25 Seconds to Choosing Your Next Read
I have a confession to make. As an author, I’ve spent years bringing just one book to market. That’s countless hours of writing, revising, editing, as well as agonizing over the title, first chapter, climax, and back cover copy. Serious chunks of my life, spent at my desk, brainstorming about plot twists, character, dialogue. I’ve enjoyed all of it and don’t regret the journey in the least.
But as a reader, I make snap decisions about book buying. I go through the same process to choose every book I purchase, whether it’s online, in my favorite indie bookstore, or the local Books-A-Million.
In my estimation, I run through the same six steps every time. The whole process takes less than a minute. About twenty-five seconds, to be exact.
I wondered, then, if it was the same for everyone else. So, I did some research—a little people watching from the Starbucks café in my local Barnes & Noble. (Hey, it’s my job as a writer to do research…!) And what I came away with was hauntingly familiar.
A Book Buying Breakdown:
Step 1 – (3 seconds). Check out the book cover. In the time it takes a heart to beat, readers decide, “this book is for me” (or it’s not) by considering images, words, typeface, and colors.
Step 2 – (3 seconds). If the cover resonates, flip the book over and scan the book summary. I don’t know about you, but I tend to digest words faster than the snap of a finger.
Step 3 – (5 seconds). Check out the author blurb. If it’s a writer you’ve read before and liked, chances are greater that you’ll buy this book, too.
Step 4 – (10 seconds). Open book at a random page and start reading.
Step 5 – (2 seconds). Glance at the cover again.
Step 6 – (2 seconds). If need be, check the price.
It’s in that moment that I tuck the book under my arm, knowing that I’ll buy it, or I put book down and walk away.
All in twenty-five seconds. And so now, I’d love to know…is it the same for you? How do you decide whether or not to buy a book? How long does it take?