Saturday, October 18, 2014

Writing Content For Very Distracted Readers

How do we write books for a world that moves at a frantic pace, for readers who are too busy to stand still for a minute? How do authors market to people who have busy lives and long to-do lists?

America, for a long time, has been living a disposable lifestyle. Many of us get new smart phones every two years when our contracts run out. We lease cars three years at a time. We move on average every seven years. We trade in who we date and marry with increased frequency. Jobs come and go. 

We’ve become a society of temporary – we are doing something for the moment, and then we’re not. We are a distracted society. We multitask the day away. We are consumers of content, continuously moving away from videos to TV to books to blogs to magazines to so many forms of entertainment and information. When we buy something we don’t expect it to last forever – or 10 years or even five. We enter into situations knowing they have a shelf life. Everything expires, gets replaced and falls off our menu. Variety and diversity are great and what is wrong with trading up or embracing new? The old culture of hang on to people, jobs, or other things until they die, break, or leave you is no longer the norm. But we need something in between these wild swings. The extremes are not where we want to be.  

But our world is on a breakneck pace, one that gives all of us ADHD. I know I find it harder to focus on things. Often, I feel rushed through the day, not always able to enjoy the moment I’m in. But the minute I try to take a timeout from such a life -- maybe take a day off.  I feel lost and displaced. I’m so used to being on the go that I don’t know how to relax or smell the roses.

Maybe people turn to books so not only can they learn, laugh, or escape to another world but also as an excuse to take time out for themselves. If you sit for even just 15 minutes at a time -- away from the chaos of life and demands of the day -- to read a book you feel transformed and rewarded. You can satisfy time to yourself, free from voices, demands, needs, debts, and setbacks. You are in the zone of you, one on one with your book. What could be better?

I tried reading a book for pleasure last month, Paulo Coelho’s Adultery. I’m only up to page nine. Nothing is wrong with the book. It’s me. I just haven’t been able to calm my mind to give myself permission to relax and read. I too often have one or more things to do with my kids, the house, my wife, my parents, my job, bills to review, chores to get on, and day to day demands of commuting and exercise, and well, you get the point. I’m not one to make excuses. If it means something to you, you always find a way to do it, right?!

But the world is on overload. Mine sure is. You are writing for people torn in 20 directions. How will you guide them to your book?

You may be too distracted to finish reading my blog post. I felt distractions tugging at me as I wrote this.

We are a nation so busy doing but not always appreciating or reflecting or dreaming. But we need to do more of those things and there is no better way to start a conversation with ourselves than to read books. Lots of them!

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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