…And Get Nothing in Return!
Yes, readers ought to have a union to prevent this kind of exploitation. But here is the interesting game we are playing:
A publishing acquaintance suggested that the way one promotes a book in today’s market is by comparing the author to two other known authors. She says that Dr. Boli ought to be promoting a new book this way. “Tell them it’s like John Green crossed with G. K. Chesterton,” she said.
Dr. Boli objected that the work in question was more like Henry James crossed with Edmund Spenser.
“But you want people to care,” said the publishing acquaintance. “John Green sells books. G. K. Chesterton still sells books, even though I think he might be dead. You have to pay people and give them tenure to make them read Spenser.”
Here Dr. Boli tried to engage her in a conversation about the delights of Spenser, but she put her earbuds back in her ears.
Thus the reader challenge. You have read Dr. Boli’s writing. To what does it compare? “Dr. Boli is like A crossed with B.” That is what the literary world wants to hear. Furthermore, the literary world wants to hear that both A and B are selling a lot of books right now.