September 5, 2006
About an hour after I posted a not so flattering review of Seth Godin’s new book this morning, I got an email from Seth with a couple good points worth responding to here.
His main points (other than offering me a refund, which was nice) were that (a) the book itself was very clear about its content — on the book itself (back cover, inside flap, marketing copy), kind of like a ‘live album’ for a recording artist; and (b) if I thought the blog postings were worthwhile, why did I still feel like there was a downward trend in his writing?
Ok, so these are fair points. Let me try to clarify. I am 99% sure that I bought the book off the Amazon.com email which said “if you enjoyed other books by Seth Godin, then here’s his latest,” which prompted my robotic one-click order without paying attention to the fine print. That’s why I was disappointed when I got the book. My bad, I guess, although that’s somehow an unsatisfying thought as a consumer — that I should have paid more attention to the fine print. Live albums from musicians usually have that in the title so the marketing is clear, and they still sell a ton, probably even more so.
In re-reading my review, I actually think it’s balanced — I do say there are a bunch of circumstances where the book is a must-have — but my use of the word “sell-out” was a bit harsh given the attempts to present the book as a compendium. But the downward trend in my mind is more than just this book. I think a lot of Seth’s writings have been hitting the same notes for the last couple of years, while I’ve been hoping to hear his next Big Moo.
I didn’t take up Seth’s offer for a refund, as I fall somewhere between (a) and (c) in my definition of why this is a must-have. And while I’m at it, maybe I should rethink my earlier point that this whole blog thing isn’t about conversations.