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119 - Today’s Gutenberg Press - The Internet! A Reason for Concern


Hey Guys! Nicole Gabriel here! I’m the host of the Let’s Get Your Book Published podcast. I’m also the author multiple books, a Book Designer, and a Publishing Coach as well as an intuitive Business Coach.

I’ve been in the book business for awhile now and I’ve helped many clients get their book published over the years. On this podcast I share personal stories, client stories, and the truths about the publishing industry….


Today’s topic: Today’s Gutenberg Press - The Internet! A Reason for Concern

Most of us tend to take printed materials for granted, but imagine life today if the printing press had never been invented. We would not have books, magazines or newspapers. Posters, flyers, pamphlets and mailers would not exist. The printing press allows us to share large amounts of information quickly and in huge numbers.

In fact, the printing press is so significant that it has come to be known as one of the most important inventions of our time. It drastically changed the way society evolved. But, today technology is disrupting power structures. And I should make it very clear that I do have an MBA in Technology Management so I’m very familiar with technology and how it’s managed.

The printing press changed power structures back in its day. The first printings were bibles and the priests that were reading to the public were creating bribery systems— you pay the priest so much and you get your sins forgiven. But, then the people not only started reading but creating their own content. Imagine how content was selected if bribery started way back then! Also image, if something was unreadable when created by hand then later subject to print. How many errors might have occurred?

The monasteries were given the power to scribe in silence in a special room called a “scriptorium”. In what was called the Dark Ages or Middle Ages, books were only owned by monasteries, educational institutions, or the extremely rich. Most books were religious in nature. If anyone was lucky enough to own a book it was usually a bible.

Back in the late 1430’s a German man named Johann Gutenberg was desperate to make money and created something made of metal that resembles a modern day rubber stamp—words on blocks. This would evolve from here. Of course, it is believed the first book off his press was a bible.

Interestingly, Gutenberg’s invention made a dramatic impact when it reached the public. At first, the noble classes looked down on it. To them, hand-inked books were a sign of luxury and grandeur, and it was no match for the cheaper, mass-produced books. Thus, press-printed materials were at first more popular with the lower classes. Of course, eventually this all introduced new discussions and the development of new ideas. Language, spelling, and grammar became more standardized as a result. One might say that the printing press played a major role in shaping the Renaissance and this might be relatable to today's information age.

We all have to pick our “peace” (yes I intentionally spelled it that way) in this awakening. Because I’m surrounded by books, information, authors, and how this all comes together on social media, in print, and marketing and distribution…I have much reason for concern, in particular over censorship.

I have to put my voice where I have some knowledge and this is where God placed me for now. I want you to hear me out and really pay attention to what the information and digital age is doing to attack the freedoms we gained after the Dark Ages…I mean can you imagine? It was all the way back at the fall of Rome! This was forever ago! Yet, we are teetering on this slippery slope today of loosing our freedom of speech through the written word, the digital word, and technology scanning of information for censorship.

We should all care because modern advances in printing (going digital) suggests the Information Age is likely to have profound effects throughout society—even if the specific effects are still hard to see at this point.

For someone paying attention, all these years later, we are now moving backwards into internet or Amazon-owned systems. And now that we don’t have many physical book stores we have opened ourselves up to more censorship of content. Are we moving backwards? What was written in the past controlled people. In fact, it disrupted power so much it lead to a 30-year war when people started rising up. The powers that were tried to hold onto the power they had over the people.

If you guys know me, I am all about truth! Whoever defines the truth defines the narrative. How the narrative gets controlled highlights power structures. Control then becomes an installation of an infrastructure all about power. It can be said still today that much power has remained with the elite and the church, just like what we released ourselves from with the adoption of the printing press all those years ago.

When you shut down debate that seeks to define truth, with the idea that truth is relative, it’s no longer about seeking the truth, but about suppressing power. When there is no such thing as truth you can’t define reality… the only thing that matters is power. Power defines reality. Shutting down the debate is to control power. It’s really quite simple.

