Last year, I posted on the topic of “What does a series writer owe to readers?” and mentioned that George R. R. Martin has kept his fans waiting several years for A Dance With Dragons. A lot of our readers said they could wait patiently for the release of the book, while some said that Martin owes it to his fans to finish the series in a timely manner (supposedly this fifth book isn’t even the final installment).
A Dance With Dragons isn’t actually finished yet, according to Entertainment Weekly, but the novel is expected to run over 900 pages and will bring back some favorite characters. Assuming the story is as good as the other books in the series, I bet fans will forget all about how long they waited once they’ve got the book in their hands. Instead, they’ll be worrying about how long the next book will take.
But I wonder if Martin’s fans will be eager to read any new series he may come out with. Knowing that he isn’t afraid to take his time to write each installment, readers could decide that they’d rather not put themselves through another long wait. While a popular series likes A Song of Fire and Ice will have fans coming back to buy the next book–even if it’s five or six years later–is the author damaging his reputation by forcing fans to wait? Is he hurting sales of futures series, or does a name like Martin sell a book no matter what? I have a feeling that fans will return for any book he writes, but I’ve seen more than one disgruntled comment on the web to make me wonder.
Would you read a new series by Martin, knowing that he might take years and years to finish it? Are you loyal to your favorite authors no matter how long they keep you waiting for their next book?