Share this project


Share this project

We are all artists now. Here's why it's important, and here's why it's hard.
We are all artists now. Here's why it's important, and here's why it's hard.
We are all artists now. Here's why it's important, and here's why it's hard.
4,242 backers pledged $287,342 to help bring this project to life.

Icarus publisher announced...

Good News! Penguin/Porftolio, the company that published all of my traditional books from Purple Cow up to Linchpin, has signed on to be the publisher of The Icarus Project.

Thanks to the success you guys have brought to this project, the announcement is being featured in tomorrow's Wall Street Journal, as it represents a significant shift in the power of publishing. To quote the Journal, "...could well become an industry template because it eliminates much of the uncertainty for booksellers and publishers deciding which titles to bet on."

There are so many moving parts in this project, I'm thrilled to be working with people that I know and trust. Publishing has a lot of proven talent, but Adrian Zackheim, whom I've known for twenty years, is both astonishingly successful, insightful about how books work and a pleasure to work with. By going back to Portfolio with the enthusiasm and support of my Kickstarter fans at my back, I was able to generate the most significant support from a publisher I've ever received in twenty-five years of publishing. We got support right from the top of the company. They're totally on board to play with many of the conventions of traditional publishing, and I'm excited about what we're going to do together.

For supporters, this means that the book you'll be getting before everyone else is going to be promoted in bookstores nationwide, and it means that if you weren't able to get as many copies of Icarus as you hoped, you'll be able to pre-order them in three weeks for delivery a few weeks after the backer copies go out.

Worth noting that the behemoth digital collection on paper will NOT be published traditionally. The only way to reliably get it is here, as a reward for some of the higher levels. Portfolio is going to publish a smaller, more manageable abridged edition instead.

Thanks for making history with me, guys.


Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Missing avatar

      Angelo A. Rossetti on June 28, 2012

      Very impressive Seth!

    2. Sonya ter Borg on June 27, 2012

      This is my first kickstarter that I have backed. Why? Because it is Seth Godin. I also like that Seth has backed projects for other people. There seems to be some karma there - supported others, now getting support. I like it. I am looking forward to giving my books away!

    3. Jonathan Gunson on June 26, 2012

      Quoting ..."The point isn't that Kickstarter can make a stranger buy something. The point is that Kickstarter can rally and leverage the tribe..."

      This is really saying 'Build the Tribe'. Will the new book cover this? (Any more than it does in 'Tribes'?)

    4. Sethgodin Creator on June 26, 2012

      Thanks HP. No it definitely will NOT work for someone with no tribe.

      That's the point!

      The point isn't that Kickstarter can make a stranger buy something. The point is that Kickstarter can rally and leverage the tribe.

    5. hpventura on June 26, 2012

      It was actually the first time I backed a project on Kickstarter, and it's actually the first time I'll buy 8 copies of the same book!! (went with the no brainer option).

      And I did it mainly for 2 reasons: The first one is that I like your books. The second one, and most likely the most important, is that I was curious to see if this alternative means of publishing dwould actually work, and if it did, to be a part of it.

      Now, you're freaking Seth Godin. Everybody buys your books, and everybody reads tour books. I'm now curious to see if this sort of pledge works for a complete stranger. The Seth Godin brand is way to strong too fail in such occasions.

      What I mean is, would this work for someone with a small tribe or no tribe at all?

    6. Sethgodin Creator on June 25, 2012

      Kit, send me a note via Kickstarter and I'll help you out.

    7. Missing avatar

      Kit Bennett on June 25, 2012

      Seth, thanks for this wonderful opportunity to participate in a new approach to publishing! I selected the $74 option (because I am still a fan of "real" books) but I live in Canada. How do I go about sending/submitting a U.S. shipping address for the February, 2013 ship date?

    8. Sethgodin Creator on June 25, 2012

      Thanks Shawn! Thanks to everyone who has chimed in...

      we're making a little ruckus.

