“Is this anything?” by Jerry Seinfeld

I haven’t read it, possibly because it’s still in pre-order, but the title of this post is a book being published by Jerry Seinfeld. This is not a review, it is a thought. The book contains all of the material that Jerry Seinfeld has written in his 45 years of stand up comedy.

Can you imagine that? Stand up comedy in written form? Is that how it’s supposed to be consumed?

I’m asking for a reason. Maybe you realize it already.

There are many different forms our work can take on. For 90+% of stand up comedians, their work is consumed in-person, or on video. How many of them think about taking the time to convert their work to books and then sell it to an audience that prefers to read?

In a world full of content creators, we often don’t think to switch our medium. For now, you’ll find that I only write. That’s because with my day job and other commitments it’s all I have the time for, but in the future I would like to podcast as well.

If you study the cognitive functions of the brain as well as the personality types associated with them, you’ll find there are different groups of people who prefer to take information in by different methods. What Jerry is doing with this book is saying, “Sure, most people know me in the stand up world, but what about in the reading world? Don’t those people enjoy and need laughter as much as anyone?”

While it’s not likely that this book will make him huge amounts of money (relative to his own stand up shows and sitcom), it does spread his work to others that aren’t as familiar with it. We all have the opportunity to do this if we want to.

Here’s a quick list of things you could do:

  • If you have a blog, you or a voice actor could read them and make them into an audio version.
  • A video could be converted to pure audio.
  • If you have a podcast you could transcript it.

That’s not exhaustive at all, but it should also be noted, as you convert between mediums, it’s worth asking, “What else can I add in this medium, that wasn’t supported by the previous?” That way your work spreads to a new audience while also gaining some new value.