This book topic is a bit depressing but I have written a book just recently and am writing from experience. I’ve given away over 100 copies. I know that only a few, maybe 5, of them have been read cover to cover. I include my mum and dad in that 5. I know that my wife started reading the book and hasn’t finished it yet. This whole scenario sucks. And as an author I would love more people to agree or disagree with my ideas in the book. In fact right now, the most I’ll get excited about is when someone says to me that they have read my whole book. It makes me happy. But it isn’t people’s fault. A lot has changed and the year is 2017.
A lot of my friends and peers have written books. I have a whole book shelf of them and I know the struggle. Because of these experiences I decided to do a few things, one of them is write this post. The other is a solution to get more people to consume my book. So here are the 5 reasons I believe that people don’t read books even if they don’t have to buy them:
1. A book could be disappointing
And this is a hard one to admit. Even writing it here makes me uncomfortable. But how many times have you gotten a few chapters into a book and felt like you didn’t want to continue? The problem is the feeling of time being wasted. That is why a lot of us prefer watching movies we have already seen before. We hate being disappointed. Or we frequent restaurants that we know wont disappoint us. The same with a book.
2. Book reading is less popular
How many people you know in your inner circle, has time put aside to read a book in their day? The readers of the world were always a small group, but with time and technology that group is getting smaller. However, we watch Youtube videos, read blogs, listen to podcasts, and check out cool infographics. Consumption has changed. A paperback has a lot of advantages including giving the author massive credibility, but consumption isn’t one of them.
3. Efficiency is what we strive for
Most of us care about how efficient we are. I for one love getting smarter, or being introduced to a new concept while I’m doing something else. That is why I’m such a huge fan of podcasts. But, if you haven’t read my previous article, I’ve been an Audible member for over 7 years now. I have been listening to audiobooks while driving, running, climbing and waiting-around for a few years, and I’m better for it.
4. There is the illusion of “NO time”
Somehow through media and peers we have this notion that there is “no time”. In fact it seems to be a badge of honour in most instances. We relate it to being important, if I’m busy. A lot of the time there is no reason to be busy. A lot of the times we are busy doing repetitive things that don’t actually produce any returns. It does give us the feeling of being busy though. It keeps the monkey brain happy. So, people feel like they have “no time” to read a book. Let alone your book.
5. Inertia is a pain in the backside
If you aren’t already a reader, getting into the habit is not easy. In fact inculcating any new habit is hard because inertia is a bitch. It is hard to create the momentum where you start a book and finish it. In fact that is probably the main reason why books don’t get consumed all the way to the end.
In 2016, audiobook downloads surpassed ebook downloads. Which tell you that currently in today’s world, the best way to consume content and books, is while you are doing other things. I’ve had the Key Person of Influence book by Daniel Priestley on my desk for 3 years. I’ve done the incubator program for 40 weeks, paid over $15k to do the course and never read the book. But, as soon as the book was available on Audible, I listened to it twice and then consumed the other 2 books by Daniel Priestley.
I have never been more convinced that the time to get involved in audio is now. I’ve actually put my money where my mouth is and started Amplify, wrote a book about it and started thelibraryofsound.com. I believe that there has never been a better time to record your work into audio.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.
I’ve read your book Ronsley, but I do agree with what you have written. I have a bookshelf full of books that I will ‘eventually’ get around to reading. Books still have to be written, but ‘audio’ is the future.
I’m about to launch my book this week Ronsley. One of the things I wanted to address in the q&a was why, given all you have said here, would anyone bother printing a book. This article will help me explain to them that I wrote a book just so it can be turned into a audiobook! Simple. Thanks for the great article 🙂