    9. Shawn Wright on June 25, 2012


      So glad I saw this and joined in on the fun. You might remember me, I am a photographer in Indiana who was struggling with business while also adopting 2 boys from Haiti. I wrote you several e-mails and you were so kind to respond on occasion. In case you remember me I want to say "thanks for all the hard work you put into your ideas". Business is better and the kids are growing and healthy. We now have five. I wish you the best on this and am so thankful for the concept which I have gleaned from you over the 12 or so books I have bought. This time I bought the $74 version and am exited by it. Best wishes, Shawn

    10. Lisa Lai on June 25, 2012

      This is great news all around! I love that you took a risk to shake up the industry. You were rewarded with support (and mad respect) from your followers and a publishing contract. So many people go through life with fear, uncertainty and doubt. It's great to see someone step away from the fud and forge new paths. You set a great example for the rest of us. Thrilled to be part of this.

    11. Missing avatar

      Damien Corpataux on June 25, 2012

      Sure it is right for them to earn the benefits that belongs to their amount of risk taken, not the whole - for the sake of the risk-takers, and their sustainability. It seems to me they are simply taking over what you leveraged.

      Pragmatically, printing is risky because you can be left over with tousands of copies of your book unsold: lost investment both economical and physical. Displaying is consuming a percantage of display-space in a finite timeframe, which can be ealisy shortened if sales do not meet the expected.

      I feel frustrated and have that feeling that my (small) action has been taken over by people with a given power. Because in my view, benefiting without giving in the first place is a behaviour called parasitism. You have make something alive with us, they will parasitize it - putting the concept into a systemic market sucking machine and making the *thing* die within the process.

      Rough and crude but worth asking the question from a global point of view, in my opinion. Because as a tribe member, a freewill-given human, investing energy/time/mibey to make a change within a doomed system is not worth, making a change to get out of a doomed system is prceless.

    12. PJ Westerhof on June 25, 2012

      Bet you blew them right out of their chairs.
      Also bet that the article in WJ will cause quite a ripple effect.

    13. Sethgodin Creator on June 25, 2012

      Thanks Damien

      There are a lot of risks in publishing, and getting started, organizing the core backers, is a huge one. But there's a second risk, the one you guys are helping me push the publishers and bookstores to make. Putting tens of thousands of books out there, on display, making a big push--this is a significant opportunity cost (see my blog post today) as well as a real investment in time and money. They ought to benefit from that risk, I think.

    14. Missing avatar

      Damien Corpataux on June 25, 2012

      My question is: how much benefit will they take?

      It is not fair if they catch a regular benefit on this, because they did not take the risks in the first place. So they don't desserve benefits.

      This would participate to the global "wealth redistribution" problem, making riches richer at the risks of the masses, which is the source of many social troubles - including those that dispowers tribes.

    15. Jonathan Gunson on June 25, 2012

      Hi Seth. My blog post about this terrific Kickstarter project is live here.

      I'll also Tweet it out to my 75,000 closest friends on Twitter.


    16. Betsy Kent on June 25, 2012

      Wonderful news! So glad I could be a part of this. Seth, you rock. Kickstarter, you rock. Community of people who value creativity, innovation, and doing things "not by the book", you rock!

    17. Betsy Kent on June 25, 2012

      Wonderful! You (and we) rock!

    18. Prabu R on June 25, 2012

      Awesome, Seth, really awesome. These are the kinds of updates that make me want do better.

    19. Danny Pettry on June 24, 2012

      Thanks for the update. I'm glad to be part of this project.

      Back in 2006, I was struggling. I asked Tom Heck (a personal life coach) for advice. he told me to watch the DVD, The secret 10 times and to read eveything by you, Mr. Seth Godin. I've read all of your books. Thanks for sharing so much info. with the world.

      I read your first email post about this project and the lower reward levels were already SOLD OUT. I went ahead and pledged for the EIGHT COPIES of the hardcover edition, which I plan to give as special/ random gifts to people or customers in my business.

      Best wishes and thanks again for sharing.
      your friend and fan,

    20. Kolt Curry on June 24, 2012

      Congrats awesome to see and look forward to reading and just taking in the experience.

    21. Missing avatar

      Alex Garner on June 24, 2012

      There is a comment on the WSJ article that goes thusly: "As an author, I went months deciding whether I should go the self publish route or with a publisher in hand. I went with the publisher Skylight Paths and I'm glad I did. Perhaps I made less money but there are untold resources and assistance that a publisher provides. Writers should focus on writing."

