creative content marketing

careers of authors

What’s the one thing this shows?

careers of authors bookshelf

I often wonder how many books airport novelists churn out every year. We had a conversation about this in the office, and we decided to produce a piece of content with the working title: ‘Visualising the Careers of the World’s Favourite Authors’.

For our seed list of authors, we took a combination of bestsellers and critically acclaimed novels. We also thought it would be interesting to show which year the authors had their breakthrough book. We determined the breakthrough book using a similar combination of sales figures and critical acclaim.

Figuring out the visual execution for the piece was more challenging than you might think. During the design phase, I kept asking the team:

What’s the one thing we want this to show?

Personally, I thought the focus should be on the number of books the authors published each year. But my colleague, Hannah, convinced me the more compelling angle was to focus on the age at which different authors reached success, i.e. published their breakthrough book.

careers of authors bookshelf

careers of authors not too late

We wanted to appeal to the more literary crowd; those that might harbour the idea of one day writing their life’s great work. And what better message to give them than to let them know there’s still time?

And funnily enough, my colleague Hannah – who helped proposed the core angle of the piece – is now on sabbatical, writing a novel.

  • Featured in The Guardian, Adweek, Vox, and Flavorpill
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  • Personally responsible for concept and executive creative direction
“Charles Dickens took six years to write A Christmas Carol. J. R. R. Tolkien wrote his first book, The Hobbit, when he was 46, and it propelled his career. If these facts fascinate you then [this] interactive infographic will inspire you.” – Flavorpill
“This chart proves it’s never too late to publish a novel” – Vox