A coworker of mine bought my book, which was her trying to be supportive. My book also really wasn't in a genre she read. She got home and read a little bit of it before going to bed. The following day she went to work, as she always did. She left the book at her house, and her husband found it. She went home after her shift to find her husband reading it. He was so entrenched in the story that he couldn't put it down. She actually had to fight with her husband for him to let her read it. It was somewhat of a point of contention until one of them finally finished it. Her husband later said, "It was such a good story that he didn't want to wait to see what happened next.
Similar stories to this continuously repeated themselves, a friend of someone I knew, a person I had never met, read my books and loved them. I know this is just a sales pitch, but I told everyone that read it not to hold back any criticism. If there was something wrong with my stories, I wanted to know about it and for them to have no regard for hurting my feelings. Though this may have seemed like I was being hard on myself, this constantly kept me figuratively on my toes and improving my writing. And my main goal was to create a good story.