This past week, I encountered a string of things that made me smile, reminding me that the Internet is a really cool place for people who love to read. What’s exciting is that these are fun items that aren’t flashy, twirly, or even sparkly. They’re just plain fun. So here’s my current shortlist of things that excite me:
The Los Angeles Times and Twitter: While I believe the Los Angeles Times could do a whole lot of things a whole lot better (the website is not the newspaper, the newspaper is not the website), they’re doing one thing really well, and I’m just loving it: headlines via Twitter. Our paper subscription is on hold during the remodel (and we’ll probably out and out cancel when we return home because, well, many trees have died for the unread stack of newspapers in our home), so I switched over to the Twitter headlines.
I love that I can skim news from pre-chosen sections — I started out with everything and then refined the sections I’m following to meet my needs — and I find that I click through to article far more often than I ever did when I just had a few links on my “My Yahoo” page. The mix of local, breaking, and business news (which in LA often includes entertainment industry news) is perfect, and I’m actually enjoying my LAT experience again.
Hot Library Smut: Yeah, it’s exactly what you’re thinking: titillating photos of books in library stacks! I love these goofy kinds of things. Last month, I was excited about really fun bookcase designs.
Yes, it’s the little things that give me hope. No really, there’s something really cool about people who are excited enough about a topic that they share it with the world so that other people who might be excited about the same thing can share it too.
St. Martin’s Press Giving Away Books: To build readership for Julia Spencer-Fleming’s series, St. Martin’s Press is giving away ebooks books. I love that they’re doing this for two reasons: the first is that it encourages readers to take a chance on a new author. If other experiments prove true, then this giveaway will increase physical sales — ebook reading, while on the rise, isn’t the preferred method for the majority of readers, and sometimes all it takes is a taste of a story to encourage a sale.
St. Martin’s is also building a mailing of fans for the author. In this crazy busy world, keeping in contact with an author’s fans is critical (have I mentioned how important the mailing list is?), and this is a great way to build a community.
What’s exciting you?
Update: After I posted this, I got an email from Norton telling me that, yippee!, they’re using Twitter to update fans about new books. The feed is http://twitter.com/norton_fiction. Great way to keep up with the books!