I just released my novel to friends and family to read. I'm ashamed to say the reason I didn't do it sooner was because I was afraid of what they would have to say. However, I can't improve it if I don't get constructive feedback and to everyone who has a copy, I instructed them to be honest. So far...
Husband says, "Ok, now I need to read the second one."
(but he is obviously biased, and not really my audience, besides, he doesn't read)
Friend says, "The book is great!"
She's still in the process of reading it, so I'll have to wait until she is finished to get her overall take, but she would be my audience and does read. Of course, I almost forgot to tell her that I used her name in the book. Her namesake's role is a very small one in the story, but I still hope she doesn't mind.