I found this in my email Drafts box from a couple years ago; Seth Godin posted this on his site just after publishing Linchpin. It has lots of great info on publishing in the Age of the Idea. Obviously, it'll do more good posted here than buried on my computer. I'll check with Seth once it's posted to make sure it's OK, of course.
[I'll be updating this post all day, just fyi,click through to see the latest update]
You know by now that I haven't gone to any traditional media for the launch of my new book - no pitches to newspapers, magazines, or television. Instead, I went directly to my readers and the many intelligent voices online. I sent review copies by request to my readers - who were generous and creative in their reviews, and now we'll hear from the bloggers and other online denizens. This is the short head of the new long tail, the group of professional and semi-pro writers and journalists that are increasing in influence daily.
I spoke to over 40 different people from various industries and blogs about Linchpin. I was given a warm reception by artists, business blogs, marketing sites, brand innovation sites, and creative blogs. It was a blast. My interaction with them reminds me that the online world is quickly becoming even more human and connected everyday. The page summarizing all of the links is right here.
There are a lot of people on this list, and I respect every single one of them, for their insights, their generosity and for plugging away at a medium that's just getting started.
Here's what we talked about, organized by general theme and topic. There are some overlaps, but I figured rather than talking about my book on this blog, I'd let them lead the conversation.
Thanks to each of these big thinkers for sharing some time with me, and thanks to you for reading! If you find a blog you like, don't forget to subscribe to it.
What is an Artist?
- Michael Hyatt: Over the top generosity from the head of one of the largest book publishers in the world. Michael interviewed me about making a difference. Visit his site if you'd like to win a free copy of the book.
- Tom Peters: A guest post on the blog of one of my role models and heroes. I take on the idea of 'excellence' and what it means now.
- Good Experience: Mark practically invented the science of simplified web design. I do a guest post about why artists break things.
- Gaping Void: Your favorite cartoons-on-the-back-of-business-cards provocateur generously asks me ten (hard) questions, and I generously answer them.
- Pilgrimage of the heart: Jeff and I talk about breaking rules, technology and art.
- Art of Non-Conformity: Chris is at the forefront of rethinking work. We talk about the courage needed to do it. And plumbers. It keeps coming back to plumbers.
Shipping and The Resistance
- Behance: I first launched the ideas in Linchpin at their conference last year, and here's a guest post about shipping.
- Steve Pressfield: The godfather of the resistance, the five-star general in the war against fear, Steve takes on the ideas in Linchpin and asks me some hard questions about my personal creative habits and the idea of making a ruckus.
- White Hot Truth: Danielle takes on the burning questions of pushing yourself to do art that matters.
- Ruzuku -Another Step Forward: Rick is leading a tribe of entrepreneurs. We talked about why I wrote the book and how entrepreneurs can use it. And I talk a little about golf.
Creativity and Art
- Dan Pink: Dan's new book is really terrific, and he let me interview him about it.
- Derek Sivers: The man who re-invented music distribution for indie bands. We talk about good vs. great music and why there's already plenty of good.
- Merlin Mann: Merlin is well-known for inventing inbox zero, and we did a podcast together about creativity.
- Martha Beck: One of the most well-known coaches, Martha is a leading thinker on how individuals can make a difference. We talk about jazz and writing...
- Jennifer Lindsay: What keeps one writing, a video conversation.
- B.L. Ochman: I did an interview with BL about what keeps marketers (and people) from being creative.
- Richard Pachter: Richard is a regular reader. He tracked me down and we did an interview about curiosity for the Herald.
- Cool Hunting: A cutting edge site about the changes driving our culture. A podcast about my take on art.
Be a Linchpin, Be Indispensable
- Duct Tape Marketing: John is the Peter Drucker of small business tactics. In this podcast, that's what we talk about (small business, not Peter Drucker).
- The Happiness Project: Gretchen dives into how you can become indispensable (and whether it will make you happy).
- WebInkNow: David Meerman Scott is the Charles Darwin of new media marketing, tirelessly chronicling how it works. In this video, we talked about becoming indispensable.
