Sunday, May 13, 2012

Many novelists are challenged to crank up the volume


Julie Bosman has a telling story on the front page of the Sunday March 13 New York Times about the pressure on midlist writers to become prolific.

In print, the title is “In E-book era, rule for writers is type faster!”  Online, the title is “Writers’ Cramp: In the E-reader era, a book a year is slacking”, link here.  

The Internet has drawn writers closer to their readers.  (It’s done that with some classical performers/composers with their listeners.) So some find they may need up to two novels a year to keep a paying readership.  Other writers are trying a short story (usually 99 cents) to be followed by an e-book novel, at least once a year.

Publishers, even cooperative publishers, are pressuring authors to keep selling, even older books.
Could I move in this direction?

The “big picture” of my novel encompasses a complex spy story, over decades, involving a number of characters, perhaps as could happen in a dramatic TV series (even more intricate than “Revenge” or “Missing”).   The view of my draft now is seen from the viewpoint of a 40-ish married part-time spy (and teacher) and a gay college student.  The other characters are seen in backstories.  But I have two older drafts, one from the viewpoint of a retired FBI agent (and his surgeon wife), and another from a character based on me.  Would that make for three novels? 

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