R4R is incredibly exhausting and tedious at times … that was how I started getting some reads for my first story. I did discover some hidden gems in the process though and continue to follow those stories!
My first story is very niche I would say. Something that would appeal to a much smaller population of readers. It has a few fans who truly enjoy it though and that means a lot to me!
My other story from the college days contest is a lot more successful. I did not need to seek R4R to help it get started. That particular story though has a lot more of the elements that the main population of readers tends to be drawn to. (Customization, love interests, comedy, etc.)
The cover is highly important as someone mentioned before. People will judge a book by it’s cover.
The description also must be well written with proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. It needs to be intriguing without giving too much away.
I highly suggest that you submit your story to review threads here! You get awesome feedback to help your story improve and if a reviewer likes it a lot, that could generate interest from people who follow their thread!