The above came from a review of Lives of the Novelists that appeared in today’s NY TIMES, as did this piece about the “writer in the family” (guilty) and, of more important and interest here on deck, this piece on a writer’s output in the era of e-readers.
Yes, even on Mother’s Day, I still got in a lot of reading. Not that I neglected anyone; I enjoyed spending time with you this morning, Mom, and both Susan and her mother said they had a blast over dinner.
Please excuse the personal notes, they were required.
But anyway,when they go on in the piece about needing to come out with more content, how doing one novel a year is now considered slacking, there’s only one word for that:
That said, there was this line from Julie Bosman’s article:
“I almost feel sorry for authors these days with how much publishers are asking of them,” [Jennifer Enderlin, associate publisher of St. Martin’s Paperbacks] said. “We always say, ‘How about a little novella that we can sell for 99 cents?’ ”
Now that sounds interesting. Trying to have new writers do what James Patterson does is a bit unfair, as the man is an industry unto himself, after all, but a novella every few months, that sounds doable. Consider such works like Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener or Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, which can tax readers on many levels save for their length; an industrious writer wanting to take “publish or perish” to a harmful conclusion might well be able to meet both the demands of the muse and the sleep cycle by doing one a quarter.
I could just imagine Stephen King releasing Different Seasons if he were writing it today for an electronic market over the course of the year on equinox and solstice as they came up…
Beyond stunt release dates, and yes, I might do something involving folks going on the account to be released every September 19th myself, there’s the idea of doing shorter works for the price of a good five-and-dime paperback from back in the day. [Yeah, I’m showing my age…] It sounds like it might be the way to go, for some projects I’m percolating here; a chance to take things to another level by offering ongoing tales for a nominal fee that’s less than the financial commitment a novel requires. Sort of meeting in the middle, as it were.
Meanwhile, as for the above graphic: Let me put a bean on this square, and here, and this one and that one and…
Oh come on, the writers looking at this all thought the same thing, I bet…