Promo Paket Haji dan Umroh 2015 di Jakarta Barat Hubungi 021-9929-2337 atau 0821-2406-5740 Alhijaz Indowisata adalah perusahaan swasta nasional yang bergerak di bidang tour dan travel. Nama Alhijaz terinspirasi dari istilah dua kota suci bagi umat islam pada zaman nabi Muhammad saw. yaitu Makkah dan Madinah. Dua kota yang penuh berkah sehingga diharapkan menular dalam kinerja perusahaan. Sedangkan Indowisata merupakan akronim dari kata indo yang berarti negara Indonesia dan wisata yang menjadi fokus usaha bisnis kami.

Promo Paket Haji dan Umroh 2015 di Jakarta Barat Alhijaz Indowisata didirikan oleh Bapak H. Abdullah Djakfar Muksen pada tahun 2010. Merangkak dari kecil namun pasti, alhijaz berkembang pesat dari mulai penjualan tiket maskapai penerbangan domestik dan luar negeri, tour domestik hingga mengembangkan ke layanan jasa umrah dan haji khusus. Tak hanya itu, pada tahun 2011 Alhijaz kembali membuka divisi baru yaitu provider visa umrah yang bekerja sama dengan muassasah arab saudi. Sebagai komitmen legalitas perusahaan dalam melayani pelanggan dan jamaah secara aman dan profesional, saat ini perusahaan telah mengantongi izin resmi dari pemerintah melalui kementrian pariwisata, lalu izin haji khusus dan umrah dari kementrian agama. Selain itu perusahaan juga tergabung dalam komunitas organisasi travel nasional seperti Asita, komunitas penyelenggara umrah dan haji khusus yaitu HIMPUH dan organisasi internasional yaitu IATA.

Promo Paket Haji dan Umroh 2015 di Jakarta Barat

kira- kira apa ya yang dibutuhkan untuk dapat menjadi pengusaha rental mobil??? bisnis ini memang tergolong sangat menjanjikan k

kira- kira apa ya yang dibutuhkan untuk dapat menjadi pengusaha rental mobil??? bisnis ini memang tergolong sangat menjanjikan karna selain perputaran uang nya yang cepat juga pangsa pasarnya dari golongan menengah keatas dan menengah kebawah... tentu saja hal yang telah dibutuhkan pertama adalah mobilnya!!! bener tidak??? hehehehehe... kalau tidak ada mobil, delman juga tidak papa.,,.. (kidding)

1. Jika anda mempunyai mobil pribadi dengan tahun muda dan tidak terlalu banyak digunakan, sebaiknya dititipkan saja dengan perusahaan rental mobil yang nanti dimana ada perjanjian kontrak perjanjian sewa mobil antara anda pemilik mobil dan pihak perusahaan rental mobil sekian tahun , tentunya anda juga menitipkan mobil anda dengan orang yang anda bisa percaya dan dapat dipertanggung jawabkan.
Apabila ada kerusakan dan perbaikan adalah tanggung jawab dari perusahaan rental mobil itu tersebut itu harus ada didalam perjanjian kontrak.

2. Jika Anda ingin mengelola usaha ini sendiri, hal yang paling utama adalah pemasaran dari sewa mobil anda, Intinya marketingnya harus bagus... kalau tidak ada marketing  bisa- bisa mobil anda mandek semua
dan tidak jalan karna tidak ada yang order,, karna tidak tau... hehehehehe.. anda harus bisa kalkulasi kira minimal berapa kali mobil keluar dalam 1 bulan baik itu klien tetap ataupun klien baru pengguna jasa mobil anda, dari sana anda bisa kalkulasi dan mempekerjakan supir untuk rental

3. Mulailah terima order dari yang kecil-kecil dulu.. misalnya antar jemput untuk wilayah jakarta , antar jemput bandara, jemputan hotel.

4. Untuk dapat menghitung laba anda minimal anda harus tau type mobil yang bagaimana menghabiskan bensin untuk 50km meter berapa liter, atau daripada anda pusing- pusing anda cukup menyewakan mobil saja dan bensinnya biar Customer anda yang mengisi dengan catatan pada saat mobil disewa bensin full dan pulang ke kembali ya harus Full..

