Seth Godin launched a Kickstarter yesterday. His goal was to prove to his publishing company that the way we “do” publishing is (and has to keep) changing. His plan? To get a book published by seeking funding from his ‘tribe’, asking them to buy in to the idea of his books with only a blurb to go on and promising a plethora of rewards for your support, ranging from a digital download, to multiple copies of the book, signed copies and even the complete folio of Shakespeare, signed*!
Godin launched his Kickstarter with a goal of getting $40,000 in backing. He reached that goal in three hours. Three hours. Many of the tiers of support that backers can opt in to have sold out, and as of right now, his project has 2,759 backers and has raised $194,877. Honestly, I am not at all surprised.
When Seth wrote “Stop Stealing Dreams” it had been tweeted about 4000 times, downloaded 100,000 times and had 22,000 search matches – within the first week of it’s publication. Since then, it has been translated into multiple languages, summarized as a bumper sticker, transformed into a poem and has sparked thousands of online groups and discussions. The one thing that hasn’t changed is the insistance from Seth that the book always be free – free to download, free to share.
Seth is a pretty smart guy. He must have had a clue that what he was writing in his education manifesto was important, potentially a pivotal force in changing the future of education, globally. He could have charged a fee to download, but he didn’t.
Seth is a believer in giving your art away, being generous with your art. Had people needed to pay to read Seth’s manifesto, they may not have bothered and then would never have been exposed, first hand, to his ideas.
So, why have almost 3000 people paid almost $200,000 for books that haven’t even been published yet?
Because Seth has faithfully put his art “out there”. He has shared his message, challenged himself, developed a following of people who share his beliefs and want to engage with his ideas. He has built a tribe of people who believe in what he does. This isn’t an overnight success story but it is a story that we can all learn from:
Be generous with your art, whatever that may be
Stay true to what you believe in, knowing that you can’t be all things to all people
Keep making art and make sure it is good
Today, Seth’s Blog offered even more advice that we could also all do to remember and live by. Check it out. I also just came across this great page full of Seth Goodies – check that out too! If you haven’t read Linchpin, it is now only $1.99 on Amazon.
And if you want to get in on the Kickstarter action, there are still rewards open to backers at different levels of participation, starting at $4. There comes a point when showing your support of those who inspire you means you invest in them. For me, this was that time. Thanks, Seth, for inspiring me to make a ruckus.
*Complete works signed by Seth
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