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Poke the Box, our first title, is now ready for pre-order

January 31, 2011
by seth godin

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The first book from the Domino Project is ready for pre-order. (Hurry… the limited edition of 400 probably won’t last very long). Subscribers to this blog get first shot, of course.

Poke the Box comes in hardcover, Kindle and a limited edition signed copy with a letterpress cover and a poster as well. The Kindle edition will run on any PC or Mac as well as the iPad and the (real) Kindle. If the price goes down between now and pub date on March 1, Amazon will only charge you the lowest price.

Hosting a party? Teaching a crowd? Yes, there’s a 5 pack and a 52 pack as well. A key tenet of our project is that ideas that spread win, and books are just too hard to spread. To make it easier, we’ve packaged up and discounted the books so you can hand them out.

First come first served. I hope they help you make a difference.

Long ago, Seth Godin was one of the best solo canoeists in Canada. He is also the founder of the Domino Project and author of Poke the Box.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter. We'll update you once or twice a week,
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Brian January 31, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Pre-ordered for Kindle…!

Kelli Schmith February 2, 2011 at 9:28 pm

So groovy to see you here too, Brian!

Ben January 31, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I hurried and bought the limited edition. Thank you, Seth. I’m excited for what The Domino Project is doing.

Ben January 31, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Here is an interesting idea for the 52 pack – Find 1 person a week who you think the book would help out and give it to them. Imagine the impact of doing that.

Mike Schneider January 31, 2011 at 10:37 pm

Printing a limited run of copies is an intriguing idea given how it should shape demand. I am, however, going to play devil’s advocate for a second and say that there’s something dispiriting about the book being announced and not being available right away. It seems to run counter to the spirit of the Domino Project itself. Furthermore, for me personally, I clicked the link, read about the book, and thought, “I would like to read this.” Then I realized I couldn’t. So I’m filing it away now to the back of my brain, and by March, when it is available, I won’t have that initial “buy now” spark I just had, making a purchase far less likely.

Hans R Suter February 1, 2011 at 3:27 am

add to FAQ: Why on earth should I order my Kindle copy a month before the download ?

Lindsay February 1, 2011 at 6:11 am

Hi have been watching with interest the developments of this ‘project’. Am I the only one that thinks without Seth’s association with this there would be “nothing to see here”? You’re a niche publisher using amazon to sell books. What is the revolutionary part?

In funny that you say that there is “No patience for obsolete institutions. Bestseller lists are not worth compromising for.” And yet your website you mention being a bestseller on several occasions. Like a rich person saying money isn’t important…

Murali February 4, 2011 at 1:45 am

Saw your website. Its good. Agree with your comment about not needing motivational speakers to be able to do the obvious, to get ahead in life. Just take the inspiration and leave the rest to oneself. Its sad to see people following motivational speakers with awe and reverence as though they were messiahs. Its a sign of the times.

Noah Fleming February 1, 2011 at 7:28 am


Congrats Seth and the entire domino team!
Getting my preorders in now…


FreedbyJC February 1, 2011 at 8:16 am

How ’bout some Driod love? Do not forget Kindle for Android…

Hans, Hans … PreOrder and get it the same day its released a month later is like a surprize present you bought for yourself and forgot about!

Sara Slimp February 1, 2011 at 10:03 am

Preordered for Kindle. Just wish it was out for my long trip around the world.

JD Eddins February 1, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I got the Kindle version on pre-order.

Dorothy Shapland February 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm

why why why for pre-order? ship it. don’t ship the promise to ship it.
ok, I preordered for kindle and hardcover anyway.
but still.

Joe February 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I’m keeping a keen on the Domino Project. Very interested in seeing where publishing goes these next few years.
Congrats on the first release under the banner.

Shelley February 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm

When I click “Domino Project” in the post above, I get a page saying :We Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

But then, if there’s any way to do a computer thing wrong, I’ll find it….

Willie Jackson February 3, 2011 at 1:54 am

Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out :)

Craig Pittman February 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Ummmm…your project sounds interesting but before I order a book I generally like to know what it’s about. Can you give me some hints of what’s in “Poke the Box”? When I see that title, I can’t help thinking about the warnings against “buying a pig in a poke.”

