Top 10 Street Lit Authors

by The Urban Book Source
December 2007


Teri Woods#1. Teri Woods

True to the Game. B-More Careful. Dutch I & II. Shannon Holmes. Kwame Teague.

Need more really be said?

Ms. Woods is the visionary, motive, and machine behind the success of the above mentioned titles. All of these are modern-day classics and the authors are among the best Street Fiction story-tellers in Street Lit history. Regardless of what the naysayers gripe about, the bottom line is that Teri Woods stands as a living legend in this genre. Take a look at who is included in this list of "Top Ten Street Lit Authors;" number four and number ten are both authors whose work was produced and published by Teri Woods; when these writers were faced with rejection, Teri said "Yes" when others said "No." She has branded herself to the point where she sells thousands upon thousands of books, before they are ever printed, to distributors, wholesalers, and retailers. As an independent publisher, she still out-shines her competition and some major publishers, who release Street Lit titles, in sales each year. She revitalized this genre and paved the way for the future players. All respect is due.


Vickie Stringer#2. Vickie Stringer

Vickie Stringer is the best-selling author of Let That Be The Reason and founder/owner of Triple Crown Publications (TCP). TCP is one of the most recognized publishing companies in the Urban Fiction renaissance which houses over 20 authors. How many times have readers purchased a book simply because of the logo/name on the cover without even knowing who the author was? The brand speaks for itself. Vickie is the reason that fan favorite titles like Gangsta, A Hustler's Wife, Sheisty, and Larceny were published and recognized. In addition, she is also the reason some of the top writers in the genre got a chance to be heard and become published authors. Currently she is also a literary agent who has made deals for many of the authors who were once on her label; landing them deals with traditional publishing houses, propelling their careers as authors. So recognize, realize, acknowledge, respect, and pay homage to a woman who has made Urban Fiction history.


Sister Souljah#3. Sister Souljah

Sister Souljah has penned one of the greatest Street tales in today's renaissance of Urban Fiction. The Coldest Winter Ever, is without a doubt the quintessential novel that has inspired and influenced many of the novels which have since followed. Sister Souljah is responsible for single handily rejuvenating the genre during its dry spell since Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim. At present she is at work on the sequel to her modern day, timeless classic, The Coldest Winter Ever.


Shannon Holmes#4. Shannon Holmes

Mr. Holmes is the most anticipated author in the industry; his freshman novel B-More Careful was an immediate cult classic, selling over 100,000 copies in its first six months of publication and continues to sell today as though it was just released. Shannon's second novel, Badgirlz, was published under the Atria imprint of Simon and Schuster, making him one of the first Street Lit authors to land a deal with a major publisher. On the back end of it all, Shannon has also dealt with two of the most successful and influential women in the Urban Fiction market. He was the first author to be published by Teri Woods—igniting the fire for B-More Careful in 2001—and he aided Vickie Stringer in the launch of Triple Crown Publications.


K'wan#5. K'wan

Gangsta, Road Dawgz, Street Dreams, Hoodlum, Eve, Hood Rat, Flexin & Sexin, Blow and Still Hood. K'wan is Street Fiction at it's rawest. Five years in the game, his own publishing company, Black Dawn Books, and over half-a-dozen exceptionally crafted tales, with an arsenal more waiting in his chamber, K'wan has shown what great story-telling can do for a young man at his lengths. K'wan has pioneered the road for many of the authors who have come after him and deserves the respect and admiration given to him by readers the world around. With his staying power, K'wan is miles ahead of many of his colleagues in the industry and has worked hard for his place in Street Lit history.


Wahida Clark#6. Wahida Clark

Wahida's Thug series, which includes: Thugs and the Women Who Love Them, Every Thug Needs a Lady, and Thug Matrimony has made her the Queen of Thug Love Fiction. Even though Wahida was in prison for almost as long as her books have been in print, her presence and power has always stayed relevant and indubitable. Ms. Clark's works have become a beloved treasure for readers of street fiction. With over 100,000 copies of her novels sold, the Wahida Clark Brand has become a force that cannot be ignored. She is also a literary agent.


