*If there is a king of urban/street literary excellence, writer and publisher Carl Weber wears a big crown.
If such a statement sounds like hyperbole to its highest, consider this: Weber has penned 26 novels, from which he has been selected as a 14-time New York Times Bestselling author.
Few other writers of this genre, or any other genre, can make such claims. Still not convinced? Consider that Weber is also the founder, president, CEO, and publisher of Urban Books LLC, the undisputed largest Black-owned book publishing company in the world.
With a long and pure passion for writing, Weber has just released, on his company’s literary platform, his latest novel, “The Family Business 3: The Return of Vegas.” According to Weber, “The Family Business 3” is another installment of the powerful series that has vaulted previous novels in the cycle to the top of the New York Times’ prestigious ranking of books and authors.
Written in collaboration with rising author, Treasure Hernandez, the storyline of Weber’s new novel continues to follow the Duncans, an African American family who owns and operates the most lucrative chain of top-shelf car dealerships on the East Coast. The family is well respected by day, but by night, it’s a different story. The book chronicles the Duncan brothers’ fight for control of the family’s empire, when LC Duncan, the matriarch of the family who successfully started the automobile business 50 years ago, becomes ill.
“The Duncans are really loved by the public, although they have many secrets,” said Weber. “However, the family is a dynasty. So the novel is wrapped in the type of intrigue, action, and drama that fans of the Duncans have come to expect from this series.”
Weber’s elevation as an author and publisher is not by happenstance. Prior to the start of his professional writing career, he owned Urban Knowledge, a New York-based chain of African American bookstores that had more than 10 locations. Now closed, Weber remembers how the bookstores prepared him to be a writer.
“Since I owned and worked in a bookstore, I knew what people wanted to read,” said Weber, a native of Jamaica Queens, New York. “This knowledge helped me to develop what I called a “Slum-mular” for writing. Once I got that down, coupled with my crazy imagination, I put a plan together that included what people liked to read, and what would make people buy my books. The first book that I wrote was “Looking for Love,” which was written in 1999 and published it in 2000.
Weber talked about why he wrote “Looking for Love.”
“I saw all these books about love and romance, but it was always from a woman’s point of view,” Weber recalled. “I wanted to write a book about love from a man’s perspective, about what men were thinking. I wanted brothers to pick up this book, read it and say, ‘Hey, someone finally gets it.’ ”
While Weber’s first book was well received, as a youth he didn’t set out to be a writer. He just wanted to be a business owner of some type. To pursue his goal of entrepreneurship, he attended Virginia State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business management. He subsequently earned an MBA from the University of Virginia. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Between receiving his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Weber worked at a prestigious Big Six accounting firm.
Yet, running his own business always remained his focus, something that he achieved through Urban Knowledge and Urban Books LLC. Now, another dream of Weber is happening. On Sunday, February 15, one of his bestselling books, “The Man in 3B,” now a movie, will premiere at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. The film will be released nationwide in the spring.
“It’s the closing film for the festival which is a huge honor,” Weber said. “I’m proud and excited that my company is one of the companies that made the film, and that I was one of the screenwriters.”
According to Weber, Tri Destined Studios and his production company, Urban Books Media LLC, have inked a seven-movie deal that will bring more of his urban books to the silver screen. The next two “books-to-movies” will be Weber’s “The Preacher’s Son” and “Choir Director.” Other of the author’s well known books that may become films are, “Married Men,” “The First Lady,” and “Up to No Good.”
While Weber is extremely busy running Urban Books, which has published more than 2,500 books, as well as overseeing about 100 employees inclusive of authors, he now keeps his finger on the growing pulse of the new film platform for his books. Yet, he still finds time to write.
“I know that I have to put in a certain amount of time to write, as well as do the other things to keep the business running,” Weber said. “However, I write every day; I got to keep the mind fresh. If for some reason I do miss an hour or so of writing due to some business matters, that means that I have to make it up the next day.”