Friday, January 17, 2014

Dumb Move by Del Rey to Delay Brooks's Latest Fantasy

Fantasy writer Terry Brooks announced yesterday on his website that the release of his latest Shannara novel has been postponed by Del Rey until August. I may be reading between the lines, but I get a sense of uncertainty and more than a little bit of frustration in Brooks's announcement.
  • Perhaps they are worried about my turning 70. It might be wise not to overwork me.
  • Perhaps no one reads my books anymore and they are easing me out the door!
  • Looks like I am back to being a one book a year kind of guy.
Terry sounds miffed. And rightly so. The move by Del Rey is silly. Whatever promotion strategy they think they're using, it's the wrong one. Like the movie biz, when it comes to PR "nobody knows anything." Well, I take that back - in this new world of publishing, we do know that fans want books to read. And they want them when they want them, not when some mothership thinks we want them.

So I posted a comment at Terry's site, not sure if it will be approved. Let me know if you approve of it, though. ;)
Traditional publishing’s ridiculous commitment to an outdated paradigm that a book release is an “event” is simply wrong for the writer and the consumer. Wrong for the writer since you can obviously write more than just one book a year and wrong for the consumer since we fans will buy and read a book when we want to. This move by Del Rey is a product of old-style thinking, one that says novels are like perishable goods – a month on the shelf and they get stale, so move ‘em out. Hello. New world out here, Del Rey. Terry, you have enough clout and a big enough fan base to skip the middleman. Self-publish.

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