I often finish a book (non-fiction)
feeling as though it could have been 100 pages shorter, a long article, or a white paper.

I used to read books, magazines,
and journals cover to cover and devour every word. Now I tend to skim, only reading in detail
the topics that stand out. 

The speed and quantity of
information hitting me has made it a form of self-preservation to tightly
manage my intake.

I’ve started performing triage. I read
and listen
to abridged audio books
to determine if I want to know more.

I rarely pursue a concept
beyond that unless it’s truly remarkable or highly relevant to me. 

As a result I’m not
renewing many print subscriptions. I’m
also not buying any more books unless I know (in advance) that I want to read
them cover to cover or have them for reference.

We can debate whether this
is good or bad, but regardless or our opinions, it is. 

So…Mr. Author and Ms.
Publisher, how are you going to make money in a world filling up with people
like me? 

Say what you need to say
precisely. Offer a long and short
version of your concepts in many formats (print, electronic, audio, etc).

Might the short versions
“cannibalize” the full print version?  

To some degree yes, but I
suspect that (with the proper marketing and support) you will also sell them to
non-consumers of your traditional long version.

Cannibalization is not an
issue in the long run. If you don’t do
this you’re going to lose me and the people like me. 

I will invest in your
abstract, article, and abridged audio book if I’m interested in the topic and
it’s readily available to me.

Mr. Author, you should also blog, write a manifesto, or engage in speaking events. I am more likely to buy your products if I
can first get to know you and your ideas. 

I want to learn and I want
to support you, but you need to make it easier for me.

I must be able to find
you, understand why you’re important, and consume your products in the quantity
and format that works for me.

If you don’t I’ll be
getting my education elsewhere.

UPDATE:  I just saw an article about Attention Fatigue.