Seth Godin on Publishing, Books and Sharable Ideas
Publishing Perspectives posted a fascinating interview with Seth Godin about The Domino Project, the company Godin started after announcing he would no longer issue his books through a traditional publisher. The first book that Domino released was Godin’s Poke The Box.
The complete interview is well worth a read. Below, I’ve highlighted a couple of choice excerpts that might get you thinking about how you write your book.
“So what I’m thinking about when I write a book like Poke the Box is not “How do I write this for the person who will be easy for me to sell it to?” but “How do I write it so once that person reads it, they’re likely to give it to someone else?” And that second order sale, that idea that books are actually manifestos organized to spread, really changes the way you think about writing a book.”
“…my chapters are now down to 2-pages long, or 3-pages long, and the reason is that’s the way we have trained people to think. We think clearly at a different rate than we did 80 or 90 years ago.
No one buys a book anymore if they don’t know what the book is about, if they don’t know what the idea in the book is before they even got it. And so what that requires authors to do is figure how to make their ideas spread so that they get a chance to hammer those ideas home in book form.”
Godin takes a lot of flak for producing books that others don’t consider worthy of the name — books that are small and short, with miniscule chapters or no chapters at all. And yet his sales are through the roof, outstripping, as Godin notes in the interview, even New York Times bestsellers.
Godin focuses on making his ideas sharable: succinct, easily explained, easily accessible. If you started with sharing as your focus, what might you do with your information?