At the Times, Jennifer B. McDonald ponders the wonders of Jennifer Egan's website.
Hmmm, I really want to read her new book, in fact between that and the Franzen (though I think that is not yet in stores) I discern a minor Books & Books spending spree in my near future - but a story like this also makes me really grumpy.
It is the tyranny of modern authorship!
How much does it cost to have a website like that made? I really have no idea - $5000? Couldn't really be less than that, I'd guess - might be more - this is aside from the time the author has to put in making content (in this case, Egan was obviously interested and excited about it - I had an idea of that vague general sort for my last novel that I would have liked to execute, involving putting bits and pieces of alternate history excised from earlier drafts and maps and so forth on a website, but was stymied by logistics and cost issues - and really my talents just don't lie in that direction). That money comes out of whatever the author receives as an advance, it is not paid by the publishers - it is the rare author whose finances truly can permit that sort of investment of cash up front, though I quite see that it is worthwhile, when truly building a career as author, to make that sort of investment (just as I quite see that it is worthwhile to hire an independent publicist, though it is not what I have done thus far).
Sometimes it seems hardly worth the trouble of writing the books in the first place when there is all this dreadful need for follow-through (at a time when one would really prefer to be writing a new book instead!)...