Why are genre writers so desperate to convince? Treat ’em mean keep ’em keen seems to be lost advice. The result is chapter after opening chapter of needy, to which the experienced reader is only going to react with contempt. There’s a terrible lack of self-confidence out there. Panic won’t relieve the conditions of the buyers’ market; only exacerbate them. Readers know the weakness of your position. They’ve passed the groaning tables at the front of the shop. They’ve heard all your desperate lines. They’ve seen you do the little dance. What else can you show them? Even as they ask they’re walking on by, looking for someone who knows the product but has the dignity not to oversell it.