Nikki Turner#7. Nikki Turner

From Triple Crown to Random House to Nikki Turner Presents (an imprint of Random House), and it doesn't stop there! Ms. Turner was also the first author signed to the G-Unit Books movement, a book publishing venture created by Hip Hop artist 50 Cent. Her first novel A Hustler's Wife is one of the bestselling books published by Triple Crown to date; during its release, it out sold Love by Toni Morrison, and at present there is a film deal in the works for her ground-breaking novel. Nikki's contributions to the Urban Lit genre are incomparable to most and she remains one of the industry's leading favorites among readers.


Mark Anthony#8. Mark Anthony

During the late 90's—at a time when there were only two (2) other publicly known gritty urban tales available on the market—when the traditional and major publishers were ignoring this budding genre of Street Fiction, Trendsettaz Entertainment was formed and Mark hit the streets with his self-published book entitled, Urban Massacre, which would later be changed to Paper Chasers. Though the production of these books was not quality and they were falling apart, he managed to successfully sell it to the public. Having survived the growing pains of the publishing industry, he would go on to build QBoro Books, which now manages over 30 authors and is one of the top publishers of urban fiction today. Later he would merge with Urban Books—who has major distribution through Kensington, a deal that separates him from all other urban book publishing companies—as well as ink deals with G-Unit Books. And to add to his long resume of success in this industry he is looking to produce films in the near future.


Treasure E. Blue#9. Treasure E. Blue

Dubbed the "Uncle" of Urban Lit; warmed-hearted and always willing and able to lend a helping hand; a fan favorite and readers champ, Treasure Blue is an asset to this blooming genre. Treasure's first book, Harlem Girl Lost, sold over 65,000 copies on an independent scale before capturing the attention of Random House. His Sophomore release, A Street Girl Named Desire quietly placed itself on best-sellers lists around the country.


Kwame teague#10. Kwame Teague

Can you say Dutch? An instant Street Lit classic, hands down; no argument, no contest. Kwame Teague is responsible for the creation of one of the most highly regarded books to ever hit the Urban Lit genre. Both Dutch I & II has made best-sellers lists across the nation and he's also the author of the underground titles The Adventures of Ghetto Sam and Glory of my Demise. Such success is definitely honorable in this cut throat industry, but more credit is due Mr. Teague's way as he has been behind bars the entire time his books have been in publication. A powerful author with a powerful voice.


Honorable Mention:

  1. KaShamba Williams
  2. Relentless Aaron
  3. Crystal Lacey Winslow
  4. K. Elliot
  5. TN Baker

The Top 10 Authors of Street Lit are based on market research by The Urban Book Source and the preferences of its visitors and judged against the following criteria.

1. The author must have made substantial and consistent contributions to the industry.
2. The author should have:

  • a broad range of recognition across the genre
  • a particularly strong following of readers
  • an outstanding novel that has proven itself as an industry classic

