In 2019, researchers at the Technical University of Denmark published a study suggesting that the overall global attention span is lessening due to information overload. The study results, published in Nature Communications, imply that “people now have more things to focus on — but often focus on things for short periods of time.”
Dr. Gloria Mark, a psychologist and the chancellor’s professor of informatics at the University of California Irvine, studies how people interact with technology in their everyday lives and has found that attention spans have been dwindling for the past 20 years.
Given the demands on our attention and the time we have to give any piece of information, it is no wonder that short books have been on the rise. The busier professionals become, the more they prefer shorter, more concise content that can be consumed quickly and easily.
Gone are the days when thick volumes were seen as a sign of expertise and authority. In the past, authors would often produce lengthy books packed with information to establish themselves as thought leaders. However, this approach no longer resonates with the modern reader who seeks instant gratification and practical knowledge.
Busy Schedules & Limited Time
With busy schedules and limited free time, readers want concise books that can be finished in a few hours or even less, often consumed on the go. Short books provide a solution to this need, enabling readers to quickly gain knowledge and insights without dedicating weeks to reading a single book.
Highly Focused Content
Short books are often focused on specific topics or niche subjects. They dive deep into a particular subject matter, providing specialized expertise on a narrow topic. This specificity appeals to readers who are looking for practical, actionable advice instead of generalized information. Short books allow authors to condense their knowledge and deliver it in a focused and impactful manner, increasing the value provided to readers.
The rise of short books has also been fueled by the evolution of digital reading devices and online platforms. E-books, audiobooks, and online blogs have made it easier for authors to reach a broader audience and distribute shorter content. These mediums provide convenience and accessibility, allowing readers to carry an entire library with them in their pocket. The ease of digital publishing has made it possible for authors to create shorter books and still reach a wide reader base.
Tips for Writing an Effective Short Book
When writing a short book, you must communicate your ideas clearly and concisely. The limited word count required forces you to choose your words carefully, ensuring that every sentence carries the maximum amount of meaning. Here are 5 tips to help you master this type of book:
- Narrow Your Topic: Focus on a specific aspect of your subject matter. This helps in keeping the book short and ensures depth rather than breadth in your content. The content should help the reader solve one, very specific problem, and nothing more.
- Create a Detailed Outline: Plan your chapters and key points in advance. An outline helps you stay on track and ensures that you cover all necessary aspects without veering off-topic.
- Use Real-Life Examples: Illustrate your points with real-world examples or case studies. This makes your content relatable and easier to understand. It also helps readers relate to the content and learn the information more effectively.
- Maintain a Consistent Tone and Voice: Your writing style should reflect your personality and be consistent throughout the book. This helps in building a connection with your readers and establishing your brand.
- Edit Rigorously: Good editing is crucial, especially for a short book. Ensure clarity, grammar, and coherence. It may be worth hiring a professional editor.
Overall, the rise of short books reflects the changing landscape of authority building in the digital age. In a world where attention spans are shrinking and instant gratification is sought, shorter, focused books provide a valuable and practical resource for readers. Authors can leverage this trend to establish themselves as experts in their field, deliver specialized knowledge, and reach a wider audience. With the evolution of publishing platforms and online mediums, the future of authority-building lies in the power of short books.
If you are ready to begin writing your short book, download my free QuickStart Guide to Writing Your Authority Building Short Book today.