The Hulu Effect
I’d like to give my wife credit for creating the title of this blog posting. We’ve been talking about a trend that we’re seeing and maybe you are too. Recent news reports call it “binge-watching” (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/were-country-binge-watchers-feel-164000788.html) but it applies to reading books too. This is when you gulp down an entire series of Downton Abbey in a week. I’ve also seen many reviews from readers who have gobbled the entire Muirwood Trilogy in two days (which I believe is still the record). I’ve seen many comments and e-mails from readers who have stayed up all night to finish Scourge. I love it! So is this a new trend or has it been happening for a long time? I don’t think I know the answer, but it raises some curious questions.
For example, would you rather wait to start reading a series until all the books are published? Or are you okay waiting a year in between novels, depending on the publisher’s schedule? For very popular series, like Harry Potter, I did not want to wait until everything was done and looked forward with anticipation for the next book to come out and usually made time to read it soon after publication. I don’t do that with many books though and usually wait until I hear about a new book or series before giving it a try. I started on the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and finally got fed up trying to keep up and eventually abandoned the series (which finally concluded after the author died!). When my publisher was getting ready to launch FIREBLOOD earlier this year, they deliberately left off the “Whispers from Mirrowen” tagline on the cover because they knew some readers won’t even try a book that’s part of a brand-new series. Is this because of the Hulu Effect? Or is it the GRRM effect?
Back when I made the decision to self-publish the Muirwood Trilogy, I chose to make them available all at once. I didn’t want to arbitrarily make my readers suffer in anticipation when they could have and read the entire series and get free shipping by ordering all of them from Amazon. With Mirrowen, it’s a different situation because I’m still writing the books, so there is a delay in when you get them. By the time you finish DRYAD-BORN in February, I’ll still be hard at work on the final book. I’m hurrying, believe me.
Which leads me to a question I have for you about the Hulu Effect. If you had a choice, would you rather wait a little longer and get an entire trilogy at the same time, or would you rather get them one at a time and suffer the delay?
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Choose your answer on the survey below and leave your comments for me. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To access the survey, first click on a number below of how you liked this blog posting. Then it will take you to the survey – only two questions, so it’s short.