Port De Soller Mallorca

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Friday, 5 August 2011

Is Best Selling Author Lee Child deliberately trying to alienate sections of his fanbase?

Best selling author Lee Child who writes about Jack Reacher seems intent on alienating large sections of his fanbase again and hot on the heels of the announcement, although not confirmed, that Tom Cruise is to play Reacher in a proposed movie of one of his novels.

To understand the outrage that this announcement gave to many fans around the world you first have to be a reader of the Reacher franchise.  In every single one of the  16 novels to date, Child makes great use of graphically detailing the immense size and stature of the hero of his books.  He refers to it throughout each book and then seems not to be concerned by the furore that the news of Cruise playing the part has brought upon his head.

Alexandra Sokoloff, another best selling author tried to defend the decision in a blog posted on the Murderatti site with a blog entitled  tom-cruise-is-reacher .  According to the web site itself they have never had such a response to any blog posted by any of the contributing authors.  I personally, as an avid Reacher devotee entered the fray and I have to say I wasn't to bothered about it and you can read my comments on two blogs I posted here, author-lee-child-sells-out-or-does-he?  and at continuing-saga-of-lee-child.  My reason for not being to bothered were simply down to the fact that while I do like a good movie, I do much prefer a better book, so, if Mr Cruise does indeed decided to play the part, it is my understanding that he, along with a studio bought the rights, it may well turn out that he just in fact produces the movie, then I will wait and see what it is like. But, unlike many of the posts posted on Mr Child's Face Book page and later on the Murderatti blog, I would not stop buying or reading the books, as many have called on us to do! It is because of this possibility then that many people think that he has sold out and therefore is alienating his fans that becomes the first case against him.

The second reason to ask the question is an announcement on his Facebook page today LeeChildOfficial where he states, "Starting Monday, we'll be offering up advance reader editions of THE AFFAIR to 50 lucky US fans. Be sure to check the page then! -Random House".

Already the post  replies are full of angry comments from fans around the world outraged that it is only American fans of the author who are being allowed to participate in this free give away and again you have to ask the question, why is he doing this?

Now there may well be valid reasons for it, although I am at a loss to be able to think what they might be or to offer you any that might make sense.  It surely cannot be that, someone of Mr Child's probable wealth nor Random House, his publishers, can not afford the postage for some of these books to be sent around the world to fans, can it?  Is it, that while he clearly has a wealth of fans world wide, that they pale in to insignificance of the sheer number of American fans, surely not? Or is it a form of cultural racism, again surely not?  

I checked the Random House Face book page to see if that would give me any clues, but alas nothing, not even a mention of Mr Child's announcement, and his quote does tell his worldwide fans to check his page on Monday and then the Random House Page.  But why would he mention it and not Random House?

Has he jumped the gun and maybe Random House are still trying to do this for fans around the world? Who knows.  What his world wide fans know though, and I have to say I am more annoyed about this than I am about the Tom Cruise issue, is that maybe Lee Child has 'made it' to the point where he has made his fortune from Jack Reacher and from the many fans around the world who have steadfastly supported him by buying his books over many years, I came late to him, found one, read it and immediately went out and bought all the others that I had missed to that point,.

So, all I can say in ending this blog, is,  "I hope that Mr Child has not forgotten that he mas many many   loyal fans around the world and not just in America and while many authors do and will continue to became best sellers in their individual countries, whether they are indigenous to that country or not, they should not, in the interest of fairness to all of their fans, limit offers of free books to one 'small' section of that fan base.

I have just revisited the Lee Child Facebook page and in among the mostly hostile comments from his fans around the world, yes there are a number of, 'awsome's' and 'sounds great' clearly from American fans (and why not) , in the main the comments are cries of unfair.

But never mind at least Lee Child has found time to post a small response to his put upon non American fans by stating, "The giveaway is being sponsored by Random House US".  Fair enough but it does strike one as a bit of a smack in the face to all the other fans world wide who contribute to both Mr Child's and Random House's continued growth.  Please do not take that comment as one of resentment, there is none, and good luck to any author who makes it in what I hear is a very hard thing to do, get published. But, if I read and buy their novels I can sit back and think I helped to put him/her there, and it is something that makes me feel good along with the enjoyment they have given me for 'putting pen to paper'.  No what galls is that neither seemingly intelligent party in this decision seemed to consider the fact that there are tens of thousands of fans around the world and not just in the USA and, although you could not have announced it, I suppose, other than on the 'fans' authors FB site, neither of you seemed to realise, I can't believe you didn't care, about the rest of the fans!

Best Wishes    

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