Reading nonfiction books was something I never really enjoyed, but I could never really figure out why. I believed the old adage that “leader are readers” and knew that books were a great way to continue to grow, but I could never muster up the willpower to become a disciplined reader.
“You don’t have to read every word of every page.”
This idea may seem simple to you. In fact, you may have been practicing this for years. But for me… it was completely liberating. It freed me from the expectation that I had to read every word or else I wouldn’t grasp all of the insights the author wanted to share.
Not everyone reads books from cover to cover
After talking with multiple friends about my experience, I’ve come to learn that unless writing a work of fiction, it’s a safe bet that not every sentence on every page will be read with the full attention of your reader. If that surprises you, it shouldn’t. Most people scan nonfiction content.
If you want to create content that moves people to action, you need to write in a way that doesn’t require every word to be read.
How to write books for today’s readers
The noise that authors and content creators have to overcome isn’t decreasing anytime soon. If you want your message to be heard, you need to created content based on the reader’s native consumption habits rather than traditional literary guidelines.
People consume content in different ways. Just like a speaker molds his or her presentation to the audience, so should an author.
Here are six tactics to help you optimize your content for the different audiences that will pick up your book:
Even if every word isn’t read, the reader should still be able to benefit from reading your book if you incorporate a few common tactics. When you implement these six tactics, the number of people that connect with your message increases. This leads to more people taking action based on what they’ve read and ultimately helps you achieve your goals.
What other characteristics or tactics do you find are helpful in gleaning nuggets of wisdom from the books you read—even if you don’t read every word on every page?