Thursday, August 29, 2013

Author Loyalty

If you're anything like me, you have loyalty to certain products.  You get into a routine with your favorite soda or TV show, and you do it for two reasons - that product provides quality, and it has grown comfortable.  It's no different with authors.

I love to read.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of published folks out there who couldn't write their name in the snow.  That's why I tend to stick to certain writers once I find someone good.  I'll devour everything they've written and anxiously await their next work.  In this way, I stay loyal to certain authors the same way I stay loyal to certain cleaning products.

However, author loyalty can be a complex issue once you dig beneath the surface.  While I enjoy certain writers and will usually read everything I can, I should caveat that by saying that I'll read everything they write in a certain genre.  JK Rowling is a perfect example - I loved her Harry Potter books, but The Casual Vacancy just wasn't my cup of tea.  If she writes anything more in the realm of fantasy or wizardry, I'll buy it, but just as I wouldn't go out an get a bottle of Mr. Clean to paint my walls with, I won't go out and buy an author's books where I know I wouldn't enjoy the genre.

So long as writers stay within parameters, I remain as loyal as any dog.  Harry Turtledove writes a lot of alternate history, and I've probably read every one.  William Forstchen has done some great sci-fi/civil war stuff that I can't get enough of(and I'm still waiting on him to return to it).  That's the essence of loyalty - mutual advantage.  Writers please the customer base with their stories, and customers buy new stuff.

Is all of this a bit basic, at least from an economic point of view?  Probably, but my recent reading, as well as my anticipation of the upcoming Doctor Sleep, really got me thinking about my favorites, and why they're my favorites.  Not only will I read from these writers, but I'll both defend them(when I hear someone talk about the person not being any good) and try to get others to sample them(knowing they'll get just as hooked).  Maybe that comes down to the need we all feel to have our feelings validated.

In the end, we glom onto our favorites, and as long as they don't betray us, we feel comforted by the stability they provide in the form of enjoyment.  Are there any writers, besides yourself, you feel loyal to?

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