What someone enjoys as bedtime reading, or what twisted tale a storyteller wishes to spin, matters little to me. But out there, like Peeping Tom, loads of companies are snooping on you to note whether you’re a diehard romantic, or whether racy violence is your page-turner. Do you speed-read, or is pausing after every paragraph your scene. Whether you play, re-play, or ponder over the written word… or perhaps pause to grab that bag of popcorn. (Pardon me, but that last bit of popcorn was a stretch of my imagination!)
Now, do reviews on Amazon tell the real story of how many folks truly enjoyed a book, or do start ups have a better handle on the true facts about real reader interest in all fiction. A new war seems to be looming, one that’s more than likely to draw writers away from their desks or out of the wood-works, to battle on virtual grounds. Data, collected by tracking reader habits, and made available by companies, may steer astute writers towards domains that seem to sustain reader interest. Those who enjoy writing may have put pen to paper, or clicked away on a typewriter, or keyboard… for the sheer pleasure of writing. Deep within, most writers seeks readers, yearn for their feedback, their appreciation and if that’s a critical essay, could one ask for more? (No, not everyone is Naipaul.)
In an era of e-books and self-publishing, competition is not only from other authors in the genre, but is also from blog-writers, advertisers, endless Facebook time, tweet time, YouTube viewing, TedTalk, reality shows, extreme everything… to get that rush of adrenaline. With this continual battle to grab a moment of quality reader time, it’s time to morph a veritable passion for the pen and turn it into a killer sword. Your hard-bound novels are likely to be pirated to be made available on Scribd; your paperbacks may be sold in wholesale… a dime for a dozen. Dreaming of the Pulitzer, or are you of Pearl S. Buck caliber? Beware, or at least be cognizant of the Oyster tracking your work, which follows readers, to determine which of the pages are skipped, or which make for a thriller. As readers, or authors… we will all be manipulated, one way or another. Now the question is, as a writer, will you survive by the skin of your teeth, or do you have that killer instinct that will allow you to thrive in the deep jungles of the vast Amazon?