Lessons from a Parisian bookstore

by Stratton Craig

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To celebrate a major team success, Stratton Craig recently enjoyed a day out in Paris – a city that inspired the likes of Hemingway, Joyce and Orwell. Naturally we flocked to the famous Shakespeare and Company bookstore. There, we ambled through quaint little rooms packed from floor to ceiling with books, each of us running our fingers along the spines that called out to the most curious corners of our minds.
This beautiful family-run store, opened by an English man and inherited by his daughter, is built like rooms in a home or chapters in a novel. Each annex has a different purpose, not unlike the pages of a website or magazine, designed to capture everyone’s attention with a diversity of content. The way we all lingered over different books and particular pages reminded me of a writer’s development meeting we once had in our London office, during which we each brought a piece of writing that had inspired us outside of the working day.
This exercise proved that the thing that united us was the same thing that made us each unique in our professional pursuits: our shared love of words took us on radically different journeys. Our mix of everything from product descriptions at Hoxton Street  Monster Supplies to literary essays by Michael Chabon highlighted our differences as readers and, more importantly, as writers. The wit, eloquence, precision and other key characteristics of the pieces we loved were clearly evident in our own work.
It is hard to say exactly what influences our tastes in content, but certain headlines, quotes and stories will appeal to some more than others. That’s why it’s so important to know your audience and how to draw them in with the right words. This is as true of books and magazines as it is of web pages and blogs. Just as a book cover serves to entice a reader to flick through the pages within, page titles and metadescriptions act like signposts for all sorts of Googlers. (Shakespeare made up words, why can’t I?)
Stratton Craig works with writers who offer a wide variety of on-the-page personalities.  Whether your purpose is to engage, inform or entertain your audience, we have a wordsmith that’s just right for the job.  You’ll find more information about some of our team members here.
Contact us to learn how we can help send your message to the right people.

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