Joey Benun

From WikiAlpha
Jump to: navigation, search

Joey Benun (b. September 9, 1997) is an American author and Amazon account manager. His first children's book Pebbles and the Biggest Number, was published in January 2023.

Joey Benun
Born September 9, 1997
Brooklyn NY
Alma mater Baruch College
Occupation Amazon Account Manager, Author
Notable works Pebbles and the Biggest Number
Website
biggestnumber.com

Education

Benun attended a private Jewish K–8 school, where he graduated as salutatorian. After high school, he spent a year at Baruch College of the City University of New York (CUNY). He then studied at Mikdash Melech, a Yeshiva in Israel. Upon his return to the United States, Benun spent two years studying the Talmud at Bnei Binyamin Torah Center.

Personal Life

Benun grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he currently lives and works. For nearly a decade, he has been employed at the Bentex Group, a family-owned group of affiliated companies specializing in the design, production, and sale of apparel, home décor, electronics, and pet products.

Benun’s online selling journey began at age 15 when his uncle taught him how to sell on eBay. He joined Bentex the following summer as a Sales Associate. When Bentex launched its online division, Benun progressed to being an Ecommerce Specialist and then an International Sales Manager.

In his current role as Senior Account Manager, Benun handles operational matters related to policy compliance and intellectual property. His role includes developing resolution processes, securing licensing rights, and maintaining account security.

Benun’s free time has been focused on the development of Pebbles and the Biggest Number. This has allowed him to explore his lighthearted and creative side and provided a refreshing contrast from the seriousness of his day-to-day role.

Writing Process

Rather than developing the manuscript in a linear fashion, Benun prefers to write as ideas come to him, adding embellishments while jumping back and forth between pages. He keeps his concepts scattered across his Apple Notes and Google Sheets apps, sticky notes by his bedside, and in his mind. He is a self-admitted procrastinator, often waiting until a deadline to complete tasks. However, he says, his creativity peaks under pressure, a concept supported by Adam Grant in his TED Talk: “The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers.”

Indeed, Benun's desire to maintain creative control of the book was one of the reasons why he chose to self-publish. It was crucial to him that not only the content of the book but also the final printed product meet his high standards for quality.

To ensure the accuracy of even the smallest details in the book, Benun enlisted the help of various freelancers sourced from Reedsy and Fiverr. By leveraging their individual talents, he assembled a team of collaborators that included an illustrator, designers, developmental editors, copy editors, proofreaders, and fact-checkers. He utilized their skills to hone the content and ensure that it resonated with his target audience. Through multiple rounds of beta reads and editing, Benun received a plethora of feedback, which he meticulously reviewed to refine the manuscript until he was satisfied with it.

Benun's prior experience in orchestrating multiple contributors was instrumental in this process. He had previously managed the production of his high school yearbook, involving tasks such as writing content, editing articles, sourcing and organizing photos, and collaborating with a graphic designer to compile a print-ready file.

This experience provided him with valuable skills and confidence, which he later applied to create Pebbles and the Biggest Number. The book quickly gained popularity, and within a month of its launch, it became Amazon's #1 new release in Children's Math Books.

Freelancers and Companies Utilized

Development

Benun has had a lifelong fascination with numbers. From a young age, he was drawn to big numbers and was particularly interested in learning what came after a trillion. As soon as he could, he turned to Google to satisfy his curiosity and discovered numbers such as quadrillion, quintillion, sextillion, and beyond. Fascinated by his findings, Benun copied down the numbers, color-coded them, and arranged them by size, creating a rudimentary book.

His love for large numbers was further fueled at the age of 10, while watching the TV game show 1 vs. 100. While the contestant was unsure, Benun confidently identified "nonillion" as the correct number, not "dubrillion". His passion for numbers continued into adulthood. In the summer of 2022, while having lunch with his niece and nephews, he noticed their excitement while discussing the biggest numbers they knew. This sparked the idea for his debut book. Benun was aware that not many books existed on the topic and that research might be difficult, but he was up for a challenge. He looked for a fun, creative way to teach children about numbers in the world around them. To connect with young children, he decided to create a character that loved to learn and explore. Thus, Pebbles was born.

Benun’s inspiration for using a butterfly as the main character came from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. At the end of his journey counting small numbers, that caterpillar becomes a BIG, beautiful butterfly. "Why can’t he continue to count big numbers?" Benun thought. He had planned to contact the author, Eric Carle, to discuss a possible collaboration. Unfortunately, Carle passed away before they could connect.

Marketing

When it came to marketing Pebbles and the Biggest Number, Benun applied the same ‘Think Big’ philosophy. He once again turned to digital freelance marketplaces to source marketing and website development professionals. Thus, biggestnumber.com was established, allowing Benun to sell the book directly to customers. By self-publishing, Benun accessed the full proceeds of each sale instead of the 10% royalty offered by traditional publishing houses. Additionally, he retained ownership of the intellectual property, providing him with the opportunity to build the brand and expand his portfolio of offerings.

Given his extensive experience as an Amazon account manager (see Personal Life section), Benun understood the importance of making the book available for sale through Amazon.com. Although the online marketplace offers a print-on-demand service, Benun's desire to develop and market a premium product led him to source his own printing to ensure consistent quality.

Selected Works

Joey Benun’s book is available throughout the United States on Amazon and internationally through his website and various online retailers.

  • 2023, Pebbles and the Biggest Number

External Links

Awards

  • 2023 - Royal Dragonfly Book Award for Animals/Pets, Best Illustrations, Best Interior Design, Children’s Nonfiction, Education, Picture Books 6 & Older, STEM, and Website