Do authors take their fans loyalty for granted?

Parson

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I only read the first three books in the series, so I don't remember - was the fifth book always planned to complete the narrative? Or was it added on after readers had assumed the series was finished?
I don't know if I can answer this with certainty. When Jean was asked about her fourth book The Plains of Passage. She said it was the hardest to write because of the transition she was making in the story. So.... I assume the fifth book was planned. But maybe not ...
 
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On Rothfuss

He finally spoke about the break in releasing the third book on his blog early this year. He talked about the rewrite of Wise Man's Fear and making fundamental changes that really changed the direction leading into book three. Then he mentioned he was a little distracted by his father fighting a multi-years long battle with cancer and losing.

Jean Auel personally fought and won against Cancer but it of course impacted her ability to write.

Many authors feel trapped by their hugely successful series. Jim Butcher and Lois Bujold come to mind. Lois write about fans constantly asking, " when is the next Vorkosigan book?" The publisher saying we will publish your Fantasy book as long as you promise us two more Vorkosigan books.

Some authors wrote stand alone books but were pressured by fans and publishers to turn them into series. Frank Herbert never intended to go back to Dune but the insane success forced it.

Ursula Le Guin went back to Earthsea but didn't really want to.

I learned the above from writers round-tables at local cons here in the Pacific Northwest.

Most authors I have spoke with have great appreciation for their fans. Steve Miller and Sharon Lee had their publisher go out of business and were scrambling to cover expenses. They proposed to their fans that if they sent in $40 to their website they would get a personalized edition of their next book if they managed to find a new publisher. 1200 of us took them up on it. One fan told them to contact Baen books and they are now on book 23 in the Liad Universe.
 

Overread

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I'm convinced that McCaffrey continued Pern long after it was best to continue and her children have tried to keep it going. It moved from being a story to the bread winner and even though she wrote many other books, only Pern got the major attention.

Also most authors are not rich, even a very successful series doesn't make them rich. IT might earn them a decent income, but even then many an author who has quite a notable and popular series is still pulling a regular job, or can only rest on the books income for a while before they have to head back into regular employment.
Those that make it into richness tend to be the exceptional few and often its only when merchandising and film/tv rights appear on the table to provide a secondary income source.

I think it also shows how little advertising and attention is drawn to authors and I often feel that publishers have allowed themselves to get stuck in a position where by they lack resources and contacts for advertising all but their one or two flagship books. I think this directly builds into the inability for authors to branch out. Yes you can argue that nearly every author puts a list of published novels at the start of each book, but that rarely works it would seem.

Heck even big named authors still have many works people never hear of. Many Tolkien fans have never heard of Mr Bliss and I've yet to meet more than a handful of Pratchett fans who've even heard of him writing anything that isn't Discworld let alone read it (his latterly published collaboration book aside as that did get quite a bit of marketing)


So I think part of it is sometimes not a lack of respect but rather that authors get stuck. Even when the magic of their setting has gone or even if they just want to branch out for a little and write something else; they find that it just doesn't put the food on the table.
 

nixie

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Heck even big named authors still have many works people never hear of. Many Tolkien fans have never heard of Mr Bliss and I've yet to meet more than a handful of Pratchett fans who've even heard of him writing anything that isn't Discworld let alone read it (his latterly published collaboration book aside as that did get quite a bit of marketing)
I have read Pratchett's Johnny and the Dead, The Long Earth collaboration and Good Omens.
Also Tolkien's Roverandom.
 
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