7 Second Test (Part I): What is it?

stop-watchLast week I presented a talk at the Catholic Writer’s Conference Live in Somerset, NJ. We had a set of nifty PowerPoint slides that I offered to share with the group … Then couldn’t figure out a way to get them to upload here! So… I decided to create a series of posts instead.

Those in the know about these kinds of things (marketing types) claim that it takes seven seconds — seven seconds — for a potential buyer to decide whether to buy a book he or she sees on the bookstore shelves. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is approximately how long it takes for an editor to decide whether an unsolicited proposal is worth a second look.

What can the buyer see in seven seconds? In most cases, just the spine (title and author), a quick flip to see the front and back cover (audience and endorsements). If he’s still interested, he opens the book and looks at the table of contents . . . and perhaps, if he’s still not sure, he’ll flip to the first chapter and start reading.

The next few articles will break down this experience, and use it to show you how to write a winning proposal. I hope you enjoy it!

Part 2: A Tale of Two Stores

Part 3: Creating Your Cover (Query)

Part 4: The Golden Rule of Proposal Writing

Part 5: The Query

Part 6: The Market Summary

Part 7: Helpful Resources

One thought on “7 Second Test (Part I): What is it?

  1. I used to write resumes and people would come to me with a veritable dossier on their lives. I always told them, “We have to grab the attention of the prospective interviewer within 10 to 15 seconds. Most people hated hearing that.. Same thing with a book cover. 7 seconds–I totally agree. Looking forward to future posts.
    Larry P

    Liked by 1 person

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