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Seth Godin is done with “books”: why all business writers should join him

This week bestselling author and pundit, Seth Godin, said via blog post that his latest book, Linchpin, is the last that he plans to “publish in a traditional way.” Hallelujah!

Godin has always written books that I have thought of as great 10-20 page ideas. The economics & marketing of the book publishing industry has forced authors like Seth to write books that are far longer than their ideas merit or need for their full expression.

This state of affairs has become offensive for two big reasons:

1. it creates a now unconscionable waste of paper, ink and other resources

2. it creates an economy around books that many buy, but that almost no one reads

Godin’s books may actually be among the few exceptions to this rule with their pithy and fun style and pace.

But the vast majority of business publishing creates piles of books that nobody reads. A great many best selling books are actually the worst case of this phenomenon, because they create a false economy of both unnecessary ideas and paper.
Way to go Seth! Now let’s create the business models that make it compelling to follow his lead.

One Comment

  1. Will Evans wrote:


    I consume a relatively vast number of books(even some business books) and I can say that most follow this pattern:

    The major argument is dispensed with in the introduction to the book - usually between 10-15 pages with a few supporting illustrations of the point; the other 135-165 pages is fluff anecdotes that are cherry-picked to support the general assertion posed in the introduction which tends to be a framing or perspective of some business problem from which any number of other assertions could be positively asserted without negating the argument posed in the book - same problem, same anecdotes, different lens - end of story. No new ideas are really introduced, and the original argument was never so dense or complicated as to really warrant 150 pages to support the original argument.

    Wednesday, August 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

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