Novelist and popular blogger John Scalzi announced that the casual “Big Idea” feature on his site will be expanded into an independent literary website. Following the unexpectedly strong response to his series, the writer decided to expand it into Big Idea Authors.
Scalzi broke the news during a Tools of Change panel discussion moderated by GalleyCat senior editor Ron Hogan (who will report on their pre-panel conversation about the new site Thursday). Novelists John Scalzi and Tobias Buckell joined Tor Books editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden, contributing their ideas about how to interact with readers online.
The other panelists had practical advice. Buckell urged writers to avoid the “first impulse to speak directly to customer, to deliver a press release.” Hayden said he contacted novelist Jo Walton after reading her comments on a science fiction message board. A great online writer, he explained, has “the ability to [create] that public personality and not have it be about ‘I woke up this morning, stared out the window, and wrote 1,000 words.’”
The panele concluded as Hogan fielded a Twitter-ed question read off a laptop in the audience–a moment of social networking zen as the audience immortalized the discussion with hundreds of Twitter posts tagged #toc.