Rob Jones February 1, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Sorry, but am I missing something? What is the book about? I don’t see ANY information on the content… and yet people are already buying it… they must know something I don’t

Rob Jones February 1, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Oh – I see – you have to go to Amazon to see what it is about – sorry, that’s lame

Lindsay February 2, 2011 at 6:52 am

“permissionmarket” want their amazon affiliate link clicked, so obviously to click through to read about it is important. ;-)

Jeb February 1, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Hey Craig,
There’s a brief description on the Amazon page, pasted below…

Book Description: If you’re stuck at the starting line, you don’t need more time or permission. You don’t need to wait for a boss’s okay or to be told to push the button; you just need to poke.

Poke the Box is a manifesto by bestselling author Seth Godin that just might make you uncomfortable. It’s a call to action about the initiative you’re taking-– in your job or in your life. Godin knows that one of our scarcest resources is the spark of initiative in most organizations (and most careers)-– the person with the guts to say, “I want to start stuff.”

Poke the Box just may be the kick in the pants you need to shake up your life.
Also, I find it odd that so many people take the time to ridicule in the form of a comment. If it’s not for you, own up to it and move on. If you have a personal beef w/ something, last I checked, Seth answers every email he gets. Address it with him directly rather than take shots in the comments.

I just don’t get where the public display of your well articulated displeasures get you. Or the rest of us.

Alison Cummings February 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Hi Jeb,

I understand your point. Sometimes negativity is simpy distracting – and unproductive.

But doesn’t inclusion of a “Comment” section invite exchange and feedback, be it positive or negative? There is always the option not to include, but that is counter-intuitive to the use of social media as a communication platform. Plus, I have to admit that I find the conversation here quite interesting. And if messages were sent directly to Seth, I would miss out on the discussion.

Dan Hinmon February 2, 2011 at 1:17 am

Hey, Jeb:
What’s the point of comments if you don’t want comments? I am a huge huge huge Seth fan and I think several of these comments have merit. I’m sure Seth is listening and hopefully learning. This is a powerful idea that will just get better with candid feedback.

Lindsay February 2, 2011 at 7:10 am

Comments can be both good and bad, surely there are not just a place for – in this case – massaging Seth’s ego? Be serious. I doubt very much Seth wants to deal with emails saying “but why the pre order?”.

Dr.Mani February 1, 2011 at 8:59 pm

There’s an interview with Seth on the page which explains pretty clearly what the book is about, and whom it is for.

Unfortunately, the Kindle edition won’t ‘ship’ to Singapore or India :-(

Wonder why a ‘revolutionary’ publishing platform should accept/live by constraints such as those! Let’s revolutionize DISTRiBUTION of books too. I’m sick and tired of waiting for Seth’s books for weeks (or even months, as with ‘Meatball Sundae’) before I could pick up a copy in the bookstore.

Back then, the ‘explanation’ was that it’s how “traditional publishing” works. Well, we’re NOT traditional in the Domino Project, now, are we? Or are we? ;-)

All success

Lindsay February 2, 2011 at 7:18 am

This project is not revolutionary.

Using Amazon is hardly breaking the mould, writing a book is nothing new, using a website to promote a book is also nothing new and people making recommendations is definitely not new.

Karin H February 2, 2011 at 7:54 am


Just discovered the limited edition is only available on and not on Amazon (Kindle and hardcover are), but since not everyone in Europe has an account – it is turning into a very limiting limited edition. Crossing that pond again, eh! ;-)

Let’s revolutionise DISTRiBUTION of limited editions too!

Karin H (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

Dana February 1, 2011 at 9:07 pm

Thanks for the simultaneous Canadian release!!! A rare treat.
Really looking forward to this.

Jon Samsel February 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm


When you’re a well-know person in America, you open yourself up to criticism. I am sure Seth has thick skin to go with his larger-than-average pocketbook — so he’ll quickly get over any mean-spirited feedback. Besides, ain’t all publicity good publicity? Both the haters and the lovers have equally relevant points of view because they signify the deep passions people have across the spectrum of ideas.

To be honest, I share some of the sentiment others have shared. Teasers for The Domino Project got me to this page, but after clicking all the links, I still was not sure what was so amazing about the new business model or the book.

Reading the comments actually clued me in on some of the missing details while confirming my first reaction to reviewing the content on this site — it’s a bit shallow and could be improved with some enhanced content. My suggestion is to either add to your content or choose to be deliberately vague (maybe that’s your point?).

It’s up to you. It’s your website. It’s your business model. You own both the goals and the outcome.

As a published author myself and someone who enjoys breaking molds, good luck on the book and your new business venture!


