I’m about to start reading Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings, after going on his website to double check the title – I haven’t read any of his stuff yet, though I’ve heard excellent things. While I was browsing the site, I noticed a neat feature on his homepage, under a drop-down menu titled “Current Projects.” There, Sanderson has listed the novels that he’s currently working on and what stage of the publishing process they’re at. For example, Words of Radiance, the sequel to the novel I’m about to start reading, is currently in its second round of proofs, while other novels are at various drafting stages.
This is a really cool thing for an author to do, and the first time I’ve seen it, though I imagine Sanderson isn’t the only one. For one thing, it recognizes that readers are keen to find out when the next work by their favorite author will be released, and provides them with up-to-date details that are just a couple mouse clicks away. It also preempts what I imagine would be incessant questions like “How close are you to finishing that next book?” and “Why the hell hasn’t ________ come out yet?” Further – and this may be a little idealistic of me – but I think it’s a nice way for readers to learn more about how extensive the publishing process can be, and understand why it can take years for a novel’s sequel to be released.
Having seen this now, I think I’ll be keeping it in my back pocket for when I’m a more well-known novelist. And I think it’s something that more authors should be doing, provided they have the time and technical know-how to do so. Especially George R.R. Martin, if he wants people to get off his back.