5 Questions with Seth Godin : Marketing :: American Express OPEN Forum
by Scott Smith
Seth: So what I did with this book is I realized that the traditional amplifiers of book ideas, the book reviewers, the people at the newspapers and magazines, are an endangered species. Most of them are gone, and the few that are left are still overwhelmed by all the authors who want a piece of them, that it’s no longer an effective or predictable way to promote your book.
So we embargoed the book to all traditional media. We didn’t send out review copies. We didn’t call people up and say, “Would you please put this in ‘The New York Times’ or forward it to magazines?”
Instead, I went to my readers and I said, “Here’s the deal. I’d like you to be the reviewers of the book, and I’d like to send you a free review copy at my expense.” Of course, I can’t afford to do that to everyone who would respond, because “free” is a magic word and it scales to infinity. So I said, “I need to put some friction in. What’s the generous way to do that?” And my solution was to say, “Make a donation to my favorite charity. And it has to be at least 30 bucks.”