When I was a kid, Phil Donohue came on every morning at 9 AM. He always had on one or two guests. If it was one guest, that guest got the full hour. If he had two guests, the hours was split up into thirty minutes each.
Have you seen interviews today? Or even just the weather on your local news? Everything is under three minutes. Even interviews on the most popular shows like Ellen. She has multiple guests and games during her one hour show. Her guests only get three-four minutes until she takes a commercial break.
Why is this? And what can we learn?
Attention spans have really decreased over the last thirty years, and our lives have gotten busier. Just think about it. If you go to look at a car, you don't want to sit there for hours as the car dealer tells you how the car was made, the history of the car, etc...
You want to know what's in it for you! Why should you buy that car?
Same thing when you release your novel or when you talk about your novel.
Most readers aren't going to say to you: "Why should I buy your novel?" "What's in it for me?"
They are going to say: "Tell me about your book."
Then. . .you vomit! You go on and on about the hero/heroine/villain or the meticulous assassination plot that took you months to research and write perfectly.
Well. . .READERS DON'T WANT TO HEAR THAT! Let me repeat READERS DON'T WANT TO HEAR THAT!
You need to give them something that will make them think that your book is worth their investment, their time, and how people are going to react when they tell someone that they are reading your book.
I know! I never said the reader was fair, but these are what they are really thinking!
Every reader is looking for something different when they pick up your book. But the emotional reason is still the same. What's in it for me?
Sooo. . .how do you do this?
You are going to give them Tasty Tips. Tasty Tips is my term that I use to get my reader hooked.
I don' tell readers what my book is about, I tell them little things to wet their mouths.
First off my covers are appealing to my target readers. That is one of the greatest emotions in everyday life. You know it and I know it. When we see someone, we judge them before we talk to them. Right or wrong, we do it.
Same with books.
Secondly, I use my social media and STREET TEAM to post little tidbits about the plot I'm writing. Or I may do something humorous that my heroine did because my readers expect funny in my writing. Or I might just let them know fun facts about ways to kill people. . .after all I am a mystery writer.
Did you know that you can die if you eat too much nutmeg? OR you can die from an over dose of nicotine if someone puts liquid nicotine in your shampoo bottle and you massage it into your scalp?
Thirdly, I hold reader contests for the books I'm writing now. Currently I'm working on the second Olivia Davis novel, and in the first novel, Splitsville.com, Olivia owns a breakup service. I needed some new material for reasons why people breakup with their girlfriend/boyfriend, so I went to my STREET TEAM.
I asked them to tell me funny and ridiculous reasons why they have broken up with someone. The breakups flooded in! I never once told them the plot for the second book! But I got them interested and the buzz going about the second Olivia Davis novel. They can't wait to buy it! I appealed to two emotions: love and humor.
All in all, you don't need to SELL YOUR BOOK, you need to focus on the experience of how the reader is going to feel when they are reading your book.
These Tasty Tips you are going to give your reader will help them invest in the emotional of the question they really want to ask, "What's in it for me."