What Seth Godin Can Teach Us About Book Publishing

This post by Jennifer Tribe originally appeared on clearprose communications on 5/14/14.

If you’ve ever read anything by Seth Godin, you know he’s not a man who’s content to just go with the flow. He’s been questioning and analyzing the business world — “poking the box,” as he calls it — for decades.

He applies that same inquisitive nature to publishing, too. Godin is the author of 17 bestselling books that have been translated into dozens of languages. He’s worked with a traditional publisher and he’s experimented with self-publishing. In other words, he’s been around the book block quite a few times.

Godin’s commentary on the book publishing industry is some of the sharpest I’ve read, and his techniques for crafting and promoting a book are often ingenious.

If you’re a non-fiction author, you’d do well to tear a page from Godin’s playbook — here’s how.


1] Understand that the idea is the thing

In Godin’s world, a book is a vehicle for an idea — the idea is the product — which means that right now, the traditional publishing industry is focused on the wrong thing.

[Publishers] will only thrive if they understand that an entirely new business model will have to be built and understood. And it will have nothing whatsoever to do with paper. It will be about ideas.Which is what book publishing was supposed to be about all along, right?


Click here to read the full post on clearprose communications.