Links of Note, February 23, 2013

Great infographic on which creatures are most detrimental to your health.
Credit beneath image.

This edition of the biweekly link round up has a little bit of everything: the serious, the less serious, and just some fun stuff that caught my eye. It’s packed with stuff, so grab your favorite beverage and take your time to enjoy!

  • Does social media sell books? Here’s an interesting piece from Gillian Flynn’s agent. As you probably know, Gone Girl has done pretty darn well and Flynn’s not really all that active on social media. Neither is Suzanne Collins, who has had no problem selling her books. I think there’s something particularly fascinating in the notion of the fact Flynn’s not doing the social media selling herself but that her books have garnered a ton of social media attention anyway. Likewise, maybe it’s worth noting that the authors cited as examples in this piece are ones who likely had huge publicity and marketing bucks behind their titles and they didn’t need to do a whole lot of the work themselves. 
  • It was really neat seeing my post included in this roundup of posts about introversion over at Library Journal/School Library Journal’s The Digital Shift. I also wanted to include this blog post written by Lahey herself about the sort of blowback she received after her piece went up. This topic continues to inspire blog posts everywhere I look (including a couple of interesting posts at Lifehacker — one which talks about how to use your introversion for your power and another ill-informed piece about how to “overcome” your introversion to succeed. I’m not linking them since you can find them easily enough if you want to).
  • A couple of weeks ago I linked to a post from Maggie Stiefvater about rape and the problems she had with it being used in the last number of books she’d read. I mentioned having some issues with how she presented this post. I was willing to overlook some of the points because she raised some worthwhile questions. Then she posted this piece about writing and the thinking writer (with applications to the thinking reader, too). Which, I have to say actually made me dislike the rape post even more. Why? Because of the implication that the writers who employed a rape scene didn’t think about the issues surrounding it. Again — we have no context in her post for this issue. We’re supposed to just accept it without knowing whether these rape scenes and the discussion of rape culture more broadly is supposed to be illuminating some real, honest issues going on in our world right now. I link to these posts I don’t agree with because I think they’re worth reading and because I think the points she raises are ones worth thinking about and having thoughts about, even if they aren’t in line with hers. 
  • Sort-of related to the piece above about Gillian Flynn and social media is this really thought-provoking piece about book discoverability. Is it even an issue? Do people care? Or is this something that marketing is concerned about but that the average reader (and non-reader) even care about? I agree with the notion that choosing what to read isn’t necessarily linear (maybe there is for some people, but from what I’ve heard, most people are mood readers). Best line in the piece is this one: “Nothing will ever replace building authentic, two-way relationships with customers and readers.” Same with librarians. That’s the game of reader’s advisory, isn’t it? 
  • Can you do something sweet for Bridget Zinn? If you’re a blogger or a librarian or a teacher or a reader….consider doing something for Zinn’s little book, Poison. Even if you can’t do something big, consider purchasing and reading a copy of her book when it comes out and then talk about it with other readers who would want to know about it. 
  • A worthwhile read from Victoria Schwab on the publication and development of fanfiction. She’s not against it — in fact she thinks it’s valuable in many ways — but she has some issues with the glorification of their origin stories. This actually gets me thinking a lot about that One Direction fanfiction which is based on real people, rather than an origin story. 
  • This is one of my favorite reader’s advisory posts in a while, and it’s something that doesn’t need to be limited to just this specific example. Heather, over at TLT, talks about using candy hearts to recommend books. Think of the possibilities to expand this — what about mood ring book recommendations? Or color book recommendations? Or sound-related book recommendations? Or recommendations based on favorite food? Or drinks? Or candy? Think beyond just the easy appeal factors. Reader’s advisory can be off the wall like this and in some ways, it makes it even more enjoyable. 
  • If you haven’t been reading YA Highway lately, make sure you go check out their series of interviews with black YA authors. So far, they’ve talked with Justina Ireland and Brandy Colbert.  

And then there was the time that the Canadian House of Commons talked about the zombie apocalypse:

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