Writing a good story is one thing, getting people to read it is another. How do I get people to read a good story?
Recently I had an opportunity to sit with Gucci another Indie writer trying to get his work out. Gucci’s lamentations arises from the fact that despite his efforts to write good stories, he isn’t able to get people to read it. It is demotivating to write a beautiful story yet no one wants to read it. Approximately a year has passed since Gucci published his work. Since then only one person have read it – and that’s Gucci.
The problem is not just for Gucci though. My own short story The Smoke Writer have only been read only a couple of times too. And most of those times I had to go out and force it down the throat of people. I had to come up with all kinds of reasons to convince people that somehow, reading my story will help them sleep better at night.
Given that my solutions to Gucci’s headache were very limited, I decided to post the question to the Quora Community. It was not long before answers started pouring in. By far the best answer was the one from Mr. Garner. I will share his opinion with you, and I hope it helps Gucci, myself, and any other demoralized Indie writers looking for a way of getting people to read their stories.
How to get people to read your story.
1. Get on goodreads.
List your book on appropriate shelves. Go to the book groups that read books like yours, and let those people know it exists.
Start a Facebook page. Note there is a difference between a personal page, and a business page. Ask people to go there and like your page if they liked the book. When you’ve gotten at least a hundred people from the same country to like your page, you can use those people to build a look-alike audience. People are not special snowflakes; Facebook algorithms will take those hundred people and find other that are statistically similar. Invite those people to visit your page, buy your book, like your page, etc. Refine your audience again when you’re got 200 likes, and then 300, and so on. More data means more accuracy.
2. Special Post.
Make a Facebook post about your book, on your page, and invite your readers to share it on their pages, especially if they’ve read and reviewed the book. Be active with your readers. Be yourself.
3. Book Reviews.
Find blogs that review books like yours and submit yours for review. Get ‘pull quotes’ from those blog reviews when or if you get them, and put them in the editorial section of your book (do this through your amazon author page). Send review copies to people to review the book on amazon and Goodreads.
It isn’t precisely hard to be heard over all the noise—that’s not the problem. The problem is knowing whether you’ve written a good book in the first place. If you did, and you work consistently to promote the book, it’s not difficult to get a few hundred people to read it (there are hundreds of millions of readers in the US alone, much less in countries with somewhat similar markets like the UK and Canada). The trick is knowing how to leverage those first few hundred readers to find more readers, and that is where most authors fail, especially self-published ones, but plenty of traditionally published authors as well.
This answer is credited to Brian Garner How to get people to read your story