Here’s a conundrum.
I regularly read books, solid 300-400 page collections of densely packed words that take me weeks or sometimes months to get through.
According to Amazon, I’m apparently not the only one who does this.
And yet, over the past year or two, I’ve noticed my attention span has been shrinking, just like pop psychologists would tell you.
Now, for me it doesn’t happen with books…
But if I read an article online that’s longer than several hundred words…
Or if I have to read an email that goes on for more than half a page…
I start scanning, scrolling, and rolling my eyes.
So the conundrum is, why am I able to voluntarily get through dry and long books with relish…
But I can’t make it through a half page email that’s designed to entertain and educate me?
Whatever the reason, I’m sure it’s time to adapt, because I doubt I’m the only one who can’t stand to read long internet content any more.
And now the point of all this.
What does this mean if you’re trying to persuade people online?
Sure, you can move your online marketing message to a podcast or a video…
But maybe you should just make it into a real book.
This is apparently what the direct marketing greats of the last century were doing.
They actually wrote magazines and books (called magalogs and bookalogs) to promote whatever they were selling.
Sometimes they would write one book to promote another, with the promotional book being more interesting, and almost as long, as the actual product.
And it’s not just old school marketers.
Here’s a video of a guy named Hollis Carter, speaking at Mindvalley, talking about the success his company has had putting sales pitches inside Kindle books, and getting people to pay to read the marketing:
But Kindle books seem to have been tainted already by such marketing efforts.
Which means, real physical books, might be the only real frontier left.
Fortunately, these still cost money to make, which puts a brake on their overproduction.
I write very short daily emails about persuasion that are guaranteed to fit inside even the shortest attention span. You can sign up here.