The magic mix of attendees last night reflected Crystal Mahey-Morgan’s vision for the future of publishing. Publishers and PR mingled with hip hop artists, singers, presenters, librarians, artists, DJs and illustrators at a vibrant event in St Martin’s Lane, London to launch Crystal’s first publication as founder of OWN IT!
OWN IT! is a storytelling lifestyle brand telling stories across music, books, fashion and film. A genuine platform for new voices.
And as Crystal’s husband stated ‘she wants to change the world. She’s the real deal.’
And so Don’t Be Alien is an animated song, available separately, and a multi-media digital book available here.
We watched the beautiful and moving animated song written and composed by Cuba, sung by Call Me Unique (‘rising star’ Time Out) and animated by Canadian Ewan Green.
It’s the story of two people once desperately in love, now distant strangers.
And Crystal knows what she is doing. She was responsible for the creative strategy for Jamal Edwards’ book Self Belief: The Vision (Virgin Books), which was initially released as a series of digital ebooks. It reached the 16-24 demographic who were largely into music and they took his book to #1 on iTunes.
Last night Crystal recalled how she came home from work and announced ‘right that’s it, I’m leaving my job and we’re not discussing it.’ After 6 years at Penguin Random House she finally jumped ship to champion more of what she loves and who she loves.
Passionate about books, music, literacy and digital, Crystal has created the OWN IT! platform exactly one year since she left her job
And she has already been shortlisted for Digital Achiever of the Year at this year’s FutureBook Awards 2015.
There is nothing more inspiring in a room of people with their own aspirations, ideas and dreams than to see someone else start up their own dream business.
Crystal recently spoke at a publishing event at Kingston University. Many students came last night, fired up by Crystal’s achievements so far. Amongst them were an independent publisher who wants to modernise, an aspiring literary agent and a start up book shop and vinyl owner. Sal Cooper started at Kingston University 3 months ago. Since leaving, his Delaware home has been branded the murder capital of the US. ‘So I have to do it’ he says, ‘I have to set up my business back home and promote reading as an alternative to gun crime.’
Jamal Edwards broke off from his hectic day to attend. Tall, friendly and off to do some filming for SBTV, he had some tips for anyone hoping to start a dream business. With his SBTV channel boasting viewing figures others can only dream of, he is now heading into America. ‘I just keep trying. If I fail I try something else. Again and again and again.’
Persistence is key to success. And as Crystal tweeted this morning ‘now the real work begins!’