THE PURPLE COW by Seth Godin [Book 31 of 2010]

It’s been a while since I reviewed a non-fiction book, but I’m making them more of a priority in my reading pile. I’ve had so many people tell me that they only read non-fiction, that I’ve vowed not to become one of those people who only read fiction, which I pretty much was before meeting the only non-fiction readers. Anywho, I do have two non-marketing-based books coming up in this series before the end of the year. But until then, here’s yet another review of a marketing book: THE PURPLE COW by Seth Godin

Why I Decided To Read It: While doing marketing research for 32 CANDLES, I kept stumbling across the cult of Seth Godin. THE PURPLE COW isn’t his most recent book, but the title intrigued me, so I downloaded it on my iPad.

What It’s About: How to market your product in an age when TV and print advertisements have pretty much reached their saturation points.

What Makes It Different: This book is basically an homage to products that marketed in a different way.

What I Loved: I love that Godin encourages his readers to take risks, and think differently about the way we market our products. He has an extremely strong writing voice, which made this a very easy read. I felt like I was learning and receiving an inspirational message at the same time. It was also great to see how many things 32 CANDLES had gotten right in purple cow terms like the cover, and going hardcore after a specific group (my goal is that every black woman with a natural has heard about this book by year’s end) as opposed to casting the widest net possible.

What I Didn’t Like: The cover art really didn’t do the book justice. Like at all. I wanted the cover to be as outside the box as what was inside.

Writing Lessons Learned:

Landscaping. This book is very well laid out. Both the chapters and paragraphs are short. The ideas are presented in a clear, concise, yet dynamic way. I think everyone writing a self-hlep or marketing book should look at the layout of this one.

The opposite of traditional. One of the things that scares me the most about my next book is that though the situation is the same as a lot of other books (four friends living, working and loving in a big city), but the characters themselves are unlike any others found in literature right now. However, in Seth Godin’s world view a product that we’ve seen before isn’t a product worth making, and that coincides pretty much with the way I feel about literature. Why write the same ole, same ole, when you can write something entirely different? Also, writing something different helps you to avoid market saturation.

Take risks. If an idea comes to you for your book, and your first instinct is, “No, that’s too crazy. That will lose me readers” — that’s the idea you want to hold on to. That’s the idea that just might make your book.

To Whom Would I Recommend This Book: MFA Students, Entrepreneurs, Filmmakers, Writers w/ New Book Deals, Creatives With Business Sense.

Click on the cover pic to buy the book!