Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Download a Free Sample

I never do, do you? I don't like to read portions of books or samples of stories. Those extra pages at the back of a novel to entice you to buy the second book in the trilogy? Waste of paper.

So I don't think offering free sample downloads is a particularly effective marketing strategy...on people like me.

But it must be fairly effective for a large group of readers otherwise the practice wouldn't exist. So my advice? Make that opening chapter very...hooky!

There. That's about it for this class, class. If you're going to allow potential buyers the opportunity to download and read 15 to 20% of your work, then that portion better sing. Anything to add? Comment below.

Oh, and I found I'd bookmarked a blog post that I forgot to offer last time - one on "How to Write a Back Blurb for Your Book." Read it and let me know what you think. Until next time.


  1. Unless I've already seen enough writing samples from an author to know one way or another, I normally ALWAYS download a sample of any book I'm considering buying. That's the only way to make sure you're not going to get something that's unedited and not worth the money.

  2. Good point. I guess I already know ahead of time if I'm willing to give the book a shot. Either word of mouth has convinced me to read it or I've reached that conclusion based on cover (sketchy at best) and blurb - but even then I don't read many blurbs. lol So I guess I buy based on word of mouth and reputation of the author (past experience).

  3. I'm with T.M. I always look at samples. Always. Unless I'm just planning on checking a book out from the library, and even then I sometimes read the sample on the book's Amazon page.


    I almost never read a back cover or blurb until I've started reading the book. I go by title and cover art, and open the book if it's a book I haven't heard anything about. Then, if the first pages hook me, I'll check out what the book is about farther in by reading the back cover.

  4. Good strategy, Kat. I enjoy hearing how people approach books. I wonder, as books become more interactive (active content, etc) what samples we'll find on the web.

  5. I'm with Kat and T.M...always do the samples. Not only does it give me an idea of whether or not I'll like the whole book, but it's also sort of like a "wish list" on my Kindle lol

  6. See there? The practice is an effective marketing strategy for 3 of the 4 commenters on this blog! :) I like the idea of the wish list, Stoney. I'll keep that in mind.

  7. I do the wish list thing on my Nook, too.

  8. Well yes, I do. I wanted to check out an anthology, so I read through the sample.

    I liked it, then I bought it.

  9. Thanks for your example, Deb. That makes sense, especially if you don't know the style of writing you're getting yourself into.


Keep it clean and positive. (And sorry about the word verification, but the spmb*ts are out in full force!)