September 10, 2012 16 Comments
I don’t know how many times I’ve thought (and said), “Most business books are 30-50% too long.”
It’s not that there isn’t value in the content. It’s just that the reader has a lot of work to do in order to distill it. Can’t we buy 100-proof books instead?
This appears to be the approach of SlimBooks. So, when Sarah Evans announced that her new book, [Re]Frame, was available through SlimBooks, I had to check it out. Not only because I think highly of Sarah, but also because of the SlimBooks format.
I like what I’m seeing.
The era of quick and simple electronic publishing is well underway; traditional publishing is being thoroughly disrupted. With ventures like Seth Godin‘s Domino Project and Tim Sanders‘ Net Minds, we’ll continue to see innovative new way to introduce voices into the marketplace. SlimBooks looks like a great addition to the mix – it seems to me like a perfect format for at least two types of books:
- Nugget collections
- Distilled, focused content (without all the fluff)
Sarah’s book falls into the first category. It is a series of brief thoughts, drawn from her life and business experience. It’s the kind of book designed for a quick pep talk each morning, helping you “re-frame” how you look at challenges and opportunities. It’s folksy, practical, personal, and to the point. And, importantly, it’s Sarah – not some unrecognizable version of Sarah fitting into a pre-baked business book format.
Worth $4.95? Sure. [Re]Frame will probably provide greater value to those earlier on in their career arc, but I already found myself musing a new blog post based on the idea contained in the chapter, Be An Owner (a “chapter” in this book being, typically, 1.5 pages!)
As someone for whom distillation of content and ideas seems to be a DNA-level blessing/curse, the potential for the second type of book fascinates me. Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but I think traditional books don’t refine the gold very well, and leave us with far too much ore. I suspect that there are many potential authors out there, who have valuable ideas but for whom the traditional publishing format (both writing and business) is a mismatch. It will be interesting to see new voices liberated through the availability of a platform that approaches content in a different manner.
Will we see a spate of new “diet” books? I hope so – as long as the content is nutritious and the extra calories are left out!
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