- Nowadays, we are told, readers don't have time to hang around.
- Publishers demand page-turnability because page-turnability sells more copies and more copies are what they MUST sell, because the income on each copy sold is so much less than it was. (As I said here and here.)
Reason 2 is undoubtedly true. More readers will read your book if it has page-turnability than if it doesn't. You need more readers - wherever you stand on the art / commerce continuum, if you want to be published, you need to be able to attract more readers than you would have done five years ago, because of falling unit income. (No, I don't like thinking about "unit income" either, but I find that published writers tend to be far more realistic than unpublished ones.)
So, how do you achieve page-turnability? Here are the methods - apply them more rigorously or less rigorously, depending on your wishes, your genre, your book, and just how much page-turnability you're after.
- Shorten chapters, unless they are already stupidly short. Alter the places where they begin and end so that they usually end mid-action. Give every chapter a knife-edge beginning and ending. Do not let your reader stop reading.
- Remove much more description than you want to.
- Ditto with back-story, philosophy, scene setting and world building. Just because you know it, doesn't mean the reader needs it. Think iceberg.
- Remove at least two of the first five chapters. Just do it. See what happens.
- Remove all your favourite sentences.
Now that you've cut so much, see if there are any holes. Fill the holes with action. No murder for forty pages? KILL someone. No threats, sinister appearances, ghosts, car chases, unsheathing of knives, MC hanging off a precipice, revealing or touching erogenous zone (if age appropriate), thunder storm, escaping tiger in this chapter? WHY NOT?
But I bet you won't. Because what you'll be doing then is spoiling a clean piece of writing which has true page-turnability, and you will not be making it more likely to be published.
If being published is not what you want, ignore all my advice.