…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.


  1. The Shadow says:

    I’ve never noticed that the literary world cares about sales. They care about books that are transgressive.

    But to answer the question…

    “Dr. Boli is like G. K. Chesterton crossed with Ambrose Bierce.” Or if Bierce isn’t selling enough, perhaps Twain instead.

  2. Chesterton/Bierce does well for your textual writing, but you also do a lot of art/graphic design. For that portion of your output I’d suggest Robert McCall crossed with Richard Littler.

  3. Daniel says:

    Dr. Boli is like Hazelnut Torte crossed with Nissin Cup Noodles.

  4. Mary says:

    Robert Benchley meets David Mitchell’s soapbox is usually how I describe this unique magazine…when I am asked what on earth I am reading that is causing me to make strange noises.

    Robert Benchley is unfortuanately not selling many books these days, so if you are trying to snooker a publisher I would try the following construction:

    (Name of super popular fiction series with Netflix show) crossed with/meets (name of fastest selling non-fiction book) + the phrase “except it doesn’t suck.”
    This way, the works referred to need not have any relationship to your actual style or content.

    For example: “Shadow & Bone meets the new Obama biography…except it doesn’t suck!”

    Or perhaps: “The Witcher crossed with Educated…except it doesn’t suck!”

    Best of luck in your endevours.

  5. RepubAnon says:

    I’ll go with P. G. Wodehouse crossed with John Mortimer. Jeeves and Wooster crossed with Rumpole of the Bailey.

  6. Fred says:

    I’d go with Pa Pitt crossed with Mr. Magundi

  7. Maypo says:

    I’m late to the party but honestly there are no two people I can compare the good Doctor to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.