Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Initial thoughts on The Domino Project

Earlier today, Seth Godin unveiled his new book publishing model, involving a partnership with Amazon. On the whole, the thesis seems a little vague-- it’s difficult, without concrete examples, to understand exactly what changes to the publishing model Godin is proposing. However, there are a few pieces that I find intriguing right off the bat:

Adjustable, real-time pricing models. I’d like to see authors have more control over the prices they set, as well as being able to change those as they see fit. In Godin’s words, “Pricing can vary based on volume, on timing, on format.” I’m imagining that, instead of the Sony Reader Store telling me that they’re running a 10%-off promotion on all Anne Rice books, the prices might actually be able to reflect market interest. Books prices could lower as the book gets older, or raise if there is heavy market interest. This seems like much less guesswork on the publisher/author’s part up-front, when you don’t even know how the book will perform.

“Less middleman” equals more consumer insight. Godin mentions, quite a few times actually, that there are benefits to eliminating the “middleman” (in this case, bookstores). To me, this means that the author will have access to more direct data about his consumer, as opposed to depending on Borders for this information. (The importance of this direct data is covered in more depth in the book The Mesh: Why the Future of Business is Sharing, which is an incredible read with many useful applications.)

Less bloat. It seems that when most authors want to pen, say, a business book, they drum up about five pages of useful information and stretch that out over 200 or so. What Godin is calling “manifestos” may act as a solution to this: shorter, more to-the-point presentations of content instead of the glut of filler that the industry sees currently.

Godin discusses his ideas in (slightly) more depth on his blog as well as on The Domino Project’s site. I’m still struggling to see what the landscape-changing, radical idea is here-- much of it sounds like a new marketplace for epubs-- but I trust that more information will be forthcoming and that this is a concept you’ll be hearing much more about in the near future.

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Blogger WonderFrey said...

Interesting. Just like brands, publishing, radio and television could all use a good dose of consumer focus. However, we often spend our time staring at the way-its-always-been forest and missing the new-digital-world trees. Good post.

December 8, 2010 at 2:43 PM  

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