Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, August 11, 2012

It’s a fairly busy Saturday out there on the blogosphere, but only a few things rose to the top for me.

  • Regular readers know I’m a fan of Yuvi Zalkow’s (@yuvizalkow) monthly video posts on Writer Unboxed. This month’s Notes from the (Failure) Field isn’t one of his funnier ones but does contain a couple of gems. First, he describes and sort-of shows his experiment of using videos as part of his readings at author events. Hmmm, interesting. Second, he describes his reaction to the first really negative review of his book. What did he do? Mourned for a night with friends and family, then got back to work. Perfect.
  • Science fiction author Nancy Kress (@nancykress) makes a rare appearance here to discuss something about Young Adult Fiction, specifically, that recent Newberry Award winners are flops with young adult readers. Librarians and the Newberry committee are perplexed: how could YA readers not recognize top-quality writing? Maybe it’s because what the committee and librarians value is out of touch with what the readers value. Could it be this is why Jo Rowling and Stephen King sell so many copies while winners of the National Book Award, say, don’t do quite so well? What do you think?
  • Finally, Kristin Nelson brings us a 17 minute TED video, shot last March, by book designer Chip Kidd (@chipkidd), Anatomy of Book Cover Design. (That’s Kristin’s post’s title. Kidd calls his talk Designing books is no laughing matter. OK, it is.) Kidd’s Robin-Williams-ish appearance and presentation style lightens up what could be a dry topic, but that’s an added bonus. What he discusses–how he came up with the designs for various covers–is fascinating, a great insight into that kind of creativity. (NOTE: because of the way the video window is placed in the post, at least on my screen, the right edge–maybe 20%?–of the video was cut off and I couldn’t access the control to take it full-screen. No worries: nothing was lost because of this, but your computer screen may produce a different–worse–result. You can avoid the problem by going to the video on the web site using the second link above.)

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