What's the trick to a winning strategy? What's the secret sauce guaranteeing a successful A game? What can all authors do to provide fertile ground for their works and ensure their peers will help them find the clearest path to victory? Cooperate and reciprocate.
No matter how complicated your genre-fiction marketing scheme, how complex your personal situation, how skilled or unskilled you are at promotion, at the beginning and end of every day these four principles—grace, responsiveness, clarity, generosity—will be essential to your success.
- Grace: cooperate and never be the first to attack or deflect. Selfishness backfires. Never cheat your allies. (Be nice.)
- Responsiveness: retaliate when injured but forgive as soon as cooperation resumes. (Respond appropriately and instantly.)
- Clarity: don’t get too clever or try to predict other players’ moves. Keep it simple. (Don’t get in your own way.)
- Generosity: play fair and don’t envy the other players’ accomplishments. Celebrate other people's wins. (Treat other players as partners.)
There is no substitute for caring for your colleagues and your readers. Your time is limited, your budget is limited, your output is limited, but your heart and your imagination are infinite.
Our animal instinct when anxious or threatened is to close off, hunker down, and wait out the danger. We dare you, A-gamer, to train yourself in times of stress to reach out instead of in. Make cooperation and reciprocation your right and left hands.