One way to dramatically decrease the chances that, after I pick up your acclaimed novel in the bookstore, I actually purchase it is to let your publisher's marketing department include the words “Pynchon” or "DeLillo" or “postmodern” in the jacket or cover copy.
One way to dramatically increase the chances that, after I pick up your acclaimed novel in the bookstores, I actually purchase it is to feature an epigraph from Anthony Powell’s Books Do Furnish a Room.
Claire Messud, you’re now on my stack. David Mitchell, despite the raves of a couple of friends, you’re not. At least for now.
[Sub-note: This advice is only intended for those authors interested primarily in maximizing their potential sales to me. Those authors interested primarily in maximizing their sales to the non-me public should probably ignore this advice, as the non-me public seems to like Pynchon and DeLillo and postmodern fiction. It's simply a matter of setting priorities, authors.]