, all the while reflecting on the social construction of our lived experiences. The cultural references are thought-provoking and vehemently real with timely flecks of humor.
Author's 4th novel. First with indie press.
With The Perfect Find, Williams focuses on a topic to familiar to the millions of career women who follow the lively discussions about leaning in, dating, marriage and desiring motherhood after 40. Additionally, Williams focuses on a topic that many in the magazine industry have found themselves faced with: managing the downsizing of print journalism in an increasingly digital world.
About The Perfect Find
Jenna Jones, the It-girl fashion director at Darling magazine, was at the top of her game – until, in one nightmare week, everything fell apart. When she gets fired and her longtime fiancée dumps her, a shattered Jenna fled to her rural Virginia hometown for a Xanax-zonked sabbatical from her luxe NYC life (no internet, no sex, no heels). Finally, broke and desperate for a comeback, she begs for a job from her old arch nemesis, Darcy Vale, evil publisher of. Darcy hires her old rival, only because her fashion site needs a jolt from Jenna’s old school cred. But Jenna, whose never even “Twittered,” is soon lost in an alien world of hashtags, filters and millennial colleagues who think she’s a dinosaur. She also discovers her that her fiancee has moved on – news that leads her to a drunken makeout session with a deliciously hot, but much younger guy. Jenna’s life soon spirals out of control when she finds out that the sexy stranger is not only her new coworker, but also, Darcy’s 22-year-old son, Eric Combs.
Author's debut book. Publishers Weekly selects Kent Babb’s Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson for Top 10 books in Sports for 2015.
Nothing could stop Allen Iverson’s rise—not trends or rules. The only thing that could stop him was himself.
Through extensive research and interviews, Washington Post sports writer Kent Babb shows a rarely seen side of one of America’s most famous athletes. From his high school years through the present day, first-hand accounts reveal Iverson’s true character from those who know him best: the people who played basketball with him, who coached him, who signed him to monster contracts—all the while ignoring signs of deeper problems. They are the people who saw him daily, ignoring his hangovers and staying quiet about how late he’d been out the night before, how much money he’d spent, or what he had said or done to Tawanna, his ex-wife and the mother of his children. And throughout this fascinating biography, Babb explores not only Iverson but a nation so enraptured with sports that it regards deeply flawed superstars as heroes.
Not a Game shines a spotlight on the factors that led to Iverson’s spectacular rise as a professional basketball player and the troubling circumstances that plagued him throughout his career and after. But above all, it examines Allen Iverson as the man who had a heart and drive so powerful, he kept us mesmerized and cheering for him no matter what.
Author's debut book.To people in the Obama era, America finally succeeded in “going beyond race.” And then 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by a wannabe cop in Florida; and then Ferguson, Missouri happened; and then South Carolina hit the headlines; and then Baltimore blew up…Suddenly the entire country seemed to be waking to a stark fact: African American men are an endangered species.
Now the country’s urban war zone is brought powerfully to life by a rising young literary talent, D. Watkins. The author fought his way up on the eastside (the “beastside”) of Baltimore, Maryland—or “Bodymore, Murderland” as his friends call it. He writes openly and unapologetically about what it took to survive life on the streets, while the casualties piled up around him, including his own brother. Watkins pushed drugs to pay his way through school, staying one step ahead of murderous business rivals and equally predatory lawmen. When black residents of Baltimore finally decided they had had enough—after the brutal killing of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody—Watkins was on the streets when the city erupted. He writes about his bleeding city with the razor-sharp insights of someone who bleeds along with it. Here are true dispatches from the other side of Obama’s America.
Former NBA superstar Allen Iverson was once one of America’s most famous athletes: a trendsetter who transcended race, celebrity, and pop culture, and emerged from a troubled past to become one of the most successful and highly compensated athletes in the world. Now, his life and career comes vividly to light in this hard-hitting biography that examines what drove his successes and failures.Th... read more
Can a long distance love affair really survive?Erica Shaw spends her week babysitting the country s bestselling authors for one of the top publishing companies in New York City. But on Friday nights she escapes to D.C., where her sexy-lipped musician boyfriend, Warren Prince, works and performs. Their connection is fierce, and the couple promises to never miss a weekend together. But when real... read more
Will a forty-year-old woman with everything on the line – her high-stakes career, ticking biological clock, bank account – risk it all for an intensely lusty secret romance with the one person who could destroy her comeback, for good? Jenna Jones, former It-girl fashion editor, is broke and desperate for a second chance. When she’s dumped by her longtime fiancé and fired from Darling magazine,... read more
One yard from a second straight championship, the Seattle Seahawks made one of the biggest mistakes in sports history, throwing an interception to lose Super Bowl XLIX to the New England Patriots. Instead of hiding from national ridicule, Coach Pete Carroll embraced the pain and used it as an opportunity to teach his ultra-competitive team about the quality he inspires the most in people: pers... read more
A New York Times Best Seller! Searing Dispatches from the Urban Zones Where African American Men Have Become an Endangered Species To many in the age of Obama, America had succeeded in going beyond race,” putting the divisions of the past behind us. And then seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by a wannabe cop in Florida; and then eighteen-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri; ... read more
Winner, 2017 Black Caucus of the American Library Association Literary AwardFinalist, 2017 NAACP Image Awards'One Book One New Orleans' 2017 Book Selection---Clint Smith's debut poetry collection, Counting Descent, is a coming of age story that seeks to complicate our conception of lineage and tradition. Smith explores the cognitive dissonance that results from belonging to a community that un... read more
If it is possible for a book to be healing, spiritual, smart, and sexy at the same time, then this is it. From Bestselling author and creator of the Man Whisperer Multimedia Series comes the new book Soft is the New Power by Deya “Direct” Smith. What if everything you thought you understood about communicating with men was wrong? Would you be willing to re-calibrate your thinking to possess th... read more
Have you ever felt rejected, hurt, betrayed, or anything close? Resurrection from Rejection shares the details of the life of Steven as an adopted child. He did not learn of his adoption until the age of 13, which left him searching for a sense of value for more than 20 years. In spite of his academic success and accomplishments, he still felt empty on the inside. However, he has been able to ... read more
With his witty, humorous, and heartfelt writing style that took the social media world virally by storm, Derrick Jaxn delivers another lesson in love wrapped in the emotionally transparent perspective of a troubled man. Shawn Fletcher, a former college football phenom turned successful entrepreneur, is in need of the very thing he's never proven to be ready for; love. To finally get to the hea... read more
I've gotten used to living behind mirrors and smoke screens, it's easier to portray an image for the world to see. When I m alone I am haunted by my truth. A girl who entered this world in a jail cell. A girl who was served struggle with a side of pain on a broken platter. A girl who was thrown into a tank with sharks deep in a world whose motto is to eat or be eaten. I can still see the dirt ... read more
When Jodi Foster moves back to her California hometown with her young daughter, she never could have imagined the terror and confusion she experiences in the nights that follow. On top of horrifying nightmares of abduction and murder, Jodi witnesses lights flashing, clocks going haywire, and her daughter’s doll’s repeated screams. Forgotten Burial tells the true story of how Jodi unravels the ... read more
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I run a well-established public relations and literary agency firm with over 25 years experience, representing many high-profile authors.