The reader experience is both subjective and objective. You can measure it in your reader recidivism: What’s your read-through rate to the next title? Are you getting good numbers of reviews, more than each previous release? Is your book ranking better than it should based on sales? 

Those are all signs of a positive reader experience. 

Did you get a bonus? That’s also a sign of a positive reader experience since “reader delight” is now part of the criteria, though no one is really sure what goes into a bonus nowadays as it’s far more than the straight number of page reads on the title. 

Are your readers highlighting passages within the e-book? More signs of a positive reader experience. 

It starts with writing the best book you can possibly write and then asking your readers to enjoy it, immerse themselves within it, and interact with the story. It’s more than just borrowing the book in Kindle Unlimited and reading it. It’s more than just buying it. 

It’s about readers embracing the story. This adds more importance to writing with the reader in mind. We’re artists, and we create. But we’re also business moguls. There’s no reason not to create, but we need to do so with an eye toward the recipient as opposed to just writing something on a whim and a stream of consciousness without ever taking into account how the recipient would experience the story. The former is how you can make money in this business. 

You’re not compromising any of your artistic creativity by thinking about the reader when you write. Isn’t an artist’s task to manipulate the perceptions of those who view the art? To create an experience they will not forget? 

You don’t have to write the best book ever written to create an incredible reader experience. It only has to keep them engaged and turning the pages. It’s not as tall an order as it may seem. It was engaging in your mind. It can be engaging on paper. And then you can do it again because the more you practice, the better you get.

Create an unforgettable reader experience, and you will build the foundation of an incredible career.

Picture of Craig Martelle

Craig Martelle

High school Valedictorian enlists in the Marine Corps under a guaranteed tank contract. An inauspicious start that was quickly superseded by excelling in language study. Contract waived, a year at the Defense Language Institute to learn Russian and off to keep my ears on the big red machine during the Soviet years. Back to DLI for advanced Russian after reenlisting. Deploying. Then getting selected to get a commission. Earned a four-year degree in two years by majoring in Russian Language. It was a cop out, but I wanted to get back to the fleet. One summa cum laude graduation later, that’s where I found myself. My first gig as a second lieutenant was on a general staff. I did well enough that I stayed at that level or higher for the rest of my career, while getting some choice side gigs – UAE, Bahrain, Korea, Russia, and Ukraine. Major Martelle. I retired from the Marines after a couple years at the embassy in Moscow working arms control. The locals called me The German, because of my accent in Russian. That worked for me. It kept me off the radar. Just until it didn’t. Expelled after two years for activities inconsistent with my diplomatic status, I went to Ukraine. Can’t let twenty years of Russian language go to waste. More arms control. More diplomatic stuff. Then 9/11 and off to war. That was enough deployment for me. Then came retirement. Department of Homeland Security was a phenomenally miserable gig. I quit that job quickly enough and went to law school. A second summa cum laude later and I was working for a high-end consulting firm performing business diagnostics, business law, and leadership coaching. More deployments. For the money they paid me, I was good with that. Just until I wasn’t. Then I started writing. You’ll find Easter eggs from my career hidden within all my books. Enjoy the stories.

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