This hasn’t really ever been a blog about what’s in the news, but I’m trying something new.
That article about seth godin in the Wall Street Journal sort of going his own way was fine news, but I was thinking about how digital technology affects writers who haven’t published yet. That’s a guy who has published books through traditional (paper) publishers before. Every one has been a bestseller. So he’s left his publisher and is partnering with Amazon, the major digital bookseller. But isn’t Amazon just another sort of publisher? They don’t make books, they make e-books.
But the most important thing that the article mentions is that he “has a significant following online.” Try selling a book digitally on your own without any sort of audience or any previous publications. There won’t be many hits. That’s part of the thing with blogs and podcasts and tweets. You reach an audience by posting stuff they like and return for.
Books and music are similar. Bands are putting up more and more of their own stuff (albums, free bootlegs, blogs, tweets, merchandise). When they tour, everyone who follows them on twitter (or Sidekick) knows where they’ll be. And it is becoming a whole other way to enjoy music that we never realized. Look what Phish just did.
Adam Corolla has been on TV for while. He was also on the radio with CBS before he was canned. He has a podcast which is very funny and free. It’s so popular that when he does anything, fans turn out. When he goes on the road, his shows sell out. He wrote a book that became a bestseller.
Not everyone is good enough to get that many people to follow his or her podcast – Adam Corolla is smart and funny – but a blog is a step into the audience. Seth godin will be very successful with Amazon behind him, but it still doesn’t seem entirely accurate to say he’s publisher-free like the headline of the articles does.