Seth Godin and book PR – should he have staggered his Linchpin PR splash?

Seth Godin’s latest book Linchpin was published on January 26th. Now, Seth Godin sure doesn’t need me to tell him how to publicize his books. He’s done a pretty damn good job already.

However, when Linchpin launched, I did notice something and wanted to mention it, because once I noticed it, I started asking myself questions.

When the book launched, for several days, everywhere I turned in social media, I saw a review or someone mentioning the book.

Here’s only a few reviews/mentions of Linchpin:

Marketing Over Coffee podcast interview with Seth – January 25th

David Meerman Scott interview with Seth Godin re: Linchpin – January 25th

Duct tape Marketing podcast interview with Seth Godin – January 26th

Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project blog interview with Seth Godin – January 26th

During that 4-5 day window in late January, I couldn’t open up Google Reader without seeing Seth Godin’s smiling face – and yet another interview with him about Linchpin.

But, after that overwhelming barrage of interviews, Godin and Linchpin fell off the proverbial cliff in terms of digital publicity. Most writers lie awake at night dreaming of that many interviews touting their words and wisdom. But, was is it too much all at one time?

Again, to state the obvious, Seth is a very smart marketer, and he knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t need me to tell him how to sell books.

Right now, as I write this blog post on February 16, 2010, here’s Linchpin’s current Amazon rankings:

#50 in Books
#1 in Books > Business & Investing > Job Hunting & Careers > Guides
#2 in Books > Business & Investing > Business Life
#4 in Books > Reference

But, I still do wonder – what if he had staggered those interviews? Sure, you could do a big initial splash, but save your ammunition so to speak and do 3-5 interviews with influential bloggers every week for 6-8 weeks straight.

Would that staggered book publicity have an impact? What do you think?

Now, I’m off to read Linchpin and see what everyone is raving about.

  • I'm a HUGE believer of staggering out publicity. It's nice to get these hits all at once, but I think to keep it top of mind it should be spread out in all formats: print, internet, and broadcast for at least three months. A successful PR campaign is one that has some strategy that will keep the name and/or brand alive beyond the short attention span of most consumers.

  • I can't say that I know all the reasons for the massive push up front, but I am sure that at least part of it was that it's not about the PR side of it, it's about moving as many books as possible the first week. The stronger the first week the better your odds of making the major charts (NYT, Business Week, etc). If you make the big charts and your book is good, then you are done – it will sell itself at that point. Better to hit that right away rather than 1 year after it drops.

  • John, you make a very good point about moving as many books as possible the first week to hit the lists. The 4-Hour Work Week would be a perfect example of this.

    From a marketing perspective though, I wonder if Seth had staggered some of the publicity over 2-3 weeks, if he would reached someone multiple times over the course of those 3 weeks, and they bought his book after that 2nd or 3rd marketing “touch.”

    I was struck by the volume of PR in that first week. As I said, I was going through Google Reader and saw blog after blog writing about Linchpin in the span of 3-4 days.

    Regardless, I'm just thinking out loud. You certainly can't argue with Seth's numbers and success. I enjoyed the Marketing Over Coffee interview with him.