I am mystified as to how books succeed or not. I have always been suspicious that critics who praise my work also create a barrier to entry by discussing the stylistic decisions to an audience that is suspicious of such things. However, as the audience for genre books is generally suspicious of style, warning shots ahead are for the best. Writers are always suspicious that there is some mysterious force external to us that decides whether the book will suceed or not. In our neuroses, we will attach to something. In my case, I know better than to actually believe reviews don't act as a universal boon, and whatever readership I have gained, I know, comes primarily from reviews. I thank all reviewers. I mean it when I say thank you, and I ignore my own particular brand of neurotic over-analysis.I am very gtateful for all support, even as I neurotically oceranalyze when sales figures come my way. The only thing holding back the books, when they don't seem to do well, is chaos and randomness and the fickle hand of fate.
At this time, I do not have a clue how my books are doing. But, I want them to do well. And it is a fickle, chaotic business, and I have to trust the publishers to get the book "out there" in whatever form they can muster.
I have figured out something everyone can do, though, to champion our favorite authors beyond reviews.
At libraries, request books by your favorite authors. Put in a request with the librarians for ones missing from the shelves. Check them out when the books arrive. Libraries are the original Netflix for books, and cheaper than any subscription service, and a vital public good that deserves our time. Funneling favorite authors into that system with your time and energy is a boon for everyone. Presumably communities benefit from the books you love by authors you love in a shared space.
Can you do me a solid, fair reader, and request my books? MAZE and LAST DRAGON and Dogsland and all of them, wherever fine books are shared?