But too many websites—including a lot of weblogs—seem to have completely forgotten what the Internet is all about: links. Links between different places on the Internet, showing the reader a way to get to more information, or another page giving an alternative take on something, or maybe even a place where an interested reader can actually buy the item in question.
I didn't1 intend this weblog to focus solely on books, authors, writing, writers, and everything else related to those things, but it seems that's what I've been writing—and consequently reading—mostly about lately.
And the lack of hyperlinks that I see in a lot of entries on weblogs and websites—and especially ones that are about authors and books—irritates me, frankly.
A case in point is this entry on The Unravelling Threads. And this is just the latest one I've come across that triggered this rant, I don't want to single out this site, or specific post (there's quite a fewothersI could have used to illustrate my point).
If you're like me, and see that entry, and are kind of interested in the subject matter (which, come on, hot girl hanging upside-down from the rafters in what looks like tight black leather pants, of course you're interested), instead of having a nice link to click on to get to more information I have to manually do a search for “Thief's Covenant”. And that just costs me time and effort that I'd rather not have to spend.
The hyperlink is a powerful tool, so use it!
Seen from the other side, there's a big bonus to actually providing that link to your reader. But, and this is even more important: there's an even bigger loss by not providing that link. Because now, you, as the author, have lost control over where the reader will go to get more information.
And see what I did up there? I hyperlinked the title of that book. In this case I linked it to the book's page on goodreads.com. But I could also have linked to its page on Amazon, or on Barnes&Noble, or to its page on the author's website. Imagine that!
The author of the original entry I read—which I must assume liked something about what he or she was writing about, and wanted to alert others to it—could have sent me straight to the website of the author of that book. Why he or she neglected to do that? I have no clue.
Writing for the web involves more than just putting words on a blank page. You have to be aware of the bigger picture that is tha intarwebs. Using proper hyperlinking in your weblog entries, and any piece of text on a website, actually, is crucial to being a good part of that Internet, as opposed to just another monkey banging on a keyboard.
Especially in reader-writer-land
When the stuff you are writing about on the Internet has to do with books or authors, or anything related to those, I would say it is essential that you properly hyperlink author names and book titles. Because nine times out of ten you'll be writing not about one of the big names or book titles that everyone already knows about, but about this or that author, or book title, you just discovered and want others to discover, too.
Why would you then neglect to actually point the reader to the pages that would actually help the author or book you want to give attention to? You wouldn't.
So, use the hyperlink, stupid2.
I'm a big fan of David Weber's series around his Honor Harrington character, set in his “Honorverse”. The problem is that I've already read all the books in that series. So I've been eagerly awaiting his next instalment.
So, I had been looking for something else to read while I waited for the next Honorverse book. I don't know why I never bothered to look at works by David Weber not in the Honorverse, but I'm glad I did. One reason is that his other books can't be found on webscription.net, and I wonder why that is. Probably because he has contracts with other publishers or some such nonsense.
Anyway, I found his “Safehold” series on kobobooks, and bought the first book in the series, called ”Off Armageddon Reef“ earlier this week. I finished it two days ago. I've already bought the next two books in the series, and they're waiting to be read next on my trusty Iliad. Guess I have another series by David Weber that I'll be keeping my eye on.
Just like the Honorverse, Safehold is a science fiction series, and there's quite a few similarities between the two. It certainly starts out with what seems to be a fairly standard space battle situation one could expect to see in a Honorverse book. But that changes, as it is only the introduction and the setup for the rest of the book, where humanity is nearly wiped out and forced into hiding on a distant planet, where it reverts to a pre-electric and pre-electronic society to keep from being found by the technologically superior aliens that nearly wiped them out.
So, military science fiction with most of the action on galleys and galleons armed with cannon and flint-locks. Yes, it seems David Weber has managed to write a science fiction book where the meat of the story actually comes very close to being able to masquerade as a Hornblower instalment…
Naval warfare—actually on wet seas, instead of in deep space—with a strong female lead character (although, pretty soon she's not human anymore, and for most of the book she inhabits a male body – go figure), a religious struggle between good and evil, and a cast of interesting supporting characters.
I'll admit I'm a sucker for strong female lead characters, for some reason. Ayla, Mercedes Thompson, Lyra, Sabriel, Joanne Baldwin, Sonea, or even characters like Buffy, Aeryn Sun, or Sarah Connor. And of course Honor Harrington. And now, in Off Armageddon Reef I get Nimue Alban. Can't wait to start reading the rest of the series!
The sharp word.
Why don't posts about authors and books actually contain links to those authors and books?
A book review.
Looking at the pricing of ebooks, and the bullshit that surrounds it.
Kristine Kathryn Rusch responds to Eric Felten's crap piece bemoaning the death of Book Publishers.
A helpful primer of where everybody is before “A Dance With Dragons” begins.
A book review.
The iRex iLiad was the best ereader of its time. Still is.
February Album Writing Month is awesome.
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