      Obviously we disagree with this view, or we wouldn't be here with our money, but after being so immersed in the Domino blog for so long, I find it hard to explain, simply and succinctly, why this view is probably wrong. Seth, would you care to have a go? Maybe a blog entry we can cite or replay?

    22. Jef Kalil on June 24, 2012

      Seth, awesome news and more awesome news. You've changed a well oiled machine once again. Thx

    23. Martha Mayo on June 24, 2012

      Seth, Such awesome news! Huge congratulations.

      Thanks for the invitation to get on board as a backer of this magnificent project!

      Elated and excited for all,

    24. Missing avatar

      Tony Zito on June 24, 2012


      I love the concept makes complete business sense. Congrats on the early success with it.

      All the best

    25. Jonathan Gunson on June 24, 2012

      Thanks Seth. The post will be live by tomorrow morning.

      It will take a while for writers to let go of "Pick me!", but it's day is nearly over. The syndrome has been known and loved since the time of Charles Dickens as the 'author dream'. It's over.

      Quoting Joe Konrath "It's scaring a lot of writers who work in the industry, or have been struggling to break into the industry. No one wants to believe the god they've been worshiping is about to die."

      I see it instead as a gigantic opportunity. Because no-one has to 'sell' anything, instead, just build the tribe.

    26. Sethgodin Creator on June 24, 2012

      You got it, Jonathan. I think there's a vacuum here, and while I'd love it if authors who chose could sit in a garret and write while someone else built a tribe for them, that's just not going to happen.

      The web says, "pick yourself." That's the choice that every author has to make. And once you do pick yourself, if you find a following, there are tons of organizations and people and money that will help you make what you want to make...

    27. Jonathan Gunson on June 24, 2012

      Hi Seth

      Contributed. And I'll beat the Wall Street Journal with a rant / rave about your project at Should be live within 24 hours. May I have quote?

      Retail sales for my own book were a shade under $7 million dollars - I used a special strategy to achieve that. So in my eyes , this project of yours is the bomb Seth. As you say in the video, it's not 'building your tribe' it's leveraging it.

      Takeaway - authors need to start building instead of hiding behind a manuscript.

      Jonathan Gunson

    28. Sethgodin Creator on June 24, 2012

      Hi Shane

      I think everything I've written here has been clear and consistent. Publishing is not printing, they're very different. Printing is easy, anyone can do it. Publishing is the act of taking a significant financial risk to bring an idea to the world, particularly strangers.

      Publishers and bookstores take risks all the time. The problem is, as their business struggles, is that they don't know where to take those risks, and tend to default to TV shows and proven sequels, certainly nothing that feels really risky.

      Was there going to be a problem with me finding someone who would 'publish' my book the old way without Kickstarter? Of course not. But to get bookstores to carry it in real bulk, to get the publisher to put his imprint on the line--how to motivate that and turn their enthusiasm into a self-fulfilling prophecy?

      What I set out to do from the start was not make this a Kickstarter for ME, because, as I said, I have enough of a track record, but to point out that anyone with a following can do this and make a statement to the store and the publisher before they commit.

      I was sincere when I said that if the Kickstarter didn't work, the project was off. I took a risk and my readers backed me. The publisher, at this point, comes in with far less power, because the readers are the ones making it a big deal, not them.

      If you want to change your pledge, I'm okay with that. Please do. And if you find places where my language wasn't clear, please let me know directly and I'll do my best to clarify.

    29. Missing avatar

      Shane Kramps on June 24, 2012

      Probably I'm naive, or didn't read clearly enough the intentions, but I was under the impression that the goal was to do something different, outside the mainstream publishing arena. If Penguin is coming on board now, or was always waiting in the wings, why was Kickstarter even needed? Are the $232k, and counting, just a planned bonus? I don't feel like I'm part of something interesting and unique now - I feel like I've somehow been duped. Or at least; mislead. Hopefully the article tomorrow explains this better, because I'd rather just have my money back right now.