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Thank God Seth Godin Isn’t Publishing Another Book

August 25, 2010 9 comments

leadership formatsOn Monday this week, Seth Godin shocked the world (again) by announcing that after authoring 12 best-sellers, he won’t publish another book in the traditional way.

I, for one, was thrilled.

For those of you who don’t know Seth Godin (yes, there are still people who don’t know him – I was one of them not so long ago), he’s an entrepreneur, speaker and author. The majority of his books deal with marketing, but his focus has shifted toward leadership in the past few years. About 438,000 people follow his blog, which AdAge ranks #1 out of the 976 marketing blogs they track.

So why am I thrilled he’s not publishing another book? Let’s start with what my reasons aren’t:

1: I do not think Seth Godin is an idiot. I actually think he’s a class act and has incredible insights that people need to hear.

2. I do not believe that traditional book publishing is dead. Michael Hyatt (one of the “mavericks” Seth mentioned on Monday) defended the industry nicely today on his blog.

Now, here’s why I’m thrilled:

1. I can’t stand reading his books. As much as I like his ideas and perspective and calls to action, I have a tough time with his books. I’ve only read his last two – Tribes and Linchpin (affiliate links) – but connecting them sets a future trajectory that I wasn’t looking forward to. It’s not the content, it’s the format. These books just seemed like a collection of blog posts – perfect for attention-handicapped readers, but purgatory for those of us who expect the author to weave a story or construct a larger argument. Bottom line, I think these last two books – as wonderful as they are –  were already written for a format other than traditional publishing. Which leads to my second reason.

2. He stopped writing traditional books years ago. Seth’s short pithy writing style is tailor fit for blogging. I don’t wholeheartedly agree with everything he says, but I believe Seth’s vision is keen and his heart is in the right place. I believe in what he’s trying to do. I also believe that writing books is not the best format for him. Thankfully, he has the platform and connections that will allow him to jump ship and find a format that fits his vision, his writing and his audience. He’s taking his own advice, he’s blazing a trail, he’s leading. And I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

What do you think about Seth Godin’s unorthodox decision?

What bold moves are you considering right now?

photo by Pieter Baert