Cory Doctorow, Author of “For the Win,” and Seth Godin, Author of “Poke the Box”

For this week’s podcast I had the good fortune of interviewing two people who are both New York Times bestselling authors and who are also both trailblazers in the world of publishing, Cory Doctorow and Seth Godin.

Cory and I talked about:

The world of gold farming depicted in For the Win; in 2008 there were roughly 400,000 people making a living in the developing world from doing repetitive tasks in online gaming worlds to amass game currency and goods to sell to players in the developed world;

Why the gold farming world was a great setting for a story of global labour activism;

Writing about virtual and real worlds, and how those people experience life and experience games;

Using the dynamics of science fiction to explain the invisible technology of economics;

The war on kids who are being pushed out of society’s real spaces on the one hand, and restricted from virtual spaces as well;

Lenore Skenazy, author of Free Range Kids;

The peer pressure parents experience from other adults about parenting;

Cory recounts the genesis of his essay about the reproductive strategy of dandelions that Seth Godin discusses in Poke the Box;

Giving books away for free as a marketing technique and the satisfaction of promoting his books in a way that is consistent with his ethics and moral principles.  You can get “For the Win” free from Cory’s site here;

Cory’s thoughts on copyright regulation in the modern world;

The program Cory has for fans to purchase copies of his books for school classrooms and libraries;

Cory’s self-published short story collection With a Little Help;

Book donations to Worldreader to give Cory’s books to kids in developing countries;

“Transmedia storytelling” and Jack and the Beanstalk;

Turning fictional worlds into game worlds.


Seth and I talked about:

Poke the Box is a book about taking initiative, so we discussed why initiative is so important now, both in business and in society, and why it is so scarce;

The Resistance, as Steven Pressfield calls it (see his upcoming book, Do The Work);

How when failure is not an option, then success is not an option;

How to get past the fear of failure, and the incredible competitive advantage that you get when you learn that failure is not fatal;

The story of giving away Unleashing the Ideavirus for free (you can get the free PDF here);

Why we need to renounce the tyranny of being picked and pick ourselves;

The Domino Project and how it is powered by Amazon.

Traditional publishing’s value proposition in a world where self-publishing is a viable alternative for authors.

Next Week’s Podcast: Eric Lamet, author of the memoir A Child Al Confino.

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