Related features/articles:
Top 10 Underrated Authors
Top 10 Books of All-Time


Comments page 23 of 486:
Click Here to Add a Comment
Social Insider :
Posted 3612 days ago
Dang! I hope what was just said halts all the negativity and rumors that have been running amok! If Caleb is alright with Ms. Woods, then why is everyone else still beefing? See this just goes to show we need to let the facts speak before we start spreading the garbage. UBS ...you just got one of the oldest industry questions answered. THANKS!
street lit ghost writer :
Posted 3612 days ago
WOW! CALEB, YOU'RE A DEEP BROTHA AND I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST. I'VE STARTED READING UP ON YOU AND MUST SAY I WILL BE PICKING UP EASTSIDE AND TWO THIN DIMES.
TO THE OTHERS...I HOPE YOU GUYS SEE THE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED IN IT ALL AMONG THESE 2O SOMETHING PAGES OF COMMENTS. THANKS FOR SPARKING THE DIALOGUE UBS!
Mimi :
Posted 3612 days ago
Caleb, that is really crazy! All this time I didn't know that the stories were written by you and only you. True to the Game, Deadly Reigns!!!????
Caleb Alexander :
Posted 3612 days ago
JM - What's up Kinfolk!!!!! You SHOULD have been on that list! Mad love to my dudes K'Wan, and Treasure also. Glad my kinfolks made the list.
Therone, I see where you're coming from. Someone pulled my coat tails today and told me to get over here and read through some of the posts, so I did.
Just to make it clear to everyone, YES, I AM THE AUTHOR of all of those books. It's not like it's really a secret. Everybody knows. How, I don't know how they know, but they know. For a long time, Teri was like a sister to me. I did my thing with her. Eventually the whole story will make its way out there. It's a helluva story. I know Teri well, I just talked to her yesterday, and well... It reminds me of a story about a guy who found a rattlesnake lying in the middle of the road one night. He took the snake home, bandanged it, fed it, nursed it back to health. And then one day the snake turned around and bit him. Dude was like, "After all I did for you? Bringing you home, feeding you, nursing you back to health, you still gonna bite me?" The snake looked at dude and said, "You knew I was a snake when you picked me up." LOL Love ya Teri.
Therone Shellman :
Posted 3612 days ago
Caleb--the comment I made was not directly toward you but more so to whoever was posting about the issue b/c it sounds outlandish and just too hyped to be real. I did state that I hope that all the accusations were just people talking out there butt b/c its really crazy period for those who perpetrate such actions and those who put themselves in situations like that. Once is ok. Everyone steps in shit at one time or another. But for it to go on soooo long as this individual stated in the posts. Most of this blog has been dedicated to bashing these two women without victims coming fourth. As an author and publisher I look at it from two ways stating that yeah there needs to be standards both ways. Publishers need to play fairly. And authors need to have business sense. Thats basically my summation on the whole topic concerning industry business in reference to writers and publishers. All through these black book club blogs and forums a lot of stuff are said about a lot of people. Some of it comes from other publishing company implants who are trying to crap on the next publishers name(when they are no better). And some of it is from people who just do not have the balls to confront these people about bad business dealings they've encountered with them. I personally hate when people do not post their name in blogs when they have something to say b/c for a fact I know it would stop a lot of here-say. I don't know if you wrote the stories or not.? If you did and got paid? If you did and didn't? It never crossed my mind b/c I'm not a urban lit enthusiast. I love literature period! In here my response was to the persons posts and their accusations. Definately not too be in your business. I'm not one who has time for such things as too spread rumors and gossip b/c my career is doing quite well and I believe in competition b/c it brings out the best in us. But I will strive to enlighten the next cat on what to do and not to do to help them out a little. I receive sooo many hit ups on myspace, blackplanet and many other sites I'm on from authors and I always tell them to not rush the day or they may regret it. Take the time and do your homework. This industry is not just about writing a story. I tell them all, writing is the easy part. I have also helped a few of my author friends out who are signed and showed them how to work out a better business relationship with their publisher. Now that you stated that you did not get screwed. I HOPE these folks quit with how you ghost wrote this and that story and didn't get paid by Terri b/c thats a serious accusation to put out there if it's not the truth. And thats me looking at it right now from a publishers point of view.
ANY WAY WRITERS KEEP WRITING. READERS PLEASE KEEP SUPPORTING BLACK BOOKS. I KNOW AS A READER YOU HAVE TO BE LIKE THESE F-CKING PEOPLE ARE CRAZY!!! I KNOW!! ITS ONE OF THE REASONS WHY I PRIMARILY DEAL WITH THE MAINSTREAM MARKET IN SALES AND NETWORKING AND ITS BEEN GREAT. I GET MOST OF MY HEADACHES FROM DEALING WITH OUR OWN FOLKS IN THE BLACK BOOK MARKET. BUT KEEP READING PLS.
HAVE A GOOD ONE EVERYONE.
J.M. :
Posted 3612 days ago
Had to double back and drop another comment after reading all comments posted. Again, I want to acknowledge Urban Book Source for what they successfully accomplished in creating this list. Secondly, I want to thank all of those who felt my name was even relevant enough to discuss or place on any personal list, and even those who disagreed with me being before this one or that one, I respect all your views and comments, and I hope that all of my colleagues feel the same. It is you all (the supporters & readers) who keep our names and voices alive. Without you, prison may have been another option for me upon my release, but because of you it will never be again. You've given me a better and positive way to eat and feed mines, not only me but everyone on the list. Real talk, any author who visits this site and has been following this count down should leave a comment, a genuine comment about what just took place to show that love is love at the end of the day, because it really looks like there is no type of unity or love amongst us. I write street because that's where I'm from and I follow the old rules, laws, and codes of them when hatin' didn't exist, same ones I apply to this game. I say that to say, at the end of the day, I respect the pioneers and the rookies equally, and most of all YOU, the customers! My fellow authors, let this list be a form of inspiration and motivation to you to do more and want more in this genre.
If you haven't already, check out my new product Ride Or Die Chick,
Happy New
J.M.
p.s.
Being as though I'm an avid reader I felt it was only right to drop my list. This list is only based on reads I read and enjoyed, no more-no less.

