Okay, so I am be a little too dramatic, but I for one was so excited about getting my hands on Breaking Dawn, that it was all I could talk about for almost a year. I have witnesses to my obsession and I assume most wanted to bop me over the head with my relentless chatter over one book THAT I JUST HAD TO HAVE BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE!
Now it is weeks later and both these books have been released and the hype has come and gone. But at what price? The build up to Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn was almost comparable to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Unfortunately, the fans of Stephenie Meyer were not as pleased as the Rowling fans were. In less than 24 hours from the time Breaking Dawn hit the shelves, there was such a backlash I have never seen. I assumed some readers wouldn’t be happy with the final book, but was a bit shocked to hear that some wanted to burn Breaking Dawn in some form of effigy because they were so upset by what Meyer had written. WTF???
Some readers did the more mature approach and decided to return their copies of Breaking Dawn, which makes sense. If you are not happy with the product you bought, you have more than a right to return it to the store. Meyer’s publisher, Little, Brown and Company even issued a statement in regards to the overall disappointment of the novel:
“With a book that has been as eagerly anticipated as Breaking Dawn, it would simply be impossible to meet every reader’s expectations.”
In other words, Little Brown is saying take it or leave it!
I have to say I am responsible for starting my own personal hype for an author’s next release. I use to be this way with Laurel K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. The idea that I would have to wait over a year for the next book drove me insane! Each day I would troll the various websites and message boards for any information I could find on her soon to be released book. The countdown I would start in my head from the months to the weeks to the final few days before the release were the worst And when I finally had that book in my hands, I would seriously stand in the book store shaking with my heart beating a mile a minute because I finally had what I have wanted so long for! I felt like I had survived some type of battle within myself and was able to breath again in relief. Well, that is until I had to wait for the next book in the series. I am not sure if anyone else does this, but I am guilty, as I begin reading the book I wanted above all else, that I become anxious for the next one after it. You would think I would be happy with what I have in my hands. I wish I could say that was true, but it is not.
I believe there are different levels of author hype. One that I just mentioned is a reader’s own personal hype and the feelings they alone go through as they wait anxiously for their favorite author’s books release. The next is the hype a small group of people start through on-line blogs or message boards. This has been seen with the fans of JR Ward. Talk about some dedicated fans!
The final type of hype is the mass audience such as we have seen with Meyer, Rowling and Kenyon. Of course these three authors are very different with the types of fans they have. Rowling and Meyer have a much younger crowd who are prone to fits of excitement more so that the more adult fans Kenyon may have.
In other ways, I am glad for some authors to have such hype. Some have worked so hard and gone through hell to get to the point where they are in their career. Why not have a bit of excitement that leads up to their next work of art?
The hype I had for LKH was when I was a bit younger is very different from the way I act now because I am older have calmed down. I still do get very excited to hear about future releases that are a few months or years down the line. I compare this hype just like Christmas. The joy of the holiday is waiting to see family and friends and to exchange gifts. You wait for months to see if you are getting that one gift you have longed for and when you have it in your hands and open that package, wrapping and all, the excitement is over till next year. The buildup tends to be the most important thing and when it is all over you can only hope the build up was as exciting as the actual gift you wanted.
So who else is responsible for adding to an author’s hype? Do you start you own internal one or do you tend to go along with the crowd and the excitement that builds up?
And speaking of some hype, Meljean Brook is having another fun contest for those who have never read any of her books but would like to. Meljean is giving away 25 copies of her anthology, First Blood to those who have never read any of her books. So, if you have wondered what all the hype about Meljean is and always wanted to read her, go enter the contest. And while you're at it, go out and buy every other book of Meljean's because you will not be disappointed in the least!