Spend a few minutes on the internet and you’ll probably see the kind of highly curated images that saturate social media, whether they’re posts by influencers or ads from retail powerhouses. Every detail in these images is planned, from the succulents in the background to the coffee mugs placed strategically on the counter and yes, even the books lining the shelves with precise color coordination. Just based on a quick scan of these picturesque galleries, it’s easy to make the assumption that these books aren’t going to be opened in the near future, if at all. This use of books for their “aesthetic” induces eye rolls in some and can even be downright offensive to literary enthusiasts.
Have you ever fallen prey to a beautiful book and bought it simply because it was pretty? Cover designers work hard, and well-made covers are usually responsible for someone stopping to browse. A similar phenomenon happens with preorder gifts, which leave readers desiring more than just the story.
With an economic market that demands extreme multitasking and a digital culture that rewards immediacy, ease, and efficiency, our environment is changing at an astonishing rate. Pressured by this cultural shift, we have less time to consume information, and our brains are adapting to these demands.
Where do you go first? Out of the plethora of social media options available, which is going to net you the most bang for your buck? Which is going to be the most efficient and effective use of your time?
Authors are, in a sense, a business unto themselves. In a digital age when personal presence is what sells the book on social media, it is critical for authors to have a consistently branded page or account for users to follow and engage with. But this consistency, this need to post only certain tweets or pictures, might be considered the epitome of the “social media as a false reality” argument. Does having a consistent brand make someone inauthentic online?
We live in a world that was created for those who are seeing. Think about it, how many times a day do you pass a sign or an advertisement? Probably more times than you can count. The internet is a place that can break those barriers and it’s slowly becoming more and more accessible. But, of course, we all have a role to play here. Taking the time to add this text to your image can give your followers a fuller experience of your work. And who doesn’t want that?