Thursday, April 14, 2011

George R. R. Martin Article in New Yorker

The New Yorker today has a lengthy article about George R. R. Martin. It presents Martin, who has sold over 15 million books, as an ideal model of how authors who actively interact with their audiences through blogs and extensive signing tours can foster huge cult-like fan bases to sell lots and lots of books.

The dark side of this model, of course, is the insane level of pestering and taunting Martin has to deal with from hecklers who feel entitled to a more rapid production of words. As most of you probably know, Martin hasn't published an installment to Song of Ice and Fire since 2005...
The online attacks on Martin suggest that some readers have a new idea about what an author owes them. They see themselves as customers, not devotees, and they expect prompt, consistent service. Martin, who is sixty-two, told me that Franck calls the disaffected readers the Entitlement Generation: “He thinks they’re all younger people, teens and twenties. And that their generation just wants what they want, and they want it now. If you don’t give it to them, they’re pissed off.”
To be honest with you, this slow output is exactly the reason I haven't dug into The Song of Ice and Fire. I don't want to read thousands of pages to be stuck with a cliffhanger for five years. I'm not angry with Martin, though. I have plenty of other stuff to read in the mean time...