It’s fair to say that most clients think of a life story in book form rather than video. That’s why I previously wrote 5 Reasons You Should Consider a Video Life Story where I extolled the virtues of video. As I said then, I have a bias because my background is in documentary filmmaking. But I’ve also produced several books. So which is better? Each format has its strengths and weaknesses. You be the judge. Here are six areas where books triumph over videos.
- Books will last. Printed on archival paper and properly stored, books will be around longer than any current digital media. The best “guesstimate” for DVDs is a lifespan that ranges from 5 years to over 100 years depending on the manufacturing process of the DVD and its storage. But the bottom line is that no one knows for certain.
- Print books don’t require hardware to read them. Digital hardware and formats continue to change. There’s a thriving business in transferring old media to current formats. Who out there doesn’t have a box of old videotapes waiting to be digitized? But you can still pick up a book printed a century ago and read it.
- Books capture detail. Books are splendid at documenting the intricacies and depth of a story. This isn’t video’s strength. Video prefers a broader stroke and emotional content over detail.
- Books have presence. You can hold a book in your hand. It has weight, texture, and odor. It almost demands that you pay attention. A DVD case, no matter how attractive the labeling, feels insubstantial.
- Books are convenient. You don’t have to plug them in, recharge batteries, or worry about dropping them. You can pick up a book and in an instant start reading.
- Books are accessible. An attractive Life Story book set out on a coffee table invites friends and family to pick it up. Unlike viewing a video there’s no need to set up equipment.
How many of you provide your potential clients with a choice of a book or video personal history? Do you think you should?
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