I’m guessing you know about Orwell’s 1984. For those that don’t—is a novel and cautionary “tale” that was published in 1949. Thematically, it centers on the consequences of totalitarianism, mass surveillance and repressive regimentation of people and behaviors within society. Orwell, a democratic socialist, modeled the totalitarian government in the novel after Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany. More broadly, the novel examines the role of truth and facts within politics and the ways in which they are manipulated. This is a literary example of political and dystopian fiction. Parallels have been drawn between the novel's subject matter and real life instances of totalitarianism, mass surveillance, and violations of freedom of expression among other themes. The freedom of speech is the freedom of expression and that is a fundamental human right. In a legal sense, the freedom of expression includes any activity of seeking, receiving, and imparting information ideas, regardless of the medium used.

You have no premise when you can’t hold onto reality and you are over-ruled by the powers that be. Information is the most powerful weapon. Keep people too busy and they don’t have the privilege to seek truth and debates. People are busy trying to live and survive. Media and other power sources are peddling the agenda and maintaining power. It becomes challenging to define reality. And when there is no time then you have to pick and choose where you get your information no matter the topic. But, when companies like Amazon start taking away bookstores and going digital then we start to have a monopoly over information. I’m not real sure how many of you predicted this kind of thing back in the introductory days of the internet. I think most of us were excited because we saw the positive usefulness of fast information, quick shipping, and a place where everyone knew to go to buy or sell. But, we’ve got a bit of a monopoly now that’s knocked many out of business and digitized the printed book. Once our content becomes digital we now have placed it into an environment where everything is scanned, searched, and given a green, yellow, or red light in terms of how it fits the narrative of those in power. What many don’t see is that the narrative is a carefully chosen story to aid in more power and control by the elite. Best-sellers from the big publishing houses are chosen when the author and the content of the book they’ve written fit the narrative. The self-published book is a great threat that opposes the narrative. Can you see where I’m going with all this? We have a real reason for concern!

Now, the other issue we face as a self-published author, is gaining credibility when we go against the systems chosen narrative. We are a threat! But, if a system were to come out that told new authors that digital was the way of the future (say, for example, the eBook) then we could be monitored and controlled. Our books could be subject to particular algorithms in the Amazon system and our books get hidden. I know, for example, the longer my books are out, the harder it is to find them. If you punch my name into the Amazon search bar today you will find all kinds of books that aren’t mine. It didn’t used to be that way. And, only one of my books will generally pop up on the first page. They don’t all link in my author central either. I just launched my audiobook so that one is generally the first one that comes up today. It’s kinda weird because there are no other authors with my exact name, but there are Nicole’s and there are Gabriel’s. If they really wanted my books to be found wouldn’t you think this would return all instances of “Nicole Gabriel”? The back-end of the algorithms is something many have tried to figure out and Amazon keeps that information very secret. I’m telling you its because of a narrative related to power. Yeah, I know…crazy kook conspiracy theorist!

Now the other issue we face as a society is that we tend to trust those put in power places. We tend to gravitate toward the show-boater, the extrovert, the showy loud leader. We don’t tend to follow the thinker behind the scenes. And, no matter how we’ve tried to train ourselves otherwise, we tend to seek out others that are beneficial to our lives. We generally have a take attitude. What are you going to offer me? And this is kinda by design. People are kept so busy so they don’t have time to dive into the false narrative or to challenge it. I think all of this is changing however. There was a point when many followed the narrative because they didn’t want to rock the boat and they figured, like many things, this would come and go.

But, the challenges of today have grown and will continue to grow to a point were our sovereignty will be (or has been) threatened. Parents are standing up now because their kids are threatened. There isn’t a bright future ahead for kids if parents don’t stand up now and people are waking up because they’ve lost their jobs and now they have time to question and ask what the heck is going on. Here’s a great quote I stumbled upon the other day by Gustave Le Bon, a leading French polymath (What the heck is that, right? It’s an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects. In this case: anthropology, psychology, sociology, medicine, invention, and physics. Imagine having a brain like that!) And the quote says:

"Never have the masses thirsted for truth. They turn away from the facts which displease them and prefer to idolize error when it is able to seduce them. He who knows how to deceive them easily becomes their master, he who tries to enlighten them always their victim."

