You ever heard the story of the Egg of Columbus?
Some Spanish nobles were remarking that the ‘discovery’ of America was no big deal and that effectively anybody could have done it.
So Columbus challenges them to stand an egg up on its top. They can’t.
He takes an egg, flips it onto its top, crushes down slightly and the thing is suddenly standing upright.
The apocryphal message is clear.
Sure… anybody could have discovered America but nobody fucking did, amigos.
This incident was immortalised in the artwork on your right by William Hogarth. (Fun fact: he and I share a London suburb.)
I think about this story often in the context of innovation. It captures most facets of the phenomenon, from how easy it looks after the fact right through to the quiet audacity of actually choosing yourself in the first place.
Here in the opening months of 2013 it might seem that independent publishing is as easy as discovering America -technically the minimum requirements are a Word document and an Amazon account- but almost nobody fucking does it.
It has been one of the great joys of my blog career to bear witness to somebody cracking their own egg and showing those Spaniards up right. Deb will probably be slightly annoyed to see the extreme levels of psychic and physical exertion that characterise the creation of her art described as such but for me it was simply inspirational.
Briefing and re-briefing artists, fighting with her editor, fighting with an email from some asshole across the sea asking for more ‘woo’, struggling to define and then convey terms, discovering that asshole emailed her again because he formed an alliance with her tricksy husband behind her back and… oh yeah… the actual part of the book that is the writing of it. A whole book’s worth of writing… in between blogging and crafting and a day job and looking for new day job clients and getting married and hurricanes and snowpocalypses.
So yeah… sorry. It was inspirational.
The parts of the journey Deb shared with me demonstrated the unwavering commitment to content quality that I used to see at broadsheet newspapers back when proper journalism was an actual thing people did. It was what I have always wanted to see in an independent writer and it is what I want to see in an independently published property.
I am grateful to have watched this text come into the world and I am honoured to have been asked to introduce it.