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Thursday, 17 November 2011

zen habits: On the Future of Books: A Discussion with Seth Godin

zen habits: On the Future of Books: A Discussion with Seth Godin


On the Future of Books: A Discussion with Seth Godin

Posted: 17 Nov 2011 03:24 PM PST

Post written by Leo Babauta.

The industry of publishing ideas has been undergoing a revolution for more than a decade, and where it’s headed is still an open question.

As a writer, I’m excited by the possibilities. But lots of writers (and publishers) find it all a bit scary.

Today I share a conversation I had with best-selling author, blogger and publisher Seth Godin on the future of books, publishing and blogging. It was fascinating.

First, consider some of the major changes in publishing:

  • Amazon has become the world’s top bookseller, without a physical location. That has changed everything.
  • Writers can now publish their work online, on blogs and websites, in forums and social networks.
  • Writers have no editors. They are in direct contact with their readers. Their readers talk back, so that it’s a two-way conversation now.
  • The lines between books, films, magazines, newspapers and websites have disappeared.
  • Ebooks are on the rise — read on computers in PDF formats, on Kindles, on iPads, on smartphones, everywhere.
  • Writers have no rules, no limits, no need to stick to written words, no pricing limitations, can share their ideas live as readers ask questions, and much more.

And that’s just the start.

Where is it all going? I talked to one of the sharpest minds in the industry to find out.

It was an amazing interview! Listen to me and Seth Godin here (about 26 mins long).

Download the interview (12.8 MB mp3 file).

Some of the topics discussed:

  • Whether the new world of publishing is scary or not
  • The clear, well-lit path that publishing has been taking for more than a decade
  • How lack of scarcity has changed publishing forever
  • The new role of publishing in the online world
  • How not to wait to be picked
  • How Seth’s Domino Project deals with unsolicited requests from authors
  • How the Domino Project planned to transform everything about publishing
  • How he eliminated cover images, shortened books, eliminated advances, and what he learned
  • Whether collectible editions of books work well
  • Spreading ideas through books, and how paid works vs. free
  • The growing problem of people hating reading
  • Whether you should publish how-to or cookbooks at all
  • What types of books will sell well in the new landscape
  • The problem of getting selected by the masses in the vast sea of millions of published books
  • Why you don’t need that many followers/friends as an author
  • Why the willingness to fail is so important, with so many options available to authors
  • A future where everything that happens is your fault — and whether that’s good or bad
  • The horror stories of Pulitzer Prize winning authors
  • Amazon’s vastly important information about readers
  • Deciding to publish your best ideas on your blog vs. your book
  • Why Seth doesn’t have comments on his blog
  • Giving up the goal of having everyone in the world like your stuff
  • The cycle of productivity, and having nothing next

Free Ebook Webinar

Tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 18, 2011) I’ll be hold a free webinar at 2 pm Pacific, 5 pm Eastern on the topic of ebooks.

Please join me here: Ebooks: The Key to Blog Income + Spreading Ideas

In the webinar, I’ll talk about why ebooks (and other digital products) are the best way to make an income off your blog, and how they can be used to spread ideas. You can ask questions in the Q&A at the end.

No password is required to watch, but if you’d like to ask questions via chat, you’ll need to log into or create a free Ustream.tv account.

Ebook Mastery Course

Mary Jaksch and I have created a course called Ebook Mastery for the A-List Blogging Bootcamps.

We’re looking forward to helping you create your first (or best) ebook or digital product.

What you get with this course:

  1. The course teaches you the simple abc steps for choosing the best eBook topic; planning and writing your eBook; and designing and publishing your eBook.
  2. You'll have interaction and support via an online forum, from the course teachers, from forum moderators with experience in creating profitable eBooks.
  3. You can ask questions live, and get them answered, in weekly live video webinars by Leo Babauta, Mary Jaksch, and other superstar guest experts.
  4. Each week you'll get a new module of contentaimed at teaching you the specifics of creating an eBook from beginning to end including:
    • Articles with specific strategies and actions for determining a viable topic, outlining your content and writing plan; creating a writing style that is best for your readers; and specifics on designing and publishing your product.
    • Recommendations and statistics on pricing your eBook.
    • Case studies by people from regular bloggers like you who have created successful and profitable eBooks.
    • Videos, podcasts, and expert interviews to motivate you and help you stay on track with writing and completing your eBook.
    • Assignments, resources, and planning materials to help you stay organized and focused while working on your eBook.
  5. Your own eBook that you have created (or started to create) during this course that you can sell right away.

The course runs from November 19 to December 12, 2011. Sign up for Ebook Mastery now!

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