Everything we read informs us that
the publicís attention span has dropped like an anchor in shallow waters and the
window for judging success has been squeezed down to microdot size.
Movies are judged by their opening
In the New York Times, Jeff Huber Googleís senior vice president
of engineering (adopting the Nurse
Rached philosophy) sets out how he wields the executionerís sword
brining it quickly brought down on projects that donít quickly show financial
Perhaps this will be a direction
for authors in the Brave New publishing world.
It wasnít that long ago that
writers like Ian Rankin had time to build an audience. Not that the axe didnít
hover over his neck, but his novel Blue gave him a reprieve.
Ian Rankin has been interviewed on
the subject in Scruffy Dog: http://www.thescruffydogreview.com/Rankin.html
"There were a lot of years back
then when I just wasn't selling. The first six or seven books sold very poorly
and then suddenly Black and Blue came along at a time when my publishers were
getting ready to drop me. They felt they had done everything they could to try
and break me into a bigger market, so they were getting ready to let another
publisher take a shot. Everything just clicked. I've got diary entries from
around Mortal Causes time saying how disastrous it all was; the books aren't
selling, they're not getting well reviewed, and that was eight years of my
writing career. I was panicking."
Has Jeff Huber switched on
the warning light in the tunnel where authors are working the