Top 5 Males Top Females
1.) Donald Goines 1.) KaShamba Williams
2.)Al-Saadiq Banks 2.) Nikki Turner
3.)K'Wan 3.) Wahida Clark
4.)Kwame Teague 4.)Ki Ki Swinson
5.)Shannon Holmes 5.)T. Styles
J.M. :
Posted 3612 days ago
To Urban Book Source, AC, & Hardcore Reader: K, I love what you dudes and the sister created with this list, your intent was sincere. In my book you don't get credited for those who tried to take away from its purity. AC, you're absolutely right, I don't deserve to be on that list, only been in the game for a year and a half, that list was for veteran's I'm still a rookie to this sh*t, besides I'm not really an author anyway, I'ma Hustla, catch me on that list though. And again, you were right, I can sell anything, that's what I do, so I appreciate you acknowledging that, whether you were trying to be sarcastic or not, couldn't really tell, you must know me or my grind to make the comment though. To Harcore Reader, love is love my dude, appreciate your opinion, you can get at me at jmbenjamin.author@yahoo.com. And for the record Treasure E. Blue, K'Wan, Erick S. Gray, and Al Saadiq Banks are my dudes, we all respect and love the game and each other, list or no list!
Caleb Alexander :
Posted 3612 days ago
Wow. First off, I didn't know I had gotten screwed. Secondly, I didn't know that we knew each other well enough to discuss each others business, Therone.
I know I'm kinda late to all of this, but... To all of the authors that made the list, congratulations. May the Almighty Creators blessings continue to flow in your direction. Happy New Year to all.
Much Love
Caleb
Pro Writer :
Posted 3612 days ago
Tumisha Jones: Your 100% right! I apologize for that comment, I got caught up in the hype. And I didn't mean it like that, it was a simple joke. This is a new year and lets leave that in 2007! Have a happy new year.
Tumisha Jones :
Posted 3612 days ago
@ Pro Writer, it's one thing to have an opinion it's another to wish an author get hit by a Mack Truck and then shot! That's hating pure and simple. You are a HATER...period. @ Dana, I don't have access to Ms. King's bank statements but unless you're getting a cut why do you care if Deja's checks are bouncing or not? It's obvious that the majority of people leaving comments are book industry people and not your average reader. It seems you're using this forum to spread your personal beefs instead of discussing what us the readers enjoy. To everybody else who are keeping this positive, Happy New Year!!
Shay :
Posted 3612 days ago
Fabulous Writer, Anthony Fields wrote Angel. He's also incarcerated. Hmmm...Kwame, Anthony, guy that wrote the first True to the Game, and Shannon when he penned B-More...incarcerated authors seem to be the authors of Teri's liking. Guess it's easier to talk sh*t then and avoid making payments.
street lit ghost writer :
Posted 3612 days ago
LET'S REMEMBER THE SAYING: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.
THERONE...YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH MAN!!!
 




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