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

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Harper Lee and the two mythical promises

Harper Lee is a legend and a genius. She’s also the exception that proves the rule, twice. Rule 1: Your book will not be beautifully edited, it will not be lovingly hand sold, it will not be taught in schools across the country. Your book will not pay you millions of dollars of royalties, year [...]

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Goal setting (and a discount)

Sometime on Tuesday, February 17, Amazon is clearing out the inventory of Zig Ziglar’s goal planner. The 4-pack is here. The discount, when it’s live for four hours, will be here. For about $3 a copy, less than $12 for the four pack. The current plan is for it to be an active discount from [...]

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The bestseller effect

There are two markets for books (and music). The first market are grazers, collectors or omnivores. They make the market happen. They read a lot of books. They visit the library often. They have 2,000 LPs in their collection. They listen and read around the edges. The second market consume in response to the market. [...]

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It’s all backlist now

The secret of every book publisher’s success is the backlist. To Kill a Mockingbird, Stretching, Dune… these are books that sell, day in and day out, long after they’ve earned out their advances. The distinction between the backlist and the frontlist (the new books, the promoted books, the books that publishers focus on, ironically) is [...]

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Pursuing horizontal publishing

I’ve explored a variety of ways to get to market with the books I’ve created over the last thirty years. I’ve self-published, worked with most of the major NY publishing houses, did a partnership with Barnes and Noble and another with Amazon… All as a way to solve the problem of discovery. How do we [...]

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The end of the independent bookstore (and a new golden age for books)

ACT 1: The Book of the Month Club. After World War II, a wealthier, better educated country started engaging in more culture, more often, in a more widespread way. We were more likely to watch the same movies, more likely to listen to more music, and much more likely to want to read the books [...]

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Does Kickstarter work as a platform for books?

Those that have been following along have seen the Kickstarter posts I did here, here and here. Feel free to go catch up, I’ll wait… THE THEORY: The hardest part of book publishing is getting the first 10,000 copies of a book read. After that, the book either resonates or it doesn’t. It’s talked about, [...]

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Voting for a winner

The single most fascinating Kickstarter stat is this: The odds of succeeding with your campaign are ten times higher once you reach about half of your goal. While this is somewhat self-fulfilling (only popular campaigns get that far anyway), it actually points to an irrational part of human nature: we don’t want to back a [...]

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When you focus on what’s being removed, it’s easier to understand the revolution

We remove shelf space as a limiting factor in books. We remove the cost of polycarbonate as a cost factor in CDs. We remove paper as an expense in magazines. We remove the number of channels as a limiter in the broadcast of TV. These are not small changes. These are revolutionary shifts in what’s [...]

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Confusing media with messages

Yesterday’s post about the halfway mark got a few responses from people who thought I was selling books short. “There has not ever been, nor will there ever be, a “halfway point” for cultural achievements,” one wrote. Let me try again, with more detail. We can probably all agree that more than half of the [...]

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