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SETH'S BOOKS

Seth Godin has written 12 bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages

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or click on a title below to see the list

all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

ONLINE:

IN STORES:

free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

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IN STORES:

linchpin

Linchpin

An instant bestseller, the book that brings all of Seth's ideas together.

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IN STORES:

meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

Why the internet works (and doesn't) for your business. And vice versa.

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IN STORES:

permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

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IN STORES:

poke.the.box

Poke The Box

The latest book, Poke The Box is a call to action about the initiative you're taking - in your job or in your life, and Seth once again breaks the traditional publishing model by releasing it through The Domino Project.

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IN STORES:

purple.cow

Purple Cow

The worldwide bestseller. Essential reading about remarkable products and services.

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small.is.the.new.big

Small is the New Big

A long book filled with short pieces from Fast Company and the blog. Guaranteed to make you think.

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survival.is.not.enough

Survival is Not Enough

Seth's worst seller and personal favorite. Change. How it works (and doesn't).

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the.big.moo

The Big Moo

All for charity. Includes original work from Malcolm Gladwell, Tom Peters and Promise Phelon.

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the.big.red.fez

The Big Red Fez

Top 5 Amazon ebestseller for a year. All about web sites that work.

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IN STORES:

the.dip

The Dip

A short book about quitting and being the best in the world. It's about life, not just marketing.

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the.icarus.deception

The Icarus Deception

Seth's most personal book, a look at the end of the industrial economy and what happens next.

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tribes

Tribes

"Book of the year," a perennial bestseller about leading, connecting and creating movements.

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unleashing.the.ideavirus

Unleashing the Ideavirus

More than 3,000,000 copies downloaded, perhaps the most important book to read about creating ideas that spread.

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v.is.for.vulnerable

V Is For Vulnerable

A short, illustrated, kids-like book that takes the last chapter of Icarus and turns it into something worth sharing.

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we.are.all.weird

We Are All Weird

The end of mass and how you can succeed by delighting a niche.

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whatcha.gonna.do.with.that.duck

Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

The sequel to Small is the New Big. More than 600 pages of the best of Seth's blog.

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« The new whiteboard seminar (you're invited) | Main | Horizontal Knowledge »

Promotion, self-promotion and [insert ad here]

Mtv Remember the MTV astronaut?

If you ask someone about MTV in the 1980s, they might mention Adam Curry or Toni Basil or Robert Palmer, but odds are what they're visualizing are the promo ads.

The music videos weren't unique. They were provided by the record companies to anyone who wanted to broadcast them. The VJs were largely forgettable. But the promos--they were constant (five or ten an hour) and constantly changing. MTV created an entire gestalt (it even became the inspiration for a pop hit and a video compilation). It turns out that we liked the ads.

Try reading a copy of Vogue without the ads. Totally useless.

And at a trade show (which people invest huge amounts of time and money to attend), the only reason to go is to see the ads, the banners, the paid-for booths and self-promotional speakers.

Public radio is no longer a bastion of silence. Every station is filled with self-promos, often twenty an hour, along with interruptions from sponsors and of course, pledge week. And the bumpers and audio cues that the stations use become part of our experience. We miss them when they're gone.

All as a way of introducing you to my dilemma about blogs.

In email, no one, at least no one I respect or believe, enjoys getting spam. Ads in email don't work because email is a tool, not a medium. If I subscribe to a permission-based email campaign (like those notes from Amazon or a gift certificate on my birthday from Yahoo) then I look forward to it and respond. But ads in the sense of unanticipated, impersonal and irrelevant... not on my agenda, or yours, when it comes to email, or RSS for that matter.

But the blog experience is different. Maybe.

The most popular blog in the world carries more than 25 different ads on its home page. The other most popular blog in the world carries just 1. Clearly, one blog profits more than the other, but it doesn't seem to affect readership.

And what about within the blog? One author I know featured his new book 11 times in a month where he posted on twenty five days. When I launch a new book, it gives me a headache to mention the launch/sales of the book more than twice, unless I'm riffing on an idea. I feel like I'm imposing.

Last month, after months of working on it, my team launched squidoo, a web 2.0 innovation that we're very proud of. But you're not seeing it on my blog... except for one interview last week. Is that the right thing to do?

The post below this riff is about my new seminar, given next month. The writer part of me wants to believe that my alert, quickwitted readers only need to see it once, and that they're mature enough to make a decision about whether they want to come or not. Of course, I'm completely wrong. I mean you are in that esteemed category, but most people are not. Most people need to see that link three or four times a day, several times a week, and then they'll take action. And they'll be glad they did.

