Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Some Seeing With The Saying

Publishing is changing and will look completely different in the decade to come with multimedia experiences and the switch over to digital devices, but no matter what you read or what format you choose- business and self development books will need to include visuals. Take the video above- three minutes spent watching this or even flipping through the book's images alone and you'll get more than you could reading the plain text version for 30minutes.

People don't read. Ok, some people read but they make connections and think ideas through more thoroughly when presented good images to go along. Text is ok, but text and visuals are twice as good.

When Dan Roam introduced his book Back Of The Napkin a few years back he attempted to merge the verbal and visuals worlds by teaching people they can get their point across more fully with simple drawing basics. Anyone interested in selling ideas or solving problems- no matter the industry- could benefit from incorporating back of the napkin techniques.

Michael Port wrote Book Yourself Solid a couple of years ago but then took the same concept and cut down on the text and added illustration with Book Yourself Solid Illustrated (see video). The book is beautiful thanks to the work of Jocelyn Wallace, his co-author who is a visual strategist.

I just went through Book Yourself Solid Illustrated and I'll tell you I loved it! The exercises were so much more fun and helpful with visual cues to spark my thinking.

I felt the same last year when I read the personal growth book The Tools (by Phil Stutz & Barry Michels). Phil started using little simple sketches to explain the concepts he uses in therapy sessions with his clients and includes these simple images in the chapters of the book. I liked them so much I made up my own little cheat-sheet so I now have the whole book summarized in one double sided sheet. Can't tell you how much clearer the ideas hit when added to something as simple as a stickman drawing.

I think there has been a separation of "real" books and "artistic" books and even "academic" books for too long. If we want people to understand what we write we need to use a visual when it fits. Even as speaking has gone beyond using bullet point and canned clip art in Power Point, non-fiction books need more of the seeing with the saying. 

Here are a couple other gifted visualists to check out if you are thinking of going beyond just text:

Sunni Brown: Who is starting a Doodle Revolution:

Brandy Agerbeck: Who teaches others how to visually organize information for maximum impact.