Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Why I Don't Finish Every Book I Read (But I Used To)

From my early childhood, I've loved reading books. Whether riding in the back seat of our family car or perched in the corner of a room, I was turning pages of a book.  What I read has always been diverse. Yes I love biographies, autobiographies and memoirs.  Yet I also find history and self-help fascinating. Also I love reading different types of novels: thrillers, romance, genre fiction and much more. Anytime I find a story that holds my attention, I’m reading that book.

When I read a magazine or anything online or the newspaper, I'm always looking for book recommendations which are added to my reading list. When I learn about a new book, I turn to my local library to see if they are getting the book and how can I get on the list for it.  I still purchase books from my local bookstore or online but I learned my appetite for book consumption is way beyond my ability to purchase those books.

I don't have an Ebook reader like a Kindle or IPad. I love holding books and turning the pages. Another long-term habit was to complete reading every book which I started.  While I found some books boring or didn't hold my attention, I persisted until I reached the final page.

My list of books to read is always growing. In recent years, I've stopped finishing every book for several reasons. First, I know different books are for different audiences. I begin some books and learn they are targeted for someone who is very different from me.  Or maybe I find the topic boring or to me, the storytelling is not good. Obviously someone liked the content of this book or they would not have published it and brought it into the world.

Your definition for boring or good storytelling will be different from mine. The tastes of every reader are distinct. You have to discover what works for you and continually holds your attention. Authors have a responsibility not to bore their readers and if they do, then I stop reading the book.  It doesn't matter whether it is a novel or a self-help book.  I'm looking for entertainment and information.

Reading is an optional activity. If you are bored with your current reading, then look for a new genre or type of book. When you discover a new genre, it will invigorate your reading life. Ask others like librarians or friends for recommendations, and then try those books.

Here's some critical lessons for writers from this article:

1. Know and find the audience for your book. It is not everyone and you have to be reaching your audience with the message for your book. Editors and agents often refer to this process as building our platform. Get my free Ebook on this topic at: Platform Building Ideas for Every Author.

2. Understand a massive amount of new books enter the marketplace every day with the traditional and self-published books. According to some experts there are over 5,000 new books every day. It is way more than anyone can read and enjoy. As writers, we have an obligation to craft excellent books. They should not be thrown together. You should process your material with a critique group or an editor before sending it off to be considered.

3. The bulk of the promotion work for every book falls on the shoulders of the author—whether you are published from a traditional publisher or you self-publish. Jump into the fray and ask others to review your book and write honest reviews. 

On a regular basis,I see books launching which have no reviews or less than five reviews. Do the work to gather a team of readers who will read your book and write a review. Understand everyone is busy and even people who “commit” to reading your book may not get their review written. This fact means you will have to ask many more people to review your book to gather 25 or 30 reviews. I have a free teleseminar about reviewing books (use this link). Hear this presentation then apply it to your own work.

Reading should be fun and if it isn't, then you have my permission to stop reading and pick another book.


Do you finish every book you start? Check out how this editor handles it. (ClickToTweet)

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