Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons and MissMessy (I must meet this person)
I hear the same question over and over: how to we get more people to read?
The problem, I think, is in the question. We can’t make people read. While many prolific readers don’t mind going to book stores or libraries, most of us have built a world around our electronic devices. My friends, no building that requires me to get my car and drive is going to compete with that kind of convenience.
Like I said, there are many who still love the book store. They have e-readers. Some more than one. They post pictures of their favorite books on Instagram. They’re fangirls and fanboys. Their favorite characters are not characters. They’re very real to them.
The Casual Reader
For most, though, reading is a casual experience. If a good book drops into their lap, they’ll give it a go. So here’s a thought. Why don’t we deliver the books into their laps? Or, more specifically, their e-mailboxes?
Okay, Ron, then they can just download Kindle readers onto their iPhones.
I’d argue that is still one step too many. And we’re still forcing readers to choose a retailer. Which really annoys me. But everybody has an e-mail interface. So why not deliver a chapter per week to their inbox? Or maybe a chapter per day?
Wait…why not let readers choose how fast or slow they want to read a book? I know…crazy talk. A choice? Someone in an office high over the Avenue of the Americas just shot coffee out his nose. Sorry about the tie, buddy. Send me the dry cleaning bill.
Maybe, just maybe, we could let our readers choose the day and times their chapters get delivered! Okay, it’s crazy talk now. I don’t even know if that’s possible…yet.
Imagine with me if you will (you hear Rod Serling, don’t you?). Someone finds your website because a friend sent them the link with their recommendation. They pull up your site on their phone. They see a choice of five or six Amish Zombie Romances. Cool! they say. I’m a huge fan of Amish Zombie Romance!
So they peruse the book covers and spot one entitled “Plain Dead.” They love the cover of the slightly decayed Amish lass staring (with one eye) over the Penssylvania farm fields, where her true love still labors among the living. Our reader is thrilled. She clicks on the cover and is presented with a few choices:
Would you like…
- The entire book – choose your format.
- A chapter per week delivered to your inbox? Select day and time.
- A chapter per day delivered to your inbox? Select days and times.
- The audio version?
But wait, there’s more…Yesterday I suggested we let readers pay for the books after they’ve read them, and pay what they think it’s worth. That still applies. My little contribution box would be in place. Love me? Buy me a coffee. Hate me? Let’s part on good terms. You’ve lost nothing. I have a better idea who my fans are and are not.
So, what do you think? Am I losing my mind? Should I give up this nonsense and act like an adult? And if you know if my “choose your day and time” for e-mail delivery is possible, do share. I’m checking my aWeber right now.