We have all read an author like this.
Their first books are amazing, fresh, innovative, addictive. They build a legion of fans and spawn a whole thicket of adoring fanfiction writers. This author writes trilogy after series after prequel. In the beginning they’re all great.
Then they write more companion books. Another series. Perhaps edit an anthology. The plots are starting to seem somewhat similar and the author’s flaws are looming out of the prose more and more often.
When they were an up-and-coming author their editors and publishers reined these issues in. Now that they’re established and have rabid fans ready to buy the next installment the publisher seems afraid of messing with a winning formula and lets it all happen. Even after it’s obvious that the books are losing quality with every mass of quantity that rolls out they just keep writing.
You start to wonder why no one tells this author that they have reached the point of enough.
Well, wonder no more. Here for you is an open letter you can cut and paste to send to your chosen prolific author.
“Dear [Favorite Author],
I love that you are such a creative person and full of ideas. But it makes me feel bad that the quality of your writing has started to get panned in reviews lately. Can we agree to take some time off and rest? Work all the kinks out of the next book for a few years instead of cranking out one a year? I’m only thinking about you.”
As a fan I bear some of the responsibility. The publisher might get the idea and stop ordering more from you if I quit buying them. But it’s time to admit that the horse is well and truly dead now. Please stop beating the poor thing and do some signing tours instead. It’s totally OK to rest on your laurels a little. You’ve earned it.
And dear author’s publisher. We need to have a talk about the benefits of honesty over greed. I don’t know how you sleep at night.
Love and kisses, a fan.”
Is there an author you think should receive one of these interventions? Or do you think authors should be allowed to create freely as long as the ideas are flowing? Let me know in the comments.