27 May, 2010

Why Doesn't Seth Godin Respect His Own Books Enough To Index Them?

I wish Seth Godin respected his own books enough to index them.

I bring this up because (1) I read Seth Godin’s books and generally like and recommend them and (2) “Linchpin Meetups” are popping up all over the country in celebration of both Linchpin (the book) and linchpins (the subjects of the book). In case you’re interested in hanging out with some linchpins, you can go to http://www.meetup.com/Linchpins-are-everywhere-raise-the-flag and sign up to attend a June 14 Linchpin Meetup in Charleston.

As I write this post, I am the only registrant of the Charleston event.

I first read Seth Godin when my friend, George Insko, kept raving about Godin’s Small Is The New Big. What I immediately noticed about Godin’s writing style is that he doesn’t put much time into organizing his thoughts and then arranging them into some kind of logical progression. Small Is The New Big contains some really good thoughts but it’s written like a random collection of thoughts. Each labeled section was very short – like one of those daily devotionals that contain religious readings you can read in a few seconds at the start of your day.

I recommended and quoted from Godin’s Tribes last summer.

But it really bothers me when a guy who has something to say – as Godin clearly does – thinks so little of his books that he doesn’t bother to index them.

Yes, I understand that indexing adds production costs but I am willing to pay more for a book that is properly indexed.

Conversely, sometimes I decide not to buy a book that doesn’t have an index.

While I was reading Godin’s Linchpin, I was also reading Daniel Pink’s Drive, which was well-documented, properly indexed and actually paralleled Godin’s Linchpin in several ways. In fact, it was obvious to me that Godin and Pink are familiar with each other’s work. I don’t think it’s accidental Linchpin and Drive both contain riffs about asymptotes or that they both have a lot to say about autotelic approaches to work and the difference between heuristic and algorithmic labor.

Readers who like to be inspired or want to tell The Man to take their current job and shove it will find inspiration in Godin’s Linchpin. Readers who demand more research and scholarship will prefer Pink’s Drive.

Job seekers will want to read why Godin says you shouldn’t have a résumé.

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