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.