Critical Linking: The Most Read Stories, April 21-27, 2013

Here are the most-read stories from the last week in Critical Linking….


Your search facility has to be excellent. If it’s not, you might as well give up and save the cost of the site because you will only sell books if customers can find them. So make sure site visitors can browse by category and search by subject or keyword as well as title or author. This is a good place to challenge your competitors by offering a wider range of categories.

Let’s say you wanted to build an online bookstore from scratch to compete with Amazon. What would you do differently?


“I think I’m right that that street is where Yo-Yo Ma lives,” she says, tapping her window. “And Stephen Greenblatt lives along here. And Marjorie Garber. I actually haven’t read her work,” she whispers, as if the literary theorist might overhear her. “I know her by reputation only.”

I can’t tell you how annoying this is.


While it’s not clear when the Jean Cocteau will reopen, it seems certain that Martin himself will not be manning the ticket booth. The prolific author also sought to reassure his fans that the purchase would not distract him from continuing work on the Game of Thrones series and other writing.

George RR Martin buys a movie theater. I got no jokes about that.


There are American novelists, and then there are American women novelists – at least according to Wikipedia, where outrage has been building over the quiet categorisation of major names such as Harper Lee and Donna Tartt according to their gender.

Time to turn our attention from the old boys’ clubs at The New York Times Book Review and other established literary outlets to the new boys’ clubs of Wikipedia, Reddit, and the like. This is where the action is.


If the promotion is indeed aimed at fostering reading, why not put just as much effort and energy into making readers aware that their smart phones are also capable as an e-reading device?

I hate rhetorical questions. One more time: “To promote reading, we should make sure readers know that they can read books on their phones.”


Ultimately, people don’t showroom to be spiteful, they do it because it’s an easy way for them to get a better deal. Put another way, showrooming is a market signal that buyers find bookstores useful, but not good value for money. 

I have a confession.  I am an occasional showroomer. I would feel better about myself if indie bookstores would take this lady’s advice.


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