I understand why it’s there but we seem to be on a hype rollercoaster these days….
Long gone are the days when new writers were given a few books to hit their stride before being hyped to hills, or when a reputation was based on a solid track record. I suppose it increases the sales, and give today’s hype-addicted book blogosphere (and writing that phrase leaves me a little nauseous) something to get its pulse twittering for a while, but who does it really help? This book will either live up to the hype – in which case the hype was unnecessary – or it won’t, which will kill the author dead.
|Bob le Flambeur, takes a gamble on a debut novel.|
It can also put the writer under a lot of pressure that might be hard to live up to – it certainly doesn’t appear to have done Scott Lynch any good, for example. I wonder if this is really a good way to treat authors, and I think Gollancz begins to look like a kind of Svengali, scooping these half-formed creative souls up and then throwing them into a world they aren’t prepared for. I think I wrote here a while ago about the pressure that web-based stuff puts creatives under, and the benefits of working away from your audience and their expectations, and I think there’s clearly something to this. It’s a solitary business being a creator and while a little help is sometimes useful, the breathless anticipation of a zillion eager fans is going to be no help at all (but then, what would I know about that?)