Binge Watching. This phrase is now commonly heard. With streaming services, people are able to watch whole seasons of shows in one setting.
Binge reading. I think I have heard this phrase only once or twice as in “I binge read the Twilight series.”
Sadly, for authors, binge watching is popular and common, binge reading is not.
Studies show that prolonged exposure to digital devices changes the way we think and behavior. This is because our brains are constantly rewiring themselves in response to our environment.
The amount of input we receive from digital devices is more than our brains can handle. As a result, we become comfortable with shallow attention—gleaning pieces instead of consuming the whole. The result is that many people are having more difficulty with remembering—often referred to as “digital dementia.”
Too much time spent immersed in digital media can rob us of the quality attention it takes to become immersed in the lengthy reading of a book. This is an obstacle that many authors face when trying to sell their books. Many people would rather just watch a video or listen to a podcast than read the book.
How can authors overcome this obstacle? I have two suggestions.
1. Market to Readers
In addition to marketing to your target audience, focus in on the readers in your target audience and put some extra effort into marketing to these people. Most likely, the readers in your target audience are the individuals who have signed up to receive your information via email.
You can also market to readers in your target audience through book clubs and online social book cataloging websites such as:
2. Recommend Books to Your Audience
Reading begets reading. Just as too much digital screen time decreases are ability to sustain deeper attention, reading increases our ability to sustain such attention. Readers like recommendations from people they trust. So, read and recommend books your audience might like to read (these would be books other than those that you have penned).You can also refer your readers to a book discovery website like the new one that Ingram Content Group has launched: Bookfinity.
Bookfinity helps book lovers choose their next “great read” and makes the discovery process both fun and easy and in the process, aiming to expand book discoverability, bolster book sales and get more great books in the hands of readers.
Be aware, that Bookfinity only recommends books that are in Ingram’s database. You can check to see if your books are included in Bookfinity by typing in your author name in the search bar on the website.
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Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio.