runsforcelery wrote:I would simply point out that I have met his wife (although I would never describe myself as a personal friend of Harriet or James), and that whatever else she may be, she is neither stupid nor greedy. She has been an editor for 30-plus years now and is one very smart lady. Whether this was the best decision from a marketing viewpoint or not is, of course, a matter of opinion, and it wasn’t the one I would have made. Nonetheless, she didn’t make it in a vacuum, and if you think that it was a foolish decision or a wrong decision, I would say that it also demonstrates the way that the attitudes of people who have spent decades of their professional life in this business see things differently — on the basis of that experience — from the way that e-book readers see things. I believe I’ve already mentioned that part of this is what you might call a “generational” difference of opinion. And I’d also say that I doubt very much that pirated copies of the book are costing Tor or Sanderson “tens of thousands” of sales. It undoubtedly has cost them quite a few sales, but I doubt it’s been in that range. I speak from the perspective of someone who’s had more than a few of his own books pirated.
I visited their forums a lot when the series was being written and this topic of e-books came up. Some one close to her reported her problem with the e-books is not the format, but that there sales were not reported and counted for the NYT best seller list
Sorry that I came across as being extremely harsh against Jordan's wife. I'm well aware of the huge
contribution she made throughout the series, especially in compiling all the required information and the plots for the final three novels once they realized how ill Robert actually was, then working tirelessly with Brandon Sandersen to finish the series. Her contribution simply cannot be overstated, and we all owe her a debt of gratitude that the series was finished.
That said - if indeed her decision to delay the e-book release was motivated to drive the final book of the series higher on the ranks of the New York Times bestseller list, that decision was an act of pride. Pride in her husband for the stunning, intricate world he created, pride in herself for helping to bring that world and its plot to a triumphant and extremely satisfying conclusion (if I may say so myself,) and pride in Brandon Sandersen for stepping in and fulfilling her husband's vision.
We'll never know how many sales were lost to piracy, since after all, this was
the last book of a series that many readers had dedicated two decades to reading. (I was one of them.) The odds that e-book readers weren't
going to read it out of spite were nil
. Of course their patience most certainly wasn't infinite - I borrowed the hardcover from my local library for instance, which meant a lost sale, as I normally read nothing but e-books since they're much easier for me to read, plus they're searchable.
So whatever her reason, from the perspective of e-book buyers, it was the wrong one. From a monetary perspective for the Jordan's estate, it did little damage, but I'm sure Brandon Sandersen would have appreciated the royalties that were lost while the hardback was available, but the e-book wasn't.
I didn't have my daughter ask him about that when he spoke at her school, but I did have her ask whether Rand was mortal now, would live as long as an Aes Sedai, or was basically immortal. (Not one of the 3 unanswerable questions as laid down by Robert Jordan.)
He dodged the question...