- Tonic.com: Where are the good things in life? That's what this site is about, and we talked about making change.
- Fuel Your Creativity: On the intersection between digital arts, graphics and becoming someone they can't live without.
- Marty Wilson: You can see a picture of me when I was 18. We talk in depth about learning to be a leader, canoeing and how you can choose to make a difference.
- Crazy Engineers: Not so crazy, actually. Driven, but not crazy. This is an interview about how a cube-dweller can make a big impact.
- IQ Partners is an executive search and retention firm. We talked about the new standard for people worth hiring.
- Gail Goodwin: Gail writes about non-traditional thinking and opportunities. We talked about creativity and being remarkable.
- Charlotte AMA: Some very sharp marketers in Charlotte. We get tactical on this podcast.
Entrepreneurs, Money, Art and Balance
- Lee Stranahan: Lee often writes for Huffpo and we discussed (via podcast) the power a Linchpin has to change things. We all live in Detroit now.
- Joi Ito: If you don't know Joi, you should. I interview this cutting-edge linchpin on his blog.
- Personal MBA: Josh and I did an interview on entrepreneurship and stepping out of the status quo.
- Writing on the Web: Patsi and I talked on this podcast about coaching and making a difference.
- Ladies Who Launch: Shipping and marketing with the ladies who know how to do it.
- Mongezi Mtati: This video interview wins the prize for longest-distance by Skype. Mongezi called in from South Africa to talk about the struggle between giving it away and making money.
- Mixergy: A podcast with the always interesting Andrew Warner. (Transcript too)
- Twist Image: Mitch is at the cutting edge of what it takes to succeed in new media. He lives it every day (in Canada even!). We talked about What Matters Now on this podcast.
- Fearless Business: Mediocre obedience and being remarkable are covered in this video.
- Be The Media: David and I use this podcast to talk about how innovative thinking impacts distributed media. And he has a great logo.
- Self Growth.com: Brian interviews me on self improvement and becoming indispensable.
- Untemplater: Jun and I talk about the value of an MBA and entrepreneurship.Hint: not so much. We do a video chat.
- Careerealism: Because every job is temporary.
- Site Visibility: Kelvin and I talk on this podcast about remarkable products and their place in a world of SEO and clicks.
- Neville Hobson: A podcast about innovation and marketing.
- Mark Ramsey: Mark is a visionary about the future of radio. In this podcast, he's his usual insightful self, and I try to keep up. This is the new normal.
Connecting, Being Human, and why it matters
- Flowerdust.net: Anne Jackson understands the power of faith, regardless of religion. She's worth learning from--and she was kind enough to give me a guest post.
- Sasha Dichter: Sasha works for Acumen Fund and writes a powerful blog about giving and philanthropy. We talked about whether there will be a surplus of linchpins and my early history in working for not much money.
- Marketing Over Coffee: Just like it sounds, except I had tea. We use this podcast to talk about the death of the factory.
- First Friday Book Review: Robert Morris, an inveterate Amazon reviewer and journalist, interviews me about the book.
- John Moore: One of his classic (and very funny) video readings, this time of a little bit of Linchpin. Horrifying.
Education and Giving Gifts in the new economy
- Personal Branding Blog: The power of applying linchpin thinking to your own brand. This is a PDF magazine for download.
- ArtBeat of America: On Rick's podcost, he and I talk about artists who can't draw.
- Rethinking Learning: Barbara asked some startling questions about whether higher education has a future.
- Book Blade: Randy and I talked about education and the broken school system in this video interview.
- Todd Sattersten: We talked about choosing words carefully.
- Goose Educational Media: Chris Taylor interviews me on video about changing education and being remarkable.
Shenpa, Emotional Labor, and Fear
- Pam Slim: Pam wants you to quit your job. I did a short guest post on her blog about why that might be hard for you and how to get started.
- Communicatrix: More than communication, insights that turn things upside down. Colleen will make you think.
- Innovate on Purpose: Jeff asked some hard questions about mediocre obedience and being a cog.
