• Can You Tell When Readers Have Read the Entire Book?
This blog was featured on 12/03/2018
Can You Tell When Readers Have Read the Entire Book?
Written by
November 2018
Preparing to Publish
Written by
November 2018
Preparing to Publish

So, you’ve asked someone to read your book...or recommended a book you loved...or, maybe you’ve gifted a book and want to know if your efforts were in vain...without appearing to be ‘that person’. 

Generally, people who live in bookstores and libraries and who volunteer to talk about books without being probed and prodded are individuals who digest entire books. This doesn’t mean they read the book you suggested. They may have skimmed the book, though usually this group has no problem divulging this info too. They’re a pretty up front group. “Oh, I couldn’t read that. I only read books with crickets in them. I got as far as the first page and a half...” You get the point. Real readers won’t tell you they’ve read a book when they haven’t.

Why is this important? 

There can’t be anything more key to a writer’s career than knowing audience. Many relate audience to buyers. I still get tickled thinking about a fan who I watched sell a few of my books right there in a café as we were eating. Next thing I knew, the woman was sitting with strangers at other tables talking up my books. She returned to our table and commenced to tell me how, if she were me, she’d be out in the middle of the street selling my books. I looked out the café’s large bay window to a street congested by traffic; the night lit up with brake-lights and headlights. That’s when it hit me. I could do that. I could peddle my books like Girl Scout Cookies. It wouldn’t matter if the buyer could read, see, feel or was on a paper collecting mission in effort to keep their fireplace lit between trips to the lumber yard. Like a bell ringer, people would buy my books for no other reason than I had asked, or because they felt sorry for me.

Honestly, I can’t knock filling a trunk full of books and getting on the open road and selling til’ the car is empty. Writers have done this and been successful at it. The greater the book is circulated, the greater odds of ‘picking up’ readers...thus audience. I’ve always contended it’s EASY to be a bestseller. I am a bestseller. I’ve published bestsellers. And still, I stayed preoccupied with wondering if the buyer had really ‘bought the book.’

During those early days of wonderment, it did surprise me to learn that fiction readers were most notorious for reading books cover-to-cover. This group doesn’t skim read. For them skimming books is like going skydiving without a parachute. But then I learned how small this group was, and how already devoted to other authors... and sub-genres... they were. The discovery may have been daunting had it not been for the large untapped audience that had me looking for ways to tell if they had read the book... the entire book... the way books are written and intended to be read. 

Can you tell when readers have read the entire book? One of my absolute favorites are readers who write chapter long reviews... full of spoilers. I don’t like spoilers, but do love readers who digest books whole.

RYCJ/Rhonda Y.C. Johnson

Published Writer
Blogger @ OEBooks
Reader @ RYCJs Book Reviews

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