Frank Hamilton | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksAs they grow older, millennials are turning into quite a big market. Who better than Frank Hamilton, a millennial blogger and translator from Manchester, to answer some questions about them? Frank is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing, and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.

5 Things Millennials Look for in a Book

What are Millennials looking for in a book? | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Millennials make up a huge portion of the target audience for many modern authors. This is why it is so important to understand what they are looking for in a book to make it appealing to them. Here are five things millennials are looking for in a book.

#1 Available in Print

While it might seem obvious that younger generations would prefer digital books over print ones, many millennials, in fact, prefer reading physical books. This is just the first one of the many surprising preferences millennials have when it comes to books.

So, what does this mean for authors?

While those who are publishing traditionally with publishing houses won’t find a problem with this, those who self-publish digitally might discover that it is harder to find an audience made up of millennials.

That being said, self-publishing authors – those who only use digital means of distribution – will likely be able to promote their e-books enough to attract a lot of attention to their creation. If this is the case for you, here are some things you could do:

  • Create A Solid Digital Marketing Campaign: Think through what you will be doing to market your e-book. You could still potentially print your books at some point in the future, but for now, you will need to focus all your attention on online distribution.
  • Find A Loyal and Dedicated Audience: Find an audience before you start selling your book, so that you will know who will be buying it. You can do this by having a blog or social media accounts where you create your author’s “brand”.

#2 Inform Rather Than Entertain

You will be surprised to hear that most millennials don’t usually “live in their imaginary worlds far from reality”. On the contrary, this generation values informative content and loves reading books that inform rather than entertain.

Moreover, when you create your book, you will need to make sure that you are writing about a specific topic and including as much information as possible. Millennials are looking for value, but if they can find it elsewhere (for example, on the Internet), they will deem your book not worth their time.

If you are a non-fiction writer, make sure that you thoroughly research your topic before writing about it. Find other books that were written about the same things that you will be writing about. Identify blogs that give such content virtually for free. If you have something more to say, then you will be able to succeed.

If you are a fiction writer, carefully research the market before deciding what you will be writing about. There are millennials who enjoy reading romance and young adult books, but there are also those who enjoy reading fantasy and sci-fi. The market is huge, so it’s up to you to decide what you want to be writing about.

#3 Good Reviews

Now that we have talked about the contents of your book and the format you present it in, it is time to move on to the more technical details. One of the most important buying factors for millennials is the abundance of good reviews that justify the book’s existence and build its reputation.

But even if you are actively asking your audience to give their feedback and review your book, you need to remember that you should not fake your reviews. The only way your potential readers will believe reviews is if they are genuine and written by actual readers.

That being said, you could also think about new ways to find a bigger audience for your book. For example, you could start selling it on non-English websites. To do this, you will need to translate the book (with the help of an online translation service like The Word Point) and then find readers who will write reviews in the language that you translated the book to.

#4 Design Over Brand

Another important selling point is the design of your book cover. Most millennials don’t stick to one author. Instead, they choose the books based on their covers – but this includes both the text and the visual elements on the cover of your book.

For instance, you will need to include a short blurb on the back of your cover that will contain a synopsis or “the hook” of your story. You can surely include some critic reviews too, but never underestimate the power of a blurb. Readers don’t care about critics as much as you would think they would.

Both the print and digital versions of your book need to have well-designed covers. Along with the illustration, you will need to have the title and your name on the cover. You could also add some other elements like a note signifying that it is the first book in a series.

#5 Promotions & Discounts

Last but not least, all kinds of readers – and especially millennials – like promotions and discounts. These can come in all forms and shapes. Which means, the more creative you get with them, the better it will be for you and the more satisfied your readers will be.

For example, you could be selling a book series in a bundle and discounting the books by charging slightly less than you would while selling them separately. Dedicated fans will be likely to buy the bundle and spread the word which would lead to even more sales.

Alternatively, you could add some kind of free gift to the book. If it is a print one, it could be a free stylized bookmark or pen. If it is a digital one, it could be a free PDF of your notes on the book (which could be labeled as “exclusive content”). In other words, just find whatever works best for you.