Say it quick and say it well.
“The average attention span for the notoriously ill-focused goldfish is nine seconds, but according to a new study from Microsoft Corp., people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds.” —Time Magazine
It’s no secret that living in the highly digital world of endless information simply makes our brains adapt by shortening its attention span. It’s very unlikely that we are going to stop “thumbing” our very smart phones and gadgets to repair our attention span any time soon. Why would we? Gadgets are fun, engaging, less lonely, informative and FAST. Over the years there has been an explosive growth in popularity of videos. There is so much eye candy popping up on our phones all day that, honestly, all our eyes want to do is eat that candy and not have anything to do with reading words. People have zero attention to dig through thousands of books to find the one they want AND read it. So, what should book writers do then to share their stories with the world? Make short engaging book trailers, or rather, build an “eye candy trail” leading the audience to a wholesome story. Why is it a good idea?
1) VISUAL STIMULATION. Trailers are EASY to process with our short attention spans. Do you know what’s most amazing about trailers? Even if people become distracted and stop watching them in 8 seconds, the well-made ones will simply bring the viewers back to focus with another trace of visual stimulation in the next 8 seconds or more. It’s almost therapeutic. You have to catch people’s eyes these days with moving images. That’s why the film industry is doing so well, no?
2) Trailers BEAT IMAGES. They’ve got the heat. The visual magic. The glitz. All that’s missing in pretty looking book covers bookstores are swarming with. No book cover can beat a visually stimulating video. Period. You have to let people taste it, like a freshly baked cookie.
3) Book trailers will help you STAND OUT from the excessive writer’s pack. According to Wikipedia, American writers publish over 304912 books a year. Sure, there are a lot of traditional ways anyone can promote their book, though what do you think our short-attention-span society will most likely notice? Well, since people are active on the Internet 24/7, the answer is not going to be a new poster at a book store or not even an interesting billboard on the street. The answer is – an intriguing short video, a.k.a trailer! Have you already figured out how many people use cute kitten-puppy-baby videos to get more social media attention? You don’t have to incorporate those in your trailers, though there are a lot of things people naturally can’t ignore once they see them.
4) YOUNG AUDIENCE is waiting. Even though The Pew Research Center reported that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year, it added that it turns out the percentage of young folks reading for pleasure stopped declining. Last year, the NEA found that 52 percent of 18-24 year-olds had read a book outside of work or school, the same as in the pre-Facebook days of 2002. If book culture were in terminal decline, this is the demographic where you’d expect it to be fading fastest. Young people read again!!!! It means that now it’s time to gear up with some very modern social media tricks to grab their attention. Young people use their social media like real pros and tend to have less patience than adults.
5) SOCIAL MEDIA POPULARITY THROUGH SHARING. How are people going to find out about your book?
The popularity of posts on social media is based on videos these days. Seriously, it’s time to gear up with your social media tools. Those who still think it is evil and will ruin their life, have to get over it. Alas, social media is one of your biggest channels of distribution and promotion. What do people love to share on their social media pages? Everything!!! And a lot!!! Not only book trailers are sharable and can create a whole army of followers intrigued by the story and its writer, but also can build a solid like-minded community. There is a personal connection with the author that comes from trailers.
Written by Kristina Birk.