August 23, 2010

News & Opinion: Where to?

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 5:31 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The business book world lit up when author Seth Godin announced recently that he would no longer be publishing through a "traditional way." After twelve bestselling books, it might be said that he doesn't need to publish another one. But as readers of his blog know, he's not short on ideas, so what will he do with them? This is where the mystery lies, as Godin is not revealing what his plans are, and in many ways, this is the mystery that many people in the publishing world have been considering for quite some time. What's the answer? Maybe Godin has it, maybe not, but followers of his know that he's not afraid to take chances, and those kinds of surprises (when they work out) are usually the best.

In some ways, Godin seems to be following the path of giants in the music industry. As Radiohead and Trent Reznor experimented with releasing their work outside major labels, the data showed that it worked. It will be interesting to see if something similar can happen with business thought. A big point to consider in this though, is that like Radiohead and Reznor, these kinds of experiments might be most successful with people who have the platforms to launch them. In other words, it doesn't imply traditional publishing is dead, but it does reveal another hint that it needs some reinvention.

Regardless, it will be interesting to watch the story unfold, and we wish nothing but the best for Seth and his ideas.

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.