I had a unique opportunity a few weeks ago, one I don’t think I’ll soon forget.
|Authors Jessica Park, Michele Scott |
(and some funny looking dude)
As it turned out, the purpose for the conference was to announce the new line of Kindles (including the re-vamped Fire, which, incidentally is likely to give Apple a run for their money), as well as to promote the Kindle Direct Publishing program; it's where we all found success.
|Courtesy of theverge.com|
Excitement and hoopla aside, it ended up being so much more than just that. It was a rare chance for a first-person glimpse inside Amazon, to see why they’re changing how publishing is done. Not that I was completely surprised. It’s no secret I have a special affection for them. After all, I’m fully cognizant of the fact that I wouldn’t be where I am today if our paths hadn’t met. They opened doors for me during a time when everyone else was slamming them in my face. I don’t think I’ll ever forget or lose sight of how they changed my life in ways I never imagined, nor will I ever stop being grateful to them for it.
But like I mentioned, I already knew what Amazon had done for me and countless others—what I never fully understood, was how or why.
Now I do.
As I spoke with each of them, one thought repeatedly popped in my head: these people get it. They really do get it. They understand that the relationship between an author and publisher is an important one; it’s a partnership built on trust and respect.
That notion was repeated during each of my conversations when I kept hearing two words, ones I hadn’t expected.
Though I couldn’t help but feel like I should have been the one doing the thanking, their sincerity and genuineness told me that it was a two-way street. They were as appreciative of us for helping them make the program a success as we were of them for giving us the chance to do it. And I wondered: how often in publishing is a message like that spoken with such clarity and intent? How often, in fact, is it said at all? I suspect that before Amazon came along, it didn't happen often.
And I learned something else. Not only do the people who work for Amazon have great passion for what they do—they also have great passion for the authors they represent. Our success is as important to them as it is to us. That kind of sentiment is not only unheard of in publishing, it’s thinking outside the box at its finest moment.
When I got home, I noticed a Facebook invite from one of the Amazon publishers I had met. After accepting it, I looked at her latest post and couldn’t help but smile:
Goddamn, I love authors.
Words that say it all.