Is the written word dying?

If the content of the above picture is any indication, the answer has to be in the affirmative.

I was talking to a friend of mine in South Africa earlier. I had sent him the link for the latest review for one of my books I wrote back in 2017 – Autumn 1066. When he congratulated me I said to him ‘Getting people to read is nigh on impossible these days, let alone writing reviews – positive or not!!!!’

The truth of the matter is that the number of books being read is in serious decline, despite the number of books being given away to attract readers by desparate writers and publishers.

Unfortunately until people want to read, there is no chance for the written word being enjoyed by today’s low IQ individuals who would far rather watch television or take drugs while playing video games than improve their minds.

Meanwhile as writers we will keep on writing our books, our poetry, our blogs, in the vain hope that the illiterate and those with a low IQ realise that without the written word, as a species we are destined to become ignorant savages once more.

Before you write me off as a doom monger, ask yourself this simple question – how many of the books you or your publisher have given away recently were read, let alone reviewed.

If we’re honest, we all know the answer…

13 thoughts on “Is the written word dying?

  1. Instant gratification is the thing, and the written word requires horridly tiring things such as holding a book, flicking pages, focussing the eyes and thinking occasionally. As you say, very, very few people read these days and those that do are a dying breed (dying from old age, dying from removal of natural habitat).

    Even in the public libraries that remain open the books are secondary to computer access, council “information hubs” and child-care facilities. It’s all very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think, Jack, that there are a lot more readers now than in the past as people are, on the whole, much better educated than before. There is a lot more competition when it comes to books now and readers have a huge range of books to chose from. There is a lot more variety in readers now as in the past reading was the domain of intellectuals/academics and the wealthy classes. The wealthy classes didn’t really do much work, they oversaw what their employees did but they had plenty of time to engage in other past-times like reading. Most people work now so the nature of books has changed. Modern readers don’t have the patience for slow starts, long descriptions and even slow burns. They want books to jump right into the action. I think we have to understand our audiences when we plan our books. As for reviews, I never reviewed a book outside of school until I started blogging and engaging with writers. It was only then that I realised reviews are important for writers. I never would have written any reviews otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think these days, something has to be attached to the written book in order to create intrigue for the series. Like interesting promotional tactics, for example:

    You write the book, but pay for videos to be made about the book with clips that act out scenes. Good way to have a YouTube channel as well.

    I believe if you make your work a bigger project than just the book itself then that could be the modern way in building up interest in your stories. These days it seems the only stand alone books that get bought online are educational ones with the whole “how to” genre.

    But when let’s say there’s some real truth to a story or some effective promotional aspect that helps bring in eyes then and only then does books with story do well in this current climate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • While I agree with your analysis regarding promoting any book today; if the book is below par, no amount of promotion will help. At the end of the day Antonio what always sells is a well written story…

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are correct as well, but book marketing and book quality should be kept separate as the goal should be how to get eyes on the product and allow it to grow from there. To think that book quality will sell itself (at first) is like playing with chance in an over saturated market that is flooded with them. So yes, the book quality matters in terms of keeping eye balls on it when it’s discovered but when releasing a title the goal should be how to make it discovered. You said it yourself, readership is down so that means that word of mouth could be compromised. So the fix to that could be to create new casual readers by generation a form of interest that gets all types of people talking even non readers. A good example is a video that went viral a few years back that people thought was real. So the video alone generated interest alone only to be debunked later on as a promotional video for a book. Imagine how well it did just from the intrigue of the video even to people who don’t read that would just check it out for the sake of the intrigue of the video they were into discussing…

        Thank you for this post tho as it inspired me on my next topic I am currently writing. 😁👍

        Liked by 1 person

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