A study conducted by Wordsrated in June 2022 looked at 3,444 titles, both fiction and nonfiction, from 2011 to 2021. They found that bestselling books are getting shorter. The average length of the New York Times bestseller decreased by almost 52 pages during those years.
What does this mean for the entrepreneurial author? While some may argue that hefty tomes carry more authority and depth, it is becoming quite clear that shorter books can be just as powerful – if not more so. This article aims to explore the notion that size does not determine an author’s authority or the value of their work, and how shorter books can pack an equal punch as traditional, longer publications.
The Authority of Ideas
The authority of a book lies in the ideas it presents and the mastery with which it conveys them, not in its length. A well-crafted short book can communicate profound concepts and engage readers just as effectively as longer publications. Great minds have offered significant insights in fewer words, leaving a lasting impact on readers. Authors like Friedrich Nietzsche, who composed concise philosophical treatises, and Albert Camus, who crafted impactful novellas, are respected for their intellectual authority despite the brevity of their works.
Crafting a Powerful Argument
Clarity and precision are key elements in any powerful argument. Short books are often focused and concentrated, allowing authors to distill complex ideas down to their essence. By eliminating unnecessary language and needless tangents, authors can create a stronger impact on readers by getting straight to the point. This concentrated approach not only enhances the authority of the writer but also allows for a more engaging and captivating reading experience.
Time Constraints and Attention Span
In today’s busy world, readers often find themselves with limited time and attention spans. Longer publications may seem overwhelming to many, leading them to shy away from reading thick, dense books. On the other hand, shorter books present an attractive alternative, as they provide powerful insights in a concise format that fits within the constraints of modern lifestyles. By offering valuable content in easily digestible portions, authors of shorter books have the opportunity to capture an audience that might have otherwise overlooked lengthy publications.
Accessibility to a Wider Audience
Shorter books also have the advantage of being more accessible to a wider audience. They can be more inclusive to readers who may be intimidated by the dense prose or complex subject matter often found in traditional longer publications. Additionally, individuals who are new to a particular genre or topic may find shorter books to be an ideal starting point, providing them with a taste of the subject matter without overwhelming them. By reaching a broader audience, short book authors can convey their ideas to a greater number of people and have a more significant impact.
Good News for the Author
The fact that shorter books are more popular is good news for busy entrepreneurs who want to leverage books to grow their businesses. Writing short books save time. They can typically be written and published within 30 to 90 days, allowing authors to establish their authority and share their expertise promptly, without sacrificing the quality of their work. By saving time in the writing process, authors can focus more on marketing their books and building their authority.
This leads me to the next benefit provided by short books: They can serve as valuable marketing tools. Sharing a well-crafted short book can help authors capture the attention of potential clients or customers. It can be offered as a lead magnet in exchange for email addresses or used as a giveaway at conferences and events. Short books provide a tangible representation of an author’s expertise, making it easier to promote their authority and build a loyal following.
Size should not be the sole determinant of a book’s authority or the value it provides to readers. Shorter books can be just as impactful, if not more so, than their longer counterparts. Through their concise and focused nature, these books can wield authority through compelling arguments, engaging narratives, and accessibility to a wider audience. As readers, it is important to recognize that the power of a book lies not in its length but in the ideas it presents and the skill with which those ideas are communicated.
If you are ready to begin your authority-building journey with a short book, download my free QuickStart Guide to Writing Your Authority-Building Short Book today!