Why more fans want printed material from online writers

There are more content creators out there than ever before. And the ways that audiences are engaging with them is changing. Instead of loyalty to platforms or publications, audiences are investing in the writers, bloggers, freelance journalists, or industry analysts they love themselves.

This change means there’s more power in the hands of creators. Yet, many are having to work double time to survive. While online media is exhilarating and diverse, with so much noise, it can be tough to get your voice heard.

At Screenbreak, we’re helping writers to offer audiences something different. The internet will remain the place where you’re found, shared, and discussed — that’s without a doubt. But it might not be the place where you’re read, particularly if your art is long-form content. 

Instead, with serious readers still doing most of their reading offline, the place is still paper. And that’s why we’re helping creators take their online offerings to audiences who prefer to engage with ideas in a physical medium. We can help you turn web content into beautiful, customisable, and printable booklets. And in this article, we want to show you why it is worth your time.

Audiences are turning away from the screen

The online world was not designed for everything we demand of it. While it’s great for many things, deep, focused reading is not one of them. 

It’s not just us that says so. Scientific studies consistently show that people just read better when they read from paper. And we see evidence all around us that audiences are waking up to this idea.

Creators listen up. We imagine a future where the screen won’t be the only place where audiences enjoy content. Here’s why you should offer the alternative.

  • Audiences are opening their eyes to the amount of time they spend on-screen. With COVID-19 lockdowns pushing average screen-times to 13 hours a day, people really started to see a problem. Yet, screen-blocking technologies and self-imposed schedules won’t cut it. If users want to live less of their lives on-screen, the content they seek will need to come off-screen, too.

  • Serious readers prefer to read on paper. Reading was meant for paper. And it’s not just older, or less tech-savvy, audiences that say so. Scientific studies have shown that across age-groups and interests, paper is still preferred over screen. They want a different way to enjoy your content.

  • Consumers want choice. We all choose who to read and when to read it. Why not offer choice over the medium audiences read on, too? One solution doesn’t work for everyone, and online creators don’t know how many people they’re putting off by neglecting paper offerings.

  • The longer the read, the better on paper. At Screenbreak, we work most often with creators of long-form written content. Why? Because the longer the text, the better it’s enjoyed offline. Comprehension and recall are all improved by paper – and readers know it.

How creators can benefit from paper-based content offerings

Yet, it’s not just reader preferences that demand a shift to paper. Instead, for content creators, adding paper-based offerings to your content delivery can provide benefits beyond reading habits. It actually puts you in greater control of your work.

  • Reach wider audiences. As we said, not everyone wants to read online. Creating content — or delivering existing content — for off-screen consumption lets you reach wider audiences alongside your existing fanbase.

  • Amplify your voice, but keep it individual. Channels like Substack and Patreon are proving that big magazines, platforms, and publications are no longer the only route for creators to find an audience. And paper offerings provide an alternative. Get loose of the editorial lines of legacy media — and tell your story the way you want it to be told.

  • Control the way audiences see your work. Editorial independence is yours, but so is design, form, and content configuration. No one else but you should decide how your content appears to your audience.

  • Add another channel to your income stream. Substack subs and print commissions can still do the heavy lifting. But customisable paper offerings can add another string to your bow — and help you diversify your income. With Screenbreak, by the way, that’s at no expense to you.

How Screenbreak can help creators 

“Honestly, I think it’s great. Such a good service. It means I read long-form articles again, which I’d largely stopped because of hating the amount of screentime it tends to entail.” – Screenbreak customer.

At Screenbreak, we’ll make it much easier for content creators to produce paper-based offerings. We can help you curate bundles of content, transform them into clean, distraction-free documents — and make them immediately available to your audiences. 

It’s simple. And then, offer readers the option to print at home or have it delivered to their door. All they need to do is click and checkout.

Here’s what else you can expect from Screenbreak’s paper creation.

  • Completely customisable. Offer audiences highlights from your blog archive in one print edition. Or else collaborate with like-minded creators to offer bundled content on themes you know your audiences will love. Or do them both, and more besides. With Screenbreak, the editorial decisions can be all yours. And you control the pricing too.

  • Keep investment to a minimum. Many online creators turn to e-books, self-publication, newsletters, and the like to stay afloat. But when design consultation, printing arrangements, and distribution is required, upfront costs can be a little intimidating. At Screenbreak, we get paid when you do — meaning there’s no upfront investment. Just create the best content.

  • Global distribution. The internet has made content immediately available anywhere. We think that’s possible on paper too. Readers can log in, choose your content they want to read on paper, and checkout – and we’ll ship it right to their door, wherever they are.

  • Beautiful, clear, and readable. The internet is full of distraction. But most DIY methods for turning online content to print are a mess. Screenbreak can handle all of the design, so that you don’t have to. And so that readers get all of the benefits of reading offscreen.

Let’s Create Something New Together.

We’re doing something different. We want to give creators a new way to reach audiences, without relinquishing control of their content. At the same time, we’ll help you give serious readers the opportunity to enjoy the content they love more fully. Because, after all, reading was meant for paper.