Reader Behavior is Changing - How Publishers Can Keep Pace and Engage Busy Readers

People these days live fast-paced lives, and the way they read is evolving. The days of curling up with a book and reading for hours are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Even for people who love to read and do what they can to make room in their busy schedules for a good book, juggling multiple priorities makes carving time out to read increasingly difficult. Publishers must constantly evolve to keep pace with their readers' demands and behavior.


7 Ways Publishers Can Entice the Busy Reader

  • Change Marketing Strategies: Acknowledge in your marketing and advertising campaigns that readers have busy schedules and limited time. Taglines such as "Great Read for Those Who Have No Time To Read", or "You Deserve A Break and a Good Book!", acknowledge that people have limited free time and let them know why it's worthwhile to spend it reading your book.

  • Explore Audio: Audiobooks are perfect for the busy reader! Release audio versions of publications to accommodate the reader-on-the-go. If you make an audiobook version of your publication available with the book purchase, readers are more inclined to purchase it as they can keep listening even when they can't take time to sit down and read. 

  • Release an eBook Version: More and more readers use digital devices to consume literature, and people almost always have a device with them. Combine an eBook version with your print and audiobook and they have unlimited access to read anytime, anywhere!  Publishing free e-books could spark a reader's interest in an author and make them more likely to seek out additional publications. 

  • Book Subscriptions: Subscriptions are increasingly popular for both digital and print publications. People have less time to shop and often subscribe to services that send books directly to the door (or inbox) on a regular basis. Allow readers to subscribe to a monthly book subscription service, or a monthly email service, to increase reader loyalty and ensure they are made aware of new releases! 

  • Accelerate the Book Production Process: Increasingly, authors are self-publishing to have more logistical control over the book production process. Authors would be more inclined to use a publishing house if an accepted book took days or weeks to publish instead of months or even years. 

  • Reach Out to Social Media Influencers: Partner with a popular/influential Mommy Blogger, Business Blogger and/or other websites that cater to your target audience. For example, if a busy mom blogger posts on social media about how she couldn't put your book down and made time to read it in her complicated schedule, busy readers will be much more inclined to purchase it! Use Open-Source Platforms: The New York Public Library launched SimplyE, a library e-reader app which gives users access to 300,000 free e-books from the library, and more and more libraries are using open-source initiatives as well. There are also sites like Kobo.com that feature extensive eBook and audiobook solutions. Publishers can use open-source services like these to get their books out to more people.

  • Change Chapter and Paragraph Length: When users read online material, like blogs or articles, they want information delivered in easily digestible bites, and avoid wordy posts that take more than a few minutes to read. The same is increasingly true of print material; books with long chapters and even long paragraphs are less likely to be purchased. Make chapter lengths smaller, so a reader with limited time can finish a chapter if they only have a few minutes available (making it easier to pick up and put down a book frequently). 

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