One of the reasons I put John Scalzi‘s Whatever in my ultimate blogroll last week was a series of posts he’s run called “The Big Idea,” which he recently folded into his own site after debuting it on AOL’s “Ficlets” blog last year. THe premise is simple: Guest authors discuss one of the central ideas that drives their book, and how it factored into their writing. Because of Scalzi’s own background in science fiction, many of the contributing authors also hail from SF, like Phillip Palmer, but he’s also got literary writers like Jami Attenberg taking part. And now he wants more.
If you’re an author, an editor, or a publicist, you want to know about this, because Whatever has a readership that hovers nicely between 30,000 and 40,000 unique visitors most days, “most of whom,” as Scalzi notes, “like books and learning what’s new in the bookstores.” His contact guidelines are straightforward—and this is, to my mind, perfect proof that there’s an audience for smart and engaging content that introduces readers to writers and vice versa.