Carol February 1, 2011 at 9:19 pm

(There’s no poking the box if you are working through Amazon.)
Also, although promotion of online motivational information products with a long coy drumroll is all the rage now, it’s not worth throwing in with this. If you have a product that offers value, spell out the value points. Don’t sell The Domino Project with no explanation of what it is and with a “limited-time-limited-run-you’re-missing-the-bus-if-you-don’t-buy-mymysteriousproduct-now” pitch. Providing phantom value is how our country got into the mortgage and other economic crises. If you are sure you are offering value, brag about it. Otherwise, it looks like you’ve been drinking your own KoolAid for too long. Empty calories.

Jeffrey Sumber February 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm

While I’m a tremendous fan of Seth Godin and I’m sure most anything with his name on it is worth the cost, the initial marketing had zero information about what the book was about. Is this a Seinfeldian marketing book about marketing nothing?

Ross A Hill February 1, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Just bought the 52-pack of Poke the Box and can hardly wait to read it and hand it out to my staff and friends.
I am excited about the Domino Project.

Lindsay February 2, 2011 at 7:21 am

You have spent $350 on a book you haven’t even read and are therefore in no position to be able to recommend?

Dominic Basulto February 1, 2011 at 10:19 pm

So excited to Poke the Box! Much luck & success with Domino – I’ve pre-ordered on Amazon.

Charlton Locke February 1, 2011 at 10:23 pm

Awesome! So excited! Seth Godin is an institution. The value of The Domino Project will grow. How cool that I was motivated to buy (Limited Edition-bet this will be a wonderful keep sake; and the 52 pack) without reading what the book was about….and then, voila – the book is about “you don’t need more time or permission.” My response makes sense in Gladwellian terms :) Go Domino Project!

Glenn Myers February 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Love your books, blog, videos, etc. Hate the font on this site – it’s tough on the eyes and distracts from the content.

juliet erickson February 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Just ordered – looking forward to my hardcover Poke!

Stewart February 1, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I know this is not something the Domino Project can control but it’s something to think about…. something that frustrates me to no end. I only read books on my Ipad now (haters I don’t want to hear it – I enjoy it) but in both the kindel and ibooks apps there is no option to copy paste.

Now I understand the logic – copyright, ip, etc, etc… But it makes sharing great ideas (and in turn selling more books) very difficult!

I don’t know how may times I was reading linchpin and a line struck me with such force I said… “I have to share this.” So I head over to twitter and spend the next 10 minutes flipping back and forth between the two apps trying to type the quote correctly. After doing this 3 times I just decided to stop sharing what I was learning…. It was just too much of a pain and got me out of my “flow.”

Now if there was a simple copy/paste… or better yet, highlight and post to twitter or FB option then I would share a lot more – good ideas would spread – and more books would be sold.

Until a solution like this exists I don’t see how the domino project will change much. You need to be able to easily share your insights while in the moment, while your excited about the idea! (Seth – push amazon on this issue please)

Kelly Rietow February 1, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Wish you the best of success and look forward to reading Poke the Box. I have shared Ship It with colleagues who just needed a small push to get started.

sean bell February 2, 2011 at 1:47 am

I just ordered the Limited Edition for a couple of reasons: I love well made hardbound books, I think we are at an inflection point and the value of virtual goods and durable goods is going to begin to shift. What interests me about the Domino Project is its ability to fundamentally change the way we consume the printed word. Which frankly is one of my complaints about the Limited Edition.

You could have blown me out of the water by including the kindle version for free with the Limited Edition. For $75 – 10x the kindle price tag that would have made the purchase much sweeter and really set a tone for change. I don’t mind paying a premium for a well crafted, limited edition item – but, helping me grow my digital collection at the same time would have made this release a heroic shot across the bow instead of an intriguing first skirmish. I don’t need posters (as well crafted as this one appears to be) they are just tchotchkes that feel markety instead of authentic.

Here is hoping that this new venture can set the bar for consuming the written word – where and how the consumer wants it.

Mike Burk February 2, 2011 at 1:56 am

Print some books, pay for them, put them on a shelf, try to sell them, when someone wants one, charge them for it, ship it to them… really?… sounds kind of conventional to me… not that conventional is bad… unless it’s dumb.
When someone wants a book, charge them for it, THEN print it and ship it. No inventory, no warehouse, no up-front costs, content is always current.

In any case, this is still very exciting.

Lindsay February 2, 2011 at 7:39 am

POD is nothing new, but the flat rate cost are a lot higher meaning that the price of the book is higher.

Karin H February 2, 2011 at 8:01 am

Agree here, but you’re missing one item in the “when someone wants a book”:
charge them, “THEN write it”, then print it and ship it.