- Church of Customer: Jackie and Ben pioneered the idea of the 1%, and in this interview we cover five questions that matter to marketers (and artists of all stripes).
Thanks to each of these big thinkers for sharing some time with me, and thanks to you for reading! If you find a blog you like on this list, don't forget to subscribe to it.
Bonus! A guest post on shipping for Leo on Zen Habits.
Why write a book?
If you've never written a non-fiction book, there are a lot of reasons why you might want to. It organizes your thoughts. It's a big project worthy of your attention.
But once you've written a book, it's not clear that it's a useful thing to publishone. After all, it takes a year. It involves a lot of people. You need to print a lot of copies, ship them everywhere, create a lot of hoopla and hope that people actually a) hear about it, b) decide it's worth the effort to track it down and c) read it and spread it.
Wouldn't it be easier to just blog it? Or to post a PDF online and watch it spread?
Some of my books have been short... one was under a hundred pages long. It could certainly have a been a series of blog posts. And the posts might even have reached more people than the book ultimately did. If my blog posts were counted on the same metrics as bestselling books, every single one would be a New York Times bestseller. Yours too, most likely. Books don't sell that many copies.
The goal isn't always to spread an idea. Sometimes the goal is to make change happen. A book is a physical souvenir, a concrete instantiation of your ideas in a physical object, something that gives your ideas substance and allows them to travel.
Out of context, a 140 character tweet cannot change someone's life. A blog post might (I can think of a few that changed the way I think about business and even life). A movie can, but most big movies are inane entertainments designed to make a lot of money, not change people. But books?
The reason I wrote Linchpin: If you want to change people, you must create enough leverage to encourage the change to happen.
Books change lives every day. A book takes more than a few minutes to read. A book envelopes us, it is relentless in its voice and in its linearity. You start at the beginning and you either ride with the author to the end or you bail. And unlike just about any form of electronic media, you get to read the book at your own pace, absorbing it as you go.
I published a book today. My biggest and most important and most personal and most challenging book. A book that scared me.
It took me ten years to write this book. I'm hoping it changes a few people.
Last month, I offered readers who wanted to review my new book a chance to get an early copy. It was a pretty big risk, because it meant ignoring the tried and true process of talking to big media and tailoring a message for critics and reviewers. What happens when you go to your best customers with a product that's untested?
Five weeks later and I couldn't be more pleased or more grateful. We sent out thousands of books (your donations raised more than $100,000 for charity) and so far, the book has been well received (if you're still expecting one, please be patient, especially Canadians, it should arrive soon - the postal service works in mysterious ways).
The page collecting the blog posts and tweets is here, and the range and depth that people are contributing is really exciting. Some will appear on the end papers in the next printing of my book. Here are some twitter blurbs along with the people you might want to follow:
scott_allison: Just read a preview of Seth Godin's new career manifesto for the new world, Linchpin. Should be given to all school kids. AronStevenson: Reading the preview of Seth Godin's upcoming book Linchpin - Seth once again delivers what he's promised! Bigbrightbulb: I wish I could tweet [the] hand-scrawled Venn diagrams, they are such a hoot... jlottosen: Very inspirational - as always. Works on all job types - what do you want to be the great giver of?lantzhoward: Loving Seth Godin's #Linchpin. Navigating a new trail in 2010. This is a book for everyone... bnlv: Yes yes yes yes yes!!!!! I'm not available at all until this book has been read. recordstyle: one of those books that you read from the inside out. More of a "find the (you) in between the lines" style, flow, and feel. BarbaraShantz: Reviewing Seth Godin's new book, Linchpin. Fantastic Common Sense like we've not heard before. DanBlank: I'm only on the table of contents, but I've already fallen in love with Seth Godin's new book 'Linchpin'rickysteele: Again, Seth Godin, has written a masterpiece. His newest book, Linchpin, will be one of this year's most important books. Life Changing!paul_shinn: Also read all of Linchpin in one sitting. A great book. Going to think about who I will give the book so they can read it too. mavenroger: Just got my prerelease copy of Godin's Linchpin! In short, it's about doers not talkers. Psyched...more to com. johnwaire: found myself taking some extra time to warm up the car this morning...so i could squeeze in a few pages of linchpin ... You can find fresh ones here.
