Each week, Evan Peterson rounds up stories from across the Web that scribes of all stripes should check out.
Although writing out a holiday shopping list doesn’t exactly a writer make, a gift guide published this past week is certain to make a few scribes very happy during this season of giving.
Also, style boards and why now is a great time to be in publishing.
Gifts for writers:
So all that Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness still left you with a few names to check off your Christmas list. If any of them are writers, consider this gift guide by The Millions
its gift to you. It has, again, rounded up some of the best gift ideas for writers you know. There's a lot here: bookends, books, yoga classes, manicures, even a fireplace.
The best (or worst) has to be a quill pen. Who wants a quill pen? Don't buy that for a writer (or anybody else this season).
Do you need a style board?:
We all know the importance of a good editor. Many of you reading this are that editor. But as this Roll Call
story shows, you need more than good editing to make sure everything with your article is perfect. It's a story about Mike Abramson, the chairman of the Government Printing Office's Style Board. In it, he discusses his role reviewing every piece of legislation, and fixing grammatical or stylistic concerns.
The bigger surprise here was that the Government Printing Office has a style board. It makes sense, because the difference between two words can affect legislation in a big way. So, should more private companies and agencies have a style board?
The golden age for publishers?:
Who says most writing happens on phone keyboards nowadays? As Sarah Green writes in Harvard Business Review
, more online content—that is, videos, images, and writing with punctuation—is being produced more now than ever before. That's because people are consuming two more hours of content per day than they did just a few years ago.
In other words, print is not dead. If it is, that's just because the words moved online.
Green notes that the bigger problem with the change in media consumption habits is advertising:
In the past, publishers charged dollars for print—today they have so far only charged dimes for digital. This does not make sense to me: It’s the same brand. It’s the same content. It’s more convenient delivery and more customizable, too. And now advertisers can also track how effective their creative is! With all of these improvements, a digital ad should actually be worth more to an advertiser than a print ad.
These are good points. We can all agree that advertisers should pay more, right?
The 10 best books this year:
Let's ignore the fiction entries on this list from The New York Times
, and go straight to the nonfiction selections, which remind us that great stories can come from events that happened one or two or even 20 years ago. That goes for books or blog posts.
Evan Peterson is a writer based in Chicago, and the editor of OpenMarkets magazine at CME Group. He's on Twitter at @evanmpeterson.