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October 27, 2009

News & Opinion: Seth Godin Thinks Some People are Better Than Others

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 1:46 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture, Marketing & Sales, Publishing Industry

The incomparable Seth Godin has a way of instantly finding clarity on issues that others wrestle with endlessly. This morning he pondered trends in the book industry:
Here are two interesting lessons from the book industry:
  1. Kindle readers buy two or three times as many books as book readers. Why? I don't think it's necessarily because using a Kindle leads someone to read more books. I think it's because the kind of person who buys a lot of books is the most likely person to pony up and buy a Kindle. I know that sounds obvious, but once you see it this way, you understand why book publishers should be killing themselves to appeal to this group. After all, the group voted with their dollars to show that they're better.
  2. Walmart and other mass marketers are now offering top bestsellers for $9 or less each, about $5 less than their cost. Why? Why not offer toasters or socks as a loss leader to get people in the store? I think the answer is pretty clear: people who buy hardcover books buy other stuff too. A hardcover book is a luxury item, it's new and it's buzzable. This sort of person is exactly who you want in your store.

Head over to Seth's post to read his brief, warm and incredibly sober assessment of what this means—for every industry, not only our own.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.