Storytelling books: the top 20 in our opinion
Table of Contents
Storytelling books are a very useful resource both for beginners who want to try their hand in this field and for the more skilled ones who want to improve their knowledge and keep up with the times, as this topic is constantly evolving. In case you are part of the first category, it is better to make a clarification: storytelling is a tool that can be applied in different fields and, depending on the field in question, takes on different names. For example, online storytelling is called digital storytelling, while the one for companies is called corporate storytelling.
Along this article, we have included a list of storytelling books that can cover different areas of interest to learn how to pursue different goals using this resource. For each recommended book, you will also find a brief description and a link to purchase.
Here is our list of the 20 best storytelling books:
“Better Selling Through Storytelling: The essential roadmap to becoming a revenue rockstar” by John Livesay
John Livesay encourages you to learn the art of storytelling to increase sales in your company. To do this, he highlights how important it is to learn to overcome a no and find the right way to communicate with customers, so that they will find your products irresistible.
“Digital Storytelling: A creator’s guide to interactive entertainment” by Carolyn Handler Miller
This book, unlike other storytelling books, focuses on digital storytelling and covers all its aspects, such as character development, structure, interactivity, but also artificial intelligence and social media storytelling. In addition, it offers several case studies to illustrate all the creative possibilities of digital storytelling.
Today, writing is more important than ever because words are like missionaries who communicate to customers who we are. Precisely for this reason, it is important to choose your words carefully and to write with empathy. In this book, you will be taught how to write and how to tell a story by the marketing veteran Ann Handley.
Storytelling has been used for millennia to explain concepts or make events and facts memorable, yet only a few are able to use this resource correctly. In fact, not everyone knows that stories can also act silently and, without anyone noticing, make every type of communication engaging and unforgettable. However, what is the difference between this and other storytelling books? In this book, you will find both a practical part with exercises and a theoretical part that breaks down the art of storytelling into different steps. In addition, you will be provided with real examples of corporate storytelling.
“Made to stick: Why some ideas survive and other die” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
This book is the result of an observation: why do fake news circulate easily and realistic and important ideas have difficulty in being spread? The idea of the two authors is to reveal how to ensure that ideas are successful by applying theories, such as the human scale principle or the Velcro Theory of Memory. In this way, your way of communicating will transform. In this book, you will also find different stories, both successful and not. Unlike other storytelling booksthat could be defined as manuals, in this case the process is narrated with irony and in an often-provocative way.
Through storytelling, it is possible to describe a product or service in a way that connects people to your mission and speaks to that part of the brain that makes decisions. In this book, the author identifies the main ingredients for writing a story that can convert and increase sales.
“Significant Objects” by Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn
It isn’t a manual, but a book born as an experiment, which consisted of buying a series of apparently useless objects from a flea market and asking a series of young writers to write a story on each of those objects. The success of these stories made the items to be resold for far more the price they were originally purchased for. Therefore, this is a demonstration of how stories give an immense additional value to even simple objects, but also of how storytelling books aren’t all the same and reading stories written by others can be inspiring.
“Storytelling: la fabbrica delle storie” by Christian Salmon
Christian Salmon is a French writer who runs a column on storytelling in the newspaper “Le Monde”. In this book, he carries out a marketing analysis and talks about the invention of storytelling and its influence in the political field, becoming a tool for the conquest of power.
“Storytelling d’Impresa: La nuova guida definitiva verso lo storymaking” by Andrea Fontana
Andrea Fontana, the greatest expert in corporate storytelling in Italy, explains how the story has become an integral and fundamental part of our lives. In fact, storytelling can now be applied in the most disparate fields. Furthermore, he introduces the concept of “storymaking”, which is a new type of activism to promote yourselves or your company. Within the book, you can find several case studies and practical examples.
“Storytelling With Data: A data visualization guide for business professionals” by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
Of all the storytelling books, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic’s takes a whole new point of view. In fact, it teaches you to analyse data and use it to tell stories. In addition, there are several real examples that will allow you to put into practice what you will learn by reading this book.
