"For years, it was a schedule as predictable as a calendar: novelists who specialized in mysteries, thrillers and romance would write one book a year, output that was considered not only sufficient, but productive.
"But the e-book age has accelerated the metabolism of book publishing. Authors are now pulling the literary equivalent of a double shift, churning out short stories, novellas or even an extra full-length book each year.
"They are trying to satisfy impatient readers who have become used to downloading any e-book they want at the touch of a button, and the publishers who are nudging them toward greater productivity in the belief that the more their authors’ names are out in public, the bigger stars they will become. . . .
"The push for more material comes as publishers and booksellers are desperately looking for ways to hold onto readers being lured by other forms of entertainment, much of it available nonstop and almost instantaneously. Television shows are rushed online only hours after they are originally broadcast, and some movies are offered on demand at home before they have left theaters. In this environment, publishers say, producing one a book a year, and nothing else, is just not enough.
"At the same time, the Internet has allowed readers to enjoy a more intimate relationship with their favorite authors, whom they now expect to be accessible online via blogs, Q. and A.’s on Twitter and updates on Facebook. . . .
"Publishers say that a carefully released short story, timed six to eight weeks before a big hardcover comes out, can entice new readers who might be willing to pay 99 cents for a story but reluctant to spend $14 for a new e-book or $26 for a hardcover.
"That can translate into higher preorder sales for the novel and even a lift in sales of older books by the author, which are easily accessible as e-book impulse purchases for consumers with Nooks or Kindles" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/business/in-e-reader-age-of-writers-cramp-a-book-a-year-is-slacking.html, accessed 05-14-2012)