90 Seconds versus the first Chapter!As I was watching the television show ‘The Voice’ it reminded me of hearing Johnny Cash recall how during an audition where the music producer told him to sing something, anything, in 90 seconds to convince him that he had what it took to be signed by him.
On the show, ‘The Voice,’ the contestants have 90 seconds to sing in order to get one of the four judges to turn their chair around. How many times throughout music history has an artists career been decided in 90 seconds or less?
As a reader for years before I became a writer, I know that avid readers are a bit more tolerant and patient than 90 seconds before deciding to not read something new. Trust me, the pressure is just as great to capture and hold the readers attention, as ever before in history. There is so much to read, that a reader couldn't possibly read everything thing they want to in a single life time. Recently, with the advent of self publishing, there is a exponential increase in the amount of written material to be read that hasn't been seen since the invention of the printing press.
Writers have to compete with music, video games, texting, social networking of many various forms which all compete daily for peoples attention, time and money. Thankfully there is also a rise in the amount of stuff being read and bought by readers. With all the things competing against books and the tremendous influx of free and cheap books that are available on line and even traditionally published books at the book stores, it is amazing that the market is growing! I had to stand in line at the book store the other day for quite some time just to purchase a book.Many readers are getting more particular about what they do spend their money on and more importantly what they spend their time to read! I don’t believe any of them are so strict or harsh that they decide on a book in the first 90 seconds.
When people are looking for a new read, surfing the web, browsing book shelves they may pass by many possible selections in less than 90 seconds. In this case you have literally 4 to 6 seconds on-line to grab a readers attention, to get them to pause enough to see what the book may be about, but that’s a topic for another entirely different blog post.