Seth Godin – Book Publishing is So 1907

A snippet from a forthcoming Mediabistro interview with Seth Godin:

“I’ve decided not to publish any more books in the traditional way. 12 for 12 and I’m done. I like the people, but I can’t abide the long wait, the filters, the big push at launch, the nudging to get people to go to a store they don’t usually visit to buy something they don’t usually buy, to get them to pay for an idea in a form that’s hard to spread … I really don’t think the process is worth the effort that it now takes to make it work. I can reach 10 or 50 times as many people electronically. No, it’s not ‘better’, but it’s different. So while I’m not sure what format my writing will take, I’m not planning on it being the 1907 version of hardcover publishing any longer.”

I am particularly struck by the “long wait” combined with the very short window of opportunity during which the publisher decides whether or not to keep a book in print, exercise any of the subsidiary rights they bought, or ponders why they ever bought the book in the first place, though nobody remembers because the people involved no longer work there.  But insists on DRM on e-versions because OMG, what if it escapes!! It’s an insane business, and for books like his that are more topical than they are for the ages – well, I guess he got around to reading one of his own books . . .


One Response to Seth Godin – Book Publishing is So 1907

  1. Hi Barbara, just read your interview in The Crime of it All. Thank you, I loved it. We so seldom get to the opportunity to read crime authors’ thoughts on the genre in a higher register, a more academic level. Probably didn’t hurt that so many of your opinions coincide with my own. :-)
    Best, James Thompson

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