The adorable Seth Godin announced this week that he has created his last traditionally-published book. Here’s why his plan may or may not work for everyone.
(It’s a great post, by the way, and I strongly suggest you read it.)
Seth is brilliant – that’s not debatable. He’s a rebel, a visionary, and his writing has caused me to seriously question many things about the way I consume, and the way I conduct my own business. He has spent the last 12 years developing great books that (mostly) turned out to be bestsellers. He claims this latest book, Linchpin, is his “life’s work”. (Can’t wait to read it.) And he has decided that none of his future writings will be distributed through traditional publishing channels.
Why this works for Godin;
– He already has years of live market research under his belt, which is by his own admission, really because of his relationship with great publishers.
– He has a massive private following through his blog and social media connections.
– He really does know his stuff, and he practices what he preaches.
– He has plenty of capital, both monetary and intangible, to re-invest in his business.
– He has a staff.
Do you have all of those things? Possibly not. I know I don’t. So here are my suggested alternatives for those of us who don’t, in the same order.
– We can perform a surprising amount of market research on our own. Let’s start with keyword research.
– We can build a following by doing exactly what Seth does, such as using our own blog and social media connections, and building slowly. We don’t need it to be massive to be effective – we just need it to be loyal. Loyalty must be earned.
– Very simply, we need to do and be the same. This does not take money or even much time. Transparency sells.
– Does it really take a ton of money to make things happen? Can we adjust our expectations to take advantage of our existing resources? What is the value of sweat equity?
– Staff can be had easily and quickly using virtual assistants. Knowing what to delegate has been my big project for 2010. I think I’m finally getting the hang of it.
Does it work for everyone? Not if they don’t have the drive and imagination. But since all of us are writers, perhaps we have an advantage.