Seth Godin is Kick(Start)ing His Way to Publishing a New Book

Kickstarter: The Icarus Deception

Culture : Books By Photo by Godin

Writer and Entrepreneur Seth Godin’s new book, The Icarus Deception: Why Make Art? sounds positively inspired. Sounds? Yup, that’s because the book has yet to be published — Godin is raising funds via Kickstarter for publishing. Evidently, plenty of others agree because as of opening this morning, with more than 1,500 backers pledging in excess of $100,000, Godin has crushed his original goal of just $40,000.

The Icarus Deception is a business nonfiction guidebook about “the art of important work, of making a ruckus and of inventing the future,” (high-minded, and Godin’s words, not ours, but the he’s obviously on to something here). Godin explores what he calls the mythology of success, challenging his audience to “stand up and stand out” in the current economy to succeed.

What’s truly different about this work is Godin’s usage of Kickstarter as a leverage tool in publishing. As he explains adeptly in this video, publishing currently has two forms: print, which is a hi-risk, long-term cycle, and digital, which delivers a book to the marketplace quickly but can easily lose out on the impact that hard copy might have. Godin is creating a hybrid between these two systems using advance orders and pledges to remove his publishers’ risk — and bring advanced order deals to his readers. It’s a win-win-win for Godin, his publisher and most importantly, readers. And for you high rollers: a $10,000 pledge buys you Shakespeare’s folio and a milk carton. Then again, if you have that much to spend, maybe you should be planning your own book on economic success.

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