• Print

Earned Attention: More than a stack of paper

Attention is the ultimate currency and the only commodity that matters

As an industry I think we’re getting weary of all the various “rich content” experiments and products floating around these days. I have to admit that most make me want to yawn and move on to the next item in my email inbox. Too many of them feel like a Frankenstein project where elements are grafted onto a traditional book and there’s a giant bolt sticking out of the neck.

Every so often one actually grabs my attention. Ironically, the latest one is called Earned Attention. I first watched the video embedded below and was curious to learn more about it. Here’s a quote from the video foreword that really resonated with me:

Attention is the ultimate currency. It is the ultimate scarce resource. It is the only commodity that matters.

How true. And even more so in the publishing world these days. We’re all talking about discovery and rising about all the noise. If you can truly earn the attention of your target audience you’re clearly doing something right, and “earn” is the key word here.

Here’s another quote from the end of the video below:

A book that you never actually finish.

I’ll bet that’s a turn-off to a lot of people. Most of us just want to read a book from start to finish and be done with it. Every so often though you want the book to be a part of an ongoing stream of information. That’s how I view Earned Attention. It’s one of those products that should continue feeding your brain with more insight, long after you read the last word of the printed book.

I’m looking forward to digging into this one. My only disappointment is that the accompanying apps are for iOS only. As an Android convert I’ve decided this is the worst six-word sentence I’ve ever read:

Available for iOS (Android coming soon)

I see that sentence far too frequently. I guess I’ll have to dig out that first-gen iPad of mine and see if I can use the app there.

This post originally appeared on Joe Wikert’s Publishing 2020 site. It’s republished with permission.

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  • http://boekeman.blogspot.com/ Timo Boezeman

    Thanks for the attention Joe!

    Concerning on what you said about Android:
    “My only disappointment is that the accompanying apps are for iOS only. As an Android convert I’ve decided this is the worst six-word sentence I’ve ever read: Available for iOS (Android coming soon)”

    As a publisher you have to make choices and you have standards.

    First of all I would like to say that our aim is always to have our titles available on as many platforms as you can. This goes for print books, e-books but for apps, or whatever other form, as well. But the problem with apps is, that developing great apps for each platform, requires them to be tailor made. If you compromise on that, I makes your app inferior and under-performing. As a professional publisher, we want all our products to look and work great.

    Another problem that links to this one, is that Android has 100′s of devices. Each with a different screen size, processor, available memory, etc. This makes it very hard to create a great product that will work on all of them in the same way. And again, if you do choose to do so, you will compromise on quality and come up with an average product.

    The other big reason for, at least, starting with iOS as app platform, is that iOS users tend to spend far more money on apps than users of other platforms like Android. And because it’s still business, and because it’s already difficult enough to earn your investments back, let alone make a profit with it, the choice for iOS is a logical one in my (and many others) opinion.

    I know that Android users ‘hate’ it when apps do come available on iOS and not on their platform, but I hope this clears things a bit up on why a publisher does this. It has absolutely nothing to do with disliking Android as a platform. It’s all about delivering the bets possible product and trying to earn money with it.

    • jwikert

      Hi Timo. I don’t blame you for the decision to go iOS-only. I’m sure I would have done the same thing in your situation. And I realized this is the sort of situation I’d run into when I switched from iOS to Android. It can be a bit disappointing at times but I still don’t regret making the switch.