Critical Linking: May 10, 2012

The Los Angeles Times is taking its newly vacant position of books editor in a somewhat new direction — emphasizing knowledge of pop culture and adding a focus on “California and the West” to the editor’s job. The title is even being redefined to as “Books and Culture Editor.”

If you are a newspaper, you better be taking your book coverage in a new direction. Any direction. Please dear lord.


Who will buy these new, well-made paper books? One likely result of the transition to e-books is that paper book culture will move further out of reach for those without disposable income. Debt-ridden college students, underemployed autodidacts, and the everyday mass of bargain-hunters will find better deals on the digital side of the divide.

Definitely think this is going to happen.


That it was fan-fiction based in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilightverse is beside the point. That it was chosen by fans and made successful through their support is far more significant. Because what fans want above all else – what in fact defines the very essence of fandom – is ownership of that which we adore.

One possible future for self-publishing is that specific niches will curate themselves, and the most popular titles within that niche will bubble up into the mainstream reading population.


And the strange thing about reading this, was that it was pretty much, I realised, what I’d been trying to say last week when I made my Zena Sutherland speech in Chicago. Only I took thirty-five minutes and almost five thousand words to say it, and art and Maurice did it in eleven panels.

Neil Gaiman on Maurice Sendak.

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