5. Pergunakanlah media internet sebagai salah satu promosi jasa rental mobil anda, zaman sekarang orang lebih sering mengakses om Google dari pada membaca surat kabar, entah itu anda buat web, iklan dsbnya.. yang penting promosi rental mobil anda dapat dibaca oleh orang yang mengakses internet baik melalui Handphone atau komputer, Laptop dan Ipad. serta jangan lupa buat kartu nama dan brosur untuk menunjang bisnis anda. Apalagi anda mempunyai teman yang paham tentang blog. web dan internet bagaiama caranya
iklan atau web anda muncul dihalaman pertama google dari keyword atau kata kunci yang dicari orang ini merupakan nilai++ bagi anda.. Karna Order kan cepat Datang... TArARARARA...


6. Usahakan terima order sewa mobil 1 hari sebelumnya untuk meminimalis kekacauan jadwal user.
     Kalau anda ada dana berlebih pasanglah GPS pada masing mobil anda untuk memantau di daerah mana mobil anda saat itu dan untuk meminimkan resiko dijalan.

7. Jika anda membuka lowongan untuk driver maka hal yang penting untuk diperhatikan selain pandai mengemudi dan hapal wilayah dalam kota ataupun luar kota jakarta  adalah sikap dan tata krama driver... karna dia lah yang akan menentukan  citra baik dan buruknya rental mobil anda dimata klien.. jika bagus dan klien suka, maka dia akan langganan dengan jasa sewa mobil anda. Untuk menerima driver untuk rental mobil anda surveilah rumah mereka agar andatau keaadaan dari calon driver anda, hal ini juga akan meminimkan resiko penipuan...


8. jangan lupa cek pasaran harga sewa mobil yang diberikan oleh perusahaan rental mobil agar harga sewa yang anda berikan tidak terlalu mahal dan tidak terlalu murah, biasanya sewa mobil per 12 jam dalam kota/ per 24 jam luar kota

 

saco-indonesia.com, Sejak masih jejaka, Suno (58), warga Desa Karang Kedawang, Kecamatan Sooko, Kabupaten Mojokerto, Jawa Timur, sudah akrab dengan usaha persepatuan.

Saco-Indonesia.com - Sejak masih jejaka, Suno (58), warga Desa Karang Kedawang, Kecamatan Sooko, Kabupaten Mojokerto, Jawa Timur, sudah akrab dengan usaha persepatuan. Walau kala itu ”sekadar” sebagai tukang sol sepatu. Kini, ia menjadi salah satu pelaku usaha kecil dan menengah dengan produksi sampai 70 kodi sandal per hari.

Sebagai tukang sol sepatu, Suno yang memulai membuka usaha sendiri pembuatan sandal dengan merek Expo, enam tahun silam, telah malang melintang dari satu tempat kerja pembuatan sepatu ke tempat pembuatan sepatu lain.

”Awalnya saya bekerja menjadi tukang sol sepatu di Surabaya, tepatnya di Petemon, lalu pindah ke Rangkah, dan terakhir kerja di pabrik sepatu di Sukomanunggal,” katanya.

Suno adalah salah satu dari sekitar 1.300 pelaku usaha kecil dan menengah (UKM) di wilayah kerja Bank Tabungan Pensiunan Nasional (BTPN) Cabang Mojokerto yang menjadi nasabah sekaligus binaan bank ini.

Sejak tahun 2010 Suno mendapat kucuran kredit Rp 30 juta untuk tambahan modal sekaligus pengembangan usahanya. Setahun berikutnya, Suno kembali mendapat kucuran kredit Rp 60 juta. Pada 2012, dia mendapat kredit lagi sebesar Rp 98 juta.

”Sebelum kucuran kredit dari BTPN sampai tiga kali, modal awal untuk mulai membuka usaha sandal ini saya pinjam dari koperasi sebesar Rp 10 juta,” kata Suno.

Setelah menjadi binaan BTPN dan mendapat pelatihan, khususnya menyangkut manajemen keuangan dalam pengelolaan usaha kecil, usaha sandal Suno berkembang cepat.

Rugi

Suno bercerita, pada awal memulai usaha, dia sering menyerahkan pengerjaan pembuatan sandal kepada orang lain. ”Istilahnya, saya men- sub- kan pesanan itu kepada perajin sandal lain,” ujarnya.

Namun, hasilnya justru tak menguntungkan, bahkan Suno menelan kerugian. ”Saya sempat tak mengerjakan sendiri pesanan sandal itu. Hasilnya, dalam dua bulan saya rugi sekitar Rp 3,5 juta.”