I sure hope that our friend Gustave is wrong here and that people do start turning to truth and facts. In many ways though, I hope people also begin to wake up more to their own intuitive nature. Science and intuition don’t always come together. I know myself that as an empath and intuitive I have answers but don’t always have the credibility others seek to learn my knowledge. I’ve often been shunned, ridiculed, and pushed aside for a louder voice and over-ruled. The world hasn’t always been formed for the quiet thinker. I think that’s also part of the narrative of the global elite. They push down an agenda that people unknowingly get programmed into following.

You know, on another note, but related…I find that if you share your enjoyment of a person whose never been enjoyed by someone else prior they tend to distrust you. In other words, the wounded can’t oftentimes see past the wound. However, if there is a  true acknowledgement of the wound and a willingness to see it for what it is and work on it then a wounded soul can be quite powerful. It’s often that authors tend to write on the very topic of their weakness or wound. It’s been said this is where one might seek mastery.

Needless to say, I do believe that we are approaching a time in human history where truth will be unveiled on all levels. We are going to have to make a choice to follow our intuition, our heart, our truth, our divine knowing… and we are going to need to overcome what will attempt to invoke a fear-based response. The truth will win. God will win. Compassion and love will win. Freedom will win. But, before any of that happens, we collectively have to be awakened to the reality of what we have collectively created or allowed. As we move into the future, we need to be vigilant and make smart choices. I believe we are on the horizon of a beautiful new time in human history, but we still have to sludge through the disclosure of truth before we get there. Many of us are aware this time is here and many of us know we have to let go of the fear, step beyond the ugly disclosures of truth to come, and begin dreaming our world into being.

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states that "everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference" and "everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice."

Our basic human rights are clearly being violated today on so many levels. But, when it comes to producing your book, you should not ever be hidden in searches, never be told that certain items in your manuscript should be removed, and you should not be removed from book selling platforms because your subject doesn’t fit a particular narrative.

Technology has placed humanity in a unique position, in fact, application of freedom of speech becomes more controversial as new means of communication and restrictions arise. In China, for example, certain IP addresses are blocked by firewalls and proxy servers behind many gateways. During large events, like the Olympics, large blocks had to be opened up where foreigners were staying. Imagine not being able to speak because technology blocked you! How far away is this from happening globally?

If an author is to work with a publishing house they will have to make some alterations to fit the large publishing house’s narrative. These large publishing houses are owned by a certain elite that control the narrative, define pop culture, and mold minds into a certain level of conformity and in order to be picked up by them as an author you have to play the game. There isn’t much freedom unless you fit the right time and place with your book topic and your overall platform, look, and feel. On the contrary, when an author self-publishes they get subjected to a similar environment when the only place they can sell a book with an audience today is on Amazon… or some other large online warehouse. An author can get buried in the algorithms there too. They have to pay distribution fees to be there. They have to agree to the terms of the sales tools.

Perhaps the future holds in store a public online database where what we do is showcased and sold. Perhaps there will come a time where each human on the planet will be equally acknowledged for the skillset and knowledge they possess for the greater good of all. Perhaps we will not compete against one another but for the greater good of our planet. Perhaps free speech and truth will be the backbone of such a system. Perhaps we are closer than we think. Whose place is it to create standards verses monopolies? And what is truth really? It’s a funny subject…if it’s your truth its based on your experiences. For someone else they have a different set of experiences. Now think about that for a bit.

OK guys…I could go on but I’m going to stop myself there for now. I just wanted to pose a few questions, ideas, thoughts, and start bringing to light the need for awareness. We need to start paying more attention to what we are collectively creating and not just fitting into systems designed for us…actually working together to create them for our best interests. And because truth is subjective, where do you start?

On that note… I’m, as always, wishing you peace, love, and light!

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