Do authors take their fans loyalty for granted?

night_wrtr

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#41
Patrick Rothfuss' Door of Stone, we haven't been waiting a year or two we've been waiting what seems like decades.
The Name of the Wind (2007)
The Wise Man's Fear (2011)

It's been so long, I can't remember enough of the first two to read Doors of Stone when it comes out.
 

tinkerdan

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#42
Personally I think the only contract between me as a reader and the books author as the writer is that he has placed his book out there for me to read and do with as I please. For this privilege I pay a specified sum of money--if I'm unhappy I can chose to not read his work again. In the rare case; if I'm unhappy, enough, I can give it back and try to get my money back.

You can't get your time back. And no one will compensate you for it.

If the author chooses to leave things hanging with a suggestion of a series--that's a risk that he must have considered to be worthy, for some reason--if it irks me enough I just don't continue reading. However, if he writes well enough I will consider the next book when it comes out. As to waiting until I turn blue or being anxious with expectation and trepidation over when that might be; it's just not going to happen. life is too short and there are plenty of other things out there to read.

Recently I have had to consider the number of times I've watched a new series on TV and found that I've enjoyed the characters enough to be waiting for the next season; only to find that it's a one season show for whatever reason. I don't think the people producing the show had that in mind when the started, but it happens a lot lately and it is driven by the number of tangible viewers. This phenomenon could happen and might usually with a new writer--before considering self-publishing. However I gather this discussion is about writers who sell often by name alone.

Either way, I think the TV example is a demonstration of what we are training the consumer with, allowing expectations that something might never be finished.

Consider the possibility that an author might start a series and be run over by some random van while jogging and never be able to finish. I recall reaching the end of ERB's John Carter of Mars series and being young enough to think I should go out and dig him out of his slumber, prop the skeleton up to a typewriter and force him to bring the thing to a better conclusion.

However it might be easier to just write the thing myself.
 

night_wrtr

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#44
Is that really the title, or an amusing barb at the heft of his tomes?
Ha, its the real title.

From Newsweek : ‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ author Patrick Rothfuss says to reread series before book 3 release date
“There’s a lot in the books you simply cannot understand until your second read,” Rothfuss said. “There’s a reason a lot of people read them more than once.”

Book 3 will complicate the overall Kingkiller Chronicle even more. “There are things in Name of the Wind you can’t understand until you’ve read Wise Man’s Fear. There’s things in both of those books you won’t be able to understand until you read Doors of Stone,” Rothfuss said. “That’s the way I wrote them very deliberately, and it makes for a very long-lasting reading experience. If you read my books only once, you kind of miss most of them.”
 

Vertigo

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#45

soulsinging

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#46
Sorry, but I have to say that strikes me as an incredibly conceited statement and attitude from Rothfuss. Pretty much guarantees I'll not be reading his books. It feels like he's saying; if you don't read my books at least twice you're not worthy of them.
I had the same thought. "My plots are so smart and intricate you can't even comprehend them."
 

night_wrtr

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#48
Yes, indeed. I didn't even quote the part where he asks how many times people read his books:

article said:
Rothfuss described the complexity of the series and how each of the three books would interconnect, suggesting readers give the series a second, or third, look. “Who’s read the book twice?” Rothfuss asked the audience. Hands shot up across the room, many stayed up as he kept going. “Who’s read the books three times? Four times? Five, six, ten?”
 

anno

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#49
Couple of thoughts, Rothfuss? Didn’t even complete the first read through and massively disappointed after reviews and general publicity.

Also a scenario hack writer writes book after years of struggle and it takes off big time and suddenly big bucks, fame and all the shizzle that brings - would you hurry up?

We don’t sign contracts with these people, also for years my impression is that some fantasy readers buy by weight alone ( does anyone’s bookshelf really need all those ‘Wheels of Time’ novels?)
 

Matteo

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#50
I would say that there's a difference between a series of books and a tri/tetra/quinto-logy.

With a series of books set in one setting/World with the same or related characters, I can expect a difference in quality or delay in the release of certain titles and it would not really matter so much. The difference in quality could be for a number of reasons, or could simply be a matter of personal taste (i.e. not finding that story, or those characters, so interesting). A good example is the Discworld books; certain books are not as good as others and the gaps between publication were longer, but that didn't matter so much since, more or less, any single book could be read without needing to have read/remembered previous books.

