The Domino Project by Seth Godin (and Amazon…!) – Day 150

I mentioned in an earlier post that marketing guru Seth Godin was breaking away from traditional publishing and printing his own books.

Well, he’s on the verge of launching his first title. He started a new website called “The Domino Project”, a joint project with Amazon. Loosely, I guess, the Domino Project is a publishing venture. On the “About” page, Seth says they are “reinventing what it means to be a publisher”. He also says it is named after the domino effect, and will rely heavily on virality.

Now he’s announced that the first book under the project is available for pre-order, with a publication date of March 1. The book is called Poke the Box and, according to the blurb on Amazon, it is about how to break away from conformity, be willing to fail, and move away from the status quo.

Seems like appropriate subject matter for the first offering of an imprint that is breaking away from conformity, not guaranteed success, and definitely moving away from the traditional publishing model.

What I find interesting is that Poke the Box is available in hardcover, special edition, and Kindle. (Guess which one I ordered…) It goes back to one of my earlier posts when I talked about books becoming a luxury item. The different price points illustrate this nicely — printed copies are available at a premium, and even a super premium. Kind of like the vinyl records of certain albums sold after 1990 that were purely collector’s items or for DJs.

Incidentally, the hardcover and audio CD versions are available through Amazon.ca, but not the limited edition. I guess some ideas still have borders…

Is the Domino Project the new wave of publishing? Will future generations look back at this as one of the main turning points in the publishing industry? Hard to say. I get the feeling that not even Seth knows how this will all play out. The information on the website is kind of vague, which is quite unlike him.

However traditionally publishing has been about printing, marketing, and distribution. Printing is essentially eliminated (or at least not as relied upon, with the Kindle format available), distribution is handled through Amazon, and Seth is the aforementioned marketing guru.

Seems hard to miss.

Check out the Poke the Box announcement here:
http://www.thedominoproject.com/2011/01/poke-the-box-our-first-title-is-now-ready-for-pre-order.html

~Graham

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