Reader Behavior is Changing -
Are You Keeping Pace?
By Jan Zucker and Ellie Schoenberger
As a veteran of the magazine and newspaper industry, Jan was in the trenches as readership plummeted and magazines succumbed to the onset of digital content. The publishers that saw this coming and pivoted their content and changed their business model to accommodate this change stayed alive.
Those that didn’t fell by the wayside.
As a published author, Ellie experienced first-hand the importance of distributing content to readers in multiple forms.
We are experiencing a paradigm shift in the way content is consumed, especially when it comes to readers and learners. Content is not intended to be passive. It is intended to stir the imagination, convey knowledge, and entertain.
Content creators - including authors, publishers, educators, and instructors - are facing unprecedented challenges in garnering (and keeping) the attention of their audience. No longer is it enough just to have great content. It is now essential that content creates an experience for your audience.
The obstacles and objections we hear to why content creators aren’t taking advantage of “going digital” are rife with misconceptions. Most come to us with at least 1 of the 5 problems we explore below.
Many authors and publishers believe that the most critical aspect of publishing a book is the book itself, but they are wrong. Every year there are over 1 million books independently published in the US, which means competing with hundreds of thousands of others for reader attention. You may get some sales, but as soon as the reader/learner finishes your book, they often forget about you.
A relationship with a reader and/or learner should not end once a book is purchased. Without utilizing technology to augment, boost, and supplement printed content, continued engagement is lost. To become a fixture in peoples’ lives, create a connection and build a loyal fan base. Developing digital content allows you to reach a broader audience, create additional revenue streams, and deepen connections with your audience.
“When the book is published, the interaction with the reader is done”.
It’s no secret that publishers and authors know the value of eBooks as part of their book marketing strategy. What is less well known is that the latest trend in content consumption is that students, coaching clients,and readers require a more immersive experience with their content than is offered by eBooks alone.
Even in education, end-users like schools, universities, and students no longer rely only on textbooks and other printed materials. The entire educational system is moving online. Publishers who need to wait for the next reprint of a textbook are losing ground.
Educators and instructors who seek to maintain and increase audience attention, interest, and retention rates can accomplish more through digital content with significantly less time, expense, and effort than solely through print content.
Competitive content creators know they need to have more than passive print and digital content to reach clients and learners where they already are - online.
“I don’t see the value in digital content”.
There is an errant belief that creating digital content (beyond eBooks) such as eLearning modules/courses, interactive online content, educational courses, and gamification is prohibitively expensive, but that isn’t always the case.
eLearning is no longer solely the purview of large companies and publishing houses. Advancing technology has brought the cost of interactive digital content within reach of all authors, coaches, and publishers. This is evident in the sheer volume of independent content creators already experiencing success with powerful online learning platforms.
"I can't afford it".
When it comes to time you have already done the most time-consuming part of the work!
Digital content is created from your existing content. Going digital actually saves time (and expense) by allowing you to interact with - and market to - your audience directly online.
Online content saves the time and expense compared to printed material in many cases, such as:
Creating accompanying workbooks and materials
Adding new material
Making edits and updates
Expanding content for broader audiences
"I don't have enough time".
You don't need to become an expert to take advantage of digital content tools and platforms. All you need to do is partner with an experienced elearning professional who can bring your hard work and vision to life.
Advancing technology has made elearning tools - both for users and instructors - easily accessible to everyone, regardless of their prior experience.
Best of all, digital content can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and from any device. No need for expensive equipment, interfaces, or training.
"I don't have digital experience or expertise".
If you'd like to discuss any of the points raised in this article, then please don't hesitate to contact us.
As a lifelong publishing entrepreneur, Jan’s passion is to find and disseminate great content in a useful, engaging, and entertaining way, whether that content is in print or digital.
At Digital Content Creators, Jan transforms all manner of content into modern print and digital solutions that can be shared across all media platforms. Jan and his teams create a wide range of content for publishers, authors and book coaches to amplify their brands and attract new clients.
After a successful marketing and operations career in the corporate world, Ellie combined her passion for writing and entrepreneurial endeavors through the creation of the nationally recognized blog One Crafty Mother and the founding of an independent marketing agency that works exclusively with small businesses and entrepreneurs.
She applies her collective writing, publishing, and marketing experience to help other authors and publishers amplify their audience and create a community of engaged readers through powerful digital tools and platforms.