Great Stuff on the Writers’ Blogs, August 20, 2012

For starters, I have an announcement to make: effective today, Great Stuff is changing to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday format. The reason is simple: time. While I enjoy putting these posts together, and hope you’re enjoying reading them, they take too long to do and there are too many other things going on in my life, or about to start, that I need to commit that time to.

Plus, there’s the burnout factor: I don’t want to fall victim to it.

So, starting with Wednesday’s post, each issue of Great Stuff will include only the very best from the last two or three days–Saturday through Monday on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on Friday, plus, of course, anything that got posted after I published each day’s post.

To keep the length reasonable, the “cut line” is going to rise. Posts that I might have accepted as good-enough, probably won’t make the cut. Your reading time is valuable. Unlike other bloggers (I’m not naming any names here), I’ll endeavor to keep these posts short and high-value, and I’ll continue to warn you when a post I recommend is long so you can make your own decision on whether to spend time with it.

Ironically, two of today’s three recommendations have to do with time management. They didn’t spur my decision, which I made over the weekend; they’re just a case of synchronicity. Here we go, then:

  • Today’s final post, also a long one, comes from the archives of Mental Floss magazine’s web site, via Nathan Bransford (@NathanBransford). There’s an obvious, and clearly intentional on Nathan’s part, parallel between How Paperbacks Transformed the Way Americans Read and the current kerfuffle over e-books and independent publishing. The point of the article is that paperbacks expanded the reach of books to a wider audience and increased reading generally rather than being, as traditional publishers of the time (many still in business today) expected, a flash-in-the-pan failure. Whether e-books will have the same effect in the long run remains to be seen, but the initial trends are following those of paperbacks at their introduction. My thanks to Nathan for continuing to be a calm and sane voice in this discussion.

If you have any thoughts on these articles or the schedule change, please enter them in the comments below. Thanks!

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