What, is he nuts? What about the whopping big royalty cheque? And the prestige of being on the New York Times Bestseller List?
Well, for the vast majority of authors out there, the royalty cheque just isn't that big. Not when you tally the thousands of hours spent researching, writing and rewriting the book, and you add the hundreds of hours involved in any sort of book tour.
Besides, for a lot of authors, money isn't the raison d'etre. They're doing it to put their ideas out there, to make a mark in the world, to be cited as an authority. For academics, it's a requirement. For consultants, it gets their name in front of customers, and it gets them invited to speakers at conferences where they can make more connections and more customers. For anyone but the mega-celebrity or the professional author, the royalty cheque is a nice boost to that month's income, but it doesn't come close to paying the bills.
Godin argues that the e-book model works much better for him because it gets his thoughts in front of 40 times the number of people who would buy or borrow a paper-based book.
In his first e-book Knock Knock, Godin answered the question, what they hell are websites really used for? His follow-up, Who's There? (note the connection between the two titles) defines weblogs, describes their uses, and offers some good advice.
You should read both books (they're short and easy to read), but if you don't get the chance, here are his Five Components of a Great Blog:
- Pithiness and
(maybe Utility if you want six).
He advises CEOs tempted to get into blogging to not bother if they aren't willing to bring at least four of those qualities to a blog. No one will read them.