I regularly (as in every day) get email from people who bought this book or that book or even this book and are surprised that they didn't know about it and are glad they discovered it. Does that mean that it's my job to advertise them incessantly, regularly reminding people that they exist?

Imagining for just a moment that there's no self-interest, no profit motive, imagining that the blogger is doing what is in the best interest of the readership--what's the right balance? Is it one ad per page? 25? Is it no promotional links to new projects (from you or from those you respect) or is one the right number?

I thought I had figured it out. The idea was to do interesting things, announce them just once on your blog, and then use those interesting things to inform the stories you tell moving forward. When I riff about storytelling or about anticipated advertising or about viruses, I'm not doing it to sell a book. I wrote the book so I could learn about that topic, so I could start a conversation going, and then I riff about them online because I figure my readers can learn (or at least be entertained) by what I'm discovering... whether or not they buy the book. And this "don't buy, just learn" approach has ended up working out for me.

But when I see how other blogs serve their readers with promotion, MTV style, I wonder... I honestly don't have an answer for you... this is a question, not a rant. If promotion works, if it brings people stuff that they're glad they got and it makes the experience more exciting, then what's wrong with it?

In the same breath, I wonder whether that sort of promotion should really be necessary. I wonder whether readers will think the blogger is selfish or self-serving (when I'm sure I'm really not.) And I wonder about the future of the medium, because the nature of promotion is that "10" is never enough. You always need to be at "11". And when the competition hits 11, that becomes the new 10.

When Katrina hit, blogs broke all their rules about promotion. It was understood by readers and by bloggers that the cause was good enough that people really needed to be pushed. Do you need to be pushed?

Magazines run ads.
Books don't.

What are blogs?

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Promotion, self-promotion and [insert ad here]:

» Questioning oneself from Perspective
Seth Godin asks some questions in a thoughtful and introspective post today that touches things that I've asked myself of late. As I settle into my new career as an independent consultant and wonder about new projects and new clients [Read More]

» Promotion, self-promotion and [insert ad here] from 行雲會 (SMEC) Blog
Remember the MTV astronaut? If you ask someone about MTV in the 1980s, they might mention Adam Curry or Toni Basil or Robert Palmer, but odds are what they're visualizing are the promo ads.... [Read More]

» Promotion, self-promotion and [insert ad here] from 行雲會 (SMEC) Blog
Remember the MTV astronaut? If you ask someone about MTV in the 1980s, they might mention Adam Curry or Toni Basil or Robert Palmer, but odds are what they're visualizing are the promo ads.... [Read More]

» Advertising and Blogs - does it work? from Nate's Blog
Some very good questions have been posed about blogs and advertising. Seth says it all in his post, so be sure to read through that - its worth the read. I just started this blog recently - so advertising really hasnt come into play (not sure... [Read More]

» what are blogs? from SKI's Throughput Blog II
godin asks, "Magazines run ads. Books don't. What are blogs?" i have seen books with ads. i would expect that somewhere, there is at least one magazine without ads. when i created the international business magazine TOCreview, i needed ads to help o... [Read More]

» Innovation? from larry borsato
Seth Godin [Read More]

» Blogs and Ads from Brad Fallon
I mentioned Seth Godin's blog during the class for our course on Business Blogging tonight. (Always a great example.) Then I noticed his post about how sometimes people like to see ads. Of course, this is what I've always said... [Read More]

» http://www.sean-johnson.com/archives/2005/12/post_34.html from Living Intentionally - The Education of Sean Johnson
Seth Godin had a very introspective moment yesterday as questioned what exactly blogs are. He has historically prided himself on using his blog to inform and excite its readership - not to contstantly push his books, businesses and other endeavors... [Read More]

» F from pc4media
This is my response to Seth Godin's post about self promotion. As my regular readers know, I promote myself and my activities and my company and my friends' activities on a very regular basis. (I even have a newsletter for [Read More]

» Just what are blogs? from Qumana Blog
Before the holidays Jon wrote about a post of Seth Godin's on his blog. The holiday ... [Read More]

» blog promotion links and free traffic from writingUp
Here are a list of some very helpful and useful Blog Promotion Links and places to get free traffic. I hope they help you. And If you ever want to read some news articles you know where to go! I write many different kinds of News Articles ranging from man [Read More]

» What Are Blogs? from Living Intentionally - The Education of Sean Johnson
Seth Godin had a very introspective moment yesterday as questioned what exactly blogs are. He has historically prided himself on using his blog to inform and excite its readership - not to contstantly push his books, businesses and other endeavors... [Read More]

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