The title question was prompted by an article in the Business section of the New York Times. The title of that article by Julie Bosman is: Writer’s Cramp: In the E-Reader Era, a Book a Year Is Slacking. The article says that print authors, because of the e-book age, have to put out two books a year, instead of the expected one. The article says the cause is readers who can go online and click and, voila, a new book arrives in their eReader.
So, now, the best-selling print authors are scrambling to come up with more books or short stories or novellas for their publishers as a way to hold onto readers. Names like Lisa Scottoline, Lee Child, and John Grisham are pushing to get more material out to the reading public.
Jennifer Enderlin, associate publisher of St. Martin's Paperbacks, says "I almost feel sorry for authors these days with how much publishers are asking of them…"
This is probably just me, but…I don't feel all that sorry for them. If unknown authors are putting two or three books out a year -- and they're good -- then why is it such a burden on the highly paid, agent and publisher supported authors? The problem isn't that it takes a full year because the authors want to put out the best book possible. Independent authors want and do that, as well. Some of them take a year, too.
I think the problem is that now well-known authors have some legitimate and dedicated competition. Writers don't have to jump through agent and publisher hoops, if they don't want to. There are plenty of authors still querying. More power to them! But there are even more who are doing their own publishing. And that's creating a humongous choice for readers. They can still choose to buy an established author's books. But now they have a wider choice of alternatives and prices and formats. So they're reading more and sampling from a bigger smorgasbord of books.
2 weeks ago