by Jane Tabachnick | Featured Contributor
Shakespeare said, “Brevity is the soul of wit”, and when it comes to writing your book, shorter may just be better. You can now sigh a sigh of relief.
The thought of writing a book can be overwhelming especially when you think it should be a long tome. The good news is, nowadays short books are popular. To understand why people favor shorter books, we need look no further than two popular recent book titles:
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Badass Your Brand: The Impatient Entrepreneurs Guide to Turning Expertise into Profit by Pia Silva
While these two aren’t short books themselves, their titles say a lot about our mindset and what we expect. We are impatient and we are in a hurry. The good news is that you can put out a short book of 20 pages, 60 pages, 100 pages or really any page count; you no longer have to think that you need to have a specific length for it to be considered a serious work. Who Moved My Cheese, a 90 page, inter-national bestseller for over 10 years, has gone on to sell over ten million copies.
Here a few reasons audiences prefer shorter books:
In our always connected world, we are bombarded with messages – online, on bill boards and screens, on television and in print. It can be overwhelming trying to filter out all the information that is pushed to us every day; most Americans are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day.
Shrinking Attention Spans
Technology advances have made it so that we have instant access to information, entertainment and communication. Platforms like Snapchat and Twitter, built on short messaging capabilities, have become increasingly popular. As the volumes of information grow, our attention span seems to shorten in response.
People scan and don’t actually read
To deal with all the information presented to us, we have begun to scan, rather than read. Long paragraphs of yesterday are less easily absorbed, than content with shorter paragraphs, bold headlines and more white space.
Just the facts ma’am
Savvy readers can detect fluff and will tell you so. I cringe when I see a book review that says this book would have been better I they edited it down a few chapters. Better to present a concise, well written shorter work, than to try to pad it with fluff to create a fatter book. You’ll get called on it every time.
The great news is, with your audience’s preference for shorter reads, you can take a simple concept or case study and turn it into a book. This can be a great way to publish your first book, so you can get the experience of publishing. You still need to go through the same professional steps of editing, cover design, writing a book description…but the book writing process can be short, sweet, and faster to market.
“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Jane Tabachnick is a digital marketing and publicity consultant, and book publisher. She works with savvy entrepreneurs and enlightened professionals to help them tell their story, become published authors, and create greater visibility, buzz and profits.
Jane is eternally inquisitive and working on perfecting her gluten free baking. She has been named one of the top 100 people online by Fast Company. As an ambivert who has often been featured or quoted in the media, she sill prefers to help her clients get visibility.
Jane is the creator of a program on Sustainable Design Entrepreneurship at NYC’s Fashion Institute where she is also an adjunct professor. Her next book, Irresistible Influence will be published in Spring 2017.
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