From National Public Radio:
As TV dramas get better and better, book publishers are hoping to convert binge TV watchers into binge readers.
Serialized books have a long history in publishing — Charles Dickens famously released many his novels in serial form. Sean McDonald, a publisher and editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, says, “We love to think about hearkening back to the way Dickens was published and people waiting anxiously at the dock for the new installments to arrive.”
FSG is known for its serious, award winning novels, not so much for serialized fiction, but McDonald says that not long ago, they tried an experiment. They published three books, the Southern Reach Trilogy, on a much faster timetable than usual. All three were released in less than a year — a year that coincided with another cultural phenomenon.
Television, McDonald says, was “getting taken much more seriously as an art form.” There was a renewed focus on episodic storytelling and “it felt like this was a way for us to engage with that and not to have books be left out,” he explains.
. . . .
“I don’t think that people really consume books in the same way that they consume TV shows,” says Jane Friedman, who teaches digital media and publishing at the University of Virginia. Friedman agrees that people’s reading habits are changing, but she doesn’t think binge reading is anything like binge watching.
“We always have a mobile device with us and so we are reading in short bursts of five to ten minutes …” she says, “but that’s a very different dynamic than say, the binge watching a TV series. In fact, reading in five to ten minute bursts is distinctly not binge reading.”
Link to the rest at NPR
Binge reading is pretty much what PG and Mrs. PG have always done when they discover an author they like and haven’t read before.
Initially, binge reading involved the library or a physical bookstore, but, as with many things bookish, Amazon has made the process wonderfully easy, particularly when PG finishes a great book at 10:00 PM and isn’t the least bit sleepy.
And long before Farrar, Straus and Giroux figured out its “much faster timetable,” lots of indie authors published multiple books each year.