Saturday, August 6

Seth Godin: How To Change Your Luck

Seth Godin writes, "One of the biggest distinctions between old publishing and new is the nature of luck." Giving your book to a traditional publisher was often like spinning a roulette wheel and hoping your book would get lucky and be the next surprise bestseller.

Independent publishing doesn't rely as much on luck, or perhaps relies on a different kind of luck, one more tied to people and to building a culture, a tribe. (For more on this, watch Seth Godin's TED talk, Seth Godin on the tribes we lead.)

Building a tribe is not a matter of a miracle, instead, it’s about converting tiny groups of people at a time, leading them, connecting them, building an audience. When a self-published author does this, she has a new job. Not the author part, the publisher part. She’s not putting a book into the universe and hoping it will be found. She’s not even putting a book in a journalist’s hands and hoping it will be hyped. No, she is engaging in a years-long journey to build a platform. It might take a decade to become an overnight success, but if you keep it up, if you keep building, the odds keep getting better and better.

That’s why it’s silly to compare the two ways of making a book happen. If you can get a great deal from a publisher and you’re into the spin, go spin! If you want to control the building of the platform, get your hands dirty and avoid the whims of fate, then the other path makes a lot more sense, no?

Read the rest of the article here: Are you feeling lucky?

Thanks to Passive Voice Blog for the link.


  1. Makes a lot more sense, yes! Thanks Karen. I'm tweeting about your blog on #epubchat this Friday (sent you a tweet about it). This is one of the main messages I try to convey. We writers can now be we publishers. It's work, but it's forward work. It's not shot-in-the-dark work. I love it.
    Suzanna Stinnett

  2. Thanks Suzanna! I appreciate that and I couldn't agree with you more. Being your own publisher may be -- likely will be -- slower going in the beginning, and a heck of a lot of work, but it gives the writer much more control.

    Looking forward to Friday!


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