Seth Godin is a marketing expert whose advice I value highly. Along with Jay Conrad Levinson’s Guerilla Marketing series, Godin’s book Purple Cow has been central to how I think about “marketing” Unitarian Universalism.
Marketing people have a tendency to go off the deep end, however, and I’m beginning to think that’s where Godin has gone. His latest marketing initiative is called The Domino Project. He says he’s going to “reinvent books,” primarily (it seems) by building an online community through his blog that will be a built-in market for his new book, and then publishing the book directly through Amazon.
I find this to be intensely uninteresting. My partner has been writing, printing, and selling her own books for a dozen years; she knew her market in advance, cultivated them, and maintains personal connections with them. She learned that Amazon has a tendency to exploit people: they lower the selling price of a book by cutting the amount that goes to writers and publishers and at the same time increasing their own profit margin. Half of what Godin seems to be proposing in his Domino Project is what good authors have been doing for years, and the other half seems to be promoting an exploitative corporation.
Worse yet, from my point of view, all Godin seems to be doing is coming up with ways to market his own books. None of this applies to the kind of marketing I’m doing all the time. In short, Godin has pretty much lost me — so now he’s gone from my blogroll, having been replaced with the Guerilla Marketing blog.