Seth Godin says write so it couldn’t be any shorter


Hugh MacLeod has published a delightful interview with Seth Godin on the launch of his new book Tribes.

A couple of excerpts that particularly struck me:

Your books and blog posts seem to have one thing in common, they seem to be getting shorter and shorter with every passing year. I have no problem with that; I think people genuinely prefer short reads to long ones. For people aspiring to publish their own books one day, what advice would you give them re. deciding on a book’s length?

Try to write a book or a blog post that can’t possibly be any shorter than it is.

Yes, very well put. That is the discipline we all must have today. As attention is spread ever more thinly, there is no luxury for padded content.

You’ve been publishing your books for about a decade now. Obviously, in that time period there’s been a lot of changes in the world. But for the sake of simplicity, let’s narrow the field down a bit, to the “Purple Cow”, new-marketing world you’ve been happily residing in. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in this brave new world, since Purple Cow and IdeaVirus first hit the bookstores?

There’s no doubt that the biggest change is that most smart people now realize that the world has changed.

When I started, I was working in a status quo, static world, where the future was expected to be just like the past, but a little sleeker.

Now, chaos is the new normal. That makes it easier to sell an idea but a lot harder to sound like a crackpot.

Yes again. I think we almost all find it hard to comprehend quite how much business has changed over the last 10 years. We now live in a very. very different world, and just about everyone at least implicitly recognises it. Almost all the change for the good, I think.