Steven Heller is out, Nicholas Blechman is in.
Heller, an excellent writer about design, but a terrible newspaper design editor, goes out for a 6 month sabbatical…
And next week, Nicholas Blechman, one of the most brilliant designers of The New York Times (working now in the Sunday section The Week in Review, that has improved a lot under his tenure) is taking over.
The readers of The New York Times are the winners.
What a great opportunity to change the Book Review!
My 10 first suggestions:
1. Tell me about the books, but also about the authors and the publishers.
2. Include more and more comments from readers (compare with Amazon reviews), authors and book publishers.
3. Add references and suggestions about similar books and similar issues.
4. Develop great cover-stories like:
“Is still New York the capital of the book publishing world?
“The next Da Vinci Code: The leading best candidates”
“The print book is dead. God save the printing book industry!”
“Why young people read more books and less newspapers than ever”
“Who is going to be the next Harry Potter according J. K. Rowling”
5. Compare best-selling lists, and explain the differences.
6. Publish the biggest flops, and tell us why these books fail.
7. Interview the world best on and off line book reviewers.
8. Expand the reviews to digital books, and to the new digital publishing industry.
9. Link, link, link to blogs, websites, chats, forums… and interact with your audience on and off line.
10. Improve the design dramatically, and after his 6 month sabbatical, fire Seteven Heller.