Reasons to begin reading a book
- Recommended — by a friend, or associate, or another author (not a relative).
- Author has established credentials.
- Referenced in the bibliography of another book.
- Fits your preferred genres.
- Other, that is, random selection, serendipity, cover, tag line, subject matter.
Reasons to keep reading a book
- Author’s credentials.
- First page lured me in.
- First 1000 words engaged me.
- First 3000 words gave me a feeling of the story arc.
Of these reasons to keep reading, the first two are IN SPITE of the last three. By that I mean, even if the first page sucks, or the first 1000 words were flat and dull, if the book was recommended, or is by an establish name, you would feel compelled to keep reading beyond your tolerance for schlock.
In my mind, no one is going to recommend my books. I won’t have an established name. So, I’d better damn well make sure I kick the reader’s ass in the first 300, 1000, 3000 words.