As a publisher and author,** I have read a lot about how books come to be bought and sold. There are detailed marketing plans and some clever ideas out there, but here is how it works: readers buy books that are recommended by a trusted person. Don't you?
Of course that trusted person could be a famous reviewer with a national following, but he or she is more likely to be a friend or family member. Sometimes he or she is a total and anonymous stranger. I've gone to Amazon just to read reviews, haven't you?
So if you've read a book that pleases you, make the author smile. Write a review for www.amazon.com or for www.goodreads.com. Tell five people. Buy it for a friend.
The author who has sold millions of copies and the one who has sold tens of copies have this in common. They were readers before they were writers. And when they put the hours, days, weeks, months and years into a book, all they want is for one reader to like it and to tell another reader about it.
I promise that's true. You may be thinking that Fame and Fortune must be involved, because why else would someone spend years on such an uncertain enterprise. I will promise you something else. F & F are rare in this crazy enterprise. Where they do exist, it is because way back in the misty past, one person liked a book and told another person about it.
So ultimately, if you love to read, it's worth your time to make a writer smile. It is what keeps him or her going.
**Until Proven: a Mystery in 2 Parts, written by Nora Gaskin, published by Lystra Books and Literary Services, LLC.