Friday, June 1, 2012

People don't buy books from strangers #3

People don't buy books from strangers. - Seth Godin

This statement goes to the heart of what Godin is teaching.

Before the Internet, a writer wrote for four or five people. They were the gatekeepers with the power to get a writer published. A powerful agent, editor or publisher could make or break a career. 

After the Internet, the gatekeepers are gone. Anyone can publish world-wide at no cost.

Instead of writing for four or five people with the power to choose a writer and present his or her work to an audience of strangers, writers are suddenly writing directly to the audience.

This is really scary. Not a single writer that I know is comfortable with this. At least one said angrily, "It's Bullshit!"

Fair enough. Fortunately, there is a simple way to test Godin's statement.

Pick up the Manhattan phone book and start calling names, beginning at "A." When the stranger at the other end answers say, "I would like you to buy my book."  

If people buy books from strangers your entire print run should be gone by the time you reach "D".

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