It was during the conference wrap-up at Photoshop World, just after Larry Becker’s presentation of the Guru Awards, and I’m sitting backstage when my show director told me it was time to get ‘mic’d up” for my closing comments to the crowd. I headed over to the audio crew, and while they were running the mic cable down the back of my jacket, I looked up at one of the huge screens and saw that my book publisher, Nancy Davis of Peachpit Press had taken the stage and was addressing the crowd.
When you’re backstage, if you’re not wearing a headset, you can’t hear the audio from the stage (the audio speakers are on the other side of the curtain, facing away from you, so I can’t actually hear what Nancy is saying — it just sounds like muffled voices, but a graphic appears on the center screen and I see covers of my books from over the years appearing quickly one-by-one, and then I am absolutely floored to see the headline “Over 5-Million Copies Sold!” in huge letters across the screen. My jaw dropped. I literally had no idea. The last time anyone had shared an overall sales number was when I hit 1-million, and I figured they would have told me when I hit two million, but not a word until that moment. I was stunned.
I ran up on stage, hugged Nancy and thanked her, then looked out at the wonderful cheers of a standing ovation from the Photoshop World crowd, with my loving wife Kalebra in the front row (who knew about it all but somehow managed to keep it a secret). It was all pretty overwhelming, but it was at that moment that I realized I should say a few words. I was not at all prepared to make a short speech, but I stumbled my way through this surreal moment and left the stage a bit dazed and amazed.
Now that I’ve had a few days to come back down to earth (and get some much-needed sleep), I want to do it right. I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you who have read my books, passed them on to friends, shared photos of the covers, tweeted about them, written blog posts about them, did reviews on Amazon, created YouTube videos about them, or just dropped me a line to say thanks.
A very special thanks to my amazing wife Kalebra — her fingerprints are on every book I’ve ever written. Thank you for being my idea generator, sounding board, advice desk, tie breaker, creative consultant, and for getting me through some really tough books that I otherwise wouldn’t have survived. She is my partner in every book we create, and I couldn’t do any of this without her (and wouldn’t want to). Thank you, my love.
I’m indebted to my in-house book editor Kim Doty, and my Art Director Jessica Maldonado. They are a big part of the reason for those sales, and they are as committed, and talented of a team as there is in this industry. I consider myself very blessed to get to work with them each day. I am surrounded by an incredible team here at KelbyOne and pinch myself daily that I have the job I do, and the best team in the business to help me produce these books.
Getting to write books is a privilege and one I never take for granted.
I’m very thankful to Nancy Davis and her team at Peachpit Press who are so committed to making books that really help people. I’m honored by the readers who’ve taken a chance on me and my books, and for any of their success in Photoshop, Photography, or Lightroom that I contributed to even in the smallest way, I’m forever grateful. Seeing their success and progress is a thrill and it keeps me wanting to write more books, to share the latest things I’ve learned, and to keep us all moving ahead doing the one thing that we all want to do — to simply make better images.
Thanks for letting my books be a part of your photographic, Photoshop, and Lightroom education. It is truly an honor.