Jump to content
Rhom

Joe Abercrombie: The Collected Works 2 (A new trilogy on the horizon)

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, Argonath Diver said:

I say "You have to be realistic." fairly often in normal conversation. I think other that and the now-ubiquitous  "You know nothing, <person's name>." it is my most-used quip from any fiction.

So I think that's a compliment to Joe. 

I use that one as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Relic said:

Why?

 

I mean, it's cool that he informs his rapid readers of progress/lackthereof, but why should other authors do the same?

Customer service is important? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Customer service is important? 

What does this have to do with authors giving progress updates?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Customer service is important? 

In the service industry, yeah. When you sign a contract, or have a warranty, yes. But the relationship between you and an author exists only in your head. They write, you pay to read, end of story. They don't owe us progress reports, explanations, more content, or anything else for that matter.

 

Anyway, neither here nor there, but the entitlement of some people is really starting to bother me. GRRM can't post a single thing online without some asshole calling him a fat lazy fuck, and it needs to stop. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, mormont said:

What does this have to do with authors giving progress updates?

What does it not have to do with it? They can if they want, their readers appreciate it. It takes a minimum amount of effort and generates a significant amount of goodwill. Why would you not, if you are in the business of selling books?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, BigFatCoward said:

What does it not have to do with it?

What is and is not good 'customer service' is so variable that bringing it up here doesn't answer a question so much as ask a whole bunch of questions. Am I really a 'customer' of an author? What does 'service' mean in this context? It should mean something that forms part of or at least facilitates the final transaction, I would think, but the question of whether author updates do that in any meaningful sense remains wide open. My experience is, they don't. 

Quote

They can if they want, their readers appreciate it. It takes a minimum amount of effort and generates a significant amount of goodwill. Why would you not, if you are in the business of selling books?

Except that, as several authors have found, regular updates can generate a significant amount of ill-will, leading to negative comments and attacks -which makes those updates quite a lot of effort, as they become a distraction and a burden and suck up emotional energy. 

'Why would you not?' is a question that has a legitimate answer, in some cases. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Relic said:

In the service industry, yeah. When you sign a contract, or have a warranty, yes. But the relationship between you and an author exists only in your head. They write, you pay to read, end of story. They don't owe us progress reports, explanations, more content, or anything else for that matter.

 

You can go all sorts of ways with this discussion but basically, fans/people in general appreciate being kept in the loop.

I would do it, if I were an author, or otherwise were I someone who had a product coming out that people were anxiously waiting for year after year. It's the sensible thing to do, the friendly thing to do, it nibs certain speculation in the bud, it might prevent you from having to answer at every public occasion you go to or interview you give what the hell is going on with your long awaited book... the benefits are endless.

Customer service is generally appreciated. Or, as BFC very aptly put it "It takes a minimum amount of effort and generates a significant amount of goodwill. Why would you not, if you are in the business of selling books?"

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Calibandar said:

You can go all sorts of ways with this discussion but basically, fans/people in general appreciate being kept in the loop.

I appreciate it when people buy me chocolate. I don't bitch about it when they don't. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Updates about a book in process is not customer service as most people understand it. Instead, it's publicity, since it's aimed to attempt to maintain, generate, or increase interest in something coming out in the future. When a movie company announces a release date for their film, no one thinks about what great customer service that is -- it's publicity oriented. And when they provide directors to talk about a film in process, that's never seen as customer service -- it's just more publicity. Hell, Writers Digest explicitly discusses such updating as a way to "turbo charge" the marketing of yourself and your work.

As to why one would not do it, I think we know why: because they don't have to if they don't want to. There are plenty of popular authors who do not feel a need to keep people up to date on a work in progress, and they do just fine.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is clear that there are as many reasons to do it, as to *not* do it, people's mileage might vary, calling it good customer service or to generate interest is much of a muchness imo. The suggestion that GRRM doesn't need to do it because of his immense popularity is kinda implied, and it sucks, assholes on the internet is a fact of life, I don't think authors should let them be their prime focus in determining how they deal with their fans.. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

some people would bitch saying "why aren't you writing the book" even if an author took time out to give a quick update. It's good if the author likes to do so - I think it's clear Joe (and others like Adrian Tchaikovsky, Mark Lawrence, Richard Morgan and Chris wooding to varying degrees) don't mind doing it. Otherwise I'd say it's more the publishers job to give people updates/change speculated release dates. 

Other authors are better at going along to signings and conventions and chatting with people in that format. It doesn't reach as many people but then again people at conferences tend to share experiences via social media and bloggers/newsites will mention.

