I love to binge - even though I did not refer to it this way until recently.
Yes I read all of Nancy Drew, Foundation, Lord of the Rings, Earth's Children, Harry Potter etc... When I found an author I fell in love with, I would be sure to buy more of his/her books such as my large collection of Margaret Attwood's books on my shelves. Why not? You reduce risk that you are picking up something you won't enjoy. I would watch the Star Trek & M*A*S*H marathons (dating myself here) but these demanded an appointment commitment that became harder as life got in the way. I then discovered NetFlix and took TV binging to a whole other level. My first venture was when I had missed a few episodes of Alias (those pesky toddlers demanding my attention) and I suddenly had no idea what was going on. By waiting until the end of the season, I could get all of the DVD's and hibernate watching episode after episode until the wee hours of the morning to my spouse's distress. Then came the literally LOST weekend of my 24 hour non stop initiation into the Island. Since then I have discovered, Mad Men & Downton Abbey during my down times in the summer. Then Netflix took it to another level and decided to release the whole season of House of Cards at the same time. This seemed like episodic TV suicide but was tailor made for viewers like me and made the show an instant success.
Why mention this on a publishing blog to Agents? Because this is more and more what readers are looking for. Look at WOOL or FIFTY SHADES. I would even suggest that this is what we as readers have always wanted. Places like Open Road, Kindle and Untreed Reads are taking advantage of a reader's desire to grab all of an author's backlist once they have discovered their writing by putting up large numbers of backlist titles of beloved authors including essays and Short stories. Why not? In the e-world, size of the content doesn't matter.
What about frontlist? How should this change the way we sell and publish new authors? Should we be looking to have our authors write multiple books and then selling them all at once for simultaneous publication? I can see a myriad of problems with that construct. What can we learn with what is being done in other media forms to take advantage of our binging culture who devours and then moves on to another conquest? If you have thoughts or comments please send them to our Twitter handle @digitaar
This summer it's Doctor Who...