That's not necessarily new.
Authors don't need digital books in order to adjust their writing to what their readers want to read. Arthur Conan Doyle wasn't able to keep Sherlock Holmes dead for very long. His readers, and apparently his bank account, demanded that Holmes not really be dead, that somehow he succeeded in surviving what had clearly been a life-ending plunge that took place in 1893. As a 2012 Daily Mail article tells it:
Sherlock Holmes was dead — having tumbled to his death from the Reichenbach Falls, locked in a death-struggle with his nemesis Professor Moriarty. The reaction to the great detective’s death was extreme. The Strand Magazine lost 20,000 subscribers — and fans of Holmes took to the streets wearing black armbands.
Charles Dickens encountered a problem with the serialization of The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit.
The Victorian Web, one of the first academically oriented hypertext web sites, and still around, posted an article by E.D.H. Johnson, from Princeton University on Dickens and his Readers, originally from 1969. Johnson notes:
But there was international rejoicing when the needs of his pocketbook (in other words bank account), caused him to think again. Eight years later, in 1901, came The Hound Of The Baskervilles, a story set before Holmes’s death.
Conan Doyle then caved in entirely with The Adventure Of The Empty House in 1903. The escapade at the Reichenbach Falls did not, Watson revealed, kill the detective after all. The stage was set for Holmes to appear in as many more stories as Conan Doyle chose to write.
Unlike other novelists who were unwilling to commit to print unfinished manuscripts, he rarely had a backlog of more than three or four numbers when the works began to appear, and before long he was hard pressed to keep up with the typesetters' monthly deadline The sales of parts Dickens regarded as a kind of barometer registering the periodic fluctuations in his reputation. One of his reasons for sending young Martin Chuzzlewit to the United States, as has been said, was the hope that a change in locale might revive lagging interest in that story.
And I guess that makes sense. If people aren't buying your (serialized) book, change the plot.
Go to: Ain't no need to hide, ain't no need to run.