Make sure you turn up the volume, and go to the bathroom first 🙂
Make sure you turn up the volume, and go to the bathroom first 🙂
Feature Article: Harnessing the Power of Goodreads
During the past year, Goodreads has really become a front and center social network for authors. First, with their new Amazon relationship, and now it would seem that they’ve doubled their membership to 20 million. Though many authors and publishers vowed to close their accounts after the Amazon merger, it seems that Goodreads is still going strong and still maintains its independence of Amazon. If you’re not on Goodreads or if you haven’t touched your account in a while you should consider this site and the benefits it offers.
There have been many success stories from Goodreads, authors who “got noticed” by having lots of activity there, mingling with other members, getting tons of reviews, and while success isn’t guaranteed on this site (or anywhere) Goodreads can really help you get a leg up on your promotion. So, how did the massive growth of this site happen?
Their CEO, Otis Chandler, cited three primary factors behind the acceleration: “a critical mass of book reviews,” “explosive” mobile growth, and international expansion.
To understand Goodreads as an author, what works and what doesn’t, you have to understand the average demographic of the site, which is adult female, many with college age kids and surprisingly, a whopping 81% of them are Caucasian. They are avid readers, though many are less affluent than the average Internet user so low-priced books and free books do very well on this site.
One Main Focus on Goodreads Continue Reading
Click on the cover to go to Lizzie’s book, “Be Beautiful, Be You” on Amazon
I can see you now. You’re probably in a position similar to mine. Sitting in front of your PC, sipping a coffee, and getting ready to start your day. Your Friday. TGIF, right? Tonight, you’ll jump in your car and head home to the fam, the house, and the weekend. Your book is selling well, or almost done, or you just the idea for a new one. Whatever the case, you’re kicking butt, and you are the king (or queen) of all you survey. I’m right there with you.
I submit to you that NONE of us are ass-kickers. This young lady is…and we could all learn a lesson from her…
When she was in high school, Lizzie Velasquez was dubbed “The World’s Ugliest Woman” in an 8-second-long YouTube video. Born with a medical condition so rare that just two other people in the world are thought to have it, Velasquez has no adipose tissue and cannot create muscle, store energy, or gain weight. She has zero percent body fat and weighs just 60 pounds.
In the comments on YouTube, viewers called her “it” and “monster” and encouraged her to kill herself. Instead, Velasquez set four goals: To become a motivational speaker, to publish a book, to graduate college, and to build a family and a career for herself.
Now 23 years old, she’s been a motivational speaker for seven years and has given more than 200 workshops on embracing uniqueness, dealing with bullies, and overcoming obstacles. She’s a senior majoring in Communications at Texas State University in San Marcos, where she lives with her best friend. Her first book, “Lizzie Beautiful,” came out in 2010 and her second, “Be Beautiful, Be You,”was published earlier this month.
“The stares are what I’m really dealing with in public right now,” she told Dr. Drew Pinsky in an interview on CNN’s Headline News this week. “But I think I’m getting to the point where… instead of sitting by and watching people judge me, I’m starting to want to go up to these people and introduce myself or give them my card and say, ‘Hi, I’m Lizzie. Maybe you should stop staring and start learning’.”
Velasquez was born in San Antonio, Texas; she was four weeks premature and weighed just 2 pounds, 10 ounces. “They told us they had no idea how she could have survived,” her mother, Rita, 45, told the Daily Mail. “We had to buy doll’s clothes from the toy store because baby clothes were too big.” Doctors warned Rita and her husband, Lupe, that their oldest child would never be able to walk or talk, let alone live a normal life. (Her two younger siblings were not affected by the syndrome.)
Instead, she has thrived. Her internal organs, brain, and bones developed normally, though her body is tiny. Since she has no fatty tissue in which to store nutrients, she has to eat every 15 to 20 minutes to have enough energy to get through the day. One brown eye started clouding over when she was 4 years old, and now she’s blind in that eye and has only limited sight in the other.
“Some days life doesn’t make sense,” she writes in “Be Beautiful, Be You.” “You just have to change what you can, ask for help and pray about the rest.”
She notes her triumphs and posts inspirational messages on Tumblr, and says that she’s learned to embrace the things that make her unique. Instead of trying to retaliate against people who have made her feel badly, she sets goals for herself and pushes herself to succeed in spite of the haters. She’s even reclaimed YouTube, video blogging about everything from bullying to hair-styling tips to staying positive.
“I feel really glad that I don’t look like the celebrities out there that are so beautiful,” she told Dr. Drew. “There’s a lot of stereotypes attached to that.” Not looking like a supermodel “gives people the opportunity to know you personally,” she explains. “If they’re willing to take that extra step they’ll get to know the person you really are.”
Of course, the horrible comments left on that old YouTube video stung (the video has since been removed, but Velasquez says she read every single comment). Now, she says, she understands that they’re “just words.”
“I’m human, and of course these things are going to hurt,” she said. “Their judgements of me isn’t who I am, and I’m not going to let these things define me.”
“I didn’t sink down to their level,” she said in a follow-up video on YouTube last year. “Instead, I got my revenge through my accomplishments and determination. In the battle between the ‘World’s Ugliest Woman’ video vs. me, I think I won.”
I’ve always loved them. The penniless street urchin who achieves fame (Louis “Satchmo” Armstong), the orphan who overcomes poverty and bigotry to become a world leader (Nelson Mandela), and more recently, the Olympic sprinter who overcame congenital absence of the fibula, and a double leg amputation when he was 11 months old, to become the “Fastest Man on No Legs” – Oscar Pistorius.
More than the champions, the presidents, the privileged, these hearty individuals achieve, despite sometimes massive hurdles to inspire those around them with their courage, fortitude, and bravery.
The video below doesn’t contain a world leader, or an Olympic athlete. However, it does contain a young British gentleman by the name of Jonathan Antoine, who competed this past year in “Britain’s Got Talent“, and stunned an unprepared crowd. Of the 18,564,604 times it’s been viewed on YouTube, I’ve accounted for about 20 of the views. I’ll probably watch it 20 more.
See if you feel the same:
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