Bye Harry Potter, Welcome The Night Circus?
Every imagined what would it feel like to be the center of another Harry Potter-like revolution with your first novel? I know its tempting to slip in to that dream world with a dreamy smile but think again. Erin Morgenstern, a debutant author (The Night Circus) is living it and she might not be that thrilled. Well, at least not about some parts of it. Especially not when her book is publicized as the next big thing after Harry Potter and Twilight by none other than Summit Entertainment (production company behind Twilight) even before it is published. Even before anyone has read as much as word of it. Scary, stressful? Hmm.
Erin is not alone. There is a high-stake competition out there both in publishing industry and Hollywood to en cash on the starry-eyed readers who have been reading fantasy fiction like never before. Harry Potter might be the trigger, but the fantasy stories are not limit to wizards alone. Vampires are getting an over-kill but they are still thriving. So, are faeries, dragons and other unspeakable yet enchanting creatures occupying our bookshelves and TV screens alike. Such is the frenzy (or panic in the doomed book industry), booksellers are resorting to innovative ways to attract readers. From publishing parties to publicized book signings, the money is on getting the word out there. Same with Hollywood who are scrambling to perform a repeat performance of HP franchise success to get people in to the theatres. Production houses like Summit Entertainment are pitching in to generate book sales by advertising it to their fans, in this case Twilight fans. All in the hope of the sweet clang of serious money!
It is no secret that great fantasy fiction like HP, and others have got the cash registers ringing. For instance, though never meeting the sales of HP of 450 million copies (combined!), Twilight sold 115 million copies, and a combined sales of some of the biggest fantasy novels like that of Percy Jackson, The hunter games have come upto 40 million copies. Therefore, a decent fantasy fiction, paranormal romance included are in great demand both in the digital and plain-old world of paper. The way bookstores are sinking, these books are straws that they have decided to cling to (fingers crossed!).
The only good thing out of it is the tempting hope that the author would finally get to pay his electricity bills from his royalty. If the news is anything to go by, debutante novelists with great fantasy fiction are getting signed a six-figure and right now, are the blue-eyed boys (and girls) of both the worlds of publishing - book and digital (yeah that's me at the background doing a small jig!)
But think about it - Its unnerving, right? What about the expectations? The pressure to produce more glittering books? Are we killing off creativity? What do you think?