That’s revolution!
(We’ve done this in a small way: due to high demand of a little E-guide we wrote we turned it into a POD paperback – selling it ourself, through, and ca and any other online – offline bookstore.

Karin H (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

Karin H February 2, 2011 at 8:27 am

Let me rephrase this:
little E-guide (17 pages) – created from Q&A between diy-ers and us – attracted more Q’s and therefore A’s from us. Surveyed the diy-ers: if we turn it into a 160 page paperback, would you buy it? Pre-orders enabled us to cover the editing, digitising and set-up costs. Book born ;-)

Karin H

Jan Jacobs February 2, 2011 at 2:06 am

Hi, looking forward to the new book (pre-ordered), but it’ll be interesting to see how the Domino approach differs from what Seth would have normally (well ) done. Stuff like 5 packs and 52 packs, I can see that happening with a regular Godin release from his own self-publishing company too. What will be the Domino beef?
But, hey, I’m curious and excited, so we’ll see. Good luck with Domino

JD Lasica February 2, 2011 at 5:32 am

Hi Seth,

First, congrats on the first title, I’ll be sure to order it.

Second, I’ve read both this post and the Mashable article and neither answers my question: Does this new imprint consist of only ebooks that you write or will Domino be open to submissions by other authors?

(The link to Domino Project in your lead is broken.)


Noah Fleming February 2, 2011 at 6:14 pm

This is answered in the FAQ. Not just ebooks either. The manifestos will be available in all formats.

Laurie Tema-Lyn February 2, 2011 at 7:21 am

Hi Seth;
So I get the marketing approach; but where’s the beef? What’s the book about? I need to know a little something before I order.

CoCreatr February 2, 2011 at 7:47 am

Ordered sight unseen. Just like Tribes. Feels like one of the more exciting things to grow on me.

Link to Domino Project broken indeed. This works for now:

Brian February 2, 2011 at 10:08 am

Pre-ordered for Kindle on the iPad and shared the news with other fans! Thanks Seth.

Lisa Waller February 2, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I’ve been looking forward to the first release from the Domino Project, and like many who have posted before me, I am disappointed that there was no description of the content of the book provided — just a vague promotion that pushed me towards a limited time only purchase. I guess I felt that, by registering to receive information as a “Domino Project Insider” that I might get the inside scoop on the first release. When what I actually received felt like cheap spam versus the usual personal, down-to-earth tone that Seth emits from his blog, I felt determined not to purchase. I could still be convinced, but like to know what I’m buying — and like a lot of consumers — don’t like to do the legwork. You need to tell me why I should buy your product. Only because I’m a fan would I bother to look for reasons why I shouldn’t just delete the email immediately. Up until this point, it has been an intriguing ride.

Solofo RAFENO February 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm

Very interesting project although it isn’t the first combo edition ever.
On january 24, “an history of SPIE” hyperbook has been launched: a hardcover with QRCode for online content access and the full web based book, operated on a Beevirtua platform from BeeBuzziness (

Rachel Z Cornell February 2, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Thank you for making your Kindle addition text-to-speach enabled. Not all publishers enable their books, leaving people with print disabilities little way to access their material. I am going to pre-order the book now.

Tony Wanless February 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Seth was once one of the best solo canoeists in Canada? Really. How did that happen?

As a Canadian, a writer, and an occasional canoeist, I’d like to know more.

Oh yeah, Poke The Box is a great idea too.

So is Karen H’s idea of “charge them, THEN write it, ship it, etc”. Curious thought how you would convince people to pay for something before they get it? Still, it has possibilities.

Karin H February 3, 2011 at 5:04 am


By building credibility, as any author/marketer does.

Seth does that, we’ve managed to do it, others have and others – more and more – will. Is there a difference in deciding to purchase an existing book solely based on the “cover” and description of the content, and the same of a still none-existing book?

Even better: on the latter you can even have an influence of what will be covered (we did that, using a survey asking what topics on installing wooden floors HAD TO BE in there for DIY-ers to pre-order it)

Karin H

Jean-Baptiste February 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Thank you and congratulations, Seth!

You can change the world… and we are many to do the same as much as we can!

Terri MacMillan February 4, 2011 at 3:33 am

wow. I can see why Seth doesn’t take comments on his blog.

well, presumably the mean-spirited folks got what they were after.

meanwhile, I’ll support this effort, because I’ve learned a lot from him over the years.

good luck with it!

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