It seems to me, and I have read some of your more recent posts, that you are more critical of the integrity and progress of the story, which has little to do with the release date of AMoL. No one has been "used and abused," and to insinuate that is insulting. You are definitely not speaking to me when you say that Harriet and RJ have "squandered all the reader's goodwill." My time has not been wasted and my money has been well spent.
I don't, for an instant, believe that anyone involved with marketing A Memory of light wants to miss the Christmas buying season. But ...
A number of factors are at work here.
First, from what has been said by those involved, the entire production process is different this time. The previous two books there was a lot of concurrency. Sanderson would write a chunk of the book and send it to Charleston. Charleston would edit and suggest or mandate changes and send it back to Sanderson. Sanderson would send off the next hunk and do some or all of the revisions on the first chunk. Wash, rinse, repeat. Editing occurred concurrently with writing.
By the time Sanderson finished one of those books it was already partially or mostly edited. Turn-around time was minimized.
This time, supposedly, nothing got sent to Charleston until the entire first draft was complete. We don't know how the edits and revisions and suggestions and mandates are flowing back to Brandon. In pieces? All-at-once like the manuscript was submitted? At any rate, there was no concurrency this time around. Writing and editing became discrete processes. Inevitably that will consume more time.
In the end, all either side owes the other is consistent fairness.
Sadly, Robert Jordan and Harriet Mac Dougal squandered all the reader's goodwill over the last 17 years through sheer brick-headed inconsistency. Unfairly wasting the reader's time and money. Jordan could have rewritten and polished Crossroads of Twilight 27 times and it still would have been utter dreck.
Somewhere around here there is a thread about "If you could, what would you change about books 7-10?" That's pretty simple, reduce them to the 2 chapters they really deserved and get on with the story.
There used to be well over a dozen well prepared and rigorously maintained websites devoted to The Wheel of Time. Today I doubt there are four. A couple are still around in Archival form. People who are treated fairly do not invest gobs of their own time and money in helping promote interest in something and then just walk away for no reason. They walk away because they finally saw enough to convince them that they were being taken advantage of, used and abused. And, these were some of the most diehard fans. If they hadn't been they never would have started WoT sites to begin with.
So, Jordan, the man and the author, Team Jordan, TOR and anybody involved with producing the series, merits and will get no slack from those who have read and supported them for over 20 years. They no longer deserve it.
Maybe you have some personal vendettas about the late books of the series, but do not speak for everyone when you are clearly just speaking for yourself. Harriet above all, deserves YOUR slack. She didn't have to choose anyone to finish the series, and the fact we are even getting to finish the series is a blessing.
I hate to nest this much quote, but I have noticed what Bob is talking about in the rasfwrj archives. I think it's not so simple as he makes it out to be. Yes, there are a ton of fans who gave up on WoT during the 7-10 era. You might say Leigh Butler was one of them, for example. Erica Sadun was another. But what Bob doesn't recognize is that, when the internet began to modernize in '96, things started changing in the WoT online fandom as well, and so you've got two different things going on here. Older fans who were tired of waiting 2-3 years for books that weren't as awesome as the first six just disappeared, and places like rasfwrj died out, but in 1998, Dragonmount, Theoryland, and TarValon were created, and Wotmania in the following year. Out of those four sites, undeniably the most major WoT sites since 1998, only one admin gave up in disgust. The others are still quite dedicated to the series and the fandom. These sites have a lot of members who have been reading since the early books, but they also have many newer members like myself who were able to read through all those books at once and not be bothered by the lull at all. I picked up Winter's Heart when it was not yet out in paperback, so that was about 2001. COT was the first book I had to wait for. Luckers and Linda, for example, showed up just before I did. And while there might not be as many WoT sites as there used to be, WoT has the most resources
on the net of any contemporary series out there, by a long shot. Encyclopaedia WoT, 13th Depository, the Interview Database, various Wiki, etc. There is obviously quite a bit of continuing dedication to the series. And in some ways, it might be more accurate to say that a lot of those older fans 'grew out' of their geek phase. That happens a lot. People spend time on things like this when they're young, in school, and don't have much better to do. There are exceptions, obviously, but it's generally true. Most old-timers at Theoryland generally avoid WoT discussion and just post on Non-WoT boards when they're at work because they have friends there.
RJ began to have health problems in 1994, though we're not sure on the details. His doctor told him that he had to slow down or he would die. So the books took longer, and they covered less ground. And while I can see how some things in books 7-10 could be trimmed, I think it's a little ridiculous to suggest that they could have been boiled down to two chapters. I think they could have been boiled down to three books, or more accurately, that books 7-11 could have been boiled down to 3, but any further boiling-down would have omitted a good number of important details. And ultimately, most people who read these books are not going to be a part of the serial release experience, and the lull will barely affect them. I don't think it's fair to say that fans were 'used and abused' during those years, though I can imagine what it was like and sympathize with the frustration. To the point, the lull itself will matter less and less as the years go on. The difference between RJ's books and Brandon's books will matter more and more. That's why I'm happy they're taking more time.