Stalker?!

I loathe stepping onto the Trend Train, but I thought this was interesting and funny.

There’s a wildly successful author of marketing books named Seth Godin. He’s written some critically acclaimed and commercially successful books called Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside.

He’s also an aggressive self-promoter and shows up basically anywhere anyone talks about marketing, and if you’re as interested in reading business books and business blogs as I am, it’s impossible to avoid him. The blogs I read constantly talk about his books, how influential he is, what he’s doing that week, what kind of food he’s eating, what’s in his garbage, what he looks like when he’s sleeping alone in his house and safe from harm or so he thinks, etc.

It’s aggravating to me, because I tend to get very quickly fed up with people that are in the limelight for too long and are hard to avoid. Overexposure simply irks me, and besides simply being irked, I find myself increasingly irked by the mere fact of having BEEN irked by something, which sends me spiraling down a compounding vortex of irkdom.

I hadn’t read any of his books yet because the gist I got was that he was simply repackaging existing concepts and giving them silly names. i.e., the key concept behind Al Ries and Jack Trout’s seminal work Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind was taken a decade or two later and relabeled “Purple Cow.” On an immediate superficial level this strikes me as, pardon me for saying, jerkoffery. I strongly dislike self-indulgent cuteness — you’re a grocery store CHECKER, not a point-of-sale systems operator! — so I’ve been somewhat avoiding his books because I infer that it’s all sort of like that. And in any case, they seem primarily to serve merely as tools for him to promote his marketing consultation services. That’s actually pretty cool and exactly how I’d do it if I were him, but in my mind that makes me less likely to want to read it.

Now to introduce the second player in our story. I’ve mentioned them on this blog before but I’d like to introduce you all again to 800CEOREAD.com. They’re a business bookseller that has fantastic book reviews, a genuinely interesting blog that’s updated with their new reviews, a great website and reasonable prices. They’re a titch above what you’d pay on Amazon, but you get wonderful freebies that Amazon won’t do.

For example, they advertised on their blog that, for their first birthday, they were going to give away free copies of books they’d been sent to review before publication to anyone who emailed them saying “Happy birthday!” I did this, not having bought anything from them before, and they sent me a free copy of Nobodies to Somebodies: How 100 Great Careers Got Their Start. I finished reading that last week and it’s one of the better books I’ve read in a while. Easy to read, very inspiring, very diverse and definitely worth buying.

At this point, they’d won my loyalty through sheer coolness, so I bought an autographed copy of Winning by Jack Welch (former CEO of General Electric). I’m still working my way through it and it’s an absolutely phenomenal read, but that’s besides the point.

So yesterday I’m at work and I had a package delivered to me from 800-CEO-READ. I had no idea what it could have been because I hadn’t ordered anything from them. So I open up the package and find a note. They have a Perfect Book Club where they send people that have bought books from their site a free copy of a book that a major publisher wants in the hands of early adopters like me. This happens every month.

And, lo and behold, the copy of the book they sent me was All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin, the author I’d so assiduously avoided reading. How about that? His self-promotion and marketing prowess have so invaded my life that HE FOUND ME AT WORK!

At this point I’d had enough of trying to avoid him and I really had no excuse not to read it. So I started reading it, and I’m only a few pages in but so far it’s actually pretty good. There isn’t enough to comment on yet but there’s certainly more to come as it happens.

Just another one of those funny things that happens to me.

Oh, incidentally, I installed a web tracker on my blog to keep track of how many people come to the site and it’s quite a bit higher than I expected. I don’t know who most of you guys are but I really thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading me. 🙂

Also, I’ve re-enabled anonymous commenting. Not sure how that got turned off.

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