Thursday, September 1, 2011

Keep It Simple

Lots of people want to rule the world. They want to be the most influential person on the block, the mogul, the alpha dog. They make dozens of podcasts to support their blog, tweet fifty times a day to win people over to their cause, shoot and edit enough videos to put Spencer Gordon Bennett to shame. This is great if you have a trust fund and can afford sinking huge chunks of time into what, in the end, can only be described as a monumental project in self-absorption.

I think you see where I'm going with this.

I just read Konrath's latest blog entry, and it resonated with me. Those people who Spielberg-up the place always seem like dogs chasing their own tail to me. It's amusing to watch for a while, but pretty soon you start getting dizzy just watching them go, go, go. And I start to wonder: how much time are they really spending on the product that all of these props are meant to promote?

To me, the simplest advice is the best advice: stay focused. If you have a product to sell that lends itself to a massive world-building effort, then (judgmental?) people like me will be more forgiving. But I have yet to read the book description that warrants an all-out sensory assault.

Not having published a single book, I realize my advice holds about as much weight as a rice cake being eaten by a ghost in a zero-gravity chamber. But seriously, please concentrate on writing good books. If done right, a book will do the job of launching us into another world. You won't need smoke and mirrors to do that. Trust that your audience will appreciate your words and not need an IMAX experience to bring them back wanting more.

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