Frequently Asked Questions
Updated as needed, here is the current FAQ for The Domino Project from Seth Godin, publisher:
Who’s on the team?
Founded by Seth Godin, the Domino Project is now turbocharged by the presence of the seven dominoes, pictured below. More on their superpowers to come, stand by:
What’s the news here?
To launch the Domino Project, a bestselling author is walking away from traditional book publishing and using the tools of new media to bring his (and his colleagues’) ideas to the world in a new way. Amazon is working with me to create The Domino Project, a new kind of book publishing venture, one that will redefine both what it means to be a publisher and what we think of as a book.
What’s the new part?
Poke the Box is our first title. It represents:
New Pricing: The hardcover has a street price of less than $10.
New Formats: There’s a $75 collectible edition.
New Speed: We can bring a book to you six weeks after it’s finished, not a year later.
New Structure: The bookstore is not the customer. You are the customer. So we optimize for that.
So, is Amazon becoming a publisher?
By powering The Domino Project, Amazon leverages its assets and allows my colleagues and me to reach more people with more impact.
The definition of book publishing is going to keep changing, and this might be an interesting variety worth looking at.
What books are going to be published?
There are three manifestos already scheduled for publication in 2011. We are already hard at work bringing in many other authors over the next few months. No specific titles have been announced yet, but we expect the first one to be available in early March.
What formats will be available?
Using Amazon’s worldwide platform, The Domino Project will simultaneously publish in Kindle, audiobook and hardcover format in every country where Amazon has a presence. In addition, foreign translations will be available as quickly as possible, sometimes simultaneous with launch.
The initial slate of books are called manifestos, and they are designed to be short and approachable by the majority of the population that doesn’t ordinarily seek out books as a source for information. Beyond that, there are opportunities for both new and more traditional formats, including many that would have trouble finding shelf space in a traditional store. There will be surprises. Promise.
The Kindle versions of the books will run anywhere the Kindle is supported, including Amazon’s Kindle hardware devices, the Mac, Windows, iPad etc.
The difficult part of publishing has nothing to do with printing and everything to do with creating a platform that enables ideas to spread. From finding the right authors to creating pricing and distribution systems that allow the work to reach a large audience, Amazon and I are focused on reestablishing the book as the cornerstone of our idea culture around the world.
What is the pricing like?
No specific pricing is being released yet, but the mission is to offer each format at a price that makes reading and spreading these ideas irresistible. Most of the costs in book publishing come from uncertainty and risk (books are shredded, markets don’t materialize, promotion is unpredictable and expensive). By removing these costs, The Domino Project can more easily get in sync with what the market demands.
In addition, the integration of Amazon’s platform means that pricing can change over time, by demand, by format and by the size of the audience, all of which is extremely difficult in a traditional publishing model.
Will the books be available in traditional bookstores?
Yes. Amazon already distributes to bookstores, both independents and chains, and all the titles in The Domino Project will be available to any store interested in offering them at retail.
There’s a sign up form and an always up-to-date blog at TheDominoProject.com.
Are you accepting submissions from authors and agents?
It’s unlikely that we’ll be able to spend the time to adequately review unsolicited submissions, and it’s not fair to raise hopes. We’re just not staffed to do this justice. If you want to try anyway, we’ve posted a form here for you to do just that. Please do not submit anything you consider proprietary, as there’s no presumption of confidentiality.