A while ago I blogged about increasingly expectations among publishers (and the reading public) that authors produce more than one book a year - now, as I peruse the emails in my inbox from Amazon, I've noticed another phenomenon - the increasing number of 'extras' authors are now providing.
There was an email regarding the new prequel to James Dasher's book The Maze Runner (which I loved - will be pre-ordering that for sure!) and then a notice regarding an e-book offering from Veronica Roth (who wrote the terrific Divergent Trilogy) with a novella describing a key scene from her first book from the male protagonist's point of view. This, coupled, with all the extra content I am seeing on offer from authors (including, I might add from one of our blog mates, Michelle Gagnon, who has written an e-book prequel entitled No Escape, to her young adult book Don't Turn Around), has got me wondering about the pressure authors now face to produce a stream of material to support their full-length books.
Publishers are obviously keen to keep the buzz alive with a plethora of e-book offerings - from prequels, novellas and short stories - in an effort to sate readers' appetites until the next full-length book is released. As a reader I love this (always happy to gobble up more from my favorite authors!) but as a writer I wonder about the pressure these increasing demands place (especially in light of the need to produce more than one full-length book in the year as well!)
Though I am seeing most of these additional content offerings in young adult fiction (which makes perfect sense), I wonder whether this reflects a kind of tipping point, not just in young adult books, but across the board. Now, don't get me wrong I think it's great that e-books and online marketing make this kind of additional content and material accessible. It gives authors an ideal opportunity to introduce readers to the worlds they have created and to further drive interest in their work. The push to supply all this additional content must, however, come at a cost - and I am wondering, as writers, how we feel about having such increasing demands on our time, creativity and energy. How can we juggle all the demands now made upon us?
So I'm looking for feedback:
- For those of you with upcoming releases, how much pressure has there been to produce prequels, novellas and other e-book shorts?
- How have you found juggling these demands with those of your full-length projects?
- How do you maintain standards?
- Have you said no to any of these demands?
- Have you contemplated 'outsourcing' some of these extras to ghost writers or publicists?
For everyone else, have you noticed this trend? What do you think of it? Does some of emphasis on volume of content dilute the books or enhance them?