It's not the be all and all for me but I really appreciate the authors who take the time to do it and there's no arguing it is a valuable marketing tool. I've spoken with authors (who were new at the time) and they said their publishers strongly urged them to have a social media presence in one form or the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Relic said:

In the service industry, yeah. When you sign a contract, or have a warranty, yes.

Customer service is not restricted to the area of services delivered under contract. In fact, it's just as important in retail sales.

1 hour ago, Ran said:

Updates about a book in process is not customer service as most people understand it. Instead, it's publicity, since it's aimed to attempt to maintain, generate, or increase interest in something coming out in the future.

I think this is a false dichotomy. Any good customer service is publicity. Going the extra mile to make your customers feel valued and well served is supposed to get you good recommendations, and improve your public perception.

Making public information that many of your customers wish to know would clearly fall under customer service, as I see it.

2 hours ago, mormont said:

Am I really a 'customer' of an author?

If you have purchased a good in exchange for money, you are a customer as per the very definition of customer.

2 hours ago, mormont said:

What does 'service' mean in this context? It should mean something that forms part of or at least facilitates the final transaction, I would think

After sales services are also a thing. From wikipedia: Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase.

 

I apologize for going down to those technicalities (I blame my business consultant background) and further derailing the thread. At the end, my point would only be that, the authors have absolutely no obligation to provide periodical status reports, doing so is something that I would recommend to do and, personally, I appreciate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

If you have purchased a good in exchange for money, you are a customer as per the very definition of customer.

Which is fine - if you purchase your stories direct from the author. Mostly, we don't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Status updates aren't always good for the author.  Look at Bakker or Rothfuss - in reaching out to their readership they've probably done more harm than good.  I think I could even make the argument that Bakker would be much more popular if he never made any public statements about his writing at all and completely eliminated his online presence.  Status updates can be good for an author if it works for them and they don't fuck them up.  Abercrombie is really good at interacting with his readership and keeping people informed about what's going on with his writing, but I think it's actually kind of weird to expect all authors to do this, let alone to do it well.

Edited by larrytheimp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Customer service is not restricted to the area of services delivered under contract. In fact, it's just as important in retail sales.

I stopped reading that at "upselling". Sorry.

This is customer-service-as-marketing, and not what most people mean when they talk about "good customer service". The reason this is the case is because "customer service" has a positive connotation to consumers, given that it frames them as being served and thus as the superior in the transaction, whereas "marketing" and "publicity" is less positive -- or even negative -- as they provide the more true-to-life framing, namely people trying to sell you something rather than "serving" you.

It's explicitly indicated here by the people wanting updates that it will make authors more money to do it than to not do it, ergo they want to be sold on something, ergo it's an exercise in marketing and finding ways to part people from their money. Which is fine! I have money to spare, and I may indeed may be interested in using it to buy what you are hawking. But you are hawking. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally understand that lots of people are pissed at the entitlement that some fans exhibit regarding the lack of progress of authors. BUT, that’s not really what anyone in this thread did. A reaction to Joe’s update of “wow that was a great progress report and I wish more authors did that” is not the same as “GRRM is my b!tch.” I don’t see why people are jumping down other people’s throats in this thread. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, unJon said:

jumping down other people’s throats in this thread. 

I don't see anyone doing that here....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've found that generally, people who object to people who think authors keeping their fans in the loop are doing a better job than authors who don't, have contempt for other people. It's more about how much they personally dislike those other people than it is about the reasonable principle of an author or artist keeping their fans somewhat in the loop.

Relic for instance, says in this thread that he is very annoyed by the fact that he some people have called GRRM a fat lazy fuck. Ok. This then leads him to go in the entirely different direction of objecting to the very idea that more authors should keep their fans in the loop the way Joe Abercrombie does, which is what I suggested. This is unreasonable of course. It clearly is beneficial if authors do that, for fans and authors. More and more authors do give updates about their progress and generally this works very well, which is probably why more and more authors do it. You may not like that people call GRRM a lazy fuck but that should not be confused with the fact that giving updates is much better than having people wait for years without updates. Of course in the case of GRRM and Winds of Winter, he clearly has no idea himself if and when it will ever come out, and has in recent years reduced himself to saying "still writing" and leaving it at that. 

19 hours ago, mormont said:

What is and is not good 'customer service' is so variable that bringing it up here doesn't answer a question so much as ask a whole bunch of questions. Am I really a 'customer' of an author? What does 'service' mean in this context?

You are trying to create confusion where there isn't any. Usually a person will try to clarify an issue that looks confused but you work the other way around. One wonders why...

The author's customer is clearly the book buying fan, who in this context could, or could not be, informed about the progress of the next book. The customer service being referred is the providing of information, information that is beneficial to a great many followers who like to know, and does not take much effort. 

The suggestion that the book buyer is not the author's customer is clearly without merit and extremely odd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×