Greetings and salutations!
You published your book. Congratulations! It’s out there available for purchase at online retailers, it’s at your local bookstores and libraries. You’re super excited about your project and eagerly await for the flood of sales and reviews. Weeks go by and you notice you’ve sold some, so you wait a couple more weeks for the reviews to pop up, but there’s nothing. A month goes by. Still no new reader reviews. You start to wonder, “Are people even reading my book?”
Sometimes it is difficult to gauge reader activity. There’s a lot of focus on reviews as the sole measuring stick for readership. There are other ways to tell if your book is being read.
Some readers don’t like leaving reviews, but prefer to contact authors directly. I’ve had readers email me about how much they enjoyed my book and the impact it had on them. It gave me a warm-and-fuzzy feeling that I just don’t get from online reviews. I’ve also gotten invites for interviews because I made myself available for direct contact. Add a contact form or email to your blog/website/bio.
There’s social media, of course. Properly adding your online presence into your book or bio is a way to get your readers to follow you online. If you notice a jump in followers or likes, then there’s a chance people liked your book and want to connect with you.
I publish my eBooks on Scribd, and one of the aspects of that platform I like is that when a reader clicks on your book cover, it opens up to the book or excerpt. That way with their “views” stat you have a better understanding of how many are interested in the title and possibly reading it. Smashwords has something similar.
It might take a while for readers to actually read your book. Bibliophiles, like myself, have the habit of adding more books to their to-read pile than they have time to read. I recently reviewed The Loom by Shella Gillus for Bold Book Blog. I enjoyed the book and recommend it. However, it sat on my digital bookshelf for 2 years! Word of advice: Be patient.
If you know of any other ways to tell if readers are reading your books, please comment below.