Seven seconds. It’s been said that’s how long it takes for a bookstore browser to decide whether they’d like to purchase a book they see on the bookstore shelf. Seven seconds is long enough to read . . .
* The title and author’s name on the spine.
* The front cover copy and design.
* The back cover or jacket copy and endorsements.
* If they are still intrigued after seven seconds, some turn to the copyright page and read the chapter titles before making their final decision
For this reason, publishers put a great deal of time and thought into titling and covering their books. Even in this age of online bookstores, the title and cover need to be strong enough to compel the potential reader to take a closer look. If anything, it’s even more important in this age of electronic publishing, if only because the competition is even fiercer than it was ten years ago.
This year at the Catholic Marketing Network/Catholic Writer’s Conference Live Jonathan Ryan and I will be presenting a talk called “The Seven Second Test: How to Create a Winning Proposal.” (Jonathan specializes in fiction proposals, whereas I deal exclusively in Catholic nonfiction.) If you are on the fence about whether to come to the conference, please join us . . . I’d love to see you there!