Pengalaman pahit itulah yang memaksa Suno mengerjakan sendiri produk sandal Expo miliknya. Seiring berjalannya waktu, usahanya tumbuh dan berkembang. Pesanan dari pedagang grosir di Pasar Turi, Surabaya, misalnya, terus meningkat.

”Sekarang saya sudah bisa membayar orang. Di sini ada tujuh karyawan dari tukang sol, tukang kap, dan seorang sekretaris,” kata Suno.

Dibantu anaknya yang masih lajang, Sugianto, untuk memasarkan produknya, Suno bangga bisa memberikan lapangan pekerjaan kepada orang lain.

”Rata-rata setiap hari usaha saya ini bisa memproduksi 30 sampai 50 kodi sandal. Kalau pesanan sedang ramai, dalam sehari bisa mencapai 70 kodi. Kalau sudah begini, saya juga menyerahkan pengerjaan pembuatan sandal kepada enam tukang sol, tukang kap, dan tukang katokan di rumah. Mereka mengerjakan pesanan itu di rumah masing-masing, saya mengontrol hasilnya,” kata Suno.

Pedagang grosir

Sekarang, usaha skala kecil yang digeluti Suno dengan produk sandal untuk dewasa dan anak-anak serta sandal perempuan ini tak hanya dipasarkan di Surabaya dan sekitarnya, tetapi juga sudah sampai ke Tulungagung, Jawa Timur, hingga Solo, Jawa Tengah.

”Selain melayani pedagang bedak (eceran di pasar atau kaki lima), saya juga mendapat pesanan dari para pedagang grosir,” kata Suno.

Seminggu sekali ditemani Sugianto, salah satu anaknya, dengan mobil boks, Suno membawa ribuan pasang sandal menyusuri jalur tengah antara Jawa Timur dan Jawa Tengah.

Sebagai mitra usaha kecil dan menengah, BTPN Mojokerto telah menyalurkan kredit usaha kecil dan menengah sejak tahun 2009 hingga 2012. Kredit yang disalurkan itu mencapai lebih dari Rp 110 miliar.

”Ada 30 sampai 40 debitor UKM sepatu dan sandal yang menerima kucuran kredit kami, salah satunya yang berhasil, ya, usaha sandal milik Suno,” kata Mashudi, Area Daya Spesialis BTPN Cabang Mojokerto.

Suno mengakui, sebelum mendapat pelatihan manajemen keuangan dari BTPN, usahanya sekadar berjalan saja. Susno yang tak sempat menamatkan sekolah dasar (SD) itu sama sekali tak mempunyai pengetahuan soal pengelolaan keuangan usaha.

”Dulu, manajemennya campur aduk tidak karuan, tetapi sekarang pembukuan usaha ini sudah mulai rapi,” kata Suno.

Ketangguhan

Usaha sandal yang digeluti Suno adalah potret ketangguhan lapisan wong cilik yang berhasil dalam mengembangkan usaha. Walau dalam skala kecil, dia bisa memberikan sumber penghasilan dan penghidupan bagi orang lain.

”Saya masih punya impian untuk memiliki atau setidaknya membuka toko sandal dan sepatu di Pasar Klewer, Solo. Di toko itu tidak hanya menjual hasil produksi saya, tetapi juga hasil produksi perajin lain,” tutur Suno tentang harapannya.

”Keinginan saya ke depan menciptakan lebih banyak lagi lapangan kerja untuk orang-orang kecil dan susah,” katanya.

Soal keuntungan dari hasil usahanya itu, Suno mengaku masih sangat bergantung pada permintaan pasar, selain kelancaran pembayaran dari grosir ataupun pedagang bedak. ”Setidaknya dalam setahun saya masih bisa menikmati keuntungan bersih sekitar Rp 20 juta untuk ditabung. Itu kalau semuanya berjalan lancar. Namun, sering pembayarannya molor, bahkan ada yang bayar 50 persen di muka, sisanya baru dibayar satu-dua bulan,” tuturnya.

Suno, sang juragan sandal yang lahir di tanah Majapahit itu, kini bisa bernapas lega walau setiap hari harus berpikir keras untuk menjaga agar usahanya tetap berdenyut dalam situasi politik dan ekonomi yang kurang memihak kepada wong cilik ini.

