Readers. . .the almighty reader. That is why we are here, right?!
And it's up to us to keep them turning the pages of your novel and NOT close the cover before they read "the end."
1) Character tags
We take so much time on trying to figure out a dialogue tag that fits the words of our characters, but we should really take the time to to invest in our characters. And I mean all our characters.
Think of it as a memory tag, a way for the reader to remember that character. Of course we can write about the secondary character in passing, but it's so much more memorable if that secondary character has a distinctive tattoo or scar. Something that makes your main character pause and take notice of everything and everyone around them.
Or give them a little conflict too. If your main character is in a store, maybe the store clerk is having an argument on the phone with an ex.
These little tags are easy to incorporate, even you wait until the last round of edits.
2) Character Quirk
Every single one of my novels has a quirky character. I even have that as part of my author tag-line. Quirks give the characters a lovable quality that the reader enjoys. A snark of a crazy grandmother like Grandma Mozer in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, or my quirky Aunt Grace in Carpe Bead 'em.
Readers remember them, even if they are the secondary character's characteristic.
3) Character Thinking
Does your character ever think in his head? It's easy to let the reader see the action of your character, but it's an all together different experience to go deep in their head. They can do one thing, but think another. It helps the reader really get to know the inner workings of your characters.
4) End each chapter with a bang!
I'm not saying throw in a big train wreck at the end of a chapter, but maybe a thought or two that would make the reader stop and go hmmm. . .
For my mystery novels, I love to add a little red-herring to end the chapter on or a clue to solving the crime. It makes the reader continue to read so they can use the clue to help solve the mystery.
Analyze the book you are reading. What keeps you turning the page? Take note and try to incorporate those into how you can keep your reader hooked!