For trilogies (etc.) surely the author has the story worked out before he/she releases the first part? Or am being very naïve?* And so here, I would argue that there is no excuse for a (continued) delay - health, or commercial reasons by the publisher, notwithstanding. And is why I never read a trilogy (etc.) unless it's already finished and out there - which is why I've not read any of ASOIAF.

*I have a feeling I'm going to be told "yes"**.

** and that the Dark Tower septology(?) is a prime example of this not being the case...

Or worse, for the inner OCD in you, making each new imprint with the new book slightly different in size/font/design from the one before. So that you've got the whole series but they just don't look good next to each other :mad::ROFLMAO:
:mad::mad:indeed! Try sourcing second-hand books that way (though some sellers do sell sets).
 

Vince W

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#51
Or worse, for the inner OCD in you, making each new imprint with the new book slightly different in size/font/design from the one before. So that you've got the whole series but they just don't look good next to each other :mad::ROFLMAO:
You've just described my inner shame. The worst is when a series starts, you buy them up, then mid-series the publisher alters the art/font for the next book! It sets my eye twitching at the thought.

Actually, I felt I had a contract with Robert Jordan when he started Wheel of Time. I had suffered through a couple of his Conan pastiches (ugh) and wasn't going to bother when a friend of mine lent me her copy of Eye of the World during my first round of exams in uni. Big mistake as I started reading when I should have been studying!

Anyhow, this was pre-internet and all the interviews I'd read Jordan said this was to be a 10-volume series. The story would be completed in the 10th volume. Fantastic. I read the entire series, all through uni, all through my first years working and then in 2003 the tenth book arrived Crossroads of Twilight. I thought the title was odd when I picked it up, in hardcover, but dove right in. About a third in I realised this wasn't going to end the series.

I was astonished. Jordan had said it was to be finished in 10 books. This was the tenth, WTF? I thought he was taking liberties by dragging things out. I was very put out with the whole thing and then I learned Jordan was very ill and wouldn't be able to complete the series himself. I still haven't read the last three books.
 

The Bluestocking

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#52
Sorry, but I have to say that strikes me as an incredibly conceited statement and attitude from Rothfuss. Pretty much guarantees I'll not be reading his books. It feels like he's saying; if you don't read my books at least twice you're not worthy of them.
I tried reading his books but couldn't finish. Kvothe is a Gary Stu...
 

Overread

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#53
Personally I tend to have little to no motivation or reason to ever delve into a who a writer is as a person.

To me I don't really care if Robin Hobb is a nice person or a nasty witch of the west; nor if George RR Martin writes his books by proxy; or if JRR Tolkien was secretly a founding member of Sciencetology.

I also don't try to worry about what motivates them to write, be it for money, prestige, boredom, love, frustration etc...


I don't care about any of that, what I care about is the books and stories themselves. The end product if you will. Now of course I'm not totally disconnected and would like to think most authors are decent people who do enjoy writing. I'm also not blind to the fact that an author who finds themselves sitting on a goldmine of a series might well write more volumes for that series than is healthy for the series (stories get tired, tropes get too established, skill and inspiration in the writing states to wane etc...). But in general I still don't care, that is again a motivation for writing and its not important to me.

What matters to me is the story that I'm reading. The writing, the characters, the book, the artwork going with it etc.... All those things in my hand matter. I don't worry about if the next book is coming or when, nor do I worry if the author is holding the book back for marketing or anything. I try not to worry about such things which don't affect the relationship between me and the story on the paper infront of me.

I find such things can take away the enjoyment and fun of reading if you allow yourself the potential to load up on 3rd party guilt or morals or on events and attitudes that have no bearing on the reader-book relationship.




Of course there are exceptions, there always are, but by and large this is how I approach things. I'd rather curl up and enjoy a good book without adding needless baggage on top.
 

Toby Frost

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#54
I would point out that the thread is talking about a tiny group of extremely lucrative writers, who are either big names in themselves or are putting out large books in a series for which a keen audience already exists (or both). When you are a small writer, even one with a series, the situation is different. My influence on the literary world is about as small as it could get, but I do get asked when I'm going to write another Smith book.

Last Saturday, I was at an event where this came up several times, and I was just honest with people: 6 books (two trilogies, if you like) is a nice place to have a break, I've got other stories I want to tell, and I'm wary of just doing the same thing too long. I've never met anyone who wasn't reasonable about this, but people are always more obnoxious on the internet, I suppose.

