Wait what did Butcher do?
This is gonna get long and I’m not sure I can explain it brilliantly.
It started with this, on reddit. Or I should say this is what sparked it.
It’s a page counter disguised as a count down. So every time someone visits it the number goes up. Lots of people found it funny. But a substantial number did not. It feels like he’s blaming the people who are asking for information for the fact it isn’t out yet, and “for every time someone asks that question it’s going to take longer” (this is not the first time this has happened. About 2 years ago there was a thing flying around that every time someone asked him where Peace Talks was he didn’t write that day)
It links back in to a sort of resentment Butcher has had at his fans since Skin Game came out that people want to know when the next book is out.
The best way I can describe it is Jim wants the perks of having a large fandom: Fan engagement, free advertisement, more money coming in from books and merch. But he doesn’t want to deal with the other side of it, which is people want to know what the fuck is going on.
If you want to know what’s going on with Jim and why the book is taking so long you have to keep up with about 3 to 5 different streams of information, which if you’re a casual fan checking in after 3 years going “oh the next book must be out soon, right?” is a little impossible to do. His own website hasn’t been updated with anything vaguely approaching useful for months, unless you want to know what cons he’s attending. The latest news is that he’s not writing because there’s a delay on his shed. Where did I hear that from? People who heard it from other people who heard it from other people who heard it from friends of Jim Butcher.
Jim doesn’t want people to ask when Peace Talks is out. He wants us to sit passively and wait for it, and to still be there at his convenience at the end of his hiatus.
And quite frankly a lot of people are reaching the point where waiting for scraps of information is a little tedious. There are other things to read. Jim is a GREAT writer. But expecting everyone to just be there when he feels like doing his job is insulting. This is not a “I provide you with content and you provide me with nothing but praise and adoration.” situation. If you want followers on any platform it’s a 2 way street of engagement.