 

Sumber : Kompas Cetak/Kompas.com
Editor :Liwon Maulana

Ms. Turner and her twin sister founded the Love Kitchen in 1986 in a church basement in Knoxville, Tenn., and it continues to provide clothing and meals.

THE WRITERS ASHLEY AND JAQUAVIS COLEMAN know the value of a good curtain-raiser. The couple have co-authored dozens of novels, and they like to start them with a bang: a headlong action sequence, a blast of violence or sex that rocks readers back on their heels. But the Colemans concede they would be hard-pressed to dream up anything more gripping than their own real-life opening scene.

In the summer of 2001, JaQuavis Coleman was a 16-year-old foster child in Flint, Mich., the former auto-manufacturing mecca that had devolved, in the wake of General Motors’ plant closures, into one of the country’s most dangerous cities, with a decimated economy and a violent crime rate more than three times the national average. When JaQuavis was 8, social services had removed him from his mother’s home. He spent years bouncing between foster families. At 16, JaQuavis was also a businessman: a crack dealer with a network of street-corner peddlers in his employ.

One day that summer, JaQuavis met a fellow dealer in a parking lot on Flint’s west side. He was there to make a bulk sale of a quarter-brick, or “nine-piece” — a nine-ounce parcel of cocaine, with a street value of about $11,000. In the middle of the transaction, JaQuavis heard the telltale chirp of a walkie-talkie. His customer, he now realized, was an undercover policeman. JaQuavis jumped into his car and spun out onto the road, with two unmarked police cars in pursuit. He didn’t want to get into a high-speed chase, so he whipped his car into a church parking lot and made a run for it, darting into an alleyway behind a row of small houses, where he tossed the quarter-brick into some bushes. When JaQuavis reached the small residential street on the other side of the houses, he was greeted by the police, who handcuffed him and went to search behind the houses where, they told him, they were certain he had ditched the drugs. JaQuavis had been dealing since he was 12, had amassed more than $100,000 and had never been arrested. Now, he thought: It’s over.

But when the police looked in the bushes, they couldn’t find any cocaine. They interrogated JaQuavis, who denied having ever possessed or sold drugs. They combed the backyard alley some more. After an hour of fruitless efforts, the police were forced to unlock the handcuffs and release their suspect.

JaQuavis was baffled by the turn of events until the next day, when he received a phone call. The previous afternoon, a 15-year-old girl had been sitting in her home on the west side of Flint when she heard sirens. She looked out of the window of her bedroom, and watched a young man throw a package in the bushes behind her house. She recognized him. He was a high school classmate — a handsome, charismatic boy whom she had admired from afar. The girl crept outside and grabbed the bundle, which she hid in her basement. “I have something that belongs to you,” Ashley Snell told JaQuavis Coleman when she reached him by phone. “You wanna come over here and pick it up?”

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Three of the nearly 50 works of urban fiction published by the Colemans over the last decade, often featuring drug deals, violence, sex and a brash kind of feminism.Credit Marko Metzinger

In the Colemans’ first novel, “Dirty Money” (2005), they told a version of this story. The outline was the same: the drug deal gone bad, the dope chucked in the bushes, the fateful phone call. To the extent that the authors took poetic license, it was to tone down the meet-cute improbability of the true-life events. In “Dirty Money,” the girl, Anari, and the crack dealer, Maurice, circle each other warily for a year or so before coupling up. But the facts of Ashley and JaQuavis’s romance outstripped pulp fiction. They fell in love more or less at first sight, moved into their own apartment while still in high school and were married in 2008. “We were together from the day we met,” Ashley says. “I don’t think we’ve spent more than a week apart in total over the past 14 years.”

That partnership turned out to be creative and entrepreneurial as well as romantic. Over the past decade, the Colemans have published nearly 50 books, sometimes as solo writers, sometimes under pseudonyms, but usually as collaborators with a byline that has become a trusted brand: “Ashley & JaQuavis.” They are marquee stars of urban fiction, or street lit, a genre whose inner-city settings and lurid mix of crime, sex and sensationalism have earned it comparisons to gangsta rap. The emergence of street lit is one of the big stories in recent American publishing, a juggernaut that has generated huge sales by catering to a readership — young, black and, for the most part, female — that historically has been ill-served by the book business. But the genre is also widely maligned. Street lit is subject to a kind of triple snobbery: scorned by literati who look down on genre fiction generally, ignored by a white publishing establishment that remains largely indifferent to black books and disparaged by African-American intellectuals for poor writing, coarse values and trafficking in racial stereotypes.

