Amazon has been the lifeline for millions of authors every day. Some just starting on the authoring and publishing journey; some deeply involved in it with Amazon the primary distributor or printing of their current book(s); and others reawakening and pushing out an old book as is or revising it. Few comprehended, or could visualize, the powerhouse that was birthed on July 5, 1994.
In President and CEO Jeff Bezos’ “step down” shareholder letter of 2020, he offers reflections and morsels of insight and wisdom that we writers can, and I believe, should embrace:
… Things would often be easier–take less energy–if we were a little more normal.
… Distinctiveness–originality–is valuable. We are all taught to “be yourself.” What I’m really asking you to do is to embrace and be realistic about how much energy it takes to maintain that distinctiveness. The world wants you to be typical–in a thousand ways, it pulls at you. Don’t let it happen.
… You have to pay a price for your distinctiveness, and it’s worth it. The fairy tale version of “be yourself” is that all the pain stops as soon as you allow your distinctiveness to shine. That version is misleading. Being yourself is worth it, but don’t expect it to be easy or free. You’ll have to put energy into it continuously.
… The world will always try to make Amazon more typical–to bring us into equilibrium with our environment. It will take continuous effort, but we can and must be better than that.
Every author that I’ve had the pleasure to work with; the ones that I choose to read for both pleasure and learning, are unique and distinct. In their writing; in their storytelling; in their engagement with the reader.
To all of you:
- Be kind … and takes far less work than being pissy and a jerk.
- Be original … don’t go the cookie cutter route and become a meme of someone else.
- Create more than you consume … share, reach out, help other authors in their journey to learn and grow … and succeed.
- Be distinct … your uniqueness, quirkiness, style becomes your shiny star.
- Be less normal … looking, acting, writing like the rest of the word is the road to melding into the background; sometimes oblivion.
- Never, never, NEVER let the universe smooth you into your surroundings … complacency never works as time marches on.
Today is and remains Day 1 of your Author Lifeline. Your creation. Your mark. It’s a good thing.
Judith Briles is a book publishing expert and coach. She empowers authors and works directly with authors who want to be seriously successful and has been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the ’80s. Judith is the author of 37 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers, and How to Create a $1,000,000 Speech. Her personal memoir When God Says NO-Revealing the YES When Adversity and Loss Are Present is a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Collectively, her books have earned over 45 book awards. Judith speaks throughout the year at publishing conferences.
Throughout the year, she holds Judith Briles Book Unplugged experiences: Publishing, Speaking, Marketing, and Social Media. All are two-day intensive limited to a small group of authors who want to be seriously successful. Join Judith live for the “AuthorU-Your Guide to Book Publishing” podcast on the Toginet Radio Network HERE.
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