Here is why I think visual storytelling is the way forward.
While you are all looking left we will just go right.
I had a good friend who follows the book world quite closely; the book bloggers, the reviewers and the publisher who all seem to hang out on Twitter because Twitter is for writers apparently. I’ve personally always found Twitter a great place for abuse, which I’m not a fan off so I stay away. She tells me the ins and outs of what is going on in book blogosphere and what the latest up-in-arms argument is about. And apparently they argue a lot. About what is right and not right in the book bloggers world and where the industry is going.
Why spend so much talking about book reviews?
It perplexes me that they spend so much time talking about reviews and book blogging, because to me it just seems so last century, so out of touch and so passé. Now I do study young people, so maybe to the average middle-aged person reviews and book blogs are still the thing, but if you look at the next generation these things will be history I think. And yes, my daughter does do book reviews on her blog; she does them because she wants to and her blog talks about a lot of other things too. These reviews are more for her benefit, for her to catalogue the books she has read, than anything.
Are they really vital to book sales?
Now I’m not saying book blogs are wrong or not useful, some really are, however to think they are worth arguing about and getting precious about and vital to book sales is possibly a little well, yesteryear, particularly if you are selling to a younger generation.
The way we are buying books is changing.
I think the way that we are buying things is changing. Most people I know don’t read long reviews and often are more driven by the visual element of something. And the generation coming up are all about the visual and I am convinced that visual storytelling will become the medium for selling, more so when it comes to books. There is a reason that book covers are becoming more and more beautiful and elaborate. So while all the book bloggers, publishers and reviewers are hanging out chatting on Twitter they are missing the powerful visual storytelling platforms, often writing them off, thinking they are not relevant to the book world. But they couldn’t be more relevant. Don’t we do books a disservice if we think they are all about the writing?
Books are so much more than words
Books are about so much more; magical worlds, faraway places, dreams, desires and a host of others things and the words take us there are simply a vehicle.
So, if we are to sell more books, to help more authors succeed and to keep books alive, surely the way to do this is with visual storytelling? It’s when we can show the people what this book is all about, give them a glimpse into the new world and create a feeling that might make them want to click Buy in the shopping cart.
After taking over 1000 pictures of books for publishers I am convinced that visual storytelling will soon overtake all the book blogging and book review hype and that we will buy works because of how they look, the story someone tells us visually about it or because a friend recommends it. What am I talking about? That is how I buy books now!
So while everyone is looking left, maybe on the right hand side is an industry that is changing and no one can even see it.