Good morning, book people! The snow is back in Cambridge, and we’re holed up with hot coffee and a snuggly kidlet this Presidents’ Day. How about you?
So this is not really six links–I think it’s closer to ten. But that’s just because I give value for your blog buck, and also because I feel bad counting anything that doesn’t get it’s own separate paragraph. So, without further ado…
Over at SLJ’s A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy Liz explains how one of the YALSA awards, the Morris, works, and asks if the use of a shortlist [builds] excitement the way, say, that the Oscars build excitement?” Quick note: I am in favor of shortlists, and think they actually benefit the authors because booksellers can make sure books are in stock ahead of the awards. Without a shortlist, sleepers like this year’s Newbery, Clare Vanderpool’s Moon Over Manifest can take a while to get onto shelves, and that can translate into lost sales. More thoughts later this week.
Have you worked out your BookPrint yet? The folks at Scholastic are helping readers connect by asking them to “share the five books that most influenced you.” Although I’m signed up, I’m still trying to figure out what those books are! There are some great names in the system already–including Oprah, Alice Walker (!), and Marian Wright Edelman. There are also some fun polls to play with (Which classic romantic hero would you rather attend a ball with?). And over at OOM, bookseller Michael walks us through how he worked out his own BookPrint. More on this later in the week, too.
If you’ve ever felt belittled for writing genre fiction, you need to read this post by Harry Connolly over at Charlie’s Diary. Harry is writing specifically about the science fiction and fantasy divide (aka the SF/F snobfest, and I say that as someone with a science degree) but the post smack of familiarity for those of us in the YA trenches, too. Perhaps we should all send the link to Martin Amis.
The Guardian has a truly excellent piece on emulating great authors to learn how to write, or how to write better, complete with reading list!. This is how I learned to write; in high school, one of my teachers had us borrow voices for a whole semester. Without that grounding, I’m not sure I’d have developed my own voice properly, or love writing quite so much.
Also at The Guardian, John Dugdale tells us the most borrowed library books of 2010. No surprises in the kidlit list, but it’s nice to see Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton still making the grade.
And finally, back to Charlie’s Diary for an overview of how the publishing industry is structured. It’s wry, and worth reading. It’s also part of a series, which I’m still reading, but definitely recommend. Just follow the hyper-breadcrumbs.
Update: Fascinating read via @JasonAshlock. Is Borders Guilty as Charged? Phillip Downer, former CEO of Borders UK, walks us through Borders’ blunders, one by one.
I’ll be back later with the first post in a new series, Cover Notes.
What are you reading this morning?
Image Credit: brew books, via flickr.Read More