Think Tank: The future of reading

Part one of a six-part think tank on the future of fiction.

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This is part one of a six-part think tank I’m hosting on the future of fiction. Catch up on the series here:

  • Part one: The future of reading (right here)

  • Part two: the future of publishing (coming June 2022)

  • Part three: the future of fandoms (coming July 2022)

  • Part four: the future of author communities (coming August 2022)

  • Part five: the future of web3 publishing (coming September 2022)

  • Part six: the future of fiction adaptation (coming October 2022)

There can be no doubt that reading needs a refresh. Right now one fourth to one third of Americans don’t read at all, and the ones that do read only 15 minutes a day—mostly on Facebook and MSN. Meanwhile, we spend upwards of three hours each day on social media—which means reading clearly needs to adapt to the times.

That’s why, for part one of a six-part think tank I’m hosting on the future of fiction, I met with Wattpad author Emilia Rose (who I once interviewed about her six-figure writing career) as well as Storia founder and former Chief of Staff at The Atlantic David Burt to brainstorm what the future of reading could look like.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How readers will find their next book in the future

  • How reading can (and should) become more like social media

  • How we can make finding books by “genre” more specific

  • How can we better “preview” books just like Netflix allows us to preview movies

  • How should algorithms play a role in recommending your next book

  • What format should books come in?

  • How should books be released? Should we read chapter-by-chapter? Should we binge?

  • “Shared Worlds” and how they might be a better way to group books for readers

  • Do readers have shorter attention spans? And should books be designed for that?

  • Should it be text on a page? Or be more visual?

  • What would the ideal fiction reading app look like?

Here is the think tank discussion in full (available to paying subscribers of The Novelleist!)

The full video is for paid subscribers