As an author who has used Amazon’s Digital Text Platform, I received an email from Amazon.com and Penguin Group (USA) asking for my help. They’re scouting entries for the third annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award (ABNA), an international competition seeking fresh writing voices. Nothing earth shattering, right? Just another writing competition. Except for this critical detail: self-published novels are now eligible to be submitted. This is huge.
Self-publishing is fast-growing—and scalable. Consider the fact that Bookmaker, owned by mypublisher.com, was downloaded over 2 million times last year. Blurb.com has launched over 100,000 self-published books into the market since 2009.
What’s driving this growth? The renaissance generation—RenGen—is. And they’re here to change the culture. We’re witnessing the transformation from a top-down, military industrial economy to a creative economy.
Even the esteemed Seth Godin is on board with this shift. His new book, Linchpin, heralds the arrival of creative leaders. Seth has taken to quoting poets and inviting his audiences to “embrace their inner Michaelangelo.”
At last. The cavalry has arrived. When a mega brand the likes of Seth Godin adopts the idea that the next wave of prosperity and opportunity will be dominated by those who create the culture, it’s a sure sign that business and civic leaders are ready to hear it. A once-radical idea is finally entering the mainstream, thanks to Godin.
I’m relieved. Elated, even. I’ve spent the last three years alerting audiences to the dynamic that the people who invent, innovate, design, craft stories, blend science with art will write the next chapter of greatness in America. It’s been a little lonely. Yes, there’s Richard Florida’s admirable work on why cities need to pay attention to the creative class. Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson’s pioneering book Cultural Creatives scouted early traces of the phenomenon. Oh, and RISD President John Maeda, by way of MIT’s famed Media Lab, is especially eloquent on the topic of creative leadership.
But nothing beats Seth’s imprimatur. Just as in the old EF Hutton ads, when Seth talks, everyone listens. His voice arrives just in time to usher in a new era of business discourse. I’m thrilled that he’s speaking my language.