Thursday, May 31, 2012

People don't buy books from strangers #2

Still thinking about what Seth Godin said: "People don't buy books from strangers." I finally decided to list some of the books I've bought in the past two weeks, and why I bought them.

The Commonsense Guide to Weight Loss for People With Diabetes
  • Found in a used bookstore I often frequent.  Written by someone I never heard of. Hated it.
Platform: Get noticed in a noisy world
  • Read about the book on Seth Godin's blog. Great book. Applies directly to what I am trying to do. Love it.
The Best American Noir Century: Ellroy and Penzler
  • Found in a new bookstore. I recognized Ellroy's name on the cover. Love it.
The Mark Inside : a perfect swindle, a cunning revenge, and a small history of the big con, Amy Reading.
  • Read about the book in an article written by Reading on the Huffington Post. Ordered the book that day.
End This Depression Now. Paul Krugman.

  • Read about the book on Krugmans blog. Love it.
Tipping Point. Japan after Fukashima by Mark Pendergrast.
  • Exchanged occasional emails with Pendergrast on WriterL. Read it because I always try to read and write a review of books by writers I know. Love it.
I draw three conclusions from my tiny, biased, anecdotal list:
  1. First people have to get to know you (one way is by reading your blog or an article.)
  2. Then they have to come to trust you.
  3. Then they buy your books.
How powerful can it be to build an audience and gain its trust?

Seth Godin recently showed exactly how powerful this process is when he published End Malaria. He wrote one blog post and within 30 days the book raised over $300,000 to buy mosquito nets for malarial Africa. One blog post!

Of course, it wasn't Godin's single blog post that did the trick. It was the trust he'd earned by doing three or four years of daily blog posts, hundreds of public speaking gigs, and thousands of hours of pro-bono work for non profits like the Acumen fund.

Sure looks to me like Godin was right: People don't buy books from strangers.

Tomorrow: Defining strangers, fans, followers, friends and family.

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