Author Lessons From a Historic Emmy Snub

Looking for fairness in artistic fields? Look elsewhere.
Jan | 17 | 2024
  Jan | 17 | 2024
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BY Phil Simon
  Phil Simon

Author Lessons From a Historic Emmy Snub

Looking for fairness in artistic fields? Look elsewhere.
Phil Simon
Jan | 17 | 2024

Author Lessons From a Historic Emmy Snub

TL;DR: Looking for fairness in artistic fields? Look elsewhere.
Phil Simon
Jan | 17 | 2024

Over the course of its amazing six-season run, Better Call Saul earned more than its fair share of plaudits and critical acclaim, including 53 Emmy nominations. Ultimately, the masterful Breaking Bad prequel won exactly zero of them. (Yes, it’s a record—but not exactly a brag-worthy one.)

With all due respect to those Emmy winners (and there were some great ones), the word travesty comes to mind. I could go down the list, but Rhea Seahorn in particular got routinely robbednot that I’m remotely unbiased. This ridiculous scene from the final season alone should have resulted in her hoisting a trophy earlier this week:

Oh, and she freakin’ nailed it on the first take.

Author Horror Story #4: Courier

What You Need to Know

Like Hollywood, the book business is inherently unfair. Ditto for music, art, and any other creative endeavor. If spending the last 15 years writing books and helping authors with theirs has taught me anything, it’s this: Excellent works often go unnoticed or punch way below their weight. Plenty of weak, derivative, and prosaic titles move in bulk.

As you begin to write your book or think about it, it’s essential to understand this cold, hard truth. Do the work for its internal rewards like pride and the sense of accomplishment, not because you expect external ones. The latter may come or they may not. To paraphrase Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame, you can control the inputs, but not the outputs.

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