Connecting people and ideas through improvisation

The Domino Project

Reading Poke the Box

Reading Poke the Box - eye goggling may vary

I love to create stories, and I’ve always been fascinated with how ideas wind their way from the people who come up with them into the people who want to hear them. From having a single oral tradition for our myths and legends, we can now use methods that our ancestors would have thought so magical they belonged in those very myths they passed along. Sadly, all this technology at our disposal hasn’t always resulted in simplification, and the world of storytelling – especially publishing – needs some cleanup.

The Domino Project

I initially heard about The Domino Project as Seth Godin taking on publishing, and that was enough to get me nosing around. I’m a fan of people who like to rock the boat, and Seth is definitely an upsetter of seagoing vessels. Their web site added a bit of clarification:

The Domino Project is named after the domino effect—one powerful idea spreads down the line, pushing from person to person. The Project represents a fundamental shift in the way books (and digital media based on books) have always been published. Eventually consisting of a small cadre of stellar authors, this is a publishing house organized around a new distribution channel, one that wasn’t even a fantasy when most publishers began.

I still had (and have) questions, but they were looking for people to help out, so I filled out an application and was selected as one of their global Street Team to help spread the word on both The Domino Project and the books that come out of it.

This Street Team is an interesting crew, with a wide range of personalities and interests. Arizona gets double rep with Tyler Hurst also on the team, along with marketers, authors, publishers, and idea-junkies from all over the globe. Everyone seems to have a different reason for signing up for this, which should make it a fun ride.

Connecting Authors to Readers

My reason for signing up is my personal fascination for the (r)evolution going on in media. For books, giant monolothic publishers sit between the people who want to create the content – the authors – and the people who want to consume it. They control what gets published, narrowing a flood of great ideas down to a trickle, and make a lot of money from these middleman activities. Fortunately, the days of the middle man are ending. Like the music and movie industries before it, online technology is making the middleman obsolete. Self-publishing, ebooks, and audiobooks are just a few of the ways content creators are circumventing the publishing giants to get their ideas out.

Poking the Box

The first book in this project is Seth Godin’s Poke the Box. One of the things The Domino Project is already playing around with is pricing, reducing the pre-order Kindle version of Poke the Box to $1. If you want to get in on the deal you need to buy it before March 1st.  If you prefer the dead-tree version, or want to hear what people think about it before committing 100 pennies, I’ve already read an advance copy and can start talking about it after March 1st.

Writer’s Meetup

We’re also leveraging this whole little effort to see if there is interest in a Writer’s Camp / Meetup / Conference thingy. We’re getting together to talk about it at Gangplank in Chandler on March 1st at 7:30pm. We’ll be talking about Poke the Box as well, so stop on by with any questions, answers, or ideas you want to share.

This whole little effort has poked my own box, forcing me to get this blog back on the air and prioritize some other aspects of my overly chaotic life. It’s been an interested few weeks, and I’m really looking forward to seeing where it leads.

Comments

  1. Roger says:

    I find it both interesting and a bit manipulative that the Domino Project is “powered by Amazon”. Has Seth sold his soul to the highest bidder? Is his new model for publishing really his? Are you really freeing the masses from the tyranny of publishers? Or are you simply a tool that Amazon is creating to capture market share and thus more money from more and more writers and consumers? Just asking the questions…

    1. Anonymous says:

      Roger – Sorry for the reply delay. I can’t speak for the specifics of Seth’s relationship with Amazon.com, but he is looking to find alternate ways to get content out to readers, and Amazon.com also works (partly) in that realm. The Kindle has changed the way many people I know read books, and also how many publish their books directly to electronic formats.

      I believe Amazon.com represents a resource Seth is using to explore, and at no point have I had the impression they are dictating Seth’s approach. Seth has a little bit more info in his FAQ, and by all means ask him any of your questions directly on his site: http://www.thedominoproject.com/frequently-asked-questions