“The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to becoming a master storyteller” by John Truby
It is one of the few storytelling books to be born with an already assured success. In fact, it is the result of an award-winning course, Great Screenwriting, which the author held and decided to transform into a book. We could define it as a script analysis model and a writing manual, through which Truby lists 22 fundamental steps for narrating a great story. According to the author’s view, it is important to focus on the moral of the hero and emotional growth. In this way, the result will be a surprising story able to thrill the audience in a genuine way.
“The Hero and the Outlaw – Building extraordinary brands through the power of archetypes” by Margaret Mark and Carol Pearson
Carol Pearson, author of the bestseller “The Hero Within”, and Margaret Mark, branding guru, have combined their knowledge in this book, which aims to use archetypes – widely used in storytelling – to explain to brands how to gain a competitive advantage. In addition, there are examples of big brands such as Nike, Marlboro and Ivory.
“The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on his life and work” by Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell is known as one of the best storytellers and mythologists who ever lived. In this book, he narrates his life and his great passion for myths, shares some conversations he had with poets, anthropologists and philosophers and reflects on the role of the artist. It isn’t one of the classic storytelling books, but discovering the life and thoughts of such a famous and important storyteller can help you develop your narrative thinking.
“The New Digital Storytelling: Creating narratives with new media” by Bryan Alexander
Starting from the origins of storytelling to modern digital storytelling, Bryan Alexander carries out an analysis of storytelling applied to the so-called “new media”, i.e., videos, podcasts, social media, etc. In addition, the book includes the author’s advices on how to create and share digital stories using the most current tools.
In this book, Will Storr takes a scientific approach to explain how to write a good story. In fact, psychological researches and neuroscience can be very useful in storytelling and can help to understand how the brain reacts to stories. In addition, there are examples for writers of all kinds: novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, etc.
“The Storytelling Animal: How stories make us human” by Jonathan Gottschall
According to Jonathan Gottschall, storytelling evolved to make us survive. Human beings have always felt the need to tell stories and, sometimes, these stories have been able to improve the world. Therefore, storytelling can be considered as a human instinct, something essential and in constant change. This is just a drop of the theories and researches that you will find in this illuminating book.
“The Storytelling Edge: How to transform your business, stop screaming into the void, and make people love you” by Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow
If what you are looking for are storytelling books that tell you how to use the art and science of storytelling to transform your business, this book is for you. In fact, today all companies know the importance of telling stories to communicate with their customers, but only a few know how to do that properly. In this book, content strategists Joe Lazauskas and Shane Snow reveal their secrets.
“The Storyteller’s Secret: Why some ideas catch on and others don’t” by Carmine Gallo
It is a very particular and interesting book because it adopts the technique of storytelling to explain storytelling itself. In fact, each chapter begins with the narration of a story and explains how some famous people have used storytelling to be successful.
“The Writer’s Journey: Mythic structure for writers” by Chris Vogler
It is one of the most famous books in the cinema field because it totally changed the way of doing screenwriting, but it is actually very useful to learn to write stories in general. In fact, Vogler explains his method divided into 12 steps and inspired by the writing of myths to lay the foundations of the structure of a story and the development of characters. He also uses examples from the mythological, fairy-tale and cinematographic world.
“Web Storytelling – Come raccontare le marche online” by Joseph Sassoon
Nowadays, storytelling is so widespread even in the corporate field that it is no longer possible to resort to pre-established and invasive stories. It is necessary to involve the audience with stories that know how to thrill people. For this reason, in this book, the author narrates the evolution of storytelling, offers food for thought and shows international case studies.
This was our list of the 20 best books. Obviously, there are many more on the market, which are designed for any type of purpose and sector. However, in our list there are already different types of books for all tastes and, above all, for all needs.
Choose what suits you best and enjoy your reading!
If you are interested in this topic, please read more on: Corporate Storytelling, key driver for brand communication