On a sort-of-tangent, years ago I gave a talk at a steampunk event where I described my lead character as "a wally" (ie an idiot). A guy in the audience was genuinely quite hurt that I'd dismiss a character he liked so brusquely, and I had to backtrack somewhat. So, writers are free to do what they like, to my mind - but they should be wary of the consequences, fair or otherwise!

EDIT: Oh, and I should add that you can't truly understand my work unless you have purchased each book at least four times. You can read them as often as you like, but it's the purchasing that brings real understanding.
 
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Overread

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#55
people are always more obnoxious on the internet, I suppose.
This is true and also not true.
The lack of body language and vocal inflection can mean that statements like "Oh god I hate you" can appear VERY aggressive and insulting when you don't know that the person is being sarcastic.
You also expose yourself to trolls, people who have no vested interest what so ever in the book, game, film etc... and who are there just to stir the pot and cause trouble. They might even like the product, but they will still attempt to cause trouble for entertainment.

Then you've got some who overreact and don't know how to control their emotional outbursts and the internet has no barrier to stop them. Others get wound up by other people; goaded and encouraged on and they do and say things far beyond what they would ever dare dream of doing in public or to a persons face.


Then you get some who believe (wholeheartedly) that the best way to get what they want (eg another book in the series) is to give the author a good telling off, insult and deride them so that the person will do as they are told and just write the next book. Such people can be very aggressive and attempt to be dominating, even though online it just comes across purely as aggressive and insulting and is FAR more likely to result in a negative reaction (if any reaction is had at all).



I think authors, like any creative who releases their creation to the world, have to learn to be able to take their audiences views into account; whilst at the same time not being phased by the exceptions. It's a very hard line to follow and its why many don't even attempt to interact, esp online where "issues" can arise over a few hours; blow up in a huge inter-forum argument and debate (an get reported on at least 5 trashy blog/news sites) and then be totally blown over and forgotten by the following day or a few days later.
 

night_wrtr

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#56
We don’t sign contracts with these people, also for years my impression is that some fantasy readers buy by weight alone ( does anyone’s bookshelf really need all those ‘Wheels of Time’ novels?)
:oops: *avoids looking at the sturdy shelf containing a complete set of WoT special covers*

I tried reading his books but couldn't finish. Kvothe is a Gary Stu...
In defense of the books, I think his story is embellished on purpose by Kvothe. At least, that's what I tend to think, but who am I kidding, I've only read them once.

@Overread
Good points all around, but I find it hard to separate a story from the creator. If I know nothing about the author, that is all well and good. I'll enjoy their work if it suits me, but If I interact with one, or see interviews with them, or sit though a con panel and hear them talk, witness their interactions with others in person or on twitter, that will definitely relate to whether or not I will continue to read an author's work. If I think they are a jerk I am less likely to buy their stuff, regardless of how much publicity they have or how amazing the books are.

I like to buy books to support authors when I can, and I have a nice section on kindle and in the library of boxes in my basement that I have yet to read. Some a couple of years old.
 

Overread

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#57
@night_wrtr yes that is very true and its one reason I don't do all that much digging for social media stuff on many authors. There's that famous quotation. "never meet your heroes" and I think it does cover it quite well.

In the end people are just people, their books or actions are but one tiny part of the whole. People are capable of being great wonderful individuals and horrible nasty bigoted monsters all at the same time. Many times we can overlook, justify or accept the bad along with the good and for the vast majority the bad side isn't all that bad really. But we tend to get emotional about things like books because they can often be quite a personal experience - our minds fill in so many blank parts and flesh things out.

So it can be quite a shock to find that the book you really like is written by someone who perhaps doesn't share you same values; or their impression of their own work or even might be someone who hates you as a people, gender, race etc....
 

Boneman

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#59
I will read the first two again of Rothfuss's trilogy, before Doors of Stone comes out. I understand exactly what he's saying: things do happen in the first two books that, whilst not detracting from the story, do bear more telling/explaining. I have read them at least 3 times each, because I enjoy the hell out of them, and I'm sooooooo looking forward to book 3. And wondering exactly why it's taking so long, we ne'er get an explanation. Only been 7 years.... Stephen King left us on a deranged train for how long, before finishing the Dark Tower? I had to re-read the first four books, I'd forgotten so much.
 
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