• US bookstore The Wild Detectives is using clickbait titles to get people to read classic novels. (YouTube/The Wild Detectives)Source: YouTube/The Wild Detectives
They called it 'litbait'.
Alyssa Braithwaite

27 Apr 2017 - 3:08 PM  UPDATED 27 Apr 2017 - 3:47 PM

A book shop in Dallas, Texas has come up with a novel approach to get people reading fiction in the age of digital media.

The Wild Detectives has created clickbait titles for classic novels in the hope of attracting new readers.

The bookstore's Facebook posts featured witty headlines such as 'When it's OKAY to slut shame single mothers' (The Scarlet Letter), 'Teenage girl tricked boyfriend into killing himself' (Romeo and Juliet) and 'British guy dies after selfie gone wrong' (The Picture of Dorian Grey). 

They called it 'Litbait', and people who clicked on the posts were taken to the entire text of the copyright-free stories, which the store had uploaded. 

"You fell for the bait, now fall for the book," urged a video of the campaign.

And they got great results. According to Wild Detectives' case study, engagement was up 150 per cent on their Facebook posts, while they experienced a 1,400 per cent increase in traffic to their website.

Figures from Roy Morgan Research show that the proportion of Australians 14 years and older who read books is declining.

In 2010, 64.7 per cent of Australian women read a novel in any given three months. By 2015, this figure had fallen to 60.9 per cent. Similarly, in 2010 42.8 per cent of Australian men read a novel in any given three months, which fell to 41.3 per cent in 2015.

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