I can't imagine why any author given the chance to do this would hesitate. Bypassing professional critics and allowing real people to use the newly powerful platforms available to them is faster, more direct and gives you far more feedback on your work. Not for the faint of heart though. It's emotionally easier to just push things to retail and hope for the best. Thanks to all who have contributed so far. I'm really humbled by the response.
But what if you're not an artist or a musician? Is there a business case for this?
I think the ability to find and organize 1,000 people is a breakthrough opportunity. One thousand people coordinating their actions is enough to change your world (and make a living.)
1,000 people each spending $1,000 on a special interest cruise equals a million dollars.
1,000 people willing to spend $250 to attend a day-long seminar gives you the leverage to invite just about anyone you can imagine to fly in and speak.
1,000 people voting as a bloc can change local politics forever.
1,000 people willing to try a new restaurant you find for them gives you the ability to make an entrepreneur successful and change the landscape of your town.
Even better, coordinating the learning and connections of this tribe of 1,000 is not just profitable, it's rewarding. If you can take them where they want to go, you become indispensable (and respected).
What's difficult? What's difficult is changing your attitude. Instead of speed dating your way to interruption, instead of yelling at strangers all day trying to make a living, coordinating a tribe of 1,000 requires patience, consistency and a focus on long-term relationships and life time value. You don't find customers for your products. You find products for your customers.
[NOW SOLD OUT. See you there.] I'm doing a live presentation on the morning of January 15th in New York. The low price for general admission is basically the retail price of the new book, and we're giving ticket buyers a copy of the book as well.
Arrive as early as 9:20 am to get your ticket checked, doors open at 9:30, we start at 9:45 sharp.
Hope to see you there. Tix are limited (and there are a few VIP tickets as well, which also include a small Q&A session after).
[UPDATE: Our goal was reached and exceeded in just 48 hours! The site is no longer accepting donations, but you can visit Acumen's site and donate without getting a book.]
There used to be one hundred people who mattered.
That's true in a lot of industries, but particularly in books.
One hundred people who could make a book a hit. These were key buyers at bookstores, reviewers and editors at newspapers, the person who booked time at Oprah or the Today Show.
So publishers courted these people. If the one hundred loved it, the book launched as a hit. Of course the 100 all get free copies. Lots of free copies.
Today, of course, those one hundred people matter a lot less. And who matters more? You.
You, because you have a network. You blog. You tweet. You talk things up at meetings or recommend things to friends.
And there are a lot more than a hundred of you.
One solution is to give everyone a free copy. Publishers and authors could do this and try to make money doing something else. Another solution is to let the best of this group, the most committed, the most interested... let them stand up and identify themselves.
So, that's what we're experimenting with on Linchpin. For a select group of motivated readers, I want to send you a copy of Linchpin (at my expense) three weeks before anyone else can buy one. My US publisher is not sending free review copies to magazines (the few that are left,) newspaper editors, TV shows, any of the usual media suspects. Instead, we're allowing people like you to raise their hands and, if they like the book, asking them to tell the world about it in January.
How to choose? I can't afford to buy a book for everyone, so I needed to come up with a filter. Here it is: The first 3,000 people who make a donation to the Acumen Fund (at least $30) get one at my expense. The money you pay goes directly to Acumen, you get the fun of making a donation and get a tax deduction before the end of the year, and I figure out which of my readers most want a copy of my book.
If you're excited about getting a first look, I hope you'll [link removed]. And thanks for your support, every day. It means a lot to me.
Please hurry, since once they're gone, I probably won't be able to offer any more.
[UPDATE: After 9 hours we've sold half of the reserved books and raised more than $70,000 for Acumen. Thanks guys. UPDATE 2: After 49 hours, we raised over $108,000. Wow.]