As I was at the Tools of Change conference yesterday, doing a panel in front of a bunch of movers and shakers in the digital publishing field, I decided that it was an excellent time to announce a project I, Bill Schafer and Yanni Kuznia have been working on for a couple of months now:

What we’re doing is taking “The Big Idea,” the author spotlight feature here on Whatever, and spinning it off into its own site, where we can feature Big Ideas on a daily basis and also offer other neat features, interviews and content. The planned launch date is April 20; between now and then we’ll be busy banging our hammers in the background, putting together a site we think you’re really going to enjoy.

Galleycat ran the scoop about yesterday and followed up with a longer interview with me today; you can also visit the site, which currently features a static page with all the basic “who, what, why, when” information you might want to know.

Naturally, I’ll be telling you all more about this as we go along, but for the moment let me say this is something I’ve been tremendously excited about and couldn’t wait to tell you all is happening. I think it’s going to be a really excellent site, and a place you’ll want to visit every day. There are a lot of Big Ideas behind books, and we’re looking forward to bringing them to you.

P.S.: That awesome big idea author illustration at the top of the entry? Courtesy of Jeff Zugale.

27 Comments on “Introducing”

  1. I’ve found at least 4 new authors that moved into my read-always stack due to your ‘Big Idea’ feature. I think that making a separate website so that more can be discussed is a great idea. I hope the website draws a whole lotta traffic.

  2. April 20? London Book Fair? I ask because I have to be there myself, though actually I won’t get back from Montreal until the Tuesday.

  3. How cool. So this is the Biggest Idea post? The Ur-Idea? The MetaBigIdea?

    It’s so exciting, I can hardly think straight. As Ms. Uroff @4 stated, your Big Idea posts have swollen my To Read list quite considerably, and the “using the intertubes to help good things happen to good people” thing flips my switches quite solidly.

    I really like this because the Big Idea schtick really does benefit both sides of the deal – the authors in question get promotions and sales, and SF readers get a much more useful insight into new works and authors than 100 words of back-cover blurb. Woot, indeed.

  4. Oh great, just what I need. Even more cool books that I might have otherwise missed, to be piled higher and higher in the ‘read-next’ stack. Sigh.

  5. New authors need something like this. Marketing / PR departments for big publishing houses are going to put more money into safe, sure bets, like the next Steven King novel, and less into the basic low level marketing / PR for a new author.

    It’s amazing and pleasing that the community of authors, an not so much the publishers are stepping up to the plate for this. The idea of F/SF as a dying genre is refuted by ideas like this.

  6. April 20? The day the Jews of New Amsterdam were granted the freedom of religion in 1657?

    Sounds like a great forum for authors to promote themselves.

  7. ^What Roger and Shane said.

    Exciting news! Looking forward to it – looks like I may just have to increase my book budget.

    That’s okay, though – books are half as expensive as videogames, therefore I can buy twice as many of them! Right? :P

  8. Good luck with this.

    I hope you will front-load the new site by scooping up all the Big Idea posts from Whatever and putting them in. Easy reference and all that, and give people a reason to visit already as the new content is being generated.

    I also like your comment in the interview about newspapers “cutting back on the things that their readers actually want to see, and it’s stupid.”

    I keep being reminded of the remark, don’t remember from whom, that newspapers are responding to the drop in subscribers by giving people ever less reason to subscribe.

  9. I really enjoy the Big Idea pieces, so I’m very pleased to see the idea expanded!

    One piece of info that I didn’t see on the site: will there be an RSS feed set up for it?

  10. I’m a new-comer to your site and have been working my way back. I’m enjoying it immensely but am having a hard time finding some things (old author interviews and Big Ideas) that were apparently posted at a related source at the time. Is there an archive or link to any of these older ones that I’ve just failed to find in my clicking around?
    Thanks, and keep up the great writing!

  11. Scalzi @ 25: Gracias, I got those. I was trying to find the older ones that I saw mentioned in your 2007 wrap-up, as well as the author interviews. Thanks again.

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