But if a certain kind of cultural prestige is shut off to the Colemans, they have reaped other rewards. They’ve built a large and loyal fan base, which gobbles up the new Ashley & JaQuavis titles that arrive every few months. Many of those books are sold at street-corner stands and other off-the-grid venues in African-American neighborhoods, a literary gray market that doesn’t register a blip on best-seller tallies. Yet the Colemans’ most popular series now regularly crack the trade fiction best-seller lists of The New York Times and Publishers Weekly. For years, the pair had no literary agent; they sold hundreds of thousands of books without banking a penny in royalties. Still, they have earned millions of dollars, almost exclusively from cash-for-manuscript deals negotiated directly with independent publishing houses. In short, though little known outside of the world of urban fiction, the Colemans are one of America’s most successful literary couples, a distinction they’ve achieved, they insist, because of their work’s gritty authenticity and their devotion to a primal literary virtue: the power of the ripping yarn.

“When you read our books, you’re gonna realize: ‘Ashley & JaQuavis are storytellers,’ ” says Ashley. “Our tales will get your heart pounding.”

THE COLEMANS’ HOME BASE — the cottage from which they operate their cottage industry — is a spacious four-bedroom house in a genteel suburb about 35 miles north of downtown Detroit. The house is plush, but when I visited this past winter, it was sparsely appointed. The couple had just recently moved in, and had only had time to fully furnish the bedroom of their 4-year-old son, Quaye.

In conversation, Ashley and JaQuavis exude both modesty and bravado: gratitude for their good fortune and bootstrappers’ pride in having made their own luck. They talk a lot about their time in the trenches, the years they spent as a drug dealer and “ride-or-die girl” tandem. In Flint they learned to “grind hard.” Writing, they say, is merely a more elevated kind of grind.

“Instead of hitting the block like we used to, we hit the laptops,” says Ashley. “I know what every word is worth. So while I’m writing, I’m like: ‘Okay, there’s a hundred dollars. There’s a thousand dollars. There’s five thousand dollars.’ ”

They maintain a rigorous regimen. They each try to write 5,000 words per day, five days a week. The writers stagger their shifts: JaQuavis goes to bed at 7 p.m. and wakes up early, around 3 or 4 in the morning, to work while his wife and child sleep. Ashley writes during the day, often in libraries or at Starbucks.

They divide the labor in other ways. Chapters are divvied up more or less equally, with tasks assigned according to individual strengths. (JaQuavis typically handles character development. Ashley loves writing murder scenes.) The results are stitched together, with no editorial interference from one author in the other’s text. The real work, they contend, is the brainstorming. The Colemans spend weeks mapping out their plot-driven books — long conversations that turn into elaborate diagrams on dry-erase boards. “JaQuavis and I are so close, it makes the process real easy,” says Ashley. “Sometimes when I’m thinking of something, a plot point, he’ll say it out loud, and I’m like: ‘Wait — did I say that?’ ”

Their collaboration developed by accident, and on the fly. Both were bookish teenagers. Ashley read lots of Judy Blume and John Grisham; JaQuavis liked Shakespeare, Richard Wright and “Atlas Shrugged.” (Their first official date was at a Borders bookstore, where Ashley bought “The Coldest Winter Ever,” the Sister Souljah novel often credited with kick-starting the contemporary street-lit movement.) In 2003, Ashley, then 17, was forced to terminate an ectopic pregnancy. She was bedridden for three weeks, and to provide distraction and boost her spirits, JaQuavis challenged his girlfriend to a writing contest. “She just wasn’t talking. She was laying in bed. I said, ‘You know what? I bet you I could write a better book than you.’ My wife is real competitive. So I said, ‘Yo, all right, $500 bet.’ And I saw her eyes spark, like, ‘What?! You can’t write no better book than me!’ So I wrote about three chapters. She wrote about three chapters. Two days later, we switched.”

The result, hammered out in a few days, would become “Dirty Money.” Two years later, when Ashley and JaQuavis were students at Ferris State University in Western Michigan, they sold the manuscript to Urban Books, a street-lit imprint founded by the best-selling author Carl Weber. At the time, JaQuavis was still making his living selling drugs. When Ashley got the phone call informing her that their book had been bought, she assumed they’d hit it big, and flushed more than $10,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet. Their advance was a mere $4,000.

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The roots of street lit, found in the midcentury detective novels of Chester Himes and the ‘60s and ‘70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines.Credit Marko Metzinger

Those advances would soon increase, eventually reaching five and six figures. The Colemans built their career, JaQuavis says, in a manner that made sense to him as a veteran dope peddler: by flooding the street with product. From the start, they were prolific, churning out books at a rate of four or five a year. Their novels made their way into stores; the now-defunct chain Waldenbooks, which had stores in urban areas typically bypassed by booksellers, was a major engine of the street-lit market. But Ashley and JaQuavis took advantage of distribution channels established by pioneering urban fiction authors such as Teri Woods and Vickie Stringer, and a network of street-corner tables, magazine stands, corner shops and bodegas. Like rappers who establish their bona fides with gray-market mixtapes, street-lit authors use this system to circumnavigate industry gatekeepers, bringing their work straight to the genre’s core readership. But urban fiction has other aficionados, in less likely places. “Our books are so popular in the prison system,” JaQuavis says. “We’re banned in certain penitentiaries. Inmates fight over the books — there are incidents, you know? I have loved ones in jail, and they’re like: ‘Yo, your books can’t come in here. It’s against the rules.’ ”

The appeal of the Colemans’ work is not hard to fathom. The books are formulaic and taut; they deliver the expected goods efficiently and exuberantly. The titles telegraph the contents: “Diary of a Street Diva,” “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” “Murderville.” The novels serve up a stream of explicit sex and violence in a slangy, tangy, profane voice. In Ashley & JaQuavis’s books people don’t get killed: they get “popped,” “laid out,” get their “cap twisted back.” The smut is constant, with emphasis on the earthy, sticky, olfactory particulars. Romance novel clichés — shuddering orgasms, heroic carnal feats, superlative sexual skill sets — are rendered in the Colemans’ punchy patois.

Subtlety, in other words, isn’t Ashley & JaQuavis’s forte. But their books do have a grainy specificity. In “The Cartel” (2008), the first novel in the Colemans’ best-selling saga of a Miami drug syndicate, they catch the sights and smells of a crack workshop in a housing project: the nostril-stinging scent of cocaine and baking soda bubbling on stovetops; the teams of women, stripped naked except for hospital masks so they can’t pilfer the merchandise, “cutting up the cooked coke on the round wood table.” The subject matter is dark, but the Colemans’ tone is not quite noir. Even in the grimmest scenes, the mood is high-spirited, with the writers palpably relishing the lewd and gory details: the bodies writhing in boudoirs and crumpling under volleys of bullets, the geysers of blood and other bodily fluids.

The luridness of street lit has made it a flashpoint, inciting controversy reminiscent of the hip-hop culture wars of the 1980s and ’90s. But the street-lit debate touches deeper historical roots, reviving decades-old arguments in black literary circles about the mandate to uplift the race and present wholesome images of African-Americans. In 1928, W. E. B. Du Bois slammed the “licentiousness” of “Home to Harlem,” Claude McKay’s rollicking novel of Harlem nightlife. McKay’s book, Du Bois wrote, “for the most part nauseates me, and after the dirtier parts of its filth I feel distinctly like taking a bath.” Similar sentiments have greeted 21st-century street lit. In a 2006 New York Times Op-Ed essay, the journalist and author Nick Chiles decried “the sexualization and degradation of black fiction.” African-American bookstores, Chiles complained, are “overrun with novels that . . . appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures — as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.”

Copulating paperbacks aside, it’s clear that the street-lit debate is about more than literature, touching on questions of paternalism versus populism, and on middle-class anxieties about the black underclass. “It’s part and parcel of black elites’ efforts to define not only a literary tradition, but a racial politics,” said Kinohi Nishikawa, an assistant professor of English and African-American Studies at Princeton University. “There has always been a sense that because African-Americans’ opportunities to represent themselves are so limited in the first place, any hint of criminality or salaciousness would necessarily be a knock on the entire racial politics. One of the pressing debates about African-American literature today is: If we can’t include writers like Ashley & JaQuavis, to what extent is the foundation of our thinking about black literature faulty? Is it just a literature for elites? Or can it be inclusive, bringing urban fiction under the purview of our umbrella term ‘African-American literature’?”

Defenders of street lit note that the genre has a pedigree: a tradition of black pulp fiction that stretches from Chester Himes, the midcentury author of hardboiled Harlem detective stories, to the 1960s and ’70s “ghetto fiction” of Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, to the current wave of urban fiction authors. Others argue for street lit as a social good, noting that it attracts a large audience that might otherwise never read at all. Scholars like Nishikawa link street lit to recent studies showing increased reading among African-Americans. A 2014 Pew Research Center report found that a greater percentage of black Americans are book readers than whites or Latinos.

For their part, the Colemans place their work in the broader black literary tradition. “You have Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, James Baldwin — all of these traditional black writers, who wrote about the struggles of racism, injustice, inequality,” says Ashley. “We’re writing about the struggle as it happens now. It’s just a different struggle. I’m telling my story. I’m telling the struggle of a black girl from Flint, Michigan, who grew up on welfare.”

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The Colemans in their new four-bedroom house in the northern suburbs of Detroit.Credit Courtesy of Ashley and JaQuavis Coleman

Perhaps there is a high-minded case to be made for street lit. But the virtues of Ashley & JaQuavis’s work are more basic. Their novels do lack literary polish. The writing is not graceful; there are passages of clunky exposition and sex scenes that induce guffaws and eye rolls. But the pleasure quotient is high. The books flaunt a garish brand of feminism, with women characters cast not just as vixens, but also as gangsters — cold-blooded killers, “murder mamas.” The stories are exceptionally well-plotted. “The Cartel” opens by introducing its hero, the crime boss Carter Diamond; on page 9, a gunshot spatters Diamond’s brain across the interior of a police cruiser. The book then flashes back seven years and begins to hurtle forward again — a bullet train, whizzing readers through shifting alliances, romantic entanglements and betrayals, kidnappings, shootouts with Haitian and Dominican gangsters, and a cliffhanger closing scene that leaves the novel’s heroine tied to a chair in a basement, gruesomely tortured to the edge of death. Ashley & JaQuavis’s books are not Ralph Ellison, certainly, but they build up quite a head of steam. They move.

The Colemans are moving themselves these days. They recently signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, which will bring out the next installment in the “Cartel” series as well as new solo series by both writers. The St. Martin’s deal is both lucrative and legitimizing — a validation of Ashley and JaQuavis’s work by one of publishing’s most venerable houses. The Colemans’ ambitions have grown, as well. A recent trilogy, “Murderville,” tackles human trafficking and the blood-diamond industry in West Africa, with storylines that sweep from Sierra Leone to Mexico to Los Angeles. Increasingly, Ashley & JaQuavis are leaning on research — traveling to far-flung settings and hitting the books in the libraries — and spending less time mining their own rough-and-tumble past.

But Flint remains a source of inspiration. One evening not long ago, JaQuavis led me on a tour of his hometown: a popular roadside bar; the parking lot where he met the undercover cop for the ill-fated drug deal; Ashley’s old house, the site of his almost-arrest. He took me to a ramshackle vehicle repair shop on Flint’s west side, where he worked as a kid, washing cars. He showed me a bathroom at the rear of the garage, where, at age 12, he sneaked away to inspect the first “boulder” of crack that he ever sold. A spray-painted sign on the garage wall, which JaQuavis remembered from his time at the car wash, offered words of warning:

WHAT EVERY YOUNG MAN SHOULD KNOW
ABOUT USING A GUN:
MURDER . . . 30 Years
ARMED ROBBERY . . . 15 Years
ASSAULT . . . 15 Years
RAPE . . . 20 Years
POSSESSION . . . 5 Years
JACKING . . . 20 YEARS

“We still love Flint, Michigan,” JaQuavis says. “It’s so seedy, so treacherous. But there’s some heart in this city. This is where it all started, selling books out the box. In the days when we would get those little $40,000 advances, they’d send us a couple boxes of books for free. We would hit the streets to sell our books, right out of the car trunk. It was a hustle. It still is.”

One old neighborhood asset that the Colemans have not shaken off is swagger. “My wife is the best female writer in the game,” JaQuavis told me. “I believe I’m the best male writer in the game. I’m sleeping next to the best writer in the world. And she’s doing the same.”

 

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