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

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all.marketers.tell.stories

All Marketers Tell Stories

Seth's most important book about the art of marketing

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free.prize.inside

Free Prize Inside

The practical sequel to Purple Cow

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linchpin

Linchpin

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

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meatball.sundae

Meatball Sundae

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

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permission.marketing

Permission Marketing

The classic Named "Best Business Book" by Fortune.

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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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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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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 DIP BLOG by Seth Godin




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« Joanne is coming! (Meatball Mondae, part 5) | Main | Internal marketing »

The New York Times Bestseller List

Cumulative advantage is a powerful side effect of story telling. Get out front, even a little, and you sell more because many people like to invest in a winner. We like to read what other people are reading.

A classic example of cumulative advantage is the power of the Times' list.

Rebecca has a good post about the list but she misses the two key points.

The first: The Times' list is completely fictional. Made up. Divorced from reality. The stated goal of the list is to find (and promote) books that Times editors want people to read, not books that are actually selling a lot. (The editor of the Book Review told this to me years ago). So, they make up 'rules' to appear consistent. When Harry Potter was selling like crazy, they invented a new list so that they could take JK Rowling's books off the real list. When diet and other books started selling a lot, they made up a new ghetto (miscellaneous) for those books. When books started selling in places like Wal-Mart (thus driving the snootiness factor down) the Times penalized sales in chain outlets. And books like the Bible are banished because they're not current enough.

The second: the list is easier to manipulate than ever before. The identity of reporting stores is becoming easier to find and the leverage of being on the list is high enough that authors can profit just by buying their own books in enough quantity.

The best part... it doesn't matter. Cumulative advantage is so powerful that even though the accurate reports of book sales often completely contradict the Times list, authors and others still obsess over it. We're always looking for clues, especially in crowded markets.

The thing that amazes me is that there are so few bestseller lists in other markets. Consumers want them. Producers can leverage them. It's an opportunity, I think.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The New York Times Bestseller List:

» Are the bestseller lists made up? from The Undercover Economist
Seth Godin thinks so:The Times' list is completely fictional. Made up. Divorced from reality. The stated goal of the list is to find (and promote) books that Times editors want people to read, not books that are actually selling a [Read More]

» Truth about The List from Books Covered by Tobias
The truth about the NYTimes Bestseller Lists. [Read More]

» Making the Bestseller List from Epic Living
Seth Godin has a great post on The NY Times Bestseller List. In a time where every advantage is looked for in marketing a book, it only makes sense to want what the Times has. The fuel (press, conversation, scale, [Read More]

» Metrics, SWAG, and Three Types of Lies from Planning, Startups, Stories
This is a true story. Back in my market research days, 20-some years ago now, I watched one of my friends and colleagues (call him Fred) present a market forecast to a committee of IBM executives. They objected to his [Read More]

« Joanne is coming! (Meatball Mondae, part 5) | Main | Internal marketing »