The title of this post might make you think I'm going to give you the top ten list of what readers want...

Thing is, I really can't be completely sure; even though it's important to me as a writer. I have many ideas about the topic and I continue to explore the issue. I absolutely need to consider what readers want, whether or not I ever figure it out. I'm a novelist and a blogger and I'd be foolish to never consider it.

Still, discovering what readers want is nowhere near being as easy as determining what dogs want, or what children want; yet, even in those areas, it depends on who the dog or child is.

Sure, there must be a few basic things all readers what but I think most of those are expressed in the negative--not to be bored, not to be talked down to, etc...

Even though I won't ever know exactly what readers want, I have one reader that I must always satisfy--Me :-)

If I don't like the way I'm writing this blog post or if the manuscript for my book isn't satisfying to me, then I have to make it better.

From my study of psychology and the many trips around the Sun I've made, there's a bit of wisdom in looking to take care of the needs of Me-the-reader--we all are more alike than we are different. And, if my writing can satisfy some of the things that make us the same, I may be forgiven by other readers for things they'd rather not see in my writing.

I've been very busy promoting my novel (due to be published in March). One thing I'm focusing on is giving away free pre-publication copies of the book and hoping that some of the readers will tell me what they like and, most importantly, what they don't like. I'm so in need of this information that I'm willing to place a reader's name (or, if they choose, an alias) in a special listing in the book. And, if certain readers give me significant feedback, I'm more than willing to add a two-line Bio and a Web link to their listing.

So, I'm hoping I can anticipate some of the things the future readers of my book will want. But, I can't leave this topic without at least indicating the ferocious battle that I wage between pleasing the reader and being true to my vision as an author. But, that's a topic for another day :-)