Reading The Readers
Most readers make their reading choice based mostly on genre first, then known author choice second, when deciding on new reading material. I believe I am on good ground here when I say that thinking about reading an unknown author, the first thing a prospective buyer sees is the cover and title. If their eyes make it past that 'first look', the next thing they come across is the copy left by the author. If that passes muster with their interests the final look will be on the book's reviews left by readers. That can make or break the decision to pony up the money to read the book. There is no book in hand during this exercise. This all takes place in cyberspace, on your book’s listing page.
I have written several articles on book reviews on earlier posts as well as on my author’s facebook page concerning the importance of book reviews by readers, and what that means for the author. I am unable to say categorically what the efficacy of that might be but I can say that I haven’t seen any spike in reviews left by readers of my books. Finding a means of asking readers to please leave a review of your book is something akin to practicing Alchemy. Looking for just the right mixture of encouragement and promise without coming off as a megalomaniac.
As noted above, the author’s book is but a blip in the larger sphere of today’s readership population. All the more imperative for the indie author to distinguish themselves at every stage of book production, as well as have a compelling book to read. Getting the reading public to take notice of your work, then leave a word about their experience is the prise. The process continues.