Yes, I know, it’s considered indispensable in this Amazonian, take-no-prisoners, con-encrusted slab of modern times that the author grab the rudder and hustle his or her latest book with the tenacity of that great white shark from Jaws hunting its next meal. Those who fail to adopt such aggressive tactics are considered by publishers, agents, fans and other movers-and-shakers to be hopelessly out of touch, or worse, actively courting authorial extinction.
They have a point. There are millions of new titles and reprints published each year. Some statisticians put the total number of books in the world at well over a hundred million. Common sense dictates that a way must be found for an author to stand out from the crowd.
I do a certain amount of promotion, of course—this website is one obvious example. Nevertheless, my idea of standing out from the crowd is decidedly old school. If your passion happens to be track and field, run faster. If you want to succeed at your job and maybe ascend to a higher position, work harder. And if you’re an author trying to sell copies, write better books (while acknowledging that better is one of the most subjective words in the language).
Subjective or not, I concentrate the bulk of my energies on storytelling. I try to give readers memorable tales, the kind that sends thematic shrapnel coursing through their synaptic byways long after the last page is reached.
Speaking of pages, it’s time to get back to working on that new novel.