The Domino Project is a new way to think about publishing. Founded by Seth Godin and powered by Amazon, we're trying to change the way books are built, sold and spread. Find out more about our mission here.

Subscribers get free updates, alerts about seriously discounted pre-orders and our eternal gratitude.

Two of the things that make a book, a book

April 16, 2011
by seth godin

Subscribe to our free email newsletter. We'll update you once or twice a week, and we'll never rent or sell your email address to anyone. Thanks.

1. Kevin Kelly has a fabulous (as usual) post about the nature of a book. In essence, it’s a container for an idea.

The web isn’t/can’t be a book because it has no edges, no start, no finish. Crowdsourcing and comments and multimedia to infinity all take away something about a book’s nature. On the other hand, a book on the Kindle is clearly a book. Paper has nothing to do with it.

2. For 500 years, a book has been something that can be the work of a single individual, working hard, for perhaps a year. This is a huge element of what makes a book, a book. If I can write a book every day, the economics are different. If a book needs a producer and a director and a makeup guy and a bunch of technicians and a screenwriter… then it’s a movie/a project, it’s not a book.

The magical combination of [a big slice of a single author's time] with [this can be the vision of an individual] establishes the book as unique. Technology threatens both, in both directions. at the same time it opens up the opportunity to make a book available to more people than ever before.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter. We'll update you once or twice a week,
and we'll never rent or sell your email address to anyone. Thanks.