As a teacher and one who pays close attention to the learning styles of teens, I am noticing that there is a new style of reader. What do I mean by this? Teens need to be better SOLD on the books that they are choosing to spend their time reading. As they have so much more stimulus available, electronic devices, phones, internet, Facebook…their attention needs to be “caught.” Granted, there will always be the avid and die-hard readers that have to have books stolen from their hand with weapons of mass destruction, but not all readers (teen) are like that. The “on-the-fence teen reader and the reluctant reader needs some type of hook to be willing to give the time with the book while giving up valuable gaming time.
So what are the HOOKS? I have been watching closely. A teacher or adult that is well read and knows books and the student/teen so well that they can make the perfect matches is possibly the most effective HOOK. A great cover with a catchy title is always important…it is the commercial for the book at-a-glance. Peer reviews seem to be wonderful ways to get a book in the hands of another teen. Reading is an addiction (a good one) and is also very contagious. This is very much true for the readers that are on the fence.
So, the reluctant reader? The thing that I have seen to take these kids by their culture and slap them aside the head is….wait for it….The e-reader! YES!!!! I have seen so many…so, so many teens walking around with their e-readers begging for time to read. Sure, some take long breaks from words and find games or the internet. For the most part though…I am seeing reading, and lots of it.
Indie Authors…this is what seems to be making a market like never before. The more genres and more choices a teen has, the better. Amazon sellers and others…it appears the world is opening up. But Beware…the HOOKS still need to be there.
As for Adults…I believe the exact hooks are necessary! I also see the Kindles and Nooks among other e-readers in every corner of life. Starbucks is no longer a Laptop Only Zone for sure.
I have been taught to write from my heart and soul…and I always will. Keeping these thoughts in the back of my mind…maybe my soul will have more to say to those carrying a Kindle Fire or Tablet with the Kindle App? Either way, it is a nice time to be an author…so many readers, so many possibilities, so many support groups (Facebook, etc.) and so many ideas.
Enjoy your writing. Know your audience.