Writers: write faster or don't write at all.
In a report in the NY Times (that dreaded newspaper!), Julie Bosman looks out a downside of the e-reader age: accelerated metabolism.
For years, it was a schedule as predictable as a calendar: novelists who specialized in mysteries, thrillers and romance would write one book a year, output that was considered not only sufficient, but productive."
With e-readers, books can bought, downloaded quickly, enjoyed instantly. Writers are scrambling to write not only novels--but exclusive digital novellas and short stories--fillers in between the novels (and of course there's a growing expectance of publishing more than one novel).It might be good for the short story and novellas--previously nearly dead forms of writing (or literary critics like to think so) are finding new ways to be published. The e-market can easily become a great place to sell shorter works. Electric Literature is a great example, which publishes both in print and electronically.
However with this expected speed of delievry, one must wonder how this would effect the quality of work.
Writer Ryan Field sees this as a great thing: "the ability to produce more work in a shorter amount of time can only benefit an author, not hurt him or her."
Yet he also writes: "Of course every writer has his or her own pace. Nothing will ever change this."
"The new expectations do not apply to literary novelists like Jeffrey Eugenides and Jonathan Franzen, who can publish a new novel approximately every decade and still count on plenty of high-profile book reviews to promote it," adds Julie Bosman. (Yet arguably, it's already expected that literary writers publish short stories in magazines and journals...so this is not quite new to me personally and how I approach writing).
Of course tell that to Joyce Carol Oates, who has (to my knowledge) 3 books coming out in 2012.
Another question is: what does this mean to the emerging writer? Emerging writers are perhaps put a disadvantage every year as the market become more and more saturated both in print form and electronic.