"Margaret" wrote:I have to think this is a big part of it, especially since a lot of HF readers are not as enthusiastic about her as they are about other authors. I give her quite a bit of credit for helping to expand the market for historical fiction in general.
It's what several of my other writer friends think, too. PG has broken out of the genre and is appealing to a much broader audience, encompassing readers who don't read hf as a rule and therefore don't have the same expectations. That said, she has definitely expanded the market for hf, as well. Without her success, the genre was considered in serious decline.
It's astonishing what a single author can do. I look at the whole Stephanie Meyer phenomenon, as well, and it's incredible. Reports are she has single-handedly kept Little, Brown in the black. Of course every writer dreams of that kind of success - even those that say they don't, I suspect - but to see it "live" is something, indeed. The mere fact that one writer has kept an entire company solvent is a stunning prospect.
In the end, it of course demonstrates that people still buy books. I'm a little more concerned, however, about how it could affect less successful authors; the more these few big names pull in, both in terms of sales and advances, the less there is left for authors whose audiences build more slowly. Launching new authors will also undoubtedly be affected, as the risks become exponentially greater.