For better or for worse, an author's best friend is a reader.
In my profile of Scribd, the social reading and publishing site, I've included case studies of several authors. One author in particular has gone to great lengths to get her story just right--as authors will do. Mary Yuhas, whose book Quit and Be Quiet, though not yet published, is getting plenty of attention, from readers and authors.
What are we to do with often times a painful search for the soul in our writing? Ask any novice and even seasoned authors about the fear of a lifeless book.
Without the imagination of readers to share in the author's tale, an author's work may sit endlessly on bookshelves or computer hard drives. Like on Scribd, authors have a place to share their stories, maybe a chapter excerpt, inviting readers to give them if only an ounce of feedback. These ounces do add up, by the way, to better writing and sometimes the sparkle of publishers' accolades. Then, of course, you are the judge.