Amazingly interesting move, reported in the Wall Street Journal:
In a significant defection for the book industry, best-selling marketing author Seth Godin is ditching his traditional publisher, Portfolio, after a string of books and plans to sell his future works directly to his fans.
The author of about a dozen books including “Purple Cow” said he now has so many direct customer relationships, largely via his blog, that he no longer needs a traditional publisher. Mr. Godin plans to release subsequent titles himself in electronic books, via print-on-demand or in such formats as audiobooks, apps, small digital files called PDFs and podcasts.
This has very little to do with average self-publishers, who don’t have his kind of fan base. So an up-and-coming writer can’t leap into self-publishing and expect instant success. But if more successful writers jump ship that will totally change the perspective of self-publishing as a viable outlet. Forget the future: that’s already happened.
He’s more of a progressive thinker, so this was pretty much inevitable, but it’s a sign of things to come, especially when ebooks take up a major share of the market and writers don’t need traditional bookstore distribution. On his blog, he writes:
As the medium changes, publishers are on the defensive…. I honestly can’t think of a single traditional book publisher who has led the development of a successful marketplace/marketing innovation in the last decade. The question asked by the corporate suits always seems to be, “how is this change in the marketplace going to hurt our core business?” To be succinct: I’m not sure that I serve my audience (you) by worrying about how a new approach is going to help or hurt Barnes & Noble.
My audience does things like buy five or ten copies at a time and distribute them to friends and co-workers. They (you) forward blog posts and PDFs. They join online discussion forums. None of these things are supported by the core of the current corporate publishing model.
About Seth Godin:
SETH GODIN is a bestselling author, entrepreneur and agent of change.
Godin is author of ten books that have been bestsellers around the world. His most recent titles include The Dip and Meatball Sundae. Free Prize Inside was published in early May, 2004 and All Marketers Are Liars was published in 2005. His books that have been bestsellers around the world and changed the way people think about marketing, change and work. Permission Marketing was an Amazon.com Top 100 bestseller for a year, a Fortune Best Business Book and it spent four months on the Business Week bestseller list. It also appeared on the New York Times business book bestseller list.
Unleashing the Ideavirus is the most popular ebook ever written. More than 1,000,000 people downloaded the digital version of this book about how ideas spread. Featured in USA Today, The New York Times, The Industry Standard and Wired Online, Ideavirus hit #4 on the Amazon Japan bestseller list, and #5 in the USA.