Critical Linking: April 22, 2013


Publishers do not intend to get in the way, but this is how they can get in the way:

  • By putting a cover on a book that they think the retailer wants (not the same thing as what the reader or author will like, by the way)
  • By pushing the book out too early when it is not properly cooked yet.
  • By concentrating on too many other projects. Promiscuous publishing is an addiction.

Fewer books. Better covers. Cooked longer. Sounds a little like that manifesto Tom Cruise wrote in Jerry Maguire.


Video games were how I became a working writer. I learned my plotting through adventure games and role-playing games; I wrote characters that were controlled by a far-distant, independent entity, the player.

Video game writing tends to be good at action and intrigue, but bad on character development and ideas. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way.


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?


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