VerySmartBrothas: From Blog to Book to TV

Panama Jackson on Weekly with Ed Gordon
Panama Jackson is the headlining guest on “Weekly with Ed Gordon” on BET. He’s talking about the book, "Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night.”

So. This happened.

It’s all been happening kinda fast, but if you didn’t know, we (meaning released a book a few weeks ago, called Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm at Night: the Very Smart Brothas Guide to Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime. Panama Jackson and Damon Young (fellow co-founders and generally awesome writers of the blog) wrote this book three years ago, and one day asked me to help them set up and run a site/blog that would be a companion for the book. We’ve been rockin with the blog for a minute now and they finally released the self-published book early last month.

I have been touch and go with the book promo. To be honest, the book was suddenly ready and Damon kinda wanted to hurry up and get the book out for public consumption. I’m seemingly never ready to do anything (I like to wait for the proverbial “perfect time” that never happens), but we released the book (self-published on without any real publicity plan (I’ve been super busy).

Anyway. A week or so passes, we get some press on, a few book reviews here and there on some blogs. We top a chart or two on And then some national press starts knocking on our door. Or, our e-mail inbox. We have a piece running in a national newspaper soon (fingers crossed). BET’s Weekly with Ed Gordon invited us to be on their relationships episode, and they asked us to be the headlining one-on-one segment (which is why PJ is there alone, without Damon). We have a satellite radio interview coming up soon, as well. All because of our talent as a team, great writing by the guys, some social media and branding mojo and a supportive community.

This has been interesting, to say the least. We don’t have agents. We don’t have publicists. We typically are poor at networking with other bloggers. We barely find the time to publicize ourselves (outside of Facebook, Twitter, and most recently, Tumblr). But it’s been cool to see how far this book and our message can reach people, with just a blog and a self-published book. I don’t want to say we didn’t try to make this happen, but we really are winging it at this point. Thankfully, some cool opportunities have been coming our way.

I spent today with Panama at the taping of the Ed Gordon show. It was pretty fun. Sure, this isn’t NBC Nightly News or anything, but…my best friend is on TV! For a project that we (us + Damon) have worked on for the last three years. I am pretty happy and amazed. And proud.

We haven’t been told when the episode will air yet, but the show airs on Sunday nights on BET. I watched the whole thing from the dressing room and thought P did a bang up job. We heard the producers were cracking up in the control room during his interview, and I could tell afterwards that the show’s staff really took his tongue-in-cheek relationships advice to heart. He’s such a natural, and this is totally his element. I hope he gets more opportuities to do TV, VSB-related or not.


16 thoughts on “VerySmartBrothas: From Blog to Book to TV”

  1. I always forget you have a blog, Liz. I suck, I know. I’m going to stalk BET on Sunday to see if Panama pops up. This IS very official. You guys need an agent or at least a publicist. I can picture
    Panama being jazzy on t.v. if the podcasts are any reflection. I have my book but I haven’t started yet. It’s next in line and will add my review to Amazon where I purchased it. Good luck to you guys and congratulations.

    1. Aww thanks SFG! We def always appreciate and feel the love.

      P.S. I often forget I have a blog too LOL.

      P.P.S. I have yet to read the book myself. I’ll get to it. Someday 🙂

      1. Whaaat, I’m at least a solid one third through the book, it’s a side splitter BTW…OMG…there needs to be a glossary of VSBisms. Don’t give me the Marcia excuse of “well, I read the blog”. Offline page turning is a qualitatively different experience from dynamic browsing+reading.

        1. Haha. Well, we do have a glossary on the blog, but it is probably not as updated as it could be. I gotta work on it!

  2. I am so very happy for the three of you and the succes your vsb baby is bringing. You have my email address, so whenever you need an additional consultant to cut checks with, I’m here at your disposal. Ya’ll are about to blowuptuate right now, and I want to be all up in that mushroom cloud.

  3. Mazel Tov!
    (that’s all i got).

    I’m a proud member of the VSB community and look forward to
    receiving my book
    continuing to support the brand, people that are

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