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Snapchat posts that last 10 seconds.

Facebook Live feeds that constantly update.

The ever-evolving fashion trends—what’s popular for a season is suddenly in the Goodwill bin by the next year, to be recycled in another decade.

Relationships that end, the reasoning being dissected on social media, with both members seemingly in exciting new relationships in a matter of weeks.

Marriages that last under a year, with prenuptial agreements set in place for that very thing.

Our culture is in a state of content consumption overdrive, of consumption in general, honestly. We are a community tapped into technology, with a constant flood of news, information, reports of celebrity breakups and couplings, divorces and new relationships, music videos, Buzzfeed articles, GIFs and memes, tweets, Facebook updates, Snapchats (and their daily changing filters), and Instagram pictures flashing at us from our phones, TVs, and laptops.

It can be extremely daunting as a writer to consider publishing an entire book in this cultural climate—after all, if someone can’t stay married to their spouse for more than two months (yes, we’re referring to the Kardashians, who admittedly have an amazing marketing strategy set in place. Don’t believe us? Read Midnight Publishing’s post on it here), then can people really be expected to devote 10-15 hours reading your book cover to cover?

The short answer is yes—you should still write, and you should still self-publish or query an agent to get something traditionally published.

The long answer, though, is that in order to sell your books, you need a different approach to social media, marketing, and your overall relevancy as an author.

Midnight Publishing is a top professional editing, ghostwriting, and marketing company based out of Phoenix, Arizona, though we’ve helped budding writers and entrepreneurs all over the globe. One of the main things we focus on is assisting our clients and authors with building and maintaining relevancy with their author platform. You can write the best book in the world (and have it edited by award-winning professionals like us!), but without an author platform and marketing plan to spread the word, you’ll never get enough readers to make a living. Thus, Midnight Publishing’s editing and writing professionals want to share our top 5 tips on how to catch and keep the short attention spans of content consumers in this modern technological age:

1. If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em

This essentially means that regarding social media, pop culture, and the current topics millennials enjoy discussing the most (mainly celebrity-related), there’s no denying that focusing on these—or even better, linking them with your book matter—will plausibly bring a larger amount of attention and discussion than a more random topic. Consider writing things like: “celebrities who look like my book’s characters,” or “actors who’d play my book’s characters in a movie version.”

Also, just commenting on these topics, sharing them, retweeting them, and engaging your readers with their thoughts can maintain relevancy. If you can’t bring yourself to comment on Justin Bieber’s latest hairstyle (believe us, we get it), then try exploring more niche markets—Facebook groups, bloggers, etc.—that focus on topics connected with your book matter.

2. Short, Sweet, and Frequent

Because of the influx of new material constantly being published online, it’s better to write posts, tweets, and updates that are short, “sweet” (funny, useful, entertaining, or all three), and frequently made. Try using social media management software like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Tweetdeck (they all have free versions) so you’re not chained to your computer.

5 easy ways for #authors to keep the attention of #readers with short attention spans. Share on X

3. Have a “Gimmick” (aka: Build Your Brand)

One of the best ways to work on your author platform and social media image from the beginning is to have a theme for your posts and the information that interests you. Link this to your book’s content and that’s even better.

An example would be something like, if you write non-fiction holistic health and diet books, then post frequently on new holistic approaches, recent scientific findings, fitness tips, and even those celebrity figures who’ve discussed their own natural and holistic health practices.

4. Understand SEO and How to Use It

Readers aren’t spending hours searching for content on the internet anymore—the content comes to them. That means you need to understand how keyword phrases work, and SEO (search engine optimization) best practices so that you can incorporate them throughout your website.

Also, you’ll need to regularly update your blog and social media accounts with relevant, interesting material. Search engines like Google can “crawl” your site and accounts and see that you’re posting useful material on a frequent basis. For a free (but highly detailed) audit of your site’s current SEO, check out this article by UpCity.

5. Images and Videos Are Your Friends

Between the option to write straight content, or use an accompanying photo, pictograph, or video instead, always go for the additional visual content. Research has shown many times over that readers are more interested in a visually interesting photo or video, and will devote more time to consuming that content as opposed to a large block of content in social media channels.

Midnight Publishing’s staff of award-winning authors and editors will help you prepare your manuscript and author platform for self-publication or query, utilizing nearly a decade of experience to tailor our approach for every client. Contact us for a free sample edit today! Midnight Publishing has been trusted with over five million words since our inception in 2007—allow us to show you why.