Review of the reads – February 2019
Yusef Sayed’s review of the reads
LINES ACROSS LINCOLNSHIRE
BY JON FOX
A geometric interest underlies Jon Fox’s second book of photography and writing about Lincolnshire. The focus, as the title suggests, is on the lines that characterise the varied history and appearance of the county today.
On the evidence of many of the striking photographs in the book, this interest might seem drawn towards the abstract – with enclosures, roads, rivers and rainbows seen as intersecting angles and bands of various colour that please the eye. One notices that there are not many people to be found in the more than 250 photographs included here.
But what is seen is largely the result of different human communities, from the earliest known periods of settlement, to the Romans and modern, industrial communities.
Each had its own needs, aspirations and technological innovations that led to the shaping of the Lincolnshire landscape, which had already undergone thousands of years of geological processes. And all are just as important to Fox, as his writing makes clear.
Following the format of his previous book The Lincolnshire Landscape, the expanse of the local area is captured in a large, widescreen format, with full-page photographs comprising much of the book, free of distracting captions and displaying the contrasts of sky, ground and growth as they appear throughout the seasons.
The pictures are accompanied by in-depth text focusing on key features, from escarpments to enclosures, fens, drains and dykes.
The book is ideal as a photo compendium for casual reading, and as a historical overview of Lincolnshire that avoids some of the more obvious landmarks to draw attention to the particular events and peoples that over time have left lasting marks.
Lines Across Lincolnshire is available through the Lincolnshire Life webshop.
Published by Green Plover Books, £27.50
THE ART OF THE CLICK
BY GLENN FISHER
Grimsby raised Glenn Fisher is a professional copywriter who worked for many years for Agora Financial before beginning a successful freelance career.
Having been mentored by some of the most respected copywriters in the field, and building a vast knowledge of successful techniques, this book is intended to share the fundamentals, aimed at anyone looking to increase ‘clicks’, ‘open rates’ and more importantly sales, through better communication.
There are tips here that might be useful to a wide variety of writers, from bloggers to start-up business owners putting together their first advertisement, but the book is more specialist that it might first appear.
Direct-response copywriting is based on the long copy letter, which continues to be used to promote anything from financial opportunities to specialist consumer products, and intended to prompt immediate action from prospective clients.
Rooted in principles of sales and marketing associated with the ‘father of advertising’ David Ogilvy, Fisher argues that all of the tried and tested skills he has learned can be transferred to today’s social media.
The book is full of memorable formulas intended to keep the copywriter’s priorities at the forefront: the Four Us, Claims and Clinchers, and the power of the PS.
While Fisher draws upon some of the great twentieth-century writers, from Ernest Hemingway to Bob Dylan – and other aspects of popular culture – for inspiration, the type of writing the book intends to promote is knowingly calculated rather than ambiguous and poetic, with a careful attention to measurable simplicity and strategies of maintaining attention. And a lot of repetition.
For those looking to sharpen their approach to sales and marketing and capture customers’ attention in a crowded marketplace, there is sure to be valuable information here.
Published by Harriman House, £14.99