Less the New More in Book Publishing?

[Article provided by News and Experts]

In Book Publishing, Less Is The New More

The hottest book publishing trend today: less is the new more.

“The first time I saw a 73-page ‘book’ offered on Amazon, I was outraged,” says New York Times best selling author Michael Levin. “But I thought about how shredded the American attention span is. And I felt like Cortez staring at the Pacific.”

The trend in books today, Harry Potter notwithstanding, is toward books so short that in the past no self-respecting publisher—or author—would even have called them books. But today, shortened attention spans call for shorter books.

Levin blames smartphones and social media for what he calls “a worldwide adult epidemic of ADH…ooh, shiny!”

“Brain scientists tell us our brain chemistry has been transformed by short-burst communication such as texting, Tweeting, and Facebook posts,” Levin adds. “Long magazine articles have given way to 600-word blog posts. And doorstop-size books have been replaced by minibooks.”

This sudden change in attention spans changed the way Levin approaches ghostwriting. “Even five years ago, we aimed for 250-page books. Today we advise our business clients to do 50-page minibooks to meet impatient readers’ expectations for speedy delivery of information.”

Levin, who runs the ghostwriting firm BusinessGhost.com and was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, says that people are looking for leadership disguised as a book. “Today,” he asserts, “people don’t want you to prove your assertions. They just want to know that you have legitimate answers to their questions and that they can trust you. If you can’t get buy-in with 50 pages today, you won’t get it in 250.”

The trend toward shorter books caused Levin to offer what he calls the “Book-Of-The-Quarter Club,” which creates four 50-page hardcover minibooks a year for BusinessGhost’s clients. “This allows them to address four different major issues, or four different sets of prospects, and provides quarterly opportunities for marketing events,” Levin says.

How short will books eventually run?

“Can you say ‘haiku’?” Levin asks. “We’re waiting for a three-line, 17 syllable book. It could happen.”

3 thoughts on “Less the New More in Book Publishing?

  1. Jeanne Paglio

    I wholeheartedly agree with the ADH concept. Readers are rabid when it comes to wanting more, but they have no concept of what it takes to put out good work. I’ve found that I tend to write shorter books now.(Though I’m at the 40-50K limit.) Two years ago, I wouldn’t have considered such an idea. When my publisher asked for a 25K story, I was horrified, but enjoyed writing it (to my surprise). Thanks for sharing your article.

    Reply
  2. Jan Hutchins

    Ray Arata, author of “Wake Up, Man Up, Step Up” is doing a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo starting May 1st, to take his short book/workbook on how to do one’s inner path and using crowd sourcing to write a second edition to include emotional stories, poetry and art from contributors around the world about how men have and have not stepped up in their lives.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Saturday Fiction Writers And Indie Publishing